The Withering Social Justice in India: A Case for Diversity

By:
Dr Ramaiah Avatthi
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The policy of reservation and other opportunities of development guaranteed in the Indian Constitution for the SCs and STs (Dalits) are increasingly becoming redundant in view of the ever-increasing process of liberalization, privatization and globalization. Moreover, the very castes and communities that opposed such measures have now started demanding for it. In this changing circumstances Dalits and other marginalized groups need to aim at diversifying national assets and opportunities of development among all castes and communities rather than aiming at the mere continuation of the existing Reservation policy. The paper in the process portrays how the state has failed in protecting the Dalits' dignity, human rights and in meeting their basic needs. The paper suggests that in the changing context, Dalits should prevail upon the State to adopt Diversity policies which are popular in US and other developed countries as means to ensure social justice to all communities in a dignified manner.


Keywords: Social Justice, Dalits, Globalisation, Wealth/Asset Diversity, Reservation/Affirmative Policies
Stream: Politics of Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Cultural Diversity Acclaimed but Social and Economic Diversity Ignored


Dr Ramaiah Avatthi

Reader, Unit for Social Policy and Social Welfare Administration, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
India

Dr A. Ramaiah has been engaged in teaching and research in the fields of social work and social sciences in the last 15 years. He obtained his Bachelor Degree (1981) in Economics from Madurai University and Master Degree (1984) in Social Work from University of Madras, India. He obtained his M.Phil in Population Studies (1987) and Ph. D in Sociology (1999) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Soon after his master degree, he had also undergone a six-months management training on the rehabilitation of the physically handicapped. Later, for about 5 months, he worked as a Project Coordinator of an NGO viz., Service Civil International - India (a rural development project in Tamil Nadu). During this period he was primarily involved in initiating and executing community development programmes, besides managing the organization. Ramaiah joined the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on July 1, 1991 as a Lecturer. He was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer in July 1998. Currently (since December 10, 2001) he is a Reader. His responsibilities include teaching subjects such as development of Indian marginalized communities, management and evaluation of not for profit organizations, social welfare organization and social policy issues to the master level students of social work. He has also been involved in supervising and guiding the students in their field and dissertation works. He has also been involved in organizing seminars and workshops. He has handled independent research projects. His recent research, which is on the use and abuse of laws for protection Dalit human rights, is shortly coming out in a book form. He has written extensively for the reputed journals and books on issues pertaining to the marginalized communities. Ramaiah has traveled twice (1995, 1998) in most of the European countries and once in Zimbabwe articulating Dalit concerns.

Ref: D05P0352