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Politics of InclusionCastes, Minorities, and Affirmative Action$
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Zoya Hassan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198076964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198076964.001.0001

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Social Discrimination and the Reservation Claims of Muslim and Christian Dalits

Social Discrimination and the Reservation Claims of Muslim and Christian Dalits

(p.196) 7 Social Discrimination and the Reservation Claims of Muslim and Christian Dalits
Politics of Inclusion

Zoya Hasan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the question of whether a Dalit or Muslim can be a Scheduled Caste (SC), in light of the claims and counter-claims made by Dalits in the Muslim and Christian communities for SC status. It looks at the response of various institutions of the state and political parties to these contentious claims. It is argued that the political will required for recognition of Dalits is absent. Since most of the claimants suffer from acute deprivation, inclusion in the SC list is of vital importance for them, as it affects their access to opportunities which reservations in education and government employment can facilitate. Entitlements of a particular group to benefits of special treatment are political decisions. Thus, the resolution of this problem lies in the political domain because political factors, and not principle or lack of evidence of social disabilities, stand behind the denial of SC status to Dalit.

Keywords:   Dalits, Christians, Scheduled Caste, reservations, social inequality, religious minorities

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