This introduction describes and contextualizes welfare initiatives and policy responses after the Sachar Committee Report of 2006, which sparked widespread awareness of socio-economic disparity and exclusion of religious minorities in India, especially Muslims. Until this study, no comprehensive evaluation has been conducted of policies for minorities. The introduction assesses existing initiatives, policy promises, and as-yet unaddressed needs. The book’s theoretical framework situates India’s constitutional promises of ‘equal opportunity’ for citizens as a secular democracy despite the recent calls for policies of positive discrimination on the basis of religion. Mainstreaming and institutionalization are identified as crucial for effective development and equality.
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