Affirmative Action in the United States and India: A Comparative Perspective

By Thomas E. Weisskopf | Go to book overview

2

The debate over positive discrimination in the US and in India

When policies of positive discrimination in favor of under-represented ethnic groups were first introduced in (independent) India and in the US, they enjoyed a great deal of public support. Over time the extent of the opposition has grown significantly in each country; positive discrimination has become an increasingly controversial issue and the subject of increasingly heated debate.

In this chapter I begin by reviewing in more detail the evolution of public opinion about affirmative action in the US and reservation policies in India. Then I go on to explore the particular arguments that have been made by proponents of positive discrimination (PD) policies, and those that have been advanced by opponents of these policies, in each country. In discussing the arguments made for and against positive discrimination, I will necessarily refer primarily to what people have written about the topic, i.e. what members of each society's elite have to say. Precisely because they express their views in writing, however, these elite are influential in shaping public opinion. Finally, I offer some observations about how and why the debate in each country about positive discrimination has changed over time. In this chapter-and in the rest of the book-I will focus attention on PD policies in the spheres of employment and education, where positive discrimination has proved to be most controversial.


Public opinion on positive discrimination in each country

In the early years after India gained independence there was clearly a great deal of public support for reservations in favor of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). The idea of reserving places for members of disadvantaged groups, as a way of doing justice to those groups, had been legitimized and popularized during the British Raj. The extent to which positive discrimination was embedded in the constitution of independent India, in tension with its commitment to individual liberty, testifies to the degree of support it enjoyed.

The political leaders and constitution-makers of the Indian nationalist movement were mostly from the upper castes and in many ways rather elitist in outlook. Their institutionalization of reservation policies in favor of the

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Affirmative Action in the United States and India: A Comparative Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 286

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.