ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reading Zoya Hasan’s Politics of Inclusion in the Present

Politics of Inclusion: Castes, Minorities, and Affirmative Action by Zoya Hasan, Oxford University Press, 2009; pp 302, ₹430.

A young student activist once told us that all kinds of affirmative action must be solely based on caste. When we asked him about religious discrimination and patriarchy, he denied them both outright, saying “forward castes are forward castes,” whether a Muslim or a woman. The young man held a master’s in sociology and was pursuing his PhD.

Such is the dominance of the category called “caste” that it has become synonymous with Indian society and polity. Needless to say, any kind of intervention in terms of other factors like religion, gender, class or region not only takes a backseat but is also looked upon with suspicion, often resistance. We have neg­lected the Muslim question so much that Muslims have become sitting ducks. Look at the increasing number of poor, semi-educated and unemployed youths mostly recruited from lower social classes to lynch Muslims. It would be wrong to say that only Muslims are victims of this growing hatred. We see that crime is inc­reasing against women, Dalits, tribals, Christians, Sikhs and neo-Buddhists too. If a state becomes an oligarchy, people at the periphery will suffer.

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Updated On : 9th Dec, 2020
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