The World community has taken Human Rights and Discrimination very seriously and has not allowed any kind of its violation on any grounds. United Nations Charter’s Preamble states the aim of reaffirming “Faith…in the dignity and worth of human person…”on the same lines Article 1 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) begins with “All human rights are born free and equal in dignity and rights” similarly Article 1 of Fundamental Rights of the European Union embarks that “Human Dignity is inviolable and it must be respected and protected”. In fact UDHR has been imbedded as customary law by all Nations, though it doesn’t have any binding on the nations. However International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), 1965 was the first treaty signed on Human Rights. And later in 1966 UDHR norms were enriched in two separate legal documents i.e. International covenant on economics, social and culture rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). And, these two documents along with UDHR are called International Bills of Rights. Later In 1979 two other bills were passed i.e. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Committee Against Torture (CAT). It’s important to mention all these convention because these were the documents that had helped numbers of nation to overcome discrimination in their respective state and build an environment of Equality, Dignity and properness. [1: United Nation Charter, Preamble (1945). ] [2: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 (1948). https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ (last visited Oct 7, 2019)] [3: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 1 (2000).] [4: Sarah Joseph & Adam McBeth, Research Handbook on International Human Rights 2-3.]
Indian Constitution on Discrimination
The idea of equality is embedded in Indian Constitution from its inception. The state has prohibited discrimination of any sort at any point of time. India like other nation does not have racial discrimination. Even though it has still prohibited such type of discrimination. The framers of constitution has drafted the constitution precisely keeping in mind each and every aspect of global scenario. There are many articles in India constitution that has been adopted from International Conventions such as United Nation and from various other Sovereign Country to tackle the problem of discrimination and to provide equal opportunity to its citizen. [5: India, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: State Party Report, India 2-3 (1996), https://www.refworld.org/type,STATEPARTIESREP,CERD,IND,3ae6aeeb4,0.html (last visited Oct 7, 2019).]
As Mentioned above India does not have racial discrimination like other country, but has a different set of discrimination based on Caste. Problem of discrimination in India has historic origin and it’s not based on race, gender or age but it is believed it is based on occupational choice of forefathers. Casteism gave birth to Untouchability in India and it was believed that people from marginal community belonged to the last strata of community. To tackle the problem of Untouchability and to increase the representation of marginal community in sector of education and jobs (as they were historically deprived of getting a job and education) government came up with an Idea of reservation and it was Introduce along with the Indian Constitution
Caste challenges the basic doctrine of Human Rights i.e. All human beings are equal and deserve the same respect, dignity and rights. Caste system established the idea that certain section of people deserve less respect and fewer rights than other and that’s not because those other people have earned that status but because they were born in a particular social stratum. [6: Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 1 (1948). https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ (last visited Oct 7, 2019)]
On the other hand Reservation Policy violates the Preamble of Indian Constitution, which is embedded with the term Secular. Not only that reservation policy also violates Article 14, Article 15, Article __ of Indian Constitution which guarantees Equality.
Why Reservation flumes Discriminates
There are many reason to that and one of it is Marginalisation over Merit, reservation has guaranteed certain percentage of seats in Educational Institution and Jobs to these marginal community. Forcing the Educational Institution/Company to Enrol/Heir less skilled person. What flumes here in this scenario is not that these people belonging to marginal community got the opportunity but the gap between the selection criteria. One student gets an admission with 90% of Marks whereas the other get admission with 70% of Marks. And ones with 80% of Marks are left at their faith even though there scored more than many of the students who were selected. This process gives birth to haterate which further leads to discrimination.
The aim of Reservation was to promote and increase the participation of Marginal Community into all sections of the working and to bring them into the mainstream. Historically they were deprived of many rights but Modern India has lived life much more joyful with less restriction as it used to live in 20th century. In 1951 there were about 16% literate in India which has now crossed 80%. This change is due to two factor one due to legislative adaption and second due to change in globalization. So, where do the legislative adaption of reservation which started in 60’s stand today. It would have certainly achieved its primary goals as initially it was just supposed to be there for 15 years. However, one still can’t claim that India has overcome the problem of discrimination as there’s no official data on impact of reservation and how many goals it has achieved and if not achieved where the problem lies whether on part of the state policy or on part of marginal community. [7: State of Literacy, Census Report (2011), http://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/data_files/india/Final_PPT_2011_chapter6.pdf (last visited Oct 9, 2019).]
Reservation has provided opportunity to marginal community and has certainly increased their participation but it’s now structed and isn’t able to deliver. Why? because its been with certain section of marginal community and they are known as Creamy Layer. The one who were stable among the marginal community and the one who received the initial benefit are the one who are exploiting the scheme and the one who are oppressed have remained oppressed and are victim of discrimination.
Phycology of Discrimination
Human behaviour has always been motivated to categorize people and objects, confirmation bias would be the exact term and that’s what differentiate humans from another living creature on this planet. But discrimination goes beyond that and make us human worse among all. A Research conducted by Gwendolyn Keita showcases what factor of discrimination that includes History, economic forces, sociological trends and the influence of community and family beliefs all of them together leads to Prejudicial Attitudes (Discrimination). And certainly, these marginal community has suffered and deprived from all the above mention categories. (Discus the Cases)
But psychologist also suggests that people have an ability too change and modify their prejudicial attitude and one of the methods to do that is to reduce the gap of differences and to remove the historic belief that no longer stand to be true and Indian state has taken steps towards the both. [8: Gwendolyn Keita, Discussing Discrimination, Https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/keita-qa (last visited Oct 1, 2019).]
Idea of Equality
What does equality mean? Does it mean that every person should have the same amount of Income or that everyone should be having equal amount of education or that everyone should have an equal/similar type of accommodation? If this the idea than one would also argue that every person should be of equal height and equal weight but that’s not possible. People get all the above-mentioned things as per the choices they make in their lives. It’s not what society gives; it depends on person’s capability and zeal. In past one could have argued that people of marginal community aren’t allowed to get education in a school where a brahmin is studying or some type of similar arguments. But today there’s no difference, a student belonging to the marginal community studies in the same school as of a other category student they all get the similar type of education then why till today a person belonging to a marginal community get a preferential choice. This is not equality but harsh discrimination and this policy won’t allow to break the psychological aspects of discrimination we discussed above because the policy.
Equality does not mean sameness, nor should an equal society try to force everyone into the same mould. On the contrary, the pursuit of equality is about empowering people to live their dreams, to be themselves and to be different, if they wish. The links between equality and social cohesion are well documented. Violence, conflict, insecurity and political instability are all more likely to occur in more unequal societies. [9: Healthcare Commission (2006), Results of the annual health check 2005/2006, London, Healthcare Commission]
The idea of discrimination and casteism is the gap between those who enjoy the life best chances and those who suffer the most. So, if you are poor it’s understood that you won’t get a good education which will lead to low income. But this could happen to anyone it’s not like only people from marginal community are born in poor family. “An equal society recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers That limit what people can do and can be.” aim should be to narrow gaps in real opportunities and real freedoms, not by reducing the freedoms of some (Reservation Policy) but by increasing the opportunities of those suffering persistent disadvantage.
Reservation Created Segregation of Community
The further extension of reservation has brought back the Segregation in the society. Similar to what was witnessed in Brown Case. There are two separate set of admission process under reservation policy and just like in brown where the whole neighbourhood was reserved for whites’ students over here almost half of the education seats are reserved for the marginal community. The seats are allotted not on the basis of merit but are allotted on the basis of community keeping aside the people talent, passion and so on which should have been the main criteria for selection. The segregation is so vast and deep and has influenced discrimination in the Indian society. The only difference between brown and Indian education system is that students in India are taught under the same roof the hearts are always apart from each other as most of the students aren’t able to mix-up.[10: McLeod, S. A. (2008). Prejudice and discrimination, https://www.simplypsychology.org/prejudice.html (last visited Oct 7, 2019) ] [11: Nikole Hannah-Jones, School Segregation, the community tragedy of Freguson (2014).]
Gandhi urged the people of India to treat all people equally regardless of their cast. The argument that these community still lack education and still gave remained illiterate is not buyable. Today there are people of marginal community at top in Indian Offices, Prime Minister Modi is from OBC community, President Kovind is from Dalit Community and further n no. of politician and bureaucrats from marginal community. As discussed above The education reservation was brought so that equal opportunity could be given to every individual of this country, as the literacy rate in the country was way to low in 1950’s. Today marginal community maybe socially backward but there’s no evidence of them being educationally backward. Reservation Policy has fulfilled its obligation and if it remains than it would create a new type of discrimination. Today people from other community who have remained economically backward faces difficulty too. [12: Clifford Bob, Dalit Rights are Human Rights, The Johns Hapkins University Press 167-193 (2007).]