Monday, May 30, 2016

Annihilation of Caste: The Best Solution? (Part - II)

(This is the second part of a two-part article. First part can be found here.)
Relevance in Modern Times
Caste Untouchability India ConstitutionDr. Ambedkar refers to caste as an “anti-social spirit” i.e.  the “spirit of protecting its own interests.” Although the Constitution of India itself does not provide a definition of ‘caste’ there are just under a hundred references to it in the Constitution. The Constitution uses the term caste in two senses. Firstly, it is used in the term “Scheduled Caste,” usually along with ‘Scheduled Tribes‘, ‘weaker sections,‘ or ‘backward classes'. In this sense, caste consists of several groups and tribe. It includes those who endured social or economical discrimination at for centuries. These groups or tribes are those for whom certain special provisions of representation were made due to inter alia inadequate representation during British administration and to make up for  past social, economical and political inequalities as well. Secondly, the Consititution uses caste in articles prohibiting “discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex” and also, ‘class,’ ‘place of birth,’ ‘language,’ ‘descent,’ and ‘residence.’ In the first sense, caste is a curative measure to make up for historical inequalities. In second sense, seeks to bring about equality in society, with its focus on present and future scenarios, irrespective of the historical inequalities. However, in both senses, the word ‘caste’ functions, as an anti-social spirit protecting its own interests.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Annihilation of Caste: The Best Solution? (Part - I)

(This is the first part of a two-part article. Second part will be coming soon.)
“...Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform, unless you kill this monster.”
-         Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Annihilation of Caste AmbedkarSome of the profound issues of caste discrimination were raised for the first time by Dr. Ambedkar in his undelivered presidential speech “Annihilation of Caste”. The speech was prepared for the annual conference of the Jat-Pat Todak Mandal, a society for abolition of caste system, at Lahore. Prior to the date of the conference, Dr. Ambedkar wrote the speech and sent it to the anti-caste organization to enable them to print and distribute the same. The Mandal insisted on deletion of some passages of the speech, however, Dr. Ambedker declared that he "would not alter a comma”. The conference was withdrawn owing to the “unbearable” views expressed in the speechIn May 1936 Dr. Ambedkar self-published and distributed 1,500 copies of the text. The second edition includes a preface; a prologue, including the correspondence between him and the Mandal; and two appendices, which includes Mahatma Gandhi's review, “A Vindication of Caste” and Dr. Ambedkar's reply to Mahatma Gandhi.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Critical Review of the Lokpal and Lokayuktha Bill, 2011

Corruption is a malevolent practice that has to be dealt with very strictly, but  India is one of the most corrupt nations on the globe. Corruption has been a part of the society since the beginning. The fundamental idea of lokpal is borrowed from ombudsman, which has proved to be very effective in keeping a check against corruption.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act is perhaps the main enactment ever, which has been so broadly talked about, both inside and outside Parliament. Thus, generated so much awareness in the public regarding the need to have an effective organization of Lokpal to handle corruption. However, the act passed hitherto is verbose, loaded with negatives and has various cross references.