The Vice-President, M.Venkaiah Naidu, during a book release function on Friday, said time has come to sub-categorise communities enjoying reservation benefits. Asking whether the backward communities are getting benefits proportionate to their population, Naidu claimed that people belonging to these communities are now saying they are being ignored. If reservation is justified because of discrimination, then the same reason justifies sub-categorisation, he said.
Releasing the former bureaucrat, and well-known expert on social justice, P.S.Krishnan’s book, ‘Social Exclusion and Justice in India’ [Routledge India] at a well-attended gathering at the Teenmurti auditorium on Friday evening, Naidu said there is no dearth of laws, aiming at social change. Asking what happened after the Nirbhaya legislation in 2013, he said apart from the Bill, we need the political will to implement it.
Naidu also said we cannot create a developed India if there are glaring inequalities based on caste, creed, religion, and sex. Complimenting Krishnan, Naidu said he has been a relentless champion of social justice for deprived social classes, and has delved deep into roots of discrimination in Indian society. He further said that the book is a testimony to his grasp and in-depth knowledge of the issues of the deprived social classes, the Dalits, the Adivasis and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, and practical and effective ways of resolving them, based on his long experience in Andhra Pradesh, and Telengana and in the country as a whole.
In his book, Krishnan traces the dialogues between the founding fathers of Indian Constitution, especially Gandhi and Ambedkar, and the confluence of their diverse thoughts in the final version of the Constitution. Ambedkar joining the first Cabinet of independent India as Minister of Law and thereafter as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly were decisive steps that forged a national convergence on social justice and inclusion, Krishnan says in his book.
Krishnan also examines the implementation of various Constitutional provisions related to the identification of SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, political reservation, reservation in public employment and education, and in promotion, prohibition of bonded labour and the unique provision for development of STs. ‘There is no better tribute we can pay to the founding fathers than to breathe life into these articles which are an eloquent expression of a world view that has social inclusion and social justice as the cardinal overarching principles’, Naidu said in his address.
The book analyses the legal, economic, social and cultural frameworks to understand caste system and related concepts like ‘untouchability’, atrocities, reservations, etc in contemporary India, and provides practical insights into the Constitution-based comprehensive measures required remedy the consequences of caste system and establish social equality in a holistic manner.
The book-release was followed by a panel discussion on the book, by Prof.T.K.Oommen, (Professor Emeritus, Center for the Study of Social System, Jawaharlal Nehru University), Prof. Sushma Yadav (Professor of Public Policy and Governance, Indian Institute of Public Administration), Bhupinder Singh, retired civil servant, and Dr.Lakho Mal, retired Director, State Trading Corporation.