Mc Henry

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Mc Henry

  1. 1. Can Separation Lead to Integration? The Impact of the Extension of Reservation and the Creation of Small States on National Identity in India By Dean McHenry, Jr. Claremont Graduate University A paper presented at the 2008 South Asian Studies Association Meeting
  2. 2. The Problem <ul><li>There appears to be a contradiction: </li></ul><ul><li>On the one hand, India seeks to build national unity among its citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, policies it uses to achieve this goal involve the promotion of separation and division among citizens. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Two Examples of Policies that Divide People in India <ul><li>Reservation policies: Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are given privileges that other groups do not have—dividing them from the rest of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller state policies: Existing states are subdivided and new states are created out of them—dividing people in the new states from those in the former states. </li></ul>
  4. 4. RESERVATIONS <ul><li>Unity aim: Socially and economically “excluded” should be given privileges for a short period of time so that they will be enabled to “catch-up” with, and join, mainstream Indian society. </li></ul><ul><li>Impact: A few are helped, but identity with SC, ST or OBC groups often becomes more important than that with the nation. </li></ul>
  5. 5. DIVISION OF STATES <ul><li>Unity aim: Creation of new states would reduce animosity among groups within states and foster more rapid development, thereby promoting a sense that there were advantages in being a citizen of India. </li></ul><ul><li>Impact: In some places, its prospect seems to foster animosity between people within a state; and, subsequently, demands for further subdivision. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Promotion of Unity <ul><li>Bring the most excluded into the mainstream. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase the significance of the center. </li></ul><ul><li>Defuse divisive conflict among groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Foster development among estranged groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage democratic participation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Promotion of Disunity <ul><li>Strengthen the caste system. </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of a variety of additional problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of within-caste divisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance power of particular leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Weaken India’s economy. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Conclusions <ul><li>The fact that India has persisted for over 60 years suggests that the policies fostering reservation and state creation have not significantly undermined unity. </li></ul><ul><li>An examination of such policies provides an ambiguous answer to the question of whether policies involving division and separatism might promote unity. </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual factors are the key to determining whether the policies promote or undermine unity. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, both policies promote an aspect of national unity for they require acknowledgment of the authority of the Indian government for their implementation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Q&A Session Contact Information <ul><li>When instant messaging your questions/comments please include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your phone number if you would like us to call you back to ask the question on the air – no guarantees, it depends on factors not always under our control </li></ul></ul>Brown Bag Radio Because somewhere in the world it’s lunch time Brownbagradio Yahoo!Messenger [email_address] Conventional email [email_address] Windows Messenger Brown Bag Radio AIM Instant Messenger Contact Name Service

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