Regarding this post-racial America, affirmative action, and social justice issue, it may be pertinent to take a look at the Indian example.
When India gained independence from the British, a new constitution was written which came into force in January 1950. The constitution provided 22.5 percent reservation in education and jobs for the “underprivileged group” then named as “scheduled castes” and “scheduled tribes” for a period of 10 years, claiming that in that time these underprivileged “historically wronged” people will gain equality and join the mainstream, making affirmative action in the form of reservation unnecessary. However, what followed has been a complete catastrophe.
1. After the first ten years, reservation was extended for another ten years and so on, and it continues till date (It is about 60 years since independence). There is no political will to end this reservation, rather there is a competition amongst the political leadership to provide more and more reservation to more and more groups.
2. Reservation is applied not only at the entry to jobs but also for the promotions in jobs as well. It may soon be imposed in higher (graduate level education) education too.
3. Reservation is ubiquitous. Government, the parliament, health-care … everywhere.
4. If a person from the “reserved category” gets a score good enough to help him qualify through the general-category, he is selected in the general category. This means, that those selected in “reserved category” are necessarily lesser skilled than their general category counterparts.
5. Reservation has been extended to various other groups, and now the total reservation stands at more than 50 percent and in some cases as high as 70 percent. Can you believe this? Seventy percent of the vacancies are filled by “affirmative action.”
6. Groups “demand” proportional representation (as percentages of population) in all opportunities. And the concept of group is being generalised from caste, to religion and also gender. For example Muslims being 15 percent of the population are demanding 15 percent reservation in education and jobs. Each such group acts as a “vote-bank” to extract its pound of flesh. Women demand that 50 percent of the vacancies to be reserved for women. It is clear that those who breed more keep gaining demographic advantage and demand even more reservation.
7. Reservation policy may soon be imposed on private enterprises too. So an American company, operating in India may be “forced” to recruit a certain percentage of Muslims! This policy is still in its infantile stage but could attain full fledged status sooner than feared.
8. Protests even to the extent of young people self immolating themselves (committing suicide by burning themselves in public) has had no effect on the “democratic government.” It perpetrates its policy of “social justice” through “affirmative action.”
9. Attempts by the judiciary to curb such “affirmative action” are conveniently thwarted by amending the constitution.
And hence the “affirmative action” never diminishes, rather it keeps increasing. And I wonder if post-racial America is a euphemism for such a plightful state. If you are wondering how India is surviving, well I too have been wondering.
Jacob M. writes: