ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Elusive Pursuit of Equality

Elusive Pursuit of Equality S P Sathe Competing Equalities: Law and the Backward Classes in India by Marc Galanter; Oxford University Press, MARC GALANTER's "Competing Equalities'' is a treatise overseeing our efforts to improve the lot of the most handicapped groups, untouchables and tribals, through the policy of compensatory discrimination. This book is the result of his long painstaking research conducted over almost two decades. In India, we have been using a unique method for ameliorating the lot of our most depressed sections with a view to enabling them to compete with others. India could not have provided equality in an essentially unequal society except by discriminating in favour of those who had been the victims of social structure. This is sought to be achieved by using a three-pronged strategy: (1) by providing extra facilities such as freeships or scholarships for education, relaxation from age restrictions in respect of employment, interest-free or low interest loans, cheap housing, etc; (2) providing reservation of seats in legislatures and educational institutions or of jobs in government service; and (3) provisions for special protection against practices such as un- touchability, bonded labour or transfers of lands by tribals due to ignorance and poverty. Galanter's book mainly deals with the second of these three approaches.

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