‘Caste bias can't be equated with racism: India’ (18 Apr 2009, 0428 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN) has two issues:
1) Caste discrimination is equated with racial discrimination.
2) Of giving tribals the status of "indigenous people".
In both the cases there is hypocracy. It is a fact that discrimination does take place and it is also a fact that Aryans, Kushans, Hans, Pershians, Turks, Arabs and Afghans were all invaders, who made India their home. Aryans called "indigenous people" ‘rakshasas’ and ‘nagas’. It is high time we apologise to tribals and dalits for the atrocities committed against them.
The news in NDTV web site should make us look within. The Govenment of India should accept the reality with dignity and come clean.
Employment bias mars private sector – Study (NDTV)
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (New Delhi)
The private sectors' refrain that affirmative action is good enough may not stand now. Fresh studies have proved that there is discrimination in employment.
It was subject of much dispute - many had been saying it, others contesting it. On Friday, a study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University.
The study was conducted against 548 job advertisements with 4808 applicants over 66 weeks, across five metros.
It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.
Inequality in private sector
The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.
The wage earnings too were found to five to 20 per cent lower, between SC as compared to upper castes.
And that is not all, one may also carry the baggage of family background, when being interviewed for a job.
''Here in India, it is a routine practice for employers to enquire about family background and use it as a means for screening. This is an anti-thesis to what one expects in a merit based system,'' Professor Katherine S Newman, Princeton University.
The survey contradicts what employers have been claiming all this while that jobs are given purely on merit, a contradiction that needs to be addressed urgently.
''The result of the studies need to be taken seriously and we need an equal opportunities policy in the form of reservation in addition to what everyone is already doing,'' Professor Sukhdev Thorat, report author and UGC chairperson.
Affirmative action, like skill and enterprise development, taken up by the private sector so far, may just not be enough, if employment opportinities in the country are to become inclusive.