India Insight

Caste trumps merit for political dividends in India

September 5, 2012

Passions are running high in parliament and the stakes are huge. The contentious issue of reservation is back to haunt Indian politics and it may well decide who runs the next government in the world’s largest democracy. Sparks were seen flying in the upper house on Wednesday when two MPs from rival parties came to blows during the tabling of a bill to amend the Constitution, providing for reservations in promotions at work for backward castes.

How to get more women into parliament?

June 11, 2009

As part of its 100-day action plan, the Congress-led UPA government is pushing for the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 per cent seats in parliament for women.

First, Second or Third (Front) – What’s the difference!

April 17, 2009

Much has been written about the imminent arrival in New Delhi of the Third Front, the joker in the Indian political pack that has talked itself up as a serious alternative to the two national parties in the 2009 parliamentary elections.

India’s Gujjar mess underlines problem of relying on quotas

May 29, 2008

There is no doubt that India is a deeply unequal society, that people at the bottom of the pile face discrimination, and struggle for the opportunities they need to raise themselves up. But is the answer caste- or tribe-based quotas in government jobs and universities?