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

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The Emperor’s New Clothes?

Inclusive State, Excluded People

India Exclusion Report 2015 by Centre for Equity Studies; New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2015; pp 283, ₹500.

Uncovering exclusion in India is akin to the child shouting out the visible truth. Exclusion and discrimination in India is as old as the country’s history. It is a lived reality as much as it is part of our history; stratification and dominance run along the axes of gender, caste, race, ethnicity and class. The sheer adaptability of the process of exclusion in Indian society is what makes contemporary studies of it relevant. Does the process display an interlocked nature of inequalities along the axes just mentioned above—they do. What changes are the forms, the overlaps, and the mutually reinforcing mechanisms and this report presents formidable evidence of the same.

The roots of such exclusion in India date back to the premodern and far outdate the idea of a state, at least, the modern idea of the European state as a democracy and as a welfare provider, among other things. This distinction is important because the rise of the contemporary study of social exclusion is traced to the shortcomings of the welfare state in France in the 1960s.

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