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Towards a New Consideration: Justice for the Minorities


Academic year: 2023

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I have dwelled at length on articulating this new political space because I regard it as critical to our understanding of the plight of minorities in Southeast and Southeast Asia. Few of us today recognize that the doctrine of popular sovereignty in Social and Political Theory rests on the appearance of the nation ("people-nation") as a unique and homogeneous body. The nation is the main middle term that connects people with the sovereignty of the state.

Sovereign power strips the lives of minorities as much as it encroaches on all they have left - their "bare life." Violence against minorities is committed as part of the exercise of sovereign power for the purpose of establishing and maintaining the purity of the nation or people. It seems that the banner of rights can only be raised over the naked bodies of minorities.

The advent of nation-space is characterized by a growing invisibility of the Muslims in India and their complete absence in areas of public life. If this is what is happening to the largest of the minorities, then the time is not too far to declare India as a nation without minorities.

Democracy’s Secret Project of Nation Building

Unlike "naked life" minorities, democratic minorities are produced by the representative practices of a democratic state. The functioning of democracies thus implies a displacement of minorities – from minorities with a 'bare life' to representative minorities. By making the majorities and the minorities an integral part of the same "national imagination" of America, Tocqueville summarily excludes the claims of Native Americans and other native tribes - who are neither Christians nor established practitioners can be part of the national imagination of America. .

Thus, the nation as a body comes into existence through many such rejections and denials and democracy by producing contingent minorities and at the same time displacing those who are bare does not account for them. Democracy is for those who secure the sovereign recognition of people - or nationhood - not for 'bare life' minorities. The distinction between 'bare life' minorities and minorities produced by the representative practices of modern democracies roughly—though not exactly—coincides with a distinction I made about a year ago, between minorities as nations and national minorities (Das 2005b mimeo).

But the minority category of 'bare life' is broader in terms of its potential and possibilities than my initial category of minorities as nations. Minorities are ruled in their bare lives by breaking the constitution and the laws of the land – in Agamben's famous words, by the way.

The Age of Minorities and the Contemporary Agenda of Minority Rights

The Anthropological Survey of India has similarly published a report on the condition of rickshaw pullers in Kolkata. Her study interestingly draws our attention to the sudden - almost instantaneous emergence of many agencies in the wake of the void created by the assassination - each with the state's "signature" with its claims to sovereignty and authority over the same urban space ( dat 2004). Today, the advocacy of minority rights is part of the agenda of governance, more specifically of “good governance.”

I suggest, however, that the appeal to minority rights being part of 'good governance' can only be read as a desperate attempt by neoliberals to rebuild and restore a liberal nationalist consensus that has otherwise been undermined in recent times. The astonished and bewildered look of the girl immediately indicated her complete inability to understand the world of education being conducted in front of her in Oriya - the dominant language circulating in the country. Liberals and neoliberals are also aware of the threshold beyond which the rights of minorities, defined in terms of group and community, cannot be stretched.

It is - as we have said - a means of mitigating the cultural differences and inequalities until a point is reached where they become part of the nation. About a month ago there was a story in many of the local newspapers in Kolkata.

Rearticulating Political Space: A Plea for Minority Rights?

The inside of the nation space is laid out flat and horizontal - occupied by individuals who are equal only in the eyes of the law and operate as equal legal entities, recognizing no hierarchy and inequality in them. Unlike the case of the tribal girl, here we seem to be siding with the couple and arguing that minority rights should not be so overstretched that their respective individual rights to live together as husband and wife are violated. Neither the “nation” nor the “people” are a homogeneous body any longer, but are visited and penetrated by others – the poor, the marginalized, the ethnic and caste minorities, the gay, lesbian and transgender people, etc.

A new space has thus been created in the wake of the erosion of the nation-space - a space in which 'bare life' minorities can have a chance to stage their comeback. All this was perhaps preceded by the collapse of the Congress Party dominance in Indian politics since the late 1980s. Pervez Musharraf – the current president of Pakistan in a recent interview to NDTV, acknowledged the importance of military uniform that he may have to wear before Pakistan goes to vote in 2007 as a symbol of unity in an alarmingly divided society of Pakistan.

Minority rights today ask to share sovereignty.4 The minorities started to claim a share of sovereignty without breaking the states. Connolly, William E (2000): 'The liberal image of the nation' in Duncan Ivision, Paul Patton & Will Sanders eds., Political Theory and the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mapping Minority Rights and Protection in India

In the current census, as previously stated, Muslims constituted 13.4% of the total population. Even the Constitutional College of the Supreme Court had declared that such a ban is not unconstitutional. No wonder then in Gujarat the police often supported the genocidal acts of the Modi government.

Gujarat is the latest and one of the most dramatic examples of attacks on minorities by the majority community. Memorandum to the Government of Gujarat on its Post-Violence Duties. The report states that the police have refused to file First Investigation Reports (FIRs) in the vast majority of cases.

Zaheera's attitude harms the cause of human rights of the Muslim community in India. Most of the Christian population in India is found either in South India or North East India. Even now, the literacy rate in most of Northeast India is higher than the rest of the country.

There are very few Christians in the highest administration of government and there are even fewer Christian CEOs. This has been one of the main reasons for pro-Hindu governments such as those led by the BJP. In fact, another way of looking at the issue of minorities is to see how they have fared in the development agenda of the Indian state.

One of the most controversial development projects in India is the Narmada Valley Development Project. The position of women from minority communities is much worse than that of men from the same communities. Among the tribal people who abandon jhum cultivation, women are the poorest.

This inventory of minorities in India is not intended to be a summary of the situation of all minorities in India, as that is an impossible project. 93 Vimal Thorat, "The Least of the Oppressed," in Combat Law: The Human Rights Magazine, Vol.

An Indian Charter for Minority Rights

In Gujarat, Muslims constituted 9% of the population, but accounted for a quarter of all prisoners in the state. Regarding the special measures of affirmative action, Article 1(4) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination states that. The issue of recognizing the identity and characteristics of minorities is firmly rooted in international law.

In Article 2 (1) as well as Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, persons belonging to minorities have the right to. A similar wording can be found in Article 3 of the Framework Convention, which mentions that individuals must have the right to choose whether or not they will be treated as members of a minority. Persons belonging to minorities should have adequate opportunities to acquire knowledge about society as a whole.

Moreover, the right of minorities to use their language privately and publicly includes an obligation on the part of the state to create favorable conditions for the preservation and promotion of the special linguistic identity of minorities. More specifically, Article 11 of the Convention provides for the right to use surnames and names in the language of the minority and the right to their official recognition and provides that "...signs, inscriptions of the language of the minority. In relation to the media, Article 9 of the Framework Convention prohibits states from discriminating against minorities in their access to the media and defines this.

2. This principle does not affect the learning or teaching of the official language. In Article 14 of the framework convention, "the contracting parties undertake to recognize the right of every member of a minority to learn their minority language". It is specifically stated that this right is exercised without interfering with the learning of the official language or

In secondary school, a significant part of the curriculum should be taught in the minority language. In addition, the constitution foresees the possibility for the state to grant aid to such educational institutions without discrimination. One of the key issues of minority participation in India is their representation in all aspects of society.

One of the challenges is to effectively enforce legal and other provisions relating to minorities and ensure that the rights of minorities are actually implemented at the national level. Violations of the rights of minorities are a common feature, with widespread discrimination based on caste, race, religion and ethnic origin.


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