A peace march in Lahore FRIENDS OF SOUTH ASIA (FOSA)
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Reservations and Affirmative Action in South Asia

We believe that affirmative action policies such as reservations play a key role in the empowerment of historically marginalized communities. The reservation policy in India is designed to compensate for centuries of caste-based oppression faced by lower-caste communities, and the subsequent inequalities that have resulted. Hence we are disappointed and saddened by the recent spate of protests by students of elite institutions and urban professionals in India against the Indian federal government's proposed policy to provide reservations for an array of socially and economically disadvantaged communities, officially designated as Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It is furthermore disappointing to note that such sentiment of holding on to privilege and denial of real inequalities in India finds support among Indian Americans in the SF Bay Area.

We call upon members of the Indian/Indian American community 
to reject positions that seek to further upper-caste privilege at the expense of true social justice, and seek solutions that truly benefit ALL of Indian society.

RESOURCES

Reservations for OBCs in India - Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ provides a primer on the reservation debate from FOSA's perspective and tries to address some of the common questions, myths and misconceptions related to reservation policy in India. Parts of this FAQ appears in the article titled "The Furore Over Reservations: A Primer" in the June 2006 issue of Siliconeer Magazine.

Some Statistics on the Distribution of Different Communities in Various Professions in India, and the Effects of Reservations

This document presents data illustrating caste-based inequality as it exists today in different professional sectors of society. It also presents information on how reservations for SCs/STs over the past few decades, has resulted in their greater representation in Indian bureaucracy.


UPDATES

June 9, 2006. Dismantling Discrimination: NRI groups Welcome the Decision, Even if Belated, by the Indian Government to Implement Reservations in Higher Education for the Socially & Economically Backward Classes.  Press Release by Friends of South Asia (FOSA), The Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace(ACJP), The Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA) and  The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH). 



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