Intro: Inclusiveness is a merit to be achieved by the Government of India through discussions, seminars, symposia and other platforms in detail to eradicate the disparities of social life.
Development means growth. The advancement of material, human and social sectors is included in this. Material progress comprises superb infra-structure, excellent atmosphere for development, transparent and efficient governance and prevalence of best law and order system. For human resource development, best education, improvement in entrepreneur capacities, skill development etc, are the prerequisites. When we think about social improvement or well being of fellow men there appear the word inclusive development. This sociology based subject had been advanced by social scientists since last fifty years.
Everywhere in this world discrepancy exists. In every country there are haves and have-nots, citizens with good health and with poor health, landlords and landless people, literates and illiterates etc. To eradicate these disparities from the social life deliberate human efforts are inevitable. A comprehensive methodology for the development is the only answer for this question. So, every country has to create their technique for the self reliant growth of their countrymen.
India also has to do that. But in our country disparity prevails with multiple facets. Problems of caste, untouchabillity, economic and social backwardness, gap bet-ween tribes and other common people, problems of slum dwellers, majority and minority etc; do still exist. To address these evils we adopted the reservation policy from the very dawn of Independence. Before Independence the Britishers also had started reservation policy in India and it ultimately resulted in the tragic Partition of our country. However if we try to evaluate the consequences of reservation policy for the last sixty years, it will expose its failure. The provision of reservation as included in the Constitution was only for ten years but even after six decades, it has not been excluded, on the other hand the canvas of that policy has stretched out to other areas. Not only that, castes and sub-castes have become pressure groups and have a say in politics and policy-making of a Government. Why is it so?
By the adoption of reservation system for specific groups, common people came to the notion that the Government will take care of each and every individual and development of fellow countrymen is not their responsibility. In a democracy the number is the deciding factor. So, successive Governments both in states and Centre started to appease every group for their political ends. To face this issue an all inclusive development policy is an obligation.
Inclusiveness is a mind set. It has to be inculcated through practice. The word inclusiveness means sarvasparsi. To accomplish this everyone has to wide open their heart and try to spot the social status of their fellowmen in the society. Ask to oneself, can I receive every one of them without any kind of inhibition or doubt in mind and action? Then the thinking process starts. Yes, I have to accept everybody without any hindrance even if they are different in colour, lifestyle, look, language, caste, abilities, religion, thinking and so on. The immediate response of everybody to this query will be yes, without any hesitation. But problem starts when we think of specifics. Then only a person can visualise that, there are some uncertainties about it. This mindset has to be changed. For that special attention and thinking becomes necessary. The first requisite for that is, give a facelift to the whole educational system. Now various types of education systems are being practiced in our country. For the time being agreeing with the diversified systems, the aim and motivation of education have to be re-oriented with nationalistic and character building modules. For example in the syllabus of history, there are lot of distortions right from the period of Freedom Movement. Freedom fighters like Birsa Munda, Thalakkal Chandu and other tribal backward leaders were neglected in the history texts. This has given rise to a feeling of mistrust among the tribes and other backward communities about the whole system. If such historical episodes are included in the classroom studies confidence of tribal and backward students will increase and they feel proud of their forefathers. This is an inclusion process.
Providing supremacy to the general school education system is another aspect and these institutions have to become the centres of excellence. Every child without any social or economical barrier has to undergo their schooling and should get the chance for free mingling and other interactions with every other stratum of children. Through this way an inclusive education arrangement can be developed.
Inclusive social life was a big vision envisaged by our forefathers, besides it was practiced by them. From the traditional Lyrics we can get examples of this. Sri Ram and Guha, Sri Krishna and Kuchela are some of the best illustrations. In the history also such incidents have taken place. Foreign invasions and their rule for a very long period upon India ruined the social fabric of the country’s life in every manner. And it has affected adversely our value concepts. In addition to the distortion of history, loss of solidarity among people, wrong conception regarding nationalism and self alienation were the results of foreign rule. So, a new educational policy is the prime demand of the day.
An all inclusive development methodology is a necessity. But it is not so easy. For economic growth land is a must. For instance to construct a dam for hydro electrical power across a river, land is the prime requirement. To find out the land, authorities will search for less habituated land space and proceed to acquire it. But this area may have been occupied by tribes or other communities’ decades before without any original titles. Then the Government will evacuate and rehabilitate them to other places. This is happening every time. For the allotment of power supply to other sections, may or may not be affluent of the society, these poor people are thrown away from their ancestral habitats. This is an adverse inclusion. That means for every expansion the poor have to suffer. In the case of natural resources like coal, iron, forest goods, timber, lignite, lacerate etc; are having the same outcome. So the general tension between people to people increases and anti Government tendency will grow up. To face this menace the Governments and entrepreneurs should take much care and share the dividend of the enterprise with the local populace compulsorily.
Recognising ones identity will generate self esteem of every person. In a pluralist society like ours everybody expects respect and cordial relationship. For that a social cohesive organism has to be developed. The opportunities for such gatherings will have to be increased. It will facilitate more communication and mutual exchange of ideas. In olden times local temple festivals and functions were the occasion for such get-togethers. But of late performance in this direction has become almost nil.
S Ramanunni (The writer is a social activist)