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“Society does not need to be casteless, but must be inclusive” | Latest India News

Caste defines the identity of a class of citizens who have been discriminated against and stigmatized simply because of their birth in a certain community, Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday as the senior Supreme Court justice pointed out that an inclusive society, not a one-caste society, is the solution.

Justice Chandrachud was delivering the inaugural address of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at IIT-Delhi when the judge expressed his view that he does not see caste elimination as a solution to gender discrimination. castes.

“This whole theme that caste must be eliminated is very often seen as a theme that the upper caste propagates because it is the upper caste who believe that caste is one of the most pernicious features of our Indian society. Talk to people who have experienced caste-based discrimination, stigma and assault; caste defines their identity and every day they are reminded of their caste by the perpetrators of those who discriminate against them because of caste,” the judge said while interacting with the students.

He added that the real answer, in his view, is not to create a casteless society, but to empower and empower those who have been subjected to centuries of discrimination.

“The answer to this must lie in our awareness of the extent of caste-based discrimination that is still perpetrated in our society. We must confront this discrimination that still permeates and permeates our society and find justice for those who are victims of caste-based discrimination. It is far more important than anything else,” Judge Chandarchud stressed.

Responding to a question about striking a balance between merit and elevation, the judge argued that the two should not be treated in a dichotomy and that the need of the hour is to redefine merit.

“There is an underlying assumption that elevation and merit are two ends of a contradictory spectrum…that if you are to rise, you must sacrifice merit. If you are to emphasize merit, you have to ignore elevation. I have a problem with that paradigm,” he said.

According to Judge Chandrachud, balancing elevation and merit requires redefining merit and considering much more than grades in an entrance test. “How can you define merit solely in terms of test scores and entrance tests? Will someone who does significantly better on the Common Law Entrance Test (CLAT) define the student’s potential to be a responsible citizen or better contributor to society 15 years from now? stressed the judge, adding that it is important to redefine the notion of merit.

“Inclusion plays a positive role in defining merit. When we redefine merit in terms of an inclusive and plural society, we will be talking about true elevation,” he said.