Political Representation of Minorities
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF DALIT STUDIES | While there are seats statutory reserved in the Indian parliament and the assemblies for scheduled castes and tribes like Dalits (formally known as ‘Untouchables’) and Adivasi (indigenous people), other minorities and women have not yet received representation statuated in the electoral system. This issue raises the general question of real versus nominal representation of minority groups in Indian politics. While nominal representation adversely affects the effective participation in decision making and policy formulation, the denial of effective representation also causes deprivation in access to various entitlements to marginalized social groups.
Together with the Indian Institute for Dalit Studies (IIDS), RLS implements a project on political representation of minorities in India on national and state level. The project “Political Participation of Caste, Ethnic, Religious Minorities, and Women in India: A Study of Impact of Under-representation and Nominal Representation” is a comprehensive and critical research, being conducted to analyse the forms and deficits of minorities´ representation in the Indian parliament and assemblies.
IIDS and RLS are initiating a dialogue to sensitise the public for the topic of political under-representation of minorities in the Indian electoral system. Besides the study itself, a summer school for young people and several workshops and a conference will take place in order to disseminated the research findings to decision and policy makers, scholars, NGOs and activists and to stimulate a critical societal discourse.
The Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), a recognised research institute, was set up in 2003 by academics and civil society activists. IIDS carries out research on issues of marginalised groups to generate and disseminate change-making knowledge and to inform policies. Thereby, it hopes to contribute to a socially inclusive society, economy, politics and development.