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National minority rights in the Himalayas

By Arcata (United States)) Selma K. (Humboldt State University Arcata Sonntag and Heidelberg (Germany) Suedasien-Institut -SAI- Abt. Politische Wissenschaft Universitaet Heidelberg

Abstract

'India is a multicultural liberal democratic state. It is also a poor, overpopulated Third World country. Many modernization theorists have assumed that these two descriptors were at odds, or at least sequentially determined with economic development a necessary pre-condition for democracy, and hence predicted the failure of the Indian experiment because of its 'fissiparous tendencies.' More contemporary comparative political scientists have attempted more sophisticated and nuanced explanations of the Indian experiment than what modernization theorists offered. Also recently political theorists have increasingly turned their attention to multiculturalism. In this paper, I use a particular type of accommodation made by the Indian state to cultural diversity, constitutionally prescribed in the Sixth Schedule for parts of Assam but increasingly applied elsewhere in the northern stretches of Indian territory, to investigate contributions of recent liberal theory to understanding India's multiculturalism. One of the most prominent political theorists in recent times in the West is Will Kymlicka, who weds multiculturalism to liberalism in his liberal theory of minority rights. The mainstay of his theory is his distinction between national minorities and immigrant ethnic groups. Through this distinction he describes and prescribes accommodations made by the liberal state to cultural diversity. Although he admits that there are gray areas or 'hard cases' that challenge his categorization, his 'approach' has been 'to draw clear lines in muddy waters.' Can Kymlickian lines be drawn in the sediment-filled streams flowing down from the Himalayas? Do Kymlicka's categories, and, more generally, his theory help us understand India's liberal multiculturalism as practiced in the Himalayan foothills of north India?' (author's abstract)Indien ist ein multikultureller liberaler demokratischer Staat und gleichzeitig ein armes ueberbevoelkertes Land der Dritten Welt. Modernisierungstheoretiker und Politologen haben verschiedene Erklaerungsansaetze fuer das indische Modell und dessen Entwicklung, wobei in juengster Zeit der Multikulturalismus ins Zentrum der Betrachtung gerueckt ist. Der vorliegende Beitrag erforscht die Beitraege neuerer liberaler Theorien zum Verstaendnis des indischen Multikulturalismus. Einer der bekanntesten politischen Theoretiker in letzter Zeit ist Will Kymlicka, der in seiner liberalen Theorie von Minoritaeten Multikulturalismus mit Liberalismus miteinander verbindet. Das Rueckgrad seiner Theorie ist die Unterscheidung zwischen nationalen Minoritaeten und eingewanderten ethnischen Gruppen. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob Kymlickans Theorie fuer die Entwicklung in der Himalaya-Region taugt. (ICDUebers)German title: Die Rechte nationaler Minderheiten in der Himalaya-RegionSIGLEAvailable from Universitaet Heidelberg, Suedasien-Institut -SAI-Abt. Politische Wissenschaft, Heidelberg (DE) / FIZ - Fachinformationszzentrum Karlsruhe / TIB - Technische InformationsbibliothekDEGerman

Topics: 05J - Political science, public administration, 05W - Demography, population studies, INDIA, MINORITY, POLICY ON MINORITIES, MINORITY LAW, ETHNIC RELATIONS, ETHNIC GROUP, ETHNIC ORIGIN, MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY, SOUTHERN ASIA, DEVELOPING COUNTRY, ASIA
Year: 2004
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Provided by: OpenGrey Repository
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