Caste-based Discrimination and Discourse of Affirmative Action: Perspectives of Successful Dalits in Surkhet
Since socio-cultural diversity is one of the dominant features of South Asia in general and Nepal in particular, people are still being marginalized and the practice of inequality remains deeply and firmly lodged. However, some positive attempts have been made in the recent times to correct the past mistakes i.e. the denial of equal access to education, jobs and other policy-making bodies. The policy of affirmative action is one such attempt introduced with the hope of making an inclusive society by overcoming the hierarchical and narrow-minded society of the past. In this context, this essay tries to analyze not only the need of such a policy in the society where hierarchy based on caste, gender and creed are still a naked reality, but also the impact of such policy in bringing a change in the society. The objective behind the analysis is to contextualize it in the ongoing debate on affirmative action in Nepal. While doing so, the author has made an endeavor to put in perspective the facts based on the different models of affirmative action being practiced in the world, as well as the aspiration of the some of the successful members of the most marginalized community in Nepal – the Dalit.