Equality : A Comprehensive View Of Equality

1816 Words Aug 5th, 2014 8 Pages
Indian government has majorly taken a comprehensive view of equality, with formal equality principles selectively applied in certain cases. In line with this comprehensive/substantive emphasis, the focus of the government’s efforts has been to compensate for and remedy existing social hierarchies.The Indian Constitution contains both formal and substantive equality provisions, suggesting recognition on the part of the founders that uniformly applied formal equality would perpetuate the existing structural inequalities. Substantive equality recognizes the existence of social classifications, and seeks to target those social structures that contribute to the subordination of historically disadvantaged groups. Formal equality, in contrast, overlooks social classifications and attempts to ensure neutral application of laws and policies and non-discrimination among individuals. While substantive equality, with its recognition of real social differences between groups, embraces affirmative action in favor of disadvantaged groups as being in itself an essential part of equality, formal equality views positive action as an exception to equality to be avoided if at all possible.
Even though the Constitution requires equalityunder the laws and prescribes a merit-based regime of advancement in government employment, it also expressly endorses a vision of substantive equality that is anchored in affirmative action to empower minorities to compete on more equal terms with members of…
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