Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 14
URL : http://www.jdqu.com/read-807617-14.html

The Jat community’s protest in North Indian state of Haryana has turned into a violent conflict. 19 people have already lost their lives and another 200 have been injured. The local Jat community is demanding that the government increase quotas reserved for their employment. Jats are India’s second highest caste group more or less. The reserved quotas in public universities and offices are mainly for low caste communities. Jats are embodied by the idiom “reach neither the heaven or the earth”.

In attempting to bring back order, the police clashed with Jat protestors resulting in casualties. Meanwhile the existing situation kept getting worse, as they destroyed the water supply facilities and gates to canal supply lines to New Delhi. As a result, for a brief period of time, the New Delhi govenment was forced to implement water regulation. Later the government ordered the military to take control of the canal.

Caste conflicts in India are usually not as extreme as what happened here. The caste system which has existed for several millennia has left a deep imprint on Indian culture — despite the Indian Constitution having long abolished the caste system. Different castes are not the foundation of the real class stratification in India. In India at times people from lower castes have occupied many posts including the Presidency or other public official posts. The mechanism of Indian society does not exclude low caste people from advancing economically or politically.

However, the reality is of disparity due to different socio-economic starting points for various castes and the ensuing competition. In India, the significance of belonging to a different caste is greater than for people born in any other country. It is very difficult to quantify the relationship between caste and the disparity between rich and poor. But for an external observer, it is easily to hold the belief   that the caste problem is one of the principal sources for the large disparity between the rich and poor in India.

Many people believe that due to the traditions of the caste system people in India have an inbuilt capability to “tolerate” unfairness and inequality. There is a sense of numbness. At the same time  a growing number of people believe that disparity between rich and poor will ultimately become an incurable tumor in Indian society. India has developed comparatively fast and the mechanisms to reduce unfairness in the evolving society are considerably weak. Moreover, as in any society, the desire to pursue equity s surely awakens under specific conditions.

In comparison to the Indian economy, the Chinese economy has been growing fast for a while.  We (China) now face strong pressures to solve the question of creating a fair society. The disparity between rich and poor is well known in India and it’s a far more serious issue in India than in China. Religion cannot by relied on to find a solution to this problem, it requires intervention for people to put in place solutions.

Compared to China, the allocation of public resources between different communities in India is more difficult. For example, not protecting low caste communities is a violation of social justice and equity. However, if the low caste communities are taken care, the high caste communities will without any doubt launch resistance in defence of their own interests. The Indian style democracy, allows each community to pursue maximization of its own benefits . People’s recognition of justice is shaped by perspectives that are poles apart.

This outbreak of caste based conflict in search of social justice in India  is characteristically unique to this country. It is not so hard to predict that this conflict will be repeated in different and probably more destructive forms in future.

However, this does not mean that India’s modernization will halt due to disparity between rich and poor. It is amazing to observe that during these frequent riots and blood shed this society remains “fearless” and “not afraid of chaos”. This momentum leaves many Chinese observers amazed. Imagine if such a “collective rebellion” took place in any Chinese province during which the “rioters” break water lines to the capital, damage trains—how earth shattering that would that be. In India, this is a “important matter”. But if such an event occurs so frequently the society just becomes accustomed to such “important matters”.

India offers a glimpse of what weak governance looks like and the negative side of frequent national conflicts. But at the same time, on careful observation it also offers us a glimpse of the mystery of tolerance in a non-homogeneous society. India is “pretty chaotic” but amidst chaos, it comes out very stable and more determined. India comes across as a country which cannot be simply ridiculed or applauded.  India is unique it is a “this is how I am” country.

India and China are adjacent to each other. Both have similar foundations and the most valuable thing between both is the reference model of development. China’s development in the last few decades has left India behind and China far exceeds India in solving practical problems. That being said the levels of tolerance in India society can enlighten us. Building China’s tolerance capacity is essential to advance China’s capacity to solve problems. In this way, China’s power will become more comprehensive and strong.

印度乱的教训和承受力的启示

印度北部哈里亚纳邦贾特人的种姓抗议活动演变成暴力冲突,已至少导致19人死亡,另有约200人受伤。当地贾特人要求政府提高给他们的保留工作机会配额,贾特人属于印度第二的较高种姓,政府对高等教育及官方工作机会的保留配额主要针对低种姓,贾特人大体属于“上不着天下不着地”的种姓。

贾特人与试图恢复秩序的警察发生冲突而造成死伤,由于他们一度破坏印度首都新德里的供水设施,并落闸切断一条运河,导致事态影响的进一步扩散,新德里一段时间里被迫实行用水配给制。政府后动用武力夺回运河控制权。

印度的种姓矛盾通常不像这一极端冲突所展现的那样严重,种姓制度存在数千年,对印度文化打下深刻烙印,但印度宪法早已将之废除,不同种姓并非印度现实阶级分层的主要基础。印度从总统到各邦高官中不时出现低种姓,印度社会机制上并不排斥低种姓经济或政治上的进取。

然而不同种姓起跑线及后天竞争环境的实际差异依然存在,在印度属于不同种姓比在普通国家里人们不同出身的意义要高得多。很难量化这与印度贫富差距格局的关系度,但从外部看,人们很容易认为种姓问题是印度贫富悬殊的原因之一。

尽管很多人相信传统种姓制度提高了印度底层社会对不公平的忍耐能力甚至“麻木感”,但是越来越多的人同时认为,贫富悬殊到头来会成为印度消化不了的肿瘤。印度发展较快,钳制不公平扩大的社会机制相当弱,而在任何社会,追求公平的愿望都会在一定条件下觉醒。

中国经济比印度快走了一段距离,我们如今面临了解决社会公平问题的强大压力。印度的贫富差距被公认比中国严重得多,以为宗教就可以让这个问题在不加以人为解决的情况下永不发作,很可能不靠谱。

印度比中国在不同群体之间做资源调配更多一些难度,比如不照顾低种姓,会有违社会正义和公平。而照顾了他们,高种姓会为维护自身利益毫不犹豫地开展抵制。印式民主制度让每个群体都致力于自己利益的最大化,大家对公平的认识常常被南辕北辙的视角所塑造。

这次种姓冲突是印度社会不公平有本国特色的爆发,不难预测,这个问题不同形式的破坏性释放今后还会反复出现,它变得越来越有破坏性应为高概率事件。

然而这不一定意味着印度现代化将在贫富差距上绊个大跟头,在惊讶印度动不动就出流血骚乱的同时,那个社会“不怕乱”“很扛乱”的劲头更让不少中国观察者叹为观止。想想看,如果在中国某个省份出“集体暴动”这种事,而且“暴动者”给首都断水、断火车,将会多么惊天动地。在印度它也是“大事”,但它属于经常发生、社会已经见怪不怪的那种“大事”。

印度让我们看到治理软弱、国家三天两头出事的负面教材,同时仔细观察,它又让我们领略到社会非同一般承受力的玄妙。印度“相当乱”,但乱中又浮现出某种大的稳定,以及某种长期确定性,它是一个不能简单嘲笑或者叫好的“我就这样”的国家。

中印相互为邻,两国国情有着基础性的相似,互为最有价值的发展参考模本。中国最近几十年的发展形势把印度甩在了后面,我们解决现实问题的能力远远超过它。但印度社会的承受力足以为我们提供某种启示,中国的承受力建设有必要与解决问题的能力建设同步进行。那样的话,中国的强大将更加全面、扎实

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