Re: Bias of the police agencies while maintaining public order during riots
I would add that the way that I have seen inclusive policies work is not so much by reservations and quotas which as we have seen can be divisive - even as they have been necessary to break our deep prejudices - but through incentivising inclusion through policies that require government organisations to show that year on year they have been able to improve their diversity profile at all levels of the hierarchy. This diversity includes religion, class, caste, gender, language, disability. More categorisation will depend on context. What types of diversities will be afforded priority will depend on context and geography. A good rule of thumb is to measure diversity by reflecting inclusion in a service against the population mix in the local region.
In the public sector clear government diktat linked with orientation about the value of diversity within the organisation, connected to the release of funds and assured of public scrutiny by parliament and interest groups has worked very well in some countries to defeat inherent prejudice toward visible minorities.
In politics, the UK increased the representation of women in parliament dramatically in ( I believe) the first election of Tony Blair when the parties had to put up lists with a minimum number of women in them. In Sweden ( or one of the Scandinavians) I believe there are policies - whether for parliament representation or more widely I am not sure -that require no gender be represented over 51% or 60%. My research on this is rusty but I have always found this a very good way of phrasing the need to ensure diversity.
In the police some of the best practice of multicultural police have come out of sharp lessons learned by the Australian police ( aboriginal deaths in custody, evidence of disproportionate stop and search and violence by police); the UK police ( race riots nad eruptions in Tower Hamlets, the Lawrence case investigation that indicated inherent bias in police organisation); and Canada (excess use of force against protesting indigenous populations)
In the private sector the American example of affirmative action incentivised through monetary benefit and privileging those who can show diversity for contracts etc throws up very good practice.
The particular problem that faces us in making things happen is that: often there is no honest cold eyed examination of the anatomy of bias - as in riots and wrong doing ( Gujarat); often no enumeration of it ( who gets arrested most and why?) and hiding truth away from the public. (most recently the Pradhan Report in Maharashtra). Taken along with delay ( need I mention Lieberhan) and politicisation of reports when they come out (Sri Krishna) important lessons about how to be inclusive, diverse, fair and just are lost again and again and our legacy is their repetition.
Maja Daruwala Director Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative B-117, First Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave New Delhi, INDIA, 110017