Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 April 2014
The study of social exclusion in India has begun in a big way with the initiative of the University Grants Commission (UGC) during the second half of the previous decade. Once it was introduced as a part of the policy of the UGC, by starting the Centres for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy with grants in various universities of the country, the study of social exclusion got the impetus it required and began in right earnest. The arrival of the concepts of social exclusion and inclusion is no accident in history. It is a result of the optimistic will of the people who believed that exploitation would end with revolutionary transformation and achieve a classless society. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of corporate capitalism with liberal democracy, understood as the end of history, apparently turned Marx upside down. The emerging social and political scenario in the world order presented the hegemonic domination of the USA and the politics of recognition of multicultural realities. In this unipolar world, the West, with its liberal democracy and market economy, was self-confident enough to recognize multicultural citizenship. It was faced with non-economic bases of discrimination in the labour market. Immigrant communities began to assert their cultural rights and highlight ethnic discrimination in employment. The subsequent developments paved the way for the popularization and theorization of very useful concepts to understand the mode of functioning of labour market in particular, and social and cultural institutions in general.