Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 July 2019
The increasing salience of Hindu nationalism and the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a serious competitor in Indian politics during the 1990s forced Congress into a difficult position. Congress increasingly defended Other Backward Classes reservations to retain its appeal across India's "Hindi Belt," even hoping to ensure that members of the lower castes gained access to educational opportunities. But, by exercising increased authority over private school enrollment, Congress's policies potentially jeopardized the independent character of private minority schools that educated Christian and Muslim students, opening the door for further government control if the BJP won elections. Congress officials worked with aligned justices to develop a constitutional framework that protected education reservations while preserving the independent character of minority schools. Unlike the other examples in this book, however, these deliberations repeatedly produced inadequate results. Finally, Congress amended the Constitution and the Supreme Court willingly capitulated in a subsequent basic structure challenge, which is consistent with the deliberative partnership thesis.