Affirmative action is the positive discrimination which is based on the premise that only like should be treated alike. This is part and parcel of every society which is mainly riddled with racial discrimination, caste biases, economic inequality or any other physical inability. It is significant in bringing a sense of equality, freedom and security to underrepresented and marginalized sections of the society.
Various countries including India Constitution provides for affirmation in cases of employment, education and business activity. These actions are required to lift disadvantaged out of poverty, increase their enrolment in schools and colleges and provide employment to create a social just nation in which every section of the society is represented.
Protagonists argue that in countries like India it is necessary to avoid any unforeseen revolution and polarized mobilization like caste movement, apartheid movements. Because of historical oppression and disadvantage of being born in lower strata of society, various caste groups were not represented in decision making process, economic sphere. This could lead to social turmoil if positive discrimination is not shown.
Further affirmative actions promote a pluralization of culture and vulcanization of plurals and avoid situations when one dominant group exploits other groups. It helps in maintaining gender equity in the society and also provide a disabled friendly environment to the physically challenged to leverage their productive labour.
Hence, affirmative action is not only necessary for empowerment of disadvantaged sections but also is necessary for the evolution of a plural, participative and representative nation state driven by the principle of equality fraternity, equity and empowerment.