Inclusive education over the last decade has become a frequently used concept in the international literature and has been accorded legitimacy through various international declarations. In India, it has gained currency with its usage in government documents, in schools and in the popular media. This paper reviews the literature in the field of inclusive education in the Indian context with an aim to elucidate the different perspectives in its understandings and various conflicts in its conceptualization, while identifying significant gaps. The paper begins by adopting a chronological approach, tracing the development of this concept. Further engagement with the literature attempts to seek answers to questions such as who is included, into what they are included and why they are included. Based on reflections gathered from the literature, it is noted that the field of inclusive education is driven by a rather narrow and limiting perspective. It is therefore argued that inclusive education must be regarded as an approach encompassing the broader education system. Only when understood as such, can we fulfil our goal of education for all.
International Journal of Inclusive Education (2005) 9 (4), 331-350, [doi: 10.1080/13603110500138277]