Barkha Dutt in An inconvenient truth (March 31) has given a lucid account of the application of the quota regime. It is important for the government to identify the right parameters for labelling a section of the community as OBC and, second, to bank upon reliable data sources for the statistics. What does the impressive 8-9 per cent growth rate mean when the government’s affection to quota politics seems unrestrained, keeping the masses divided.
Where will the demand for quotas stop? In Kashmir, right from 1947, because of quota system the majority community was ushered into a planned path of political and economic aggrandisement, as a result of which they climbed from the lowest rungs of the social ladder to the top echelons of administration, education and political power. This was at the cost of Kashmiri Pandits. Their number started dwindling as the aggrieved, deserving, but ignored members of the community migrated out of the state for livelihood and education. The community was subjected to ethnic cleansing for reasons known to everyone.
Indian media need to demonstrate a balanced view on all issues, more importantly the sensitive ones like this. As far as reservation is concerned, the media should take on the tough task of educating pro- and anti-reservationists and let both sides see through the political rhetoric of power-hungry politicians. This would pave way for a fair debate on the issue. It should take on a larger responsibility and take Indian democracy to the next level.
Barkha Dutt’s views are incisive and thought-provoking. Not many are totally against the concept of quota for OBCs. Yadavs are the ruling class in UP and Bihar and Jats have always ruled Haryana. Can they be called backward in these states? Let OBCs be first defined in economic terms, not in caste terms. Let their number be determined in each state. Let there be a quota for the really ‘backward’ to begin with. Reservation cannot be for eternity. Let there be a deadline. Our politicians should desist from cursing the Supreme Court for its decision on this sensitive matter.
Barkha Dutt fails to mention that our reservation system has in-built qualities to make it a failure. By demanding reservations, the OBCs and others are throwing an axe on their own feet.
The rot runs deep
Apropos Of the editorial Unwritten standards (April 5), it is sad that constitutionally sanctioned alibis and legal loopholes are being used to exempt tainted MPs. The compulsions of coalition governments seem to have restructured the very meaning of political morality and any insistence on ethics in public life has become a futile exercise. What can one do in a country where quoting the name of Rama is politically profitable, but observing the principles of the lord of ethical governance troublesome? Governing is more about political jugglery than anything else.
It is a rather strange that the Constitution of India does not bar tainted ministers from continuing in their post. Political masters being the makers of the law have cleverly avoided any threat to their position by enacting laws that do not prevent the entry of criminals into Parliament and legislatures. Criminals breed criminals. Only vigilant voters can remedy the situation.
A caste-based census is not necessary to decide the grounds for reservation for OBCs in higher education. Politicians seek vote-banks and tend to lose the vision of our freedom fighters who wanted to create a casteless society. Reservations were meant to be phased out, by which time backward tribes and castes would attain higher economic status. A merit-based system would be more equitable. When will the scenario, where the rich OBCs corner reserved seats with little regard to the downtrodden spanning across all sections, change?
I congratulate the Supreme Court for staying the OBC reservation and upholding the democratic values. The politicians have spared no effort to divide our country on caste lines. They have their interests and that is why they are pursuing it fervently. Many people in the country are suffering. Farmers are committing suicide, but politicians have done nothing for them. The rallies against the Supreme Court order are supported by these politicians. This only causes waste of public money and inconvenience to the common man.
Not fair play
It is ridiculous that senior players are blaming Greg Chappell for India's defeat. The fact is that players have to play, not the coach. One cannot believe that Chappell traumatised the players so much that they lost their ability to play. The destiny and prestige of a country does not depend on cricket, but on economic stability and equitability in a harmonious polity.
Readers may e-mail letters to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org