Letters to the editor

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Published: May 3, 2016 5:30:11 AM

In keeping with the ‘experiments’ tried in Gujarat – its ‘political laboratory', the BJP has taken the decision to give a 10% quota in education and government jobs for the economically backward among upper castes in the state.

Gujarat’s reservation gamble

In keeping with the ‘experiments’ tried in Gujarat – its ‘political laboratory’, the BJP has taken the decision to give a 10% quota in education and government jobs for the economically backward among upper castes in the state. There is a method in BJP’s madness; the calculated risk is possibly a trial-run to see if it can be replicated at the national level. Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s categorical assurance that the reservation system in place will not be tinkered with, the BJP has carried out what the RSS proposed. The prelude to the substitution of class for caste as the basis for reservation is bound to produce stress in the social equilibrium. The Constitution does not permit or provide for reservation as a means to poverty alleviation; it prescribes reservation as an instrument to end social inequality and bolster the attachment of the numerically superior lower castes to the democratic government. More precisely, reservation is reverse discrimination aimed at undoing cumulative historical injustices. The inherited disadvantages are not the same as straitened material circumstances. The tribals, Dalits and backward classes need reservation to achieve the larger objective of democratisation of the polity, whereas the poor among upper castes need financial help to surmount the economic vicissitudes. Social justice requires that the state ensures a share of the national pie to each discrete community commensurate with its numerical strength in the country’s social demography.

G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

At the cost of tax payers

Nowhere in the world except India, freebies are offered in the election manifestos of the political parties to woo the votes of the electorate. It is also a tragedy that instead of banning such announcements, the Election Commission also prefers to remain a mute spectator to such atrocious baits. It is only the poor tax payers who have to bear the cost of such freebies to enable the unscrupulous politicians win their elections.

Tharcius S Fernando
Chennai

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