Saturday, March 31, 2007

Supreme Court says No to Caste Based Reservation System

My views about caste based reservations aren't favorable. Even though the common sense explanation points to the fact that caste based reservation has not worked to achieve its primary goal of providing education and jobs to economically deprived lot of the country.

I have been following Indian Supreme Court's rulings closely only for the last few years and it is probably the only institution in India that's free of corruption, independent thinking and free from political pressure. It literally legislates for the state of Delhi, where it has issued several binding rulings which include the famous pollution control regulations, the infamous sealing drive etc.

The most recent ruling is on the ever-sensitive caste-based reservations. Here's a quote from the Supreme Court ruling:
The concept of creamy layer can not prima facie be considered to be irrelevant. It has also to be noted that nowhere else in the world do castes, classes or communities queue up for the sake of gaining backward status.Nowhere else in the world is there competition to assert backwardness and then to claim we are more backward than you. This truth was recognised as unhappy and disturbing situation and such situation was noted by this court as a stark reality in Indira Sawhney case (Supra).
This Outlook India article puts it more eloquently:
The Supreme Court stays implementation of the 27% OBC quota policy and asks the government not to divide the country because of its "vote bank" and to "determine who are the socially and economically backward"
Emphasis mine. I couldn't have said it better. It's both heart whelming and reassuring to see that atleast one branch of government realizes what a ploy the caste based reservations has become.

I believe caste based reservations is the root cause of most of the problems in India. Because of caste based reservations, political parties tend to pander those "backward classes" for the sake of votes. And it creates this mentality of living on a "welfare state" for those people on these backward classes where they just perform "just to qualify" under these alloted seats (whether it be students or be it government employees). Hence you have a lot of incompetent people taking up government jobs and they become complacent and start taking bribes. Hitherto, the corruption in government. Election becomes jockeying for votes between castes and political parties choose candidates from the majority caste in that constituency so as to appeal the "caste sensitive" voters.

If we abolish the caste based reservation system and put in a reservation system for economically backward, it would do a world of good. I hope this Supreme Court ruling starts this wave of new political reform in this long battle. I yearn for a day where Indians don't have to fill in their "caste" in any application form.


  1. Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

    Warm Regards

    Biby Cletus - Blog

  2. Great progress! And now the Supreme Court need to decriminalize Homosexuality which is apparently illegal in India, even if adults engage in private :(

    Where's the love?