Reservations: Limits of injustice

IN his article “Quota politics: Diluting the concept of creamy layer” (Perspective, Feb 8), Dr V. Eshwar Anand has rightly addressed a poser as to what will be the standard of his (reserved quota beneficiary’s) contribution as medical specialist in a government hospital or a technocrat in a public sector undertaking? The policy of reservations, which was envisaged to uplift the depressed classes and was to be phased out after infancy of the Republic, has assumed menacing proportions. Political parties are vying with each other to encash the vote banks of people belonging to these castes.

An elite class, created by virtue of these reservations within these castes, is wielding enormous influence in the corridors of power and is thus not letting the benefits of reservations accrue to those people who really deserve this benefit. There is a talk to implement the 85th (Constitution) Amendment in Punjab, implying that the meager opportunities for promotion which were to be available to officers of the General category will be completely wiped out.

In Punjab State Electricity Board, for instance, the entire top management i.e. 26 out of 28 Chief Engineers will be from the reserved category within a year of the implementation of this Amendment. These reserved category officers will boss over their erstwhile senior officers with much longer service in their respective cadres. It seems the government is interested to give a complete go-by to principles of natural justice and equitable administration.



It is for the political leaders to pause and think for a moment and consider as to what extent the patience of the so-called upper castes can be stretched. There is a limit to injustice and such unthoughtful exercises of enactment and implementation of amendments will result in chaotic divisions in society. In addition, such steps are totally out of tune with professed reforms and attempts at globalisation which require the nation to be competitive in every field.

I am in full agreement with the writer that special privileges should be phased out gradually to ensure a level playing field to all citizens irrespective of caste, sub-caste, colour or creed.

S.C. Chabba, Ropar


I agree with Dr V. Eshwar Anand that the Union Cabinet’s decision to increase the income ceiling for determining the creamy layer among the OBCs from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh a year is aimed at wooing the voters. This is a retrograde step. It will also perpetuate the reservation system which is contrary to the wishes of the framers of the Constitution who wanted to gradually phase out reservations after a decade.

The reservation system has made a mess of the entire administrative system. Efficiency, merit and talent have become the greatest casualties. Look at the extent of injustice being heaped on the highly qualified wards of the so-called upper caste parents. They are becoming most backward due to the failure of their children to get into Civil Services etc., because of the reservation system. Even the Supreme Court’s orders, guidelines and rulings have been short-circuited or bypassed by the ruling elite who are busy playing vote bank politics. Certainly, allowing mediocrity over meritocracy in the name of quotas is not good governance.

Prof K.L. Batra, Yamunanagar

When women will finally emerge victorious

I WAS quite touched by Vimla Patil’s “Ties that bind” (Spectrum, Feb 1). No doubt, our male-dominated society has treated women shabbily and has ignored their significant contribution to culture. As man is heading towards a new world of competition, technology, pollution of mind, body and environment, he is also losing emotions and values. He has reduced himself to a mere technology freak.

Woman continues to be exploited. Why? Her father still considers her as “paraya dhan”. She is trying to make her presence felt in society but the pace is rather slow. She too is longing for a male shoulder for protection and development.

Times are changing and the new dimensions of relationship are acquiring new meanings. Women are coming closer to each other because they are realising that it is not the man but the woman herself who will change her lot. Women can turn the wheels of society and prove to the world that they will have to be treated with honour on a par with men as equal partners of society.

Women must strengthen themselves and should not bow to pressures of any kind from inside or outside. It is only when a woman becomes self-dependent that she can transform herself from being a plain girl to a smart and self-assured woman. Then only she will be able to breathe fully, with a puff of fresh and free air in her lungs and heart.

SANGITA CHAKI ROY, Rakkar Colony (Una)

Suraiya’s greatness

Apropos of Devinder Beer Kaur’s tribute to Suraiya (Spectrum, Feb 8), she states that for Naushad, Suraiya sang in films like Dillagi, Dastaan, Dil-e-Nadaan, Anmol Ghadi. In fact, Suraiya and Naushad had nothing to do with A.R. Kardar’s Dil-e-Nadan. The music of this film was composed not by Naushad but Ghulam Mohammed. Talat Mahmood was the hero and Shyama and Peace Kanwal were his leading ladies. Playback singers like Sudha Malhotra, Asha Bhosle and Jagjeet Kaur lent their vocals to playback the two heroines in the film. For Naushad, Suraiya not only sang in films like Dilagi, Dastaan, Anmol Ghadi but in other films like Dard, Natak, Station Master and Nai Duniya.

In Mirza Ghalib, the ghazal “Dil-e-Nadaan tujhe hua kya hai” was not a solo. It was a duet sung by Talat Mahmood and Suraiya. Besides “Nuktakcheen hai gham-e-dil” and “Yeh na thhi hamari kismat”, Suraiya also immortalised other Ghalib ghazals like “Aah ko chaheye ek u jagha chal kar jahan koi no ho” and “Ishq ghamze ki kasha-kash se chhuta mere baad”.

Suraiya impressed people with her vocal virtuousity as well as bewitching beauty. They do not make singers and actresses like her now. May her soul rest in peace.

M.L. DHAWAN, Chandigarh


Apropos of Mr V. Gangadhar’s article “Best-ever singing heroine” (Spectrum, Feb 1), in Anmol Ghadi, “Awaaz dein kahan hai” was sung by Noor Jahan and not by Suraiya. Suraiya had unforgetable and immortal duet with Uma Devi (Tun Tun) “Betab hai dil” in Dard under Naushad and with Talat Mahmood “Dil-e nadan tujhe huya kya hai” in Mirza Ghalib under Ghulam Mohammed. She had so many melodious songs under Ghulam Mohammed, Anil Biswas and S.D. Burman.

I appreciate Naushad for using melodious voices like Rafi, Talat, Uma Devi, Shamshad, Mukesh, Noor Jahan, Suraiya and so many others for the pleasures of the people. Suraiya had six pictures with Dev Anand. More than half a century back, the song “Lai khushi ki duniya” for Vidya with Dev Anand as hero was the craze of the day.

Ironically, Dev Anand and Suraiya, who loved each other so much, could not celebrate her Platinum Jubilee at the attainment of 75 years of age and his winning the Dada Sahib Phalke award together.

K.K. KHOSLA, Ludhiana


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