Quotas will divide India on caste lines

The editorial “Quota on hold” (Apr 25) rightly castigates the Centre for its “callous and reprehensible attitude” in the case of reservations for OBC candidates. Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh’s role in this context raises the basic question of political expediency versus judicial propriety, fairness and social justice.

Strangely, the government is not yet ready with facts and figures about OBCs. Even otherwise, merit cannot be overlooked if we want to progress in today’s age of globalisation and stiff competition. The OBCs deserve some help through scholarships, loans and the like but not through quotas and they will have to come up on their own.

Mr Arjun Singh’s insistence on not excluding the “creamy layer” from the OBC quota ambit smacks of political convenience. We should honestly ask two questions: Which MNC will provide job to a candidate purely on the basis of his OBC tag? And how can the Centre justify quota to the creamy layer?

In the national interest, the whole gamut of reservations needs to be thoroughly debated, reviewed and re-cast.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla



The Supreme Court has rightly stayed the Centre’s 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in institutions like the IIMs and IITs. Our country has registered a record economic growth under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s leadership. However, some selfish politicians want to derail the process by playing caste politics. Not excluding the creamy layer in the impugned legislation is unfair and unjustified. How long should quotas continue?

The UPA government’s quota formula is divisive and has no constitutional sanction because the Constitution envisages equality of all irrespective of caste, colour or creed. Our politicians should spare the country from quotas. Let merit prevail.

K.M. BANSAL, Chandigarh


Quota is, certainly, not the way to help the OBCs. This will not cure the disease of backwardness but weaken the very immune system of the body politic. Sadly, politicians of all hues are dancing to the tune of Mr Arjun Singh without bothering about the repercussions.

There is a perceptible change in the quality of life of people of all castes since Independence in terms of finance, power and influence. Why can’t the Centre and the states work for the betterment of all castes and communities?

India won’t progress if the government woos voters of reserved categories through quotas. You give an IIM or IIT seat to an SC/ST/OBC person, then give a job to him and then promote him superseding many experienced and talented employees/officers belonging to upper castes. Is it fair and justified? The apex court has rightly rejected the Centre’s petition seeking vacation of its stay on the OBC quota.

Dr S.C. DOHROO, Aima, Palampur (HP)


Yadavs are the ruling class in Bihar and UP and Jats have always ruled in Haryana. Can they be called “backward” in these states? Let the OBCs be first defined in economic and not caste terms. Let their census be taken in all states and UTs. Then, let there be quota for the really backward and at varying scales from state to state depending on their number.

Quotas cannot continue for eternity. Let the Centre fix a deadline for quotas. Few are aware that quotas for SC/ST were not fixed forever by our founding fathers. What was a five-year affair initially now has become a permanent fixture with extension every 10 years.

The Supreme Court is the protector of the Constitution. Politicians should desist from criticising its ruling against the OBC quota.

K.S. BHALLA, New Delhi

Plots with no amenities

The Himachal Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) had allotted plots of various sizes at Mandhala (Baddi) through a draw of lots on April 8. The HIMUDA brochure mentions that the plots are located at Mandhala, Baddi. But it didn’t give the layout plan. Lakhs of people had applied for the plots with the understanding that Baddi is a fast growing industrial town and the site in question is well developed.

However, the ground reality is totally different. Mandhala is 7 km away from the Baddi township. It is undeveloped, half a km away from the roadside and is not connected with the pucca road. There are no roads, no sewerage lines and no electrical connections. It is also difficult for one to identify the site amid the agricultural fields.

HIMUDA might have collected crores of rupees from the applicants as earnest money for plots without developing the site. Is it fair?




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