In India reservations for scheduled castes and backward castes in educational institutions and in government jobs have acquired the character of a holy cow which no one dare challenge. In particular, no politician dare object to it for fear that this would destroy his political career.
Not being in politics, I can take a more detached and objective view. My view is that whatever may have been its utility earlier, today such reservations are doing great harm to the nation.
I have in my blog on the caste system ( see justicekatju.blogspot.in ) expressed my strong opposition to the caste system, and I fully sympathise with the depressed castes who were treated as inferior and oppressed for centuries. I have said that the caste system is a curse on our nation, and the sooner it is destroyed the better.
However, in my opinion reservations, which have benefited only a miniscule number of such castes ( and that too the richer section, which did not need any help ), has done great damage to the rest, and ensured that they remain as wretched and poor as they were before.
In my opinion financial help and facilities should be given to poor people of all castes, There are poor people in all castes, not merely among SCs and OBCs, and they should all be helped.
Caste based reservations are like permanent crutches. Unless they are removed SCs and OBCs cannot walk erect. These categories should certainly be helped by giving them all facilitties, but thereafter they must work hard and make it on their own merit.
I spoke to the Principal of a Government Medical College in U.P. He told me that if an SC boy fails in a test, oral orders come from above to pass him, otherwise the Principal will get into trouble. In this way we produce some ( not all ) incompetent SC doctors, without thinking of the risk to patients.
No doubt reservations have helped many politicians by creating vote banks for them, but they have made casteism more deeply entrenched in our society, and have further divided our people at a time when we must be united to solve the country's massive problems