This is a mini-blog: my own quick view about this: Possibly those people who, by virtue of their “caste,” have been suppressed and kept back for centuries … they must be helped with job and educational reservations, because it is much harder for them to catch up. However, ANYONE, regardless of class or caste, who is financially well off, must NOT be entitled to reservations. The whole aim must be to create a fair and just society, with sufficient incentive for merit, but a compassionate mindset towards reservations for the truly downtrodden … the reservations ending at some point in the future.
That requires a society in which it is dishonorable to lie, to produce fake certificates, and to unfairly claim or use the reservations. And where government officers and educational institutions are incorruptible. (Whew! Isn’t that a fantasy, for now?)
If the Revolt of the Patels made us think about this issue (it sounds like an ironic agitation to me), that’s good. However, the solution is not more reservations, but fewer reservations, ending with none.
But wait a moment: why caste at all? Isn’t it time to have a casteless society, one in which your humanity, the number and quality of the books you’ve read, your education and comportment, how kind and compassionate you are to your fellow human beings, and your accomplishments, knowledge, and what you say and write are far more important … and in fact, the only deciders in how other people treat you and befriend you (while remembering to deny no human being his/her dignity)? Isn’t it time for us to be ashamed of even a question such as, “What caste do you belong to?” or to protest against the caste question in every walk of life?
I also approve of affirmative action for African-Americans (descendants of slaves) in the United States; they are still greatly under-represented in the best professions and in the higher echelons, and still face a much tougher life than the general population. If a few well-off blacks do benefit, it still does not mean much: they are still shamefully under-represented in Congress and in the Senate, and the next black president is not going to come for another few decades.