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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Letters to the Editor: Caste opportunism

Distortions of the reservation policy caused the Patels to demand backward status.


Updated: August 27, 2015 12:00:18 am

Anyone familiar with the socio-economic history of the Patels in Gujarat would have no problem in identifying them with the relatively well-off groups in the wider agrarian society (‘After Hardik Patel’s huge quota rally, waves of violence in Gujarat’, August 26). Yet, distortions of the reservation policy caused the Patels to demand backward status. This ploy is opportunistic, and even the Patels know it. Time and again, the court has said that castes cannot be permanently frozen in backwardness. There ought to be an objective criterion for verifying claims for inclusion. Some backward castes could be excluded, if they have attained a certain socio-economic status. Which brings us to the need to not grant the benefit of reservations indefinitely. Backwardness is a fluid phenomenon. Since economic status increasingly determines one’s place in society, underplaying the role of caste will be in keeping with the times.

– J. Akshay, Banglaore

The agitation spearheaded by the politically and economically strong Patel community under Hardik Patel has not only emerged as a headache for the BJP but also brought to the fore the imperative of overhauling the reservation system. It’s time we banished caste-based politics and put India firmly on the path of sustainable economic development.

– M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan

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Bihar divides

This refers to the editorial ‘On edge’ (August 26). It’s not just religious polarisation but also casteism that will vitiate the atmosphere in poll-bound Bihar. Lalu Prasad has already fired many salvos. It is a well-known fact that people in Bihar do not “cast their vote” but “vote their caste”. Such prejudices have to change. What is required in Bihar is access to opportunities for all.

– V. Chandramohan, Mumbai

Infra fix

Shaji Vikraman is correct. We should change policies and undertake reforms when our economy is stronger, so that shocks can be absorbed (‘Bond offerings in times of foreign exchange crises’, August 26). The RBI’s lack of foresight

in 2005-08 is one of the major reasons for the lack of infrastructure as also the sector’s tardy growth. Investment in infrastructure has a longer gestation period and had we judiciously utilised the large inflow of forex in 2005-08, we wouldn’t have to mourn the lack of infrastructure today.

– P.K. Biswas, Mumbai

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