Is the reservation debate maturing in the Indian press? After the early onslaught of news and opinions openly favoring the views of the anti-reservation camp, it seems now there are other viewpoints also being explored.
Newspaper clearly cater to the educated section (and also populated by them) and they must know that this section is dominated by the upper caste so it was no surprise that is where the initial support go. But now it seems that some commentators have realized that things are not in black and white as they seem.
I have seen some articles which explore the if not benefits but atleast the neutral aspects of reservation. Some of these include the article by Gurucharan Das and Swaminathan Aiyer (an irepressible article by the veteran where he takes a swipe at all our established notions of merit).
But that doesnt mean that the quotas are right. But they should be attacked by the so called backward castes to be more effective and I saw two instances of that in Sam Pitroda and Prof. MS Gopinathan
The quota issue divided the country bitterly for a while. There were silly jokes like having quotas in the cricket team or space missions. But these were very poor in taste for it was not as if we were treating them as our countrymen. After these taunts, it would be no wonder if the so called backward castes are even more bitter and that would be exploited by the politicos even more.
And like all movements which are based on mere self interests, even the quota movement will fritter away. Some have even asked the protesters to use Gandhi's tactics The only problem is that as Gandhi said that the means justify the end but then the end should also justify the mean. And this movement does not merit the use of Gandhian methods.
Some positive from the movement. An increase in seats in higher education which is badly needed but I just hope that it is not at the cost of primary education. Instead there should be an increase in budget of education all round.