Yesterday, the Supreme Court of India squashed a law pertaining to the reservations for students in educational institutions and jobs in state government offices. You can read more about it here.
There has been a lot of discussion about this on various online & offline social platforms, mostly holding the SC’s verdict in bad light. While I'm inclined to agree with them, I have the following thoughts:
Blanket Reservations based on the factor of caste is incorrect. Such policies grant favouring opportunities to those who can easily abuse the systems. My state of Maharashtra has had several Chief Ministers who belonged from the Maratha caste. So it isn’t like the entire community is deprived of privilege of some sorts.
The benefit of such reservations rarely reach those who can benefit from it. They are usually captured, held onto, and systematically abused by those in power by virtue of official position, or socio-economic strata.
The reservations system is often looked down upon by those who are never directly benefited from it. This is always a bad look for any public policy.
I belong to this caste, to this community. I have never had the need, nor ever felt the want to claim benefits under such reservation policies all in due part to the various privileges afforded to me by birth in a family that was able to provide for me. But I also must acknowledge the fact that not all the people in this community are born or come into the same privilege. They truly have a need for such public policies, and they needed it yesterday.
Such reservations should be transformed from caste-based policies to socio-economic situation policies, irrespective of the person’s caste or religion. If we were to have a discussion on this, it would eventually evolve into a discussion on minimum wages, national welfare policies, and basic income policies, all of which still seem to a be a distant dream for Indians as our elected representatives are dealing with more pressing matters (no, not the pandemic).