What is your opinion of reservation? An economic criterion rather than a caste criterion has never been allowed to be implemented. And the largest bracket is for the OBCs and not the Dalits – in fact, ‘Other Backward Classes’ is often mistakenly expanded as ‘Other Backward Castes’.
I think OBCs is a good example. Again, there are things which can be said against reservations, quite clearly, but there are things which can be said in favour. And it is generally felt by many people that reservation for Dalits has produced the Dalit middle-class, and their prosperity and their forward-lookingness. So, reservations have their pluses and their minuses. Caste politics have their pluses and their minuses. But if you sort of try and say we should stop this and do away with it, no one should appeal on the basis of caste and all of that, (a) you won’t be able to do it, and (b) you’ve really got to be patient and wait for things to develop, you know.
Image: Activists of the All India Reservation Forum for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs) shout slogans as they protest against the government's proposed move to reserve seats in educational institutions on the basis of caste in New Delhi 5th May, 2006.