Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reservations X: Visit to IISc

Four months ago I didn’t know what a blog was. I heard about it, but I never read a blog nor wrote one. Now, after posting my thoughts on the ‘reservations issue’, I am beginning to see its impact. Dr. B. Ananthanarayan invited me to one of their discussion on ‘Reservations’ at IISc campus today. There, I met another blog friend, Dr. Abinandanan T.A of IISc.
It was my first time to IISc and it was nice to be there- they were very hospitable. The panel members were Dr. C.T. Kurien (Renowned Economist), Dr. V.K. Nataraj (Former Direstor, MIDS, Chennai), and Mr. Anant Koppar (President, Mphasis Technologies).

Kurien and Nataraj supported reservations-based-on-caste in principle while Anant expressed his anti-reservation stand. It was very interesting to listen to Kurien. I knew about him and now I got a chance to hear him speak his thoughts. I had read articles by Nataraj in THE HINDU. I had known about Anant in the entrepreneurial circles.

My observations:

The questioning session was open to everyone and some asked very concerned questions about topics they were passionate about. However, some students reflected a certain sense of innate arrogance in their questions. It was unfortunate that Kurien was asked some questions in a rather demeaning manner. Please, don’t misunderstand me here- I am not a supporter of sanctity, but people need to learn to respect other people how much ever they differ. A lady asked why we are bent on polluting esteemed institutions like IITs and IIMs. It is rather unfortunate that she should use words like ‘pollute’. This is the exact mindset we are trying to fight in this country through imposition of reservations. And Anant went on to say that most of the schools in rural in India are backward because the ‘backward caste’ teachers do not show up. He attributed the whole reason for those schools being backward on ‘backward caste’ teachers themselves.

However, the way Kurien and Nataraj kept the audience interested was impressive. They were eminent speakers who spoke at lengths on our responsibility acknowledging inherent flaws in the system. Kurien gave statistics of Tamil Nadu Medical Entrance results to show how OBC/SC/STs are closing the gap with other upper castes. Abinandanan asked whether it is time to roll back some of the reservations in the state of Tamil Nadu. I think it is a very valid proposition.

Nataraj spent some time to dispel our notions of ‘merit’ and said that it has now become an ‘ideology’ that upper castes use to continue their monopoly. I am trying to find the quote that he used to define ideology (from Karl Mannheim) but I am unable to get the right quote.
There were some in the audience who ridiculed reservations by quoting some jokes floating in the internet these days- like how Indian Cricket team should have reservations and how we should reduce the boundary for a SC/ST/OBC and so on. To which Natarajan pointed out that it is a very sensitive matter and that we should not trivialize the matter this way.

Anant used Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ to defend merit. This is where I want to step in (for this blog). It is extremely dangerous when people who have been bestowed certain responsibility misuse that responsibility to introduce misconceptions and wrong ideas. Earlier, Natarajan dispelled the myth that our Constitution had a time-cap on imposition of reservations and attributed the origin of this myth to a director of AIIMS who quoted this in a speech more than a decade ago. Such eminent people, when they are seen by everyone to give guidance, should take their own statements very seriously and should deliver them with full responsibility and accountability. Within few years, those statements and ideas are repeated thousand times, lapped up by the media and broadcasted to every home, and soon everyone in India grows up believing them to be true and accurate statements.

I strongly resent and contest using Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to promote merit. There is nothing more fallacious and down-right despicable than using Darwin or his Theory to support this argument. People should refrain from borrowing ideas from a different domain on which they have no idea.

First, ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is not the favored term by evolutionists and biologists.  They prefer to use terms like natural selection or sexual selection.  Humans do not necessarily apply natural selection in their day-to-day life.  They take care of their weak instead of leaving them in nature to die.  Second, it applies to biological situations and should not be used to explain sociological situations (unless it has a bearing). Third, it happens over millions of years and cannot be used in narrow scheme of things.

Mutations happen all the time, but very few mutations survive- only if they provide a new advantage without compromising all other millions of advantages accrued over millions of years. Such successful mutations happen at a snail-pace, happening over thousands or millions of years, and are transferred onto next generations. 

Humans fight natural selection.  And that makes them civilized. Otherwise, why do we have hospitals and medical treatment? May be, we should let nature takes it toll to remove these weak from our gene pool to make our species better and stronger? Such arguments are not applicable and should not enter our discussions. It may come as surprise and disappointment to many pseudo-intellectuals who try to use this theory to explain domination of a group, nation or a race, but most humans are extremely similar at genetic level compared to many other species on this planet. The variation between two individuals in most other mammal species is far greater than what is found between any two individuals in humans. There is a  greater agreement between geneticists and anthropologists that we all may have come from one single mother. That does not mean that there were no other women at that time. It only means that progeny of all other women have not survived.

Natural Selection is a biological theory to explain evolution of individuals that spawn new species, genus (or higher order) level. We should not use such theories to make our case on merit however desperate we are. It will unnecessarily be picked up by credulous youth and ignorant media and will be often repeated to make it a truth much to the annoyance of those who know the subject.

Anant also justified how merit is important in a business organization. Otherwise standards will not be maintained in business, he maintains. I would like to look at some criterion for merit in industry because this is how we promote our people in business.
· Performance
· Accountability
· Responsibility
· Integrity
· Leadership
· Team work

I have not been exhaustive in providing the list. It’s a feeble attempt to capture some of the attributes of an engineer (only for this discussion) that make him successful in corporate world. A person is promoted based on some of the above attributes. This promotion has nothing to do with what he obtained in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry some years ago. Good scores in an entrance test like JEE or in B.Tech course does not necessarily guarantee that he will be a good engineer. In the same way, a poor B.Tech score or lower entrance score does not mean he will be a bad engineer. Industry provides with numerous examples on how scores do not matter. How do we measure accountability, responsibility and integrity? These values may never be measured in an entrance test. But these attributes do play a major role in the success of an engineer.

I request someone/anyone from the Indian industry to step up and enlighten me on the following because I belong to the same industry and for some reason I do not seem to understand their concept of merit.

Top IT companies of India also go to certain private colleges of Bangalore and pick up engineers where bulk of the students come under capitation fee, NRI quotas and management quotes. Are you trying to tell me that while these candidates are meritorious and add to the ‘quality’ and ‘excellence’ of your companies, a SC/ST/OBC candidate of a government or central university will not? Many a times, we in industry, working for top product making companies of the world, pick up candidates with lower engineering scores and lower entrance scores. How are we justifying our selection process if you profess that it is purely based on merit (based on scores)? During interview process, we seem to be impressed with people who have experience with extra-curricular activities and those who have displayed exceptional abilities at some point of time in their life, which includes crossing social barriers? Isn’t subjectivity creeping into our selection process? We are eager to hire people from diverse backgrounds, like foreign countries, women, etc. Shouldn’t we also create a diverse group based on different castes and religions? Why are we reluctant to announce data on representation of different groups, including women, caste and religion within our organizations? Don’t you think it will help us assess our social responsibility? Is social responsibility confined to charity and helping voluntary organizations and not in promoting diversity and backward classes within the industry? Can’t social responsibility go hand in hand with other values of our business like promoting excellence, satisfying customers and various stakeholders?

Update [02 June 2006]:

Some have commented that ‘natural selection’, the term accepted by most biologists compared to the term ‘survival of the fittest’, works only at individual level, whereas I indicated in my blog above that it may also work at species level. Even the biologists are divided on this topic. Yes, the most popular unit of selection is individual, I stand corrected, but nevertheless the other units (like species) also have some following. What is agreed is that this ‘natural selection’ doesn’t apply to our topic of discussion above, namely, merit.

Wikipedia has to say this:

A unit of selection is a biological entity within the hierarchy of biological organisation (e.g. genes, cells, individuals, groups, species) that is directly subject to natural selection. There has been intense debate among evolutionary biologists about the extent to which evolution has been shaped by selection pressures acting at the different levels of biological organisation. A unit of selection is a biological entity within the hierarchy of biological organisation (e.g. genes, cells, individuals, groups, species) that is directly subject to natural selection. There has been intense debate among evolutionary biologists about the extent to which evolution has been shaped by selection pressures acting at the different levels of biological organisation.
Natural selection could be happening at different levels.
1. Selection at the level of individual organism – purported by Charles Darwin (most popular)
2. Selection at the level of the group – put forth by V.C. Wynne-Edwards
3. Selection at the level of the gene – supported by Richard Dawkins
4. Selection at the level of the cell – proposed by Leo Buss
5. Species selection and selection at higher taxonomic levels – supported by S.J. Gould


  1. I was searching blogs,and I found your site.Please,
    accept my congratulations for your excellent work!
    If you have a moment, please visit my site:
    loans center
    It pretty much covers loans center related issues.
    Have a good day!

  2. // And Anant went on to say that most of the schools in rural in India are backward because the ‘backward caste’ teachers do not show up. He attributed the whole reason for those schools being backward on ‘backward caste’ teachers themselves.//

    Why does not he use the same analogy for institutions where forward comminity teachers work.....

  3. To the people who spread those rotten internet jokes on cutting down the boundary and reducing the 100 meter race etc:
    You have two athletes. Feed the first one with all the nutrient you can, keep the other starving for a day. The next day, you ask them to compete each other ... Now, do you need to cut down the ropes of the boundary for the second fellow? I know you won't ... Sadly, you believe in the survival of the fittest !!!

  4. Uh ! If rolling back reservations were that easy we would not be having this conversation.

    Only people who are not familiar with Tamilnadu get carried away by its so called success.

  5. Sujai,

    Thanks for your report on the discussion. Surprisingly CTK and VKN although from MIDS never seem to have talked with their colleague Dr.Radhakrishnan.
    Dr.Radhakrishnan of MIDS is quoted in this article that discusses the TN experience.

    The Rediff Special/ Shobha Warrier in Chennai

    'Education is the means of social mobility'

    May 30, 2006

    In 1990 and 1991, when the fire started by the Mandal Committee report engulfed northern India, the southern states were strangely silent.

    Today, when Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's Mandal II is seeing passionate protests in many parts of the country, Tamil Nadu is once again silent.

    Why? Because about 80 per cent of the state's population is already under the reservation umbrella.

    In 1980, much before the V P Singh government's Mandal move, the Tamil Nadu government had implemented 69 per cent reservation for backward classes in educational institutions and jobs.

    A brief history of quotas in Tamil Nadu

    P Radhakrishnan, professor of sociology, Madras Institute of Development Studies, says it was the non-Brahmin movement in Madras Presidency (as the province was called during British rule) during the 1910s and 1920s -- and the movement launched by the Backward Classes from the 1930s to the 1950s -- that gave a new caste idiom to South Indian politics and the policies about the Backward Classes, or BCs.

    "It was mainly against the background and knowledge of these movements, and pressures for reservation for the backward classes that the Constituent Assembly adopted Article 10(4) (now Article 16 (4)) providing for job reservation," says Professor Radhakrishnan.

    In 1969, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham government under M Karunanidhi appointed the first Tamil Nadu State Backward Classes Commission with A N Sattanathan as the chairman. The Commission found that the Most Backward Classes -- or MBCs -- in Tamil Nadu had a very small presence in state services and professional colleges as they were clubbed together with other castes.

    Exclusive: Sam Pitroda slams quota system

    From 1951 onwards, reservation for the Backward Classes was 25 per cent but the Sattanathan Commission recommended a separate educational and employment reservation of 16 per cent for the Most Backward Classes and 17 per cent for the Backward Classes.

    In 1971, the DMK government hiked the reservation for the Backward Classes from 25 per cent to 31 per cent and for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from 16 per cent to 18 per cent.

    In 1980, MGR's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham government increased the reservation for the Backward Classes from 31 per cent to 50 per cent.

    From then on, there has been 69 per cent reservation in educational institutions.

    The second Tamil Nadu State Backward Classes Commission came into existence on March 15, 1993, at the Supreme Court's instance. It was formed to examine and recommend upon the requests relating to inclusion and exclusion from the list of Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes.

    The Commission conducts enquiries on the representations received from various community organisations and individuals for inclusion of their communities in the list of Backward Classes.

    The Commission looks into three factors while identifying a caste group as backward -- social backwardness, economic backwardness and educational backwardness. The weightage allotted is 50 per cent for social backwardness, 40 per cent for educational backwardness and 10 per cent for economic backwardness.

    'Let us have quota, but let not caste be the criteria'

    The report card

    In the Common Entrance Test conducted by Anna University for admission to engineering and medical studies, the cut-off marks for general students and OBC students are almost the same.

    Does that mean reservation has started achieving its purpose?

    "Yes," says Professor P S Balasubramanian, former head of the Department of Education, Madras University. "It is only because of the reservation policy followed by the state for the last several years that the OBCs have reached this level. There is no second opinion about it. Education is the means of social mobility, and reservation has helped those in the deprived sections of society to have vertical mobility in the social strata," he adds.

    Professor Radhakrishnan disagrees. He says there is no connection between reservation and admissions, particularly in the context of Tamil Nadu, because almost every group is included in the 69 per cent category, except a few upper castes.

    'No need for quota at post-grad level'

    "At least 80 per cent of the population is included in the reservation net. If you look at the data of the last five years, you will see that it is only the creamy layer of the Other Backward Classes that gets all the benefits," says Professor Radhakrishnan.

    "If you look at the employment data, the MBCs, the SCs and the STs have not benefited. The real needy will benefit only when we remove the creamy layer. For the last 56 years, reservation has not reached the needy, and there is data to show that," he insists.

    At least 35 per cent of India's population the age group between 20 and 25 aspires for higher education, but the present enrolment in higher education -- beyond the higher secondary level -- is only 9 per cent to11 per cent, as against 45 per cent to 85 per cent in developed countries.

    A peak into the Other India'

    D Sundaram, retired professor of sociology, Madras University, who was also a member of the second Tamil Nadu State Backward Classes Commission from 1993 to 2001, looks at 69 per cent reservation as a necessity. He admits that in Tamil Nadu, more than 200 caste groups -- 246, to be precise -- are considered backward.

    Recently two Brahmin communities have urged the Commission that they be included in the Backward Classes list, but the Commission has not obliged.

    "Eligibility to backwardness is not based on economic and educational backwardness alone. It is not a poverty alleviation program. So, a community that is socially forward will not be included," says Professor Sundaram.

    'Middle class only bothers about itself'

    Digging into the creamy layer

    The report of the Sattanathan Commission submitted in 1970 said, 'some castes have taken full advantage of the state's protective measures and made rapid strides, while many others continue to trail behind and are still in the lower stages of stagnancy.'

    Therefore, the Commission recommended the removal of the 'creamy layer' from the list of beneficiaries -- exclusion of those families of salaried persons whose annual income exceeded Rs 9,000, landowners with more than 10 acres of land and business people with taxable income exceeding Rs 9,000.

    The then DMK government did not attempt to eliminate the creamy layer, says Professor Radhakrishnan. Nor did it offer separate reservation for Most Backward Classes.

    The AIADMK ministry headed by M G Ramachandran issued a Government Order in July 1979 prescribing an annual income lower than Rs 9,000 for Backward Classes as eligibility to get the benefits of reservation.

    When his party was defeated in the 1980 Lok Sabha election, MGR not only withdrew the order but increased the reservation for the BCs from 31 per cent to 50 per cent.

    Analysis: Did Arjun Singh's gamble backfire?

    When the total reservation exceeded 50 per cent, the Supreme Court on October 15, 1982, directed the state government to constitute the second Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission.

    Under the chairmanship of J A Ambasankar, it started reviewing the existing list of Backward Classes in the reservation bracket. The Commission also found that of the total number of Backward Classes students admitted to professional courses, more than three fourths were from a small number of Backward Classes -- 34 out of 222 then -- accounting for only about two fifths of the Backward Classes population in the state.

    Professor Sundaram says the second Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission had identified who form the creamy layer in each caste group, and had recommended that they be removed from the list of beneficiaries.

    "You just cannot remove the entire caste group from the list; only individuals can be deleted but the state has its own methodology in implementation. If a person has availed the benefits, his son or daughter cannot be excluded from the list. It will take at least three generations for the family to come up," he says.

    The Commission recommended that economics and occupation should be identified as two criteria with which the creamy layer can be identified.

    "It is not the Commission that is lagging behind in making recommendations; the state government is also not lagging behind in accepting the recommendations on the creamy layer concept. There are some problems in implementation because it has to be decided at the individual level," says Professor Sundaram.

    "There has to be a proper methodology to ascertain that. Creamy layer is based on the principle of lower eligibility. Those who have availed the provisions should opt out. No community is against removing benefits for the creamy layer. Unless a layer moves out, the rest cannot avail the opportunities," he adds.

    Professor Radhakrishnan observes that no state has so far implemented the SC directive to remove the creamy layer from the OBCs.

    But Professor Balasubramanian is of the opinion that in 10 or 15 years, nobody can come to a conclusion that a family has benefited from reservation.

    "It needs a longer period. For generations they were deprived and only now they are coming up. It will take generations for them to get the full benefits of reservation," he says.

    The way out

    The big question is how to ensure the benefits of reservation reach the real needy.

    Like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has been advocating from 1946, Professor Radhakrishnan also sees universal education at the primary level -- by giving scholarships, etc -- as the only solution.

    "I have sat on a number of interview boards. Students are motivated but the problem is language, particularly for students coming from villages. The medium of education is important in this globalised world as higher education is in English. We have to address the basics first," he says.

    Professor Sundaram feels the only solution to the problem is to increase in the number of educational institutions and seats.

    "We have to take into consideration that our population has increased tremendously. If a person in the open category and (a person in the)reserved category get 98 per cent, it shows given an opportunity, even those from the Backward Classes can come up. But his reservation shouldn't be at the cost of somebody else who is also equally good," he insists.

    Professor Balasubramanian quotes Jayaprakash Narayan: "Like JP said, we should think of vocationalising education. By this, he meant, after providing basic education, recruit them in various professions and then absorb them. The responsibility of training them should be by those who appoint them because then, the training will be job-relevant and not job-oriented. Let this be done by industries also," he says.

    'What more do the upper castes want?'

    The high temples of learning

    Not all are in favour of increasing the number of seats in institutions like the Indian Institutes of technology.

    Professor Balasubramanian says IITs are not mere engineering colleges, but meant to be research-oriented institutions. "You can increase the seats in other institutions but as IITs are meant as research institutions, the idea of increasing the number of seats is not good. You need committed people for research," he points out.

    "All the students can, but all the students do not. Why are they not doing what they can? Because of lack of opportunities. We have to start at the primary level first," he insists.

    Post script

    Professor Radhakrishnan points out that Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination by the State by any means. Clause 4 to the Article was introduced in 1950 which empowers the State to provide special powers for the advancement of the socially and educationally backward classes.

    "There is no reference to educational reservation in the Constitution but there is a clear reference to job reservation. Nobody has challenged it in court so far but it can happen. Private institutions can challenge this in court," Professor Radhakrishnan says.

    "The Venkatachelliah Committee report on the review of the Constitution also talks about only job reservation in relation to Article 46," he adds.

    When a well read and published intellectual talks about the "TN" experience disregarding logic and fact, he shd not expect softball questions.

    The creamy layer anomaly has all but rendered reservations ineffective in TN. RC should be credited for explaining the issue in detail and Yogendra Yadav's latest proposal on Setting right the policy seems to have drawn substantially from RC's proposal. Among the good things to have emerged from the current debate and protests is the realisation that there is a creamy layer of beneficiaries. To be fair to the proponents of 'reservation' many of them have supported a more discriminating policy that helps the ones who really need support. Dilip D'Souza seems to favor helping the needy regardless of caste, while Abinandanan recognises the need to consider a number of factors and not caste only. Even Praful Bidwai has suggested that the creamy layer of beneficiaries should not be allowed to avail of reservations.

    Caste differences inspire the vilest behaviour in India and no one is blameless. But since these vile sentiments are expressed openly it becomes easier to deal with them and educate the next generation to reject these sentiments. Ambedkar says that a society that promotes liberty and equality in the absence of anything else will fall apart. Liberty and equality cannot remain in balance as an excess of the one will extinguish the other, that is, unfettered liberty will extinguish equality and the unchecked imposition of equality will crush liberty. Only by fostering a feeling fraternity – what the great man terms maitri - can we preserve both liberty and equality. Ambedkar does see a role for the State in fostering camraderie and friendship among its citizens. So while we help the disadvantaged and the depressed and the oppressed let us keep the individual in mind rather than creating these artificially homogeneous blocks of castes/classes/creeds.

    Thanx for explaining the theory of biological evolution.

  6. sujai,

    I am afraid that your understanding of evolution is deeply flawed. Survival of the fittest or natural selecttion does NOT operate at the genus or specie level. It operates at the individual level. I can't go into the details of evolutionary theory in this space. However, let me give you a short summary of how it works:

    1. Within a species, 100s of mutations are occur. Not all them are "functional," in the sense that they improve "relative" fitness or relative success in mating. Consider the following example. Let us take a primordial population of giraffes--some short, some tall. Now, if there is abundant foliage at ground level, the tall giraffes dont have any advantage. In such an environment, an exceptionally tall giraffe would not have greater relative fitness.

    2. However, let us change the envrionment. Say that deforestation and aridity is reducing gorund level foliage. Suddenly the taller ones are better fed, healthier, live longer, and therefore have agreater chance of passing on their genes (that is height). If this continues for several generations (which is why evoltuion takes time) then you get the modern giraffe.
    3. The important thing to keep in mind is that natural selection is operating at the individual level even though in the end it may give rise to new species.

    Nonetheless, there is nothing just or moral or efficient about natural selection. So to use natural selection to justify darwinian selection social situations is meaningless.

  7. "Survival of the Fittest is a biological theory to explain evolution at a species, genus (or higher order) level. "

    as someone has pointed out before is incorrect it works at the natural selection does work at the individual level.
    The biological flaw in the argument is that no one knows that 'merit' (whatever the %$&~ it is) is heriditary. so no go....

    but I dont think this is what koppar meant. he just meant at the higher ed level the 'good' stay the bad out, no help at this level.

    I think the problem with "social darwinism" is an ethical one. i dont think that its a good idea to follow koppars ideology. ashte. it will lead to several sociological ills. as a humanist, i believe a little help is in order at all levels. The question how much help and does it help a section of society in the long run.

    and i think the other speakers made a convincing case for 'it will help'. however 'how much' (which encompasses questions like how much can we afford, how much is ethical, etc) is still an open question.

    Some people might want to add a 'how ' question as well... econimic quotas etc etc. as we've seen there are political imperitive for thye reservation style of functioning. but that should be debated as well i think.

    my 2 p

  8. Thanks for correcting me on 'Survival of the Fittest'. I did check with a veteran genetics scientist before I made that post. He said that there are few things that could be modified but neverthless the gist is relevant for this topic (barring some details) and hence I went ahead to post it :)

  9. As an uninterested third party observer who has followed the educational system closely in TN over the years, I can tell you that the fact that the gap is narrowing in TN has little to do with the backwards catching up or something. It has to do more with the general lowering of educational standards and bars in this state. An objective look at the 12th standard Physics textbooks of CBSE and TN State Board or at the ridiculous numbers of centum or near centum scorers in language subjects in this board year after year, would suffice to drive home the point I am making here. You bring down the education and examination standards and then say look the gap has reduced. This thinking is flawed and dangerous. In the long run, what you are trying to encourage is a culture of mediocrity. Test the students on the hard stuff man and only then you will be able to cluster abilities properly. Think over it. The observation you make has more to do with the Normal Distribution in Statistics rather than the perceived reduction in gap.

    Note: I personally believe abilities are not a function of caste alone and am not trying to make a case for the forwards here. I am only trying to correct a flawed statistical argument.

  10. It seems the term was first coined to explain Social Darwinism.
    "Spencer often analyzed human societies as evolving systems, and coined the term "survival of the fittest." "

  11. It seems to me that a moral case can be made both for reservations and against reservations. Perhaps a better approach would be to look at the effectiveness of reservations. Are they effective in pulling socially and economically backward out of their misery? Is reservation in primary or secondary/higher education more effective?

    Any answers will be appreciated.

  12. Good to know Prof. TA Abhinandan invited you. I read his blog too. Really shameful such prejudices still exist.I am sure there must be a significant proportion of casteists protesting reservations. My opposition to reservations is mainly based on the fact that there is a small elite in each caste which benefits from reservations, generation after generations and not the ordinary poor kid. Essentially, the benefits of affirmative action are being squandered on the wrong people.

  13. None of the arguments presented here are complete.

    A circular argument is one that references itself and is therefore deemed a false argument.

    Can you seek to abolish the idea of "backward" and "forward" caste from people's minds by requiring them to classify themselves as "backward" or "forward" castes?

    Every social system or tradition is relevant to time and place. Today if one wants to make "caste" irrelevant then first make the word " backward caste" derogatory and defunct.

    Do not confuse economically deprived section issues with "caste" issues. The whole "reservation" idea is based on this confusion and is therefore faulted to the root.


Dear Commenters:
Please identify yourself. At least use a pseudonym. Otherwise there will be too many *Anonymous*; making it confusing.

Do NOT write personal information or whereabouts about the author or other commenters. You are free to write about yourself. Please do not use abusive language. Do not indulge in personal attacks and insults.

Write comments which are relevant and make sense so that the debate remains healthy.