Justice Marlanfey Katju-
I read Kailash Jeengar’s article titled ‘ Abolition of caste-based reservation untenable as long as Dalits suffer atrocities, prejudice-a rebuttal to Justice Katju, ‘ published in firstpost.com. This was in response to my article ‘ All caste-based reservations must be abolished ‘published in theweek.in
Basically, what Prof.Jeengar has said is that Dalits today are still oppressed and discriminated against. But I never denied that. The question is how does one destroy the caste system, which is one of the biggest social evils in India today. I submit that caste-based reservation further entrench the caste system, instead of helping abolish it.
I have expressed my views on the caste system in two articles ‘ The caste system in India’ published in my blog Satyam Bruyat, and ‘ It is a myth that Dalits were always disrespected in India ‘ published in theweek.in. Since I have expressed my views in detail there, I am not repeating the same here.
In my opinion, the caste system can only be destroyed if India is transformed into a highly industrialized country, Even in India, the hold of caste is much weaker in a state like West Bengal, which was partially industrialized by our British rulers, ac compared to states like UP and Bihar, which remained largely feudal.
But how does one industrialize? I submit this is possible only after a revolution led by patriotic modern-minded leaders, and it cannot be achieved within the present system. This is because the present Constitutional system provides for parliamentary democracy, which in India runs largely on the basis of caste and communal vote banks. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces, which have to be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. So how can India progress with it ? Our present political leaders, of all parties, are not really interested in rapidly industrializing the country but only aim at winning the next elections, and for that their principal tool is casteism and communalism.
I submit that a political and social order under which India rapidly industrializes can only be created after a mighty, historical united people’s struggle led by patriotic modern-minded persons determined to rapidly industrialize the country and sweep away the filth of feudal ideas, customs and practices. This will automatically destroy the caste system ( See my articles ‘ India’s moment of turbulent revolution is here ‘ published in firstpost.com and ‘ India edges closer to its own French Revolution ‘ published in theweek.in ).
But such a historical struggle for transforming India and bringing it into the ranks of the developed, highly industrialized countries can only be successful if we are united, and I submit that caste-based reservations divide us. Far from benefiting the Dalits and OBCs they really benefit our crooked and crafty politicians, who polarize society and spread caste and communal hatred to get votes. So reservations are just a ploy to get votes, and far from helping destroy caste they have further entrenched it, and further divided the Indian people.
Prof. Jeengar needs to ponder over all this instead of uttering his inanities.
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own].