Why reservation should be based on caste and not based on economic levels? (with the intention of supporting poor upper castes)
Some say that instead of caste we should talk about the economic deprivation and by bringing caste reservations we’ll only bring in more divisiveness. I do not understand this argument; it is like saying that we should not address the gender oppression as an issue primarily concerning women, as men also have been sometimes oppressed; or that racial discrimination is not about the blacks and Hispanics in the US, as whites also are sometimes on the receiving end. Further, as if acknowledgement of this form of discrimination(s), instead of being a logical step towards affirmative action, would actually promote them. Coming back to reservations in the present context, it is true that a lot of men and upper castes are also oppressed, but here we are talking about a specific systemic historical subjugation of a massive magnitude, at present perhaps involving more than half a billion people. Reservations may not be answer to this problem but the issue cannot be addressed by bringing in every other kind of discrimination also while attempting to address this issue. Caste problem can be solved only by addressing caste issues; similarly if there are other discriminations that exist in the society (and of course they do) they need to be identified and addressed too, not substituting one form of redressal for the other. Further if the social and economic equity spreads it will not harden the caste identity but loosen it as I’ll argue further through the experience of the southern states later.
The analogy of caste discrimination with gender and race issues stands out. These are primary issues in themselves and so are supporting the deprived in all the other categories and each has to be solved considering the primary factor. Solutions to gender discrimination or affirmative action for African Americans/Hispanics cannot be based on economic criteria or other criterias---they have to based on the fact that women and colored people need to be empowered and so has to be the solution for caste discrimination. I think this is a very important point in the reservation/caste-discrimination discussion. Thoughts?