In The Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta on the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment on reservations for the OBCs
Landmark judgments can have one of two features. They can strike an uneasy balance between competing considerations, in a sort of compromise that keeps the peace. Or they can mark out a radically new course of action. Ashok Thakur is an oddity in that, amidst all the complications of four different judgments, it manages to do both. The core orders of the Supreme Court strike a balance between two considerations. A society like India needs affirmative action. But the core question must have some rational justification: Who should be targeted, why should they be targeted and how should they be targeted? For all the brave face the government is putting up, its perfidy has been exposed. The issue was not whether affirmative action is permissible. What was grossly objectionable was that the government indiscriminately included groups that manifestly ought not to be beneficiaries. They had converted a social policy into a pure power play.
And in Mail Today, Dipankar Gupta says the judgment is a form of ‘damage control’
THE Supreme Court’s ruling to allow reservations for the OBCs, provided the creamy layer is kept out, is bound to hurt a large number of politicians who have made caste mobilisation their sole occupation. In my view, this judgment is more like “ damage control” as the Supreme Court could not quite disallow OBC reservations, what with the Constitutional amendment making the way for it. But by excluding the creamy layer from enjoying the benefits of OBC reservations, the Supreme Court has not only damaged the prospect of a large number of powerful and wellheeled members of the OBC, but has also plunged and twisted the knife into the very body of Mandal’s recommendations.
Finally, who or what exactly is the ‘creamy layer’? For the answer from Mail Today click here.