The Chief Justice of India deserves praise for advancing to May 8 the final hearing of the petitions challenging the law providing 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in elite educational institutions. The stand taken by a two-judge Bench, of not accepting the plea for advancement of the final hearing, was rather unfortunate. It created an impression that the judiciary was not sensitive to people's aspirations and the legislature's powers.

Kattari Ananda Naidu,

The UPA Government, particularly HRD Minister Arjun Singh, should be commended for remaining firm on reservation for OBCs despite an all-out campaign by the elitist sections of the media, especially English television channels, against the very principle of affirmative action.

Only the backward sections that are at the receiving end of contempt and despise can realise the pain they cause. The worst is the dehumanising despise a backward caste person has to face in his formative years. Even economically sound OBCs are constantly reminded of their inferiority.

If, despite the hostile environment, an OBC candidate scores decent marks, he is definitely meritorious. He possesses grit, sincerity, perseverance, commitment and determination, which are required in today's technologically advanced job environment. Therefore, a backward caste student who scores 80 per cent in a competitive examination is far superior to his elite competitor who gets 90 per cent despite having encouragement, support and recognition throughout his life.

N. Gopalakrishnan,

The quota issue affects the prospects of students belonging to both the reserved and general categories. The Government can allow the IIMs to release the admission list for at least the general category. It can then devise ways of dealing with the quota for OBCs.

Md. Tanweer Alam,
New Delhi

Laws and statutes in a democratic country should protect the interests of all classes alike. If they do not do so, they should be amended in the larger interest of the people to ensure uniform growth.

M. Mohamed Ibrahim,

It is the judiciary's attitude, as reflected in its unwillingness to vacate the stay on the implementation of the quotas, which necessitated the creation of the Ninth Schedule. It was done in the national interest to cut short the lengthy and time-consuming legal proceedings. Reservation for the backward sections is akin to land reforms and hence should be given constitutional protection by being included in the Ninth Schedule.

Sheriff Ashik Mohideen,

It was unbecoming of the highest court to ask the government that when it had waited for 57 years, why could it not wait for six more months. Surely, the time already lost cannot be a justification for wasting more time.

The power to grant a stay should be exercised only when there is a glaring instance of unconstitutional enactment. Courts must understand the urgency of a matter and cooperate with the government.

Lingayath Krishnan Rajesh,

Anti-quota arguments are based on Darwinism, which talks of the survival of the fittest. Anti-reservationists want elitism to continue. The principle of survival of the fittest may hold good in the animal kingdom. Imposing it on human beings will spell disaster.

M.S. Mohammed Thameezuddeen,