Letters to the Editor — May 7, 2021

Politics, reservation

There are important lessons to be drawn from the judgment in the Maratha reservation case. Today, there is often a complaint that there is a race for backwardness as that seems to be one way of moving forward. It may be an exaggerated statement but looking at the facts in the Maratha case, one gets the feeling that a sacred constitutional instrument has been used as a political tool. The M.G. Gaikwad Commission made its recommendations which were later reduced by the Bombay High Court. The Supreme Court struck them down by saying that the Marathas are in the mainstream of life. This speaks volumes of how the principle of reservation, though important for the evolution and egalitarianism of society, is sometimes used for political consolidation.

That is not to say the 50% cap is justified or that the state should be denuded of the power of deciding who should be a part of the backward classes as backwardness has to be decided in the context of several factors prevalent in the state which the National Commission may not properly look into. It also goes against the principles of cooperative federalism.

Therefore, one is justified in drawing the conclusion that sometimes reservation is used not for the purpose of emancipation, but for self-aggrandisement using political and constitutional instruments of power. The Maratha case shows this.

N.G.R. Prasad,



Caution on scan

The writer (Editorial page, “A CT scan for COVID merits a word of caution”, May 6) means well but in India, no patient in general would dare question a doctor. There are doctors who routinely prescribe various scans perhaps to absolve themselves later of any blame for wrong diagnosis. There are some practitioners who even suggest where the scan should be taken, pointing to the strong ‘links’ involved. With hospitals fleecing patients these days, a once-upon-a-time noble profession has become a business. At the same time, there are kind-hearted souls who practise medicine with humanism.

V.S. Jayaraman,


‘Third wave’ warning

The warning by the Government’s Principal Scientific Adviser (Page 1, April 6), of an impending third COVID-19 wave, needs further evaluation. There is no third wave that has been spoken about in the media. The report must also be compared with what has been said by a leading virologist (Inside pages, “‘Surge may go down by end of May’,” May 6). I am sure that many will agree that any warning needs to be based on scientific reasoning rather than extrapolation or a hunch. It needs to be corroborated by the medical fraternity. Such warnings, in this case, scary too, will only play on the minds of people, even demoralising frontline health workers.


A.V. Narayanan,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

We should be prepared for new waves and not be caught napping. We should ramp up vaccinations and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Vaccines have to be updated to deal with new strains since many who have received two doses are falling ill again. Localised lockdowns to break high levels of viral transmission may be necessary.

Dr. Thomas Palocaren,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Anglo-Indians forgotten

The State of Tamil Nadu has been the home of the Anglo-Indian ever since the emergence of the community. It is still home to the largest concentration of Anglo-Indians in the world; about 50,000 of them live in the city of Chennai. The victory of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party and its allies in the recently-concluded Assembly elections may possibly set right an injustice against Anglo-Indians.

After the Lok Sabha election of 2019, instead of nominating two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lower House of Parliament, the Central government introduced Bills scrapping the Articles guaranteeing certain rights to this minuscule minority. The then Government in Tamil Nadu followed suit and did away with the seat (Nominated) for the Anglo-Indian community in the State Legislature, with not even an attempted explanation.

Many in Tamil Nadu are well aware of the fact that the Anglo-Indian schools in the State (at least 42 of them are recognised by the government) are in the forefront of enabling quality education through the medium of English. People are also aware that some of the oldest schools in the country are “Anglo-Indian”, and in Tamil Nadu. While the community has had a very strong presence in the Indian Railways and in school education, it has also contributed its mite in the fields of law and order, the armed forces, the post and telegraph department, the revenue services, the IT industry, the entertainment industry, and in the sporting arena.

The new government-elect, headed by the leader of the DMK legislature party, M.K. Stalin, could, through an act of magnanimity and kindness, revoke the order passed by the previous government and reintroduce an Anglo-Indian representative in the State Assembly, thereby demonstrating that everyone is included, irrespective of their numbers.

Bryan Oliver Peppin,


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