Castes galore

Sir, — Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer(Courts and minority education, Dec. 16), quotes Justice Kirpal of the Supreme Court observing that there are more than 6,000 castes among Hindus now. There were about 3,700 castes in the Karlekar Commission report on backward classes and they went up to 4,500 at the time of the Mandal Commission. It shows that Hindus are getting divided into more and more castes and the minorities are getting consolidated into one single block of voters for each religion.

Can anybody save India if this splintering of its polity continues and each caste demands that it be declared backward?

T. Mani,

Secunderabad, A.P.