A protester during an anti-reservation rally at New DelhiFirst the news:

SC stays 27 per cent quota for OBCs in IITs, IIMs

NEW DELHI: In a setback to pro-reservationists, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the central law providing for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elite educational institutions like IITs and IIMs.

(A copy of the Supreme Court’s judgment can be downloaded from here [txt 38.7 KB]. Thanks, Ajay)

This further strengthens my faith in the role that the courts play in strengthening our (far from perfect) democracy. I had posted about my beliefs on a number of previous occasions.

The Great Indian Middle Class having lost all hopes on the political fraternity and the bureaucracy is left with only a solitary succour – the judiciary and more particularly the Supreme Court. The courts can stick to their stand, which most often are for the better of the nation and they have been able to do it with consistency because they aren’t directly accountable to the forces of populism.

The elected representatives have repeatedly disgraced our democracy; the occasional dignity which the judiciary attempts to inculcate is looked upon as an infringement on the terrain of the legislature and there is a flutter of political activity to put things back in their populist state … Thank the Constitution for a body like the Supreme Court, which from time to time ensures that all’s not wrong with the Indian state.

The Supreme Court’s decision is undoubtedly a welcome one, but the pro-quota mandarins wouldn’t obviously take it in their stride. The debate will again heat up and the populist mindsets will get back to do what they are the best at. Twisting and twirling legislations to suit their needs aka promulgating regressive statutes to garner votes and will expectedly find ample support in a myopic intelligentsia.

To win votes at the bottom of India’s caste system. parties will promise yet more “affirmative action” – caste-based quotas for government jobs and places in schools and colleges. These have proved largely ineffective in reducing inequality, but have lowered standards and increased corruption. Yet the government will pass what its leading lights know are bad news, extending quotas in the hope of short-term electoral gain.

– Simon Long. “Back to earth.” The Economist – The World In 2007 21st edition. 2006: 77

So while they get busy with taking the country to new glooms here’s a video made by a Bangalore-based filmmaker, Varun Agarwal.

[The video has been recoded to reduce the size for smoother play on low-bandwidth connections]

The video is also available on YouTube.

Moreover, I’ve uploaded some high-resolution anti-reservation photographs for free download (a credit though not necessary will be welcome) for creative forces like Varun. They (207 photographs in all) are in 12 zipped files (total 95 MB) and can be downloaded from the links below:

* Anti-reservation photographs 01
* Anti-reservation photographs 02
* Anti-reservation photographs 03
* Anti-reservation photographs 04
* Anti-reservation photographs 05
* Anti-reservation photographs 06
* Anti-reservation photographs 07
* Anti-reservation photographs 08
* Anti-reservation photographs 09
* Anti-reservation photographs 10
* Anti-reservation photographs 11
* Anti-reservation photographs 12

Low-resolution versions of select photographs are available here.

My writings on the reservation issue are all here.

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