Reservation was envisaged in the Constitution with a view to bring the ignored and isolated in parity with the then socially advanced community. It was to be active for ten years, but it has since been extended every ten years. It has become a big debating point that is it really necessary? Or should India move towards absolute meritocracy?
I think absolute merito-cracy is not practical in a composite country like India.
The diversity is too vast to go for absolute meritocracy as it would certainly result in certain sections to be left out. There will always be a section of Indian society that will require a nudge from the State to achieve that parity with the other sections. The need for today’s society as per many is introduction of a creamy layer across entire categories. It does make sense but the moral argument also holds ground for reservation that the so called “low caste” have suffered for thousand of years and still continue to do (read manual scavenging) and not all tribal areas and people have the exposure that let us say North Eastern tribal people may have.
Even if we look around in our immediate locality we can find various people who do not need the reservation that they are enjoying.
Meritocracy does sound nice, but we
cannot categorically compare Indian society and system with that of Europe or US for that matter. Meritocracy along with a nudge for the economically weaker section would go a long way. But thinking about canning the reservation without getting our mental set up right about the caste system is completely pointless and will lead to similar aftermath of the Poona pact (debatable though). The day our society as a whole can accept inter-caste/inter-tribe marriage without any prejudice and judgment, then I think we will be ready to begin thinking about curtailing the reservation to move towards a more egalitarian India.