The recent SC judgment on reservation given to the Jats has opened a fresh discussion again on caste reservation issue. The reservation given to the Jat community was quashed. What will be the base of reservation? Caste or social and economic backwardness? A controversial issue in Indian social life! Affirmative action programmes in new era? So many factors are developing in the social life. Castes are going to be transformed from their traditional roles as different socio-economic groups are emerging. Politicalization of caste as a powerful tool of political mobilization has had its impact on electoral politics. Against the backdrop of changing economic and social life, the issue of reservation then should address the problem of closing the gap among different castes and communities.
C K Vishwanath, Kerala

‘‘We are not Indians’’
It is strange that those taking a theological hard line are invariably faltering with rational humanism and it seems only logical that rationalists tend to be atheistic. It is not long since the saffron brigade blew off its hot air by saying "strip them of the voting rights, make sterilization compulsory" and advised other sections of the Indian society to produce at least four children per couple etc etc and now there is a different context rhetoric saying "we are not Indians''. These are aberrant utterances and should not be paid undue attention as an overreaction may confer importance to them. The non-entities will become heroes of tomorrow. This will only facilitate polarization and must be carefully avoided while the two aberrant sections keep justifying each other's existence. It must be understood that freedom today means democracy to promote union rather than cleavage. May good sense prevail, may there be peace and harmony among all in the entire world.
Pramod Yadava, JNU

In 1215, under Pope Innocent III, Canon 68 decreed that "Jews and Saracens [Muslims] of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress." In Hitler's Germany, following a decree signed by Heydrich in 1941, all Jews over the age of six were required to wear on their clothing a yellow star containing the word "Juden". One effect of this was that they could be rounded up efficiently to be sent to the gas chambers. Thus the decision that Muslim school children in Ahmedabad shall wear green uniforms keeps alive a foul xenophobic tradition which has often culminated in mass murder.
Mukul Dube, New Delhi

Violence in Kerala State Assembly
It refers to unruly scenes witnessed in Kerala state-assembly on 13.03.2015. Only remedy for smooth functioning of legislature both in Parliament and at state-legislatures lies in abolishing often-misused immunity to legislators from their acts/words during legislative proceedings. Rules should be made stringent-most snatching discretionary powers of Chairpersons and House Committees which are usually extra soft on erring legislators just like their own 'family members'!

People of world's biggest democracy are now more than frustrated with weakest legislative norms which in future may witness bloodbath or even killings if immediate steps are not taken to abolish often-misused and unjustified immunity available to legislators for their acts done and speaking during legislative proceedings. Earlier also there have been usual such criminal acts which would have otherwise put erring Parliamentarians in jail like for taking girl-friend in name of wife on a Parliamentary delegation or JMM Parliamentarians taking bribe for voting in favour of the government in Parliament or pepper-spray by a Parliamentarian. Not only opposition, even ruling party is mute supporter of such dramas like happened in tearing of Women Reservation Bill by a Rajya Sabha member.

Live telecast of legislative proceedings should be replaced by recorded telecast because it is a known fact that legislators usually disrupt legislative proceedings just to become 'heroes' amongst their voters through unruly behaviour. Speakers and Deputy Speakers of legislative assemblies should be elected simultaneously through secret vote on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on nominations signed by at least 34-percent members, and may be replaced through same process but with compulsion to name alternate ones in the same motion.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi

Vol. 47, No. 44, May 10 - 16, 2015