All the popular arguments against caste-based reservations are founded on myths and have no basis in reality. This is not surprising as the dominant social groups are always threatened by attempts to create a more equal and just society.

A thread with counter-arguments 👇🏽
Argument 1: "Those who are economically better off benefits more than the weak, so caste should be replaced by economic criteria for reservation"

Counter argument –– Part 1: The premise itself is invalid. Reservation in employment has been a significantly pro-poor policy.
a) According to the National Sample Survey data, in 2011–12, about 68% of all permanent SC employees were educated below the secondary and higher secondary levels or were diploma holders, while 32% were educated up to the graduate level or above.
b) So about 3/5th of all SC beneficiaries of reservation in employment had education levels below the secondary and higher secondary levels, and these people also generally belonged to the economically weaker sections.
c) Now, among those who were graduates or had higher levels of education, 82% possessed land less than 1.23 acres, which highlights their relatively weak financial status. This implies that the poor from all educational levels have benefited from reservation in employment.
Counter argument –– Part 2: There is no rationale in reservations based on economic status.

a) Reservation is not a poverty alleviation policy, but a mechanism to ensure representation of those who don't get natural justice in the society and are actively discriminated against.
b) Discrimination is neutral to economic status as all individuals from a group are affected due to their social identity, irrespective of the economic standing of the individual.
c) Since the discrimination is neutral to economic status, the criteria for legal safeguards and policies has to be caste and not the economic status of the individual within the group.
Argument 2: "Reservations has achieved limited success in solving the problem, pro-poor policies are better alternatives"

Counter argument –– The success is limited but the blame must be placed not on the principle of reservations, but on the extent of its coverage.
a) According to the NSS data, the share of SCs in govt services is proportionate to their population share. This signifies an obvious positive impact. However narrow coverage of the targeted beneficiaries has led to limited results in reducing poverty among the SCs and STs.
b) This narrow coverage is due to two reasons: the exclusion of private sector jobs and the exclusion of temporary government jobs from reservation. Only about 18% non-farm SC workers are targeted beneficiaries, balance 82% remaining outside the purview of reservation.
c) Thus, the prevalence of a high level of poverty among the SCs is not due to the poor performance of the reservation policy, but is due to low job coverage. In the absence of reservation in employment, the decline in poverty would have been much less than has been achieved.
Argument 3: "How long does reservations needs to continue? Isn't it time to stop it?"

Counter argument –– Not at all, it has to persist until discrimination persists.
a) Few striking data about caste discrimination and atrocities.
b) Few incidents of caste discriminations and atrocities.
c) After the Hathras case, a lot of discussions have happened in the mainstream media about violence and discrimination based on caste. Each passing day, there are new such stories in the media, and if you don't actively take the effort to ignore, you won't miss them.
e) SO, how long should the reservation policy continue?

As long as discrimination and disparities against the lower castes persist.
Source for data & arguments: "Prejudice against Reservation Policies: How and Why?" by Sukhadeo Thorat, Nitin Tagade & Ajaya K Naik published in Economic & Political Weekly in Feb 2016.

If you can, do read this paper in its entirety as it delves into each point in detail.

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