Quite possibly the most engaging debates on the reservation imbroglio have come from Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN. With proponents like Arjun Singh and P. Chidambaram, Thapar has played the devil's advocate, roasting them for their ignorance of official figures to justify the 27 per cent OBC move. With opponents of the reservation proposal like Arun Shourie, Thapar has taken the opposite position. Last night, Thapar locked eyes with the former Indian Express editor on the eve of the publication of his book, Falling Over Backward:
Thapar: Name one village out of India’s 6,00,000 villages where the Dalits are permitted to stay in the centre of the village. Not only are they banished to the outskirts, but in most cases, they are required to live in the south side so that the wind that blows over them doesn’t pollute the village. That is the extent of discrimination they still suffer.
Shourie: And the wind in all of South India comes from the south my friend. I don’t know where you get this nonsense from?
Thapar: Chandrabhan Prasad, perhaps one of the few Dalit intellectual scholars, who can easily confirm the facts to you.
Shourie: Well, maybe. We have all got impressions about India. India is a large country. Almost every statement about India must be true, but the south business is quite silly because if you come to Goa my friend, you see the wind coming form the south. You come to Kerala, you see the wind coming from the south.