The term ‘Divide and rule’ was popularized only during the British rule in India. As is very clear from George Orwell’s masterpiece ‘1984’, a state of perpetual war can be very beneficial for the ruling party.
While reservation can’t be considered as war, there is a sense of enmity which is being fueled by most Governments. By making people of lower castes feel oppressed, and acting like saviours, ultimately political parties gain mileage.
When India gained independence, the idea of reservation by Dr. BR Ambedkar was a necessary step towards the development of the oppressed people. But there should have been a gradual shift away from that policy, maybe towards ‘economic-status based reservations’. This hasn’t been done mainly because of vote bank politics.
Any party which takes a stand against the system will stand to lose the next election as the opposition will tell the rural masses that they (the government) does not care for them.
There are two ways the ‘caste-based reservation system’ can come to an end:
(1) Whenever a government takes it’s 5 years term seriously and doesn’t think about the next election, half the job is done. There is a need of strong governing party which decides that it is in the interest of the people if the system can be phased out, and they do not mind a significant loss of votes during the subsequent elections.
(2) Common people have the main power. People are educated enough to understand how they’re being used as pawns in the greater game – if they realise that the move away from this system is not casteist, but only in national interest.
I would think there’s a greater chance of point number 2 happening, but unfortunately not in the near future.