"Universal recognition of equality as an ideology has paved the way for the emergence of 'affirmative action' in many countries. Most of the programmes of affirmative action or compensatory discrimination address accumulated deprivations and disabilities accrued to some collectivities in the past. These equalising efforts give rise to a plethora of problems and controversies. The Indian experiment of affirmative action has been contested on grounds of legitimacy and social cost. The book, conceived in the backdrop of mandal commission and Supreme Court's verdict on it, re-examines the entire issue of reservation not only in terms of its philosophical and theoretical moorings but also empirically investigates the public perceptions of reservation policy. It looks at many contentious debates raised in the Indian context in the wake of Mandal Commission's implementation. Finally, it makes suggestions for a viable and rational policy on reservations and related issues. Anyone involved and concerned with the various aspects of reservation would find the book rewarding."