Harish Jharia

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22 September 2012

Communal Politics in India: Caste Based Census Being Conducted:

  Members of 'मेरी जात हिन्दुस्तानी' demonstrating 
               against caste-based census
             at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi 

© Harish Jharia

Written on: 11 August 2010

It is almost certain for the census officials to ask castes of the Indian citizens while doing the survey for the ongoing census in India. The activities in the Indian parliament for the past many months reveal that the MPs belonging to other backward casts (OBC) have been struggling hard for caste based census. Their purpose of doing so is to prove that the Indian population consists of 50% OBCs. 

It is relevant to mention here that the major percentage of seats for education and jobs have been reserved for the scheduled casts (SC) and tribes (ST), ever since the constitution of the Indian union was approved. SCs and STs were provided protection in the constitution because the casts falling under theses categories were socially discriminated, oppressed and abused for centuries. People belonging to these casts were treated as ‘untouchables’ and were not even permitted to draw water from community wells or ponds. Names of some casts are even used as abuses by upper cast people.

In fact Indian society has been distinctly divided into two categories that are ‘lower casts’ comprising of SCs and STs and the rest of the casts that are called ‘upper casts’. The people of lower casts are considered and treated as so very inferior that they will never declare their casts voluntarily that they belong to a socially condemned category. Hence the cast based census will definitely fail to record the correct statistics of the population belonging to SCs and STs.

On the other hand the people belonging to OBC categories are inclusive of the big landlords and village heads who feel proud in declaring their castes. They own enormous properties, political powers and luxuries like farmhouses, cars ETC. In the ongoing caste based census the people belonging to OBC will definitely score the highest in statistics and achieve the figure of 50% that they are claiming.

In view of the above and based on the United Nations observations in 2007 we need to follow certain remedial measures in order to rectify our global image as far as social and civic democracy is concerned. They are as follows:
  • stop cast based census
  • take solid and dedicated measures to remove poverty and untouchability from rural India
  • remove the cast tags from Indian citizens as it is undemocratic and against the Indian constitution
  • take disciplinary / criminal actions against government officials, ministers and politicians who spread cast based discrimination
  • impose strict control on Khap Panchayats dominated by wealthy farmers, who practice social discrimination against so called dalit Hindus 
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