H C Singh

From Caste System to Caste Census-Implications

 Whether in 21st Century, India is determined to go forward to match and surpass other countries of the world or to go backward to and go down in the status, in comity of nation? Our government and people in 2010-11 thereafter are to decide. Whether perpetuation of caste system and inclusion of caste in the Census of 2011 will take India forward or to 19th-20th century or even in medieval times, in social set up.

There are only four castes in Hinduism viz Khatri, Brahm in Vaish and Shudar. It is well known that independent India’s constitution was framed mainly by Ambedkar, there was not only caste system but untouchability. The constitution of 1950 banned untouchability. This was first landmark in the creation of equality amongst all Indians. The next step was to ban caste system but the constitution gave just 15 years, to eliminate it by 1965, by improving economically their conditions. But unfortunately it was not implemented but extended time and again and worst part is that by including caste in the census of 2011 this will perpetuate caste system and legalize it.

Now, in addition, the Jats are insisting that they should be included in OBC’s ie other backward classes. Many Jats and Yadavs are rich and prosperous landlords and prominent, through higher education, than many of other so-called upper castes. They are holding high positions in Defence forces, civil services, business and business administration engineering and technology. Above all a number of Jats and Yadavs are Chief Ministers, Cabinet ministers and holding influential positions in politics of Centre and many states. Do they need benefits and reservations like other backward classes? Are the children of Hooda, Mulayam Singh, Badal and Lalu Prasad Yadav, to name a few, who are already ministers, or were Chief Ministers need reservations and special benefits?

How the caste census will operate amongst Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Budhists, Tribals and Parsees, Muslims have no caste system, there are only two sects, Shias and Sunnis. Christians also have no caste system, there are only Catholics and Protestants. Under Sikhism caste has been forbidden Kairon. Barnala and Badal and Dr Manmohan Singh never mentioned their caste. In Buddhists there is no caste system at all so is in Parsees. How all Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsees as well as tribals will be asked to give their caste in the forthcoming census of 2011?

Educated Indians, in particular, all over the country must rise and oppose inclusion of caste in census. Thousands of crores of rupees which will be sheer wastage but could be used for the uplift or poor workers, landless labourers in villages and poor labourers in urban areas. It may further be understood that caste system, its perpetuation by caste census, will perpetuate ‘Khap’ politics and so called Honour Killings in Haryana, Punjab and Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Recently a young girl killed her mother in Haryana in ‘Honour Killing’ bringing, in fact, dishonour to the entire family.

Enumeration of caste in census of 2011 seems to be ultravires to the 1950 constitution of Republic of India. The constitution highlights, democracy and equality and a casteless society where all Indian citizens are equal. However, the government should have done to raise the living standard of 35 percent poor Indians by setting up small industries in and around rural areas and their employment at reasonably good minimum wage. That was the way. But the present government followed absolutely wrong way which would take India backward. Even now people should appeal to Supreme Court for considerate advice or even decision whether inclusion of caste in 2011 census violates the constitution of India? If so it should disallow 2011 caste census.

This is such an issue which has far reaching consequences for the whole nation and for all the time to come. Manmohan Singh government instead of hastily deciding for enumeration of caste in 2011 census should have consulted the National integration Council. It is noteworthy and guiding principle, which India’s First Prime Minister advocated at the national integration council meeting attended by all the Chief Ministers that “help (to poor) should be given on economic considerations and not on caste.” This statement of Prime Minster Nehru should be a guiding principle of the government led by Manmohan Singh as PM and Sonia Gandhi as Congress and UPA president. They must not be led by narrow political considerations of vote bank politics and tarnish the image of ever rising India which is likely to be top ranking country in another 20 years, surpassing UK, other European countries and even USA.

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment