Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi said, “My Life Is My Message”. And what have we learned from his message is clear from the fact that we are now including caste in our national headcount, to be revealed in a house-to-house search that kicks off next month across India. Productive or Counterproductive measurement !!! What would you say?
Needless to say the Mahatma stood against caste system and don’t you believe too that India stands for Indians and not for one particular or a group of castes. In fact, one of the major factors blocking development in India already, is reservation — given to people belonging to certain castes which are believed to have missed the progress wagon. I don’t know what the newest policy of counting ‘backward’ heads would push, except further humiliation to We, The People of India. In short it would further destabilize our society.
Castes do exist and we need strong steps to abolish this social evil rather than promoting the Caste System year-after-year, for centuries. In April, a senior police officer Amitabh made a formal affidavit declaring that “considering the overall adverse and undesirable effects of the Caste System in India, from today onwards, I shall be having no caste of mine. It shall be deemed to be ‘No Caste’ or ‘Casteless’.”
Earlier, he wrote his name as Amitabh Thakur. This he also announced on social media, writing on Facebook: “I have removed the ‘Thakur’ surname attached to my name ‘Amitabh’ so that henceforth I shall be called only ‘Amitabh’ instead of ‘Amitabh Thakur’.” On Facebook, he can be searched with the name Amitabh Lucknow about which he says, “Lucknow has been added because Facebook asks for a second name as well.”
Information on caste was last collected during British Raj in 1931 when John Henry Hutton was the Indian Civil Service officer who was Census Commissioner of India. I am informed that during that early census, people often exaggerated their caste status to garner social status.
Sadly, today, I am expecting them to downgrade their ‘enhanced social status’ for notching government benefits and favours that lure them for votes. Plain politics this … that over 1.2 billion-strong Indians don’t understand. “Caste based social practices in India go beyond the more visible political and economic dimensions and these subtle aspects are unlikely to be impacted by the enumeration of caste through the census,” says Madhavi Bhasin.
And a retired chief justice Rajindar Sachar says, “There is the argument that if sex and religion in census has not led to friction, why would caste census do? A simple answer is that sex, religion are measures of identity and not divisive in themselves.”
My take in the form of a picture (below), taken at the Sabarmati Ashram of the Mahatma – The Father of Nation.