Thursday, May 13, 2010

Caste Census

Three links.

In the first, Pratap Bhanu Mehta goes ballistic in opposing the very idea of a caste census. Scratch the surface a little bit, and you too would wonder how much of his opposition is driven by an almost visceral hatred towards the so-called OBC politics:

Third, giving in to a caste census is giving in to a discourse of raw political power. The blunt truth is that designing remedial measures for Dalits, including addressing discrimination does not require a census. This demand has rather been fuelled by politically assertive groups like OBCs, who first hijacked the Dalit discourse on deprivation to their own ends.

Nandini Sundar, on the other hand, goes into the question of whether a caste census can do anything to reduce inequality, and concludes:

... [W]hile the census can provide base figures, it cannot substitute for the kind of information needed both for inclusion of castes in an OBC list or for ‘graduation' of castes out of the list, even assuming the latter were ever to be politically feasible.

In the meantime, Amitabh Bachchan knows what he will say when the census enumerator asks for his caste: Indian.