MoS Home asks young MPs to oppose caste census

MoS for Home Affairs Ajay Maken wrote to young MPs urging them to oppose caste based census.

New Delhi: In a new dimension to the raging debate on whether caste should be included in census, Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken today wrote to young MPs urging them to oppose the regressive move that was being pushed as part of "divisive agenda for short-term political gain".
The Congress leader argued that the UPA had come to power
on developmental agenda and any move to include caste in
census would be "disastrous" for politicians, particularly the
young ones who have a long future.
In his letter, Maken said the "young conscience-driven
individuals" like him had served the people and thrived
politically on the all-inclusive development agenda.

Writing to the young MPs "as a colleague MP" rather than
a minister, Maken said it may be acknowledged and appreciated
that the younger lot has to practice politics and governance
for at least the next 15-20 years.

Accordingly, he said, it was on their shoulders that the
responsibility of identifying and establishing the national
political agenda for Governance for the next decades lay the

He said the core political ideology adopted by the
country`s founding fathers, subsequent statesmen at the helm
of affairs, as also respective political parties was that of
development as the most important, if not the sole means of
achieving social, economic and political justice.

Be it Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Ram
Manohar Lohia, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi or Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, the goal was economic betterment, political
empowerment and social justice to be achieved through
inclusive development.

Caste count in census was never advocated by them, least
by Lohia whose most famous quote remains "Jaat Naa puchho
sadhu ki...," Maken said.

Pointing out that the last decade saw development and
good governance, rather than caste or community being mandated
by people across elections in different states, Maken said
after a long time we could see pro-incumbency rather than
anti-incumbency votes.

He feared that accepting caste as a parameter in the
census would for at least the next 10-20 years
institutionalise caste rather than development as the national
political agenda.

Enumerating the fallout of inclusion of caste in census,
he said it could give rise to demands from each and every
section or caste or community to be recognised and enumerated
as OBCs to get benefits.

Another fallout, he said, could be proportional
representation in jobs and the legislatures for all such
castes which claim and somehow manage to get into the list of
"Other Backward Castes".

Proportional allocation of resources for OBCs, which
would always be perceived to be unfulfilled as in the case of
SC and ST groups, could be another issue, he said.