MoS Home asks young MPs to oppose caste census
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Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010, 00:19
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 most.

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.


First Published: Friday, May 28, 2010, 00:19

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