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Caste-based census will polarise society

The government’s decision to include caste in the ongoing census operations is really unfortunate (editorial, “Caste in census: Time-limit for reservations imperative”, Aug 13). Whether the government has bowed to the demands of the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in a deal for their “votes” for the safe passage of the Nuclear Liability Bill in Parliament or it is due to the difference of opinion among the Congressmen over the issue, the inclusion of caste in the census is not a right step.

As the editorial pointed out, there are over 5,700 known castes, registered till recently, against 2,200 in 1956. This number may go on increasing with the passage of time. This way, the day is not far off when people will fight with each other on the caste basis alone.

Surely, it is the politicians who want to rule the nation by dividing it. They are only interested in votes and not development. Though the editorial rightly calls for “time-bound reservations”, I doubt that the politicians will ever let this happen. They have not obeyed the Constitutional advice of granting reservations to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for a period of 10 years after Independence. Even after 63 years, the cancer of reservations has grown manifold.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


The decision of the government to go in for a caste-based census is a retrograde step, which can have disastrous consequence in the near future. This decision will further polarise the masses and caste conflicts will rise. Various caste-based associations and parties will tend to misuse the data of the census for their petty gains and use it for vote bank politics. They will try to sabotage the state machinery as recently witnessed in Rajasthan during the Gujjar agitation.

A few days back the All-India Jat Mahasabha demanded that that Jats in Haryana should be placed in the OBC category. Such demands will rise in the future and this can seriously jeopardise the idea of equality and meritocracy. The government must reconsider its decision. Otherwise, India will get polarised to such an extent that it will become difficult to call it a nation.

Dr SIKANDER SINGH, Rajpura, Patiala

Evasive reply

To Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s assertion during an interview with The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa (Aug 12) that the party will decide whether to make his son Sukhbir Badal the Chief Minister or not, I would like to add that this is no more than a technical formality. Everybody knows whose writ runs in the party. The Shiromani Akali Dal and Mr Badal are synonymous and nobody will dare question his intentions.

The best course for both the senior and the junior Badal would be to project Mr Sukhbir Badal as the Chief Ministerial candidate in the next Assembly elections. In case the party wins Mr Sukhbir Badal will have all the political and moral authority to become the Chief Minister. If he does not he will still have enough time to consolidate his position under the guidance of his father.



The question to Mr Parkash Singh Badal on vendetta politics was direct. It read, “Do you think you made a mistake by having your predecessor, Capt Amarinder Singh, banned from the legislature and the Supreme Court ruling otherwise? Wasn’t it vendetta politics?”

But the reply was evasive. He should have gracefully admitted it. Then the message would have been clear to the masses that he actually does not believe in vendetta politics.

HARISH AERY, Hoshiarpur


The interview with Punjab’s Chief Minister was interesting. He rightly remarked how Punjab had become bankrupt due to 15 years of militancy. Indeed, wrong policies like free power and hefty subsidies to the farm sector are some other factors that have contributed to Punjab’s downfall.

Punjab needs and deserves a special package. It is an agricultural state that needs diversification of crops. But for alternative crops like maize, farmers have to be given a good support price.


Revive hockey’s glory

The editorial “Confusion continues” (Aug 7) was interesting. The Government of India has rightly derecognised Hockey India, the bosses of which flouted the Sports Ministry’s guidelines with impunity.

The people controlling sports bodies do not want to loosen their grip owing to their vested interests. The promotion of games is of secondary importance to them. The ministry should tell all the sitting MPs and ministers, who are running the bodies as their personal fiefdoms, to leave. If they fail to do so, they must be sacked. They are making a fortune out of sports without promoting sports appropriately. A case in point is the allegation of corruption in the Organising Committee of Commonwealth Games.

It has aptly been remarked in the editorial that it is high time the players got a body that was devoted to handling their problems and their game. But the moot question is: when will the players find a body that not only preserves hockey but also works for its revival and glory?




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