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Towards a casteless society

The crux of Uttam Sengupta’s article, “What we need is a renewed assault on poverty and caste and not on caste count” (Perspective, May 16), is very meaningful. The present procedure of door-to-door census enumeration after every decade is primitive, erroneous and unscientific. No developed country follows this half-baked mode.

Reports say, some census enumerators have deployed unemployed youth to do their job. The right procedure would be to set up a census office in each district to ensure compulsory registration of births and deaths within the district with the help of village functionaries like patwari, sarpanch and the gramsewak. Following this procedure, the Census Commissioner can make an accurate assessment of the population of India on a weekly basis.

Similarly, the government can convert India into a casteless society by formulating a robust policy based on the following ingredients: The term ‘caste’ (as different from community) should be precisely defined. For example Jat is a community and not a caste. Nobody should be allowed to write sub-caste, i.e., Bhardwaj, Aggarwal etc. after his name and honorifics like Pandit, Lala, Choudhary etc. before the name.

The media should be disallowed to give the figures of the voting population for different castes and communities during elections and use the word caste as minimum as possible. The institutes named with castes tags like Hindu College should be renamed after national figures.

This exercise coupled with a sustained education campaign can finally morph India into a casteless society in about a decade.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Member, State Environment Authority, Haryana, Gurgaon


The Centre should examine the issue seriously before making the census caste-ridden. Clearly, the words of wisdom given by leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr Ambedkar have become valueless before the present generation of leaders who are eager to woo all castes for their narrow partisan ends.

Caste count will not only embarrass the enumerators but correct information may also not be forthcoming. It may be just opposite to what happened in 1931 census.

It is also feared that social harmony may further be jeopardised. Caste count cannot lead to a casteless society. What is important today is the well being of society.

Dr S. KUMAR, Panchkula


Caste count will enable politicians to expand their vote banks and provide quotas to them. The intended objective will not help the cause of national integration. On the contrary, it will divide the country on caste lines.

For the betterment of India, the inclusion of three columns in census enumeration, i.e. income, education and Rural-Urban distinction must be there. Clearly, we can annihilate caste from India when our caste is only ‘Indian’.


Dev Anand: Heartthrob of millions

M.L. Dhawan has given a graphic account about the actor, “King of Style” (Spectrum, May 9). Dev Anand has had the longest innings as an actor and filmmaker, among the trio that included him, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, who were the reigning idols during the fifties to seventies.

Dev Anand’s earlier films became hits because of the crisp and tight plots but also for their melodious music, which is popular even today. He reached the height of his career with Guide (1966), made also in English with screenplay by noble laureate Pearl S. Buck. The Life had his poster on its cover with a six-page article in 1967. He also showed his acting talent in a double role in Hum Dono that left a mark, especially in the role of Major Verma.

He appeared in a contrasting shape as a village rustic rebel with earrings in the hit movie Insaniyat (1953), with no less than Dilip Kumar and Bina Rai as his co-stars. His Nao Do Gayara (1954) and Kala Pani (1958) were other notable films, the first one with Kalpana Kartik as his heroine, whom he had married after Taxi Driver. Pocket Maar, Manzil and Baarish were the few other films of the actor.

In spite of being a heart-throb of millions, not only of girls but even grown-up ladies, his name has remained free from any scandal, which in itself is a great attribute in the film word. His romance with and love for Suraiya is well known.

H.S. Sandhu, Panchkula



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