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Caste census must have a purpose

The Union Cabinet has taken a right decision to hold a caste-wise census from June to September 2011 after the completion of regular enumeration. This will close the issue for the time being which was becoming hot (editorial “Caste census”, Sept 11).

Since 1931, we do not have any authentic figures that can help in policy formulations. Thus the counting of population on caste basis is the need of the hour. Castes which are socially and educationally backward are invariably economically backward also. So for proper planning, the strength of groups must be known and can be ascertained through caste-based census only.  

At the same time, once such data is collected, it would be difficult to keep it confidential. One thing is clear that the census data based on caste would not divide people but help the actual population of OBCs in the country and highlight the plight of the poor. 

Besides, it is too early to predict the reduction in the headcount of a particular community. But the government should ensure that the authentic and reliable data is collected with proper supervision through random rechecking for taking any policy decision.



The Cabinet approval for an independent caste count to be conducted from June to September 2011 is uncalled for (news report, “Cabinet nod to caste count in census”, Sept 10). It is noteworthy that in India more than 300 million people are languishing below poverty level. At least 35 million children aged 6-14 years do not attend school and over three million children are living on the streets, and over 150 million children are working as bonded labourers and so on.

Against this backdrop, the move of the government to spend a whopping sum of Rs 2,000 crore on caste census just to pander to some vested interests to help them accomplish their narrow partisan ends is unwarranted.

The huge amount of taxpayers’ money can be utilised to assuage the plight of millions of hapless and impoverished people. Moreover, there are serious doubts on any objective usefulness of this costly drill since in India the same caste bears different tags in different parts of the country. Anyhow, the caste census should be broad-based enlisting the income and the means of livelihood, etc. of the people of different castes so that it may serve the intended purpose.

NEETI GOYAL, Bahadurgarh

Towards good governance

The apex court has ordered the government to give the poor food grains free instead of letting them rot because of the shortage of storage space (editorial, “Judicial overreach: PM sounds a note of caution”, Sept 8). 

It is accepted that the judiciary should not enter the realm of policy making now and then. But one wonders how the executive can be held accountable if it does not discharge its duties according to the expectations of the people. Some of the Cabinet ministers are behaving like masters and their performance is not up to the mark.

On the other hand, the legislature is equally insensitive and unconcerned about the aam aadmi. Our MPs and MLAs are batting more for themselves than for the public in Parliament and outside. It is but natural that the poor and marginalised sections of society, who feel helpless, ignored and neglected by the executive, find their saviour only in the judiciary. 

The executive, the legislature and the judiciary are the three pillars of democracy. All of them are equally important to underpin the democratic system. But if some pillar tends to crumble, others will have to intervene and stop its fall, otherwise, the whole façade would come down leading to anarchy in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with editors seems to be a belated and futile attempt to remove the impression that his government is inept and adrift. Instead of being an apologist for his ministers’ inefficiency and waywardness, Dr Singh should talk to them to get cracking with the sole purpose of giving good governance.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur

Punish the guilty

Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd) in his article (Sept 8) has made an impassioned plea that the Commonwealth Games should be made a grand success since India’s honour is at stake.

Cases of corruption, mismanagement and non-performance and the persons responsible for these acts of omission and commission can be subsequently probed and the guilty summarily tried and handed down stringent punishment through special courts after the successful conclusion of the Games.

Apart from meeting the ends of justice, this will act as a strong deterrent to those used to indulging in fraudulent and shameful practices, adversely affecting the nation’s progress and image. No quarter need be given to those who misuse their power and betray the trust reposed in them with a view to making gains or adding to the already overflowing reservoirs of ill-gotten wealth at the cost of the poor countrymen.

Wing Commander S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Wrong teaching

Teaching is the only profession that teaches other professions (editorial, “A slap most foul”, Sept 11). A teacher has the capability of shaping the future of children.

If a student slaps a teacher it signifies that there has been something drastically wrong in inculcating the right kind of moral values in them. If teachers pat themselves for the achievements of students, they should introspect within when students are undisciplined. Students’ misconduct reflects that there is something wrong in our efforts.




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