ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Counting Backward, Moving Forward

Caste is a reality in India. This reality should not be ignored, whether in history or at the present time. The proposed caste census in 2011 would be benefi cial for India as a whole. If at all we want to remove disparity, we need to know where does it exist, and in what numbers.

There has been criticism of the proposed caste census, that it will provoke an identity crisis in the country, and that it would primarily benefit the political class rather than the “common man”. If we accept that democracy is the rule of the masses, we have to agree that if someone votes on caste lines there is nothing wrong in it, it is just a certain process of representation. In scientific terms we can argue that if we do not know the problem and its location, how are we to solve it; and what would be the efficiency of such attempts? The argument that counting castes is a form of divide and rule of the past is of no signifi cance today. The problem we face is to work out how all sections of society can find representation in the institutions of democracy. People elect their leader, and their leaders should be representative of the people who elect them. This is the concept of democracy that we should strive for.

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