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

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Survey of Intimidation

The Government of Telangana has set a dangerous precedent in the manner it has conducted a universal household survey.

Hyderabad was a ghost town on 19 August 2014 when all educational institutions, private and government offices, shops and even public transport services shut down as an anxious citizenry remained at home waiting for enumerators of the Government of Telangana’s Samagra Kutumba Survey (Intensive Household Survey or IHS). All of Telangana seemed under curfew when the survey of the 4-crore population was in progress. Earlier, lakhs of people from other parts of the state as well as from the rest of the country had struggled to board jam-packed buses and trains to reach their “native places”. Never before on any occasion in any state had a government managed to engineer such a shutdown. This state government could do so because it had created an atmosphere in which people feared that if they were not at home on 19 August they would not be considered residents of Telangana.

The IHS was carried out supposedly to identify bogus bene­ficiaries of government welfare schemes since government estimates are that while there are 84 lakh households in Telangana, as many as 91 lakh “white” ration cards (meant for the poor) have been issued.

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