CENSUS is the moment of reckoning the balanced development for the nation and is essentially an apolitical act. In this context, the census of 2011 invited special attention as it evoked sharp reaction on the issue of inclusion of caste in the census and preparation of National Population Register (NPR) along with it.
In this exercise the issue of caste acquired special significance because something that was discarded long back as a colonial ploy of identity politics to divide the Indians, now suddenly received unnecessary attention and respectability in certain political quarters. The appalling aspect, moreover, is the positive disposition to such demand of the present political dispensation. After a long debate and discussion soon after the Independence the Government of India had accepted the policy of official discouragement of community distinctions based on caste. The shift in the policy which has the potential to impact the civil society cannot be left exclusively on politicians’ will and desire guided by their political ends. This is the reason a large section of the Indian population stood openly against caste census.
The India Policy Foundation has come out with an Intervention Paper-Census 2011: Blinkered Vision, Fragmented Ideas, to highlight the conspiracy behind the move of caste census. Apart from the issue of caste, the Paper also highlighted the ‘ligitimisation of millions of Bangladeshi infiltrators’ as Indian citizen. When the question of internal security has assumed quite a significant dimension before the state and the society the National Population Register has potential to jeorpardise the sanctity of citizenship.
Before preparing the Paper the India Policy Foundation held a brain storing session and a wide range of consultation with scholars and demographers of different shades on all the issues concerned. The Paper critically examined the issues and contented the blinkered vision of the present political dispensation.
(India Policy Foundation, D-51, Hauz Khas, New Delhi- 110 016, Pp 60 (PB), Rs 50.00)