Wednesday, August 8, 2012

India's Casteist Government

By Manuwant Choudhary

Two men on a bike came to my home but I did not know them at all. When I asked them who they were they told me the government of India had sent them to do a Census.

But I told them that the Census is done once in ten years and only two years ago a school teacher had met me and asked me all sorts of questions, including if my loo had marble or tiles !

The Census is more like an inquisition of the Income Tax Department.

But the two men told me that this Census is different.

I asked them how.

And they replied, "Please tell us your caste !"

I told them to get lost.

I also told them to go tell the District Magistrate that a citizen has rejected the Caste Census and he is free to take whatever legal action he wants.

But then I asked them to wait..."Can you tell me the caste of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh first? Or better still Sonia Gandhi, the Italian widow and President of the ruling Congress Party.

Shobha De wrote this Sunday how she felt naked replying to Nandan Nilekani's questionaire for the ID card where they have a column for Male, Female and Transgender!

Thats exactly how I felt today and angrier.

There has never been a caste census since India's freedom and the British conducted one in 1931 as a part of their policy of Divide & Rule. Remember, the British for all their reformist zeal they never abolished untouchability.

The democracy they introduced to India was also based on such divisions..there were Hindu and Moslem constituencies, and even economic barriers to contest elections.

Todays democracy continues to divide India.

I was watching the parliaments TV coverage and L.K. Advani's speach calling the current UPA government `illegitimate'.

And an angry Sonia Gandhi called upon her MPs to, "Shout, shout."

What both Advani and Sonia missed is that Indian democracy is itelf illegitimate as liberals are not allowed to contest elections or register a liberal political party - banned by law.

And Sonia Gandhi did not realise what will happen when India shouts. Not fasts.

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