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Karnataka’s caste census: What is in store?

The glee over the release of the findings of the caste census report is amusing. The methodology chosen is secretive; the sampling is suspect and the “accidental” leak a month before the official revelation is incredulous. Since the government wants to usher in social “justice”, why this selectivity then? A certain report by the A J Sadashiva commission recommending internal reservation amongst the Scheduled Castes also lies in abeyance and must very much see the light of the day.

The fully “detailed” caste census in Karnataka is covertly designed to put the dominant castes in their “place” and overtly to ensure social justice for all. Its avowed purpose is to exclusively identify the beneficiaries and ensure the benefits of affirmative action reach the deserving. However, when the Pandora’s Box is finally open and those “damning” revelations are made, what would be the next course of action? Depleted numbers would raise a call for reservation as it would mean they need a voice.

Besides what about internal reservation amongst the backward classes, who would like to see a reduction in their share of the pie if it comes to that? One aspect stands out, no one would like to be left in the “twilight” zone. The ball has been set rolling and this zero sum game may have dangerous results.

Coming to the downgrading of the dominant castes aspect, it is almost inevitable and a natural course that when the Jats, Patels and Kapus have set the ball rolling others left out will hit the streets

soon. What is to prevent Lingayats in Karnataka not agitate for inclusion into the central list of OBC’s?

With both the national parties cleverly sidestepping this issue it is time a pressure group was created to

realise this demand. Will the frontrunner from the BJP, B S Yeddyurappa make this a poll issue? His stance on this issue is sought and dillydallying makes his position even more untenable. Why should the

community miss out on education and employment opportunities due to lack of political will and muscle? This issue will surely be a driving force in the coming days and in 2018 will decide the political fortunes of many.

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