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'Mention Hindustani as your caste'

Source: PTI
May 16, 2010 15:15 IST
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Mention "Hindustani" as your caste. This was the consensus arrived at a symposium on caste-based census attended by prominent people like former Union minister for civil aviation Arif Mohammad Khan.

Amid demands for caste-based census, the symposium, which was held in New Delhi on Saturday, announced the launch of a movement "Meri Jaati Hindustani" (My Caste is Indian).

Khan, former MEA Secretary J C Sharma and others also decided to set up a committee to transform their initiative into a mass movement. It is aimed at motivating people to write "Indian" as their caste in the census form.

"Even if only four to five crore people write their caste as Indian or whatever they call it in their mother tongue, this will be a huge success and will help more and more citizens to follow the suit," Khan said.

He said the number of people believing their caste as "Indian" is not less but they are "unorganised" and not "instituted". "The movement is bringing in those people to motivate others."

The demand for a caste-based step is "a conspiracy to divide the country," the participants said adding they do not oppose if someone mentions his or her caste.

Senior journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik said people need a "new caste -- Indian". "It is caste not by birth but by choice," he said.
He said the proposed committee of experts will formulate its modem and plans to further the cause in a week's time, but insisted on the use of modern techniques like SMSes and emails to popularise the movement.

"I request everyone to sign their emails and messages by writing Indian with their name," Vadik said, citing example from Barack Obama's successful US Presidential election campaign.

Sharma said the goal of Indian Constitution is "to create a casteless and classless society," but the caste census is "disgrace for Ambedkar's dream."

He also said politicians only know the "language of vote-bank", but if crores of people join the campaign they will be forced to rethink over their decision."

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