New Delhi. A recent press release from the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India states that the Mayawati statues would be counted during census 2011. After the inclusion of caste in the census, the BSP had put a lot of pressure on the government to include the statues too. As one senior BSP member put it, “at the end of the day, whether human or statue, a dalit is a dalit!”
According to analysts, this move is a political masterstroke as the inclusion of statues will substantially boost the dalit population of India and could pave the way for further reservations for them. The Mayawati statues, numbering around 4,76,832 at last count, would be enumerated using a slightly different methodology.
As one highly placed source in the Ministry of Home Affairs revealed, they haven’t yet taken a decision on whether a statue will be counted as 1 dalit or more. Although discussions are still on, the consensus seems to be that 2.5 dalits per statue would be a fair approximation.
The source also revealed that the enumeration of the statues posed a unique challenge as their numbers swelled with each passing day. He said that they would probably resort to some calculus and extrapolate the results. Also, the assets possessed by these statues would be estimated from the various cash garlands that are placed on them routinely. The column pertaining to the ‘duration of stay at present address’ would probably be filled in with ‘eternity’.
One of the enumerators, commenting under conditions of anonymity, further added, “This is a very arduous task. Generally during a census people aren’t really forthcoming and are non-responsive, but this is taking it to a completely new level. Talk about people with a face of stone!”
Opposition parties have cried foul, as they said that counting the statues would give the BSP an unfair advantage. Nitin Gadkari even went to the extent of dismissing the government as comprising of a pack of dogs.
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