What about people who don’t fit into your boxes?

In reply to my post on The Problem I have with Census 2011, a Swiss friend who has been married to an Indian friend and living in India for years with her husband and daughter, wrote a blog on her experiences with the census and dealing with daily prejudices. Being a Swiss, resident Indian with a PIO, she has faced it all. Do read it to understand why our government needs to wake up to the fact that people are mobile and not like furniture!

Then there’s a Facebook discussion it triggered. Sharing it here to understand the extent to which everyone is irritated by the Census. Is anyone listening?

  • G Yesss! and also so intrusive and leaves no space for anonymity. It’s like the big daddy watching and knowing everything about your life. HATE IT! Just got my friendly visit this morning!!!! In the name of census, this is how they accumulated data in Gujarat and massacred thousands of Muslims and changed the country forever! Left me feeling so exposed and vulnerable!
  • K They came to our place in Bangalore, and guess what? They didn’t even ask me about the other languages I know. Only the “head of the family”. I don’t think I have been asked my caste in ANY other official context. After a lifetime of answering curious foreigners, “hmm…yeah, I am not a practising anything”, it IS shocking to be asked these details by the government of my ‘own’ country.
  • A Wait till they ask you to enrol into UID .. give away your Picture, both you Iris scans and all ten Fingerprints
  • G Oh and you’ve got to check out the “PSA” for the census and the freakin justification! Please give govt all info so govt can plan and provide for every citizen! WTF! Do a little better than that if you must!
  • A And in case this missed the news .. The National Intelligence Grid – “According to informed sources, the data with 21 agencies and departments of government will now be forwarded to the NatGrid for integration. The data will include Pan car…d, voter ID card and ration card details, income tax returns, degrees obtained from schools and colleges, bank account numbers, financial transactions, travel documents, passport details, police stations and jails across the country among others.” DNA STORY
  • G Welcome to the gameshow! Big Brother’s watching your every move!
  • A Sometimes i wonder if its just a bunch of computer science / IT people od-ing on how cool will it be technically to integrate various data
  • G And marketing the idea to the govt babus to make money for their OD-ing trips! Totally!
  • K The thing that is really scary is that it would require just one inefficient, unscrupulous and/or corrupt babu for all the data to be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes

One Reply to “What about people who don’t fit into your boxes?”

  1. Thanks for the cross posting 🙂
    I realyl have the feeling that this census is going in all the wrong direction and collecting al kind of infos to just feed the divide rather than bridge the gap.

    I remember the last census I did in 2000, this was in Switzerland, I was above 18 and therefore counted in my own right as a person and got the form sent to me into my name.

    I still wonder if I actually count in the 2011 Indian census 🙂 because clearly I don’t fit the little boxes. Or did they decide that as a wife I just am my husband property and fitted me under the same boxes he fits into? Scary huh? Not counting as a person should I get myself into a vet’s office and get mircochipped and registered as DH’s pet?

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