In pre-independence India, the sanction of a separate electorate system based on religion was like a seal of approval for the call to partition India on the basis of religion. We are now all set to revisit history.

I normally don’t like – in the communally volatile and polarised atmosphere we live in – to comment on issues of religion, since we have lost the ability to debate rationally and objectively. But this bit of news I came across was so sublimely ridiculous, I just had to share it.

In 2006, when the government wanted to undertake a headcount of Muslims in the Indian Army, I was appalled. Luckily for all of us, the move was dropped. But with elections due next year, I guess some shocks are still in store. Like the recent move of the government to station Muslim personnel in Muslim-dominated areas. I mean, seriously, what were these guys thinking?

More importantly, where does this stop? So will the Indian Administrative Service be sub-divided into the Hindu Administrative Service, the Muslim Administrative Service, the Sikh Administrative Service and so on? Ditto for the Indian Police Service. And all other government institutions and services. Of course, given the way we are headed, we will soon have Lingayat personnel for Lingayat dominated areas, Yadav personnel for Yadav dominated areas, Maratha personnel for Maratha dominated areas…you get the gist. We could even extend these to take “gotras” into account. We could cross-reference transfers and appointments on the basis of religion, caste, sub-caste, language, dialect and even shoe-sizes.

Of course, I am not one to stand in the way of such progressive empowerment of the disadvantaged, or grudge them their rightful share in the resources of the nation. Just think – right now, while it is only us Indians who enjoy the benefit of having dismal healthcare, non-existent sanitation, woefully inadequate infrastructure, pathetic primary education, low safety & security and corrupt local administrations, we could soon be on our way to a more egalitarian society, where every religion-language-caste-based sub-group can have its due share of this bountiful largesse.

Yep, our tryst with destiny is about to happen!

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