In a landmark move, the Uttar Pradesh government has banned vehicle owners from displaying caste based stickers on their cars and SUVs in the state. It is considered fashionable in some segments of society to display caste in the form of stickers on the windscreen, bumpers and number plates. Caste stickers like Pandit, Brahmin, Gurjar, Yadav, Jat etc. on the vehicles will invite action from the traffic authorities. As per the order issued by Additional Transport Commissioner Mukesh Chandra to all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), all the vehicles flouting this rule will be seized.
The sudden directive came into force after instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) were passed on to the government authorities. This decision came in the backdrop of a letter sent to the PMO by Harshal Prabhu from Maharashtra. Harshal is a teacher and believes caste stickers are a threat to the Indian social fabric. He wrote the letter on IGRS, an integrated system designed for redressal of grievances. The PMO took cognizance of the letter and sent it to the Uttar Pradesh government. The Yogi Aditynanth government launched the drive to stop two-wheelers and cars from flaunting caste-based stickers. With the country still reeling from caste-related issues, the move will be lauded for its intention to stop further caste segmentation in the country
D.K. Tripathi, deputy transport commissioner, Kanpur issued a statement to the media outlets in regards to the decision. He said, “ According to our enforcement teams, every 20th vehicle is found carrying such a sticker. Our headquarters has asked us to take action against such vehicle owners”. The practice of displaying caste-based stickers began during the Samajwadi Party rule when Yadav tag on the vehicles became a status symbol. Jatavs became more prominent during Mayawati rule while Kshatriya, Rajput or Thakur became common in Yogi rule. The idea behind the new directive is to reduce the caste assertiveness and maintain harmony in a state riddled with caste equations.
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