Final week, Union Minister of State for Residence Affairs Nityanand Rai stated in response to a query in Lok Sabha: “The Authorities of India has determined as a matter of coverage to not enumerate caste-wise inhabitants apart from SCs and STs in Census.”
Since then, throughout the weekend, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi have individually demanded a caste-base census. Weeks earlier, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale had raised the identical demand.
What sort of caste information is printed within the Census?
Each Census in unbiased India from 1951 to 2011 has printed information on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, however not on different castes. Earlier than that, each Census till 1931 had information on caste.
Nevertheless, in 1941, caste-based information was collected however not printed. M W M Yeats, the then Census Commissioner, stated a be aware: “There would have been no all India caste desk… The time is previous for this huge and dear desk as a part of the central endeavor…” This was throughout World Battle II.
Within the absence of such a census, there isn’t any correct estimate for the inhabitants of OBCs, numerous teams inside the OBCs, and others. The Mandal Fee estimated the OBC inhabitants at 52%, another estimates have been based mostly on Nationwide Pattern Survey information, and political events make their very own estimates in states and Lok Sabha and Meeting seats throughout elections.
How typically has the demand for a caste census been made?
It comes up earlier than nearly each Census, as data of debates and questions raised in Parliament present. The demand normally come from amongst these belonging to Different Backward Lessons (OBC) and different disadvantaged sections, whereas sections from the higher castes oppose the concept.
In addition to Nitish Kumar, Manjhi and Athawale, such calls for in current days have come from BJP nationwide secretary Pankaja Munde (in a tweet on January 24), and the Maharashtra Meeting which handed a decision on January 8 urging the Centre to carry a caste-based Census in 2021.
On April 1, the constitutional physique Nationwide Fee for Backward Lessons urged the federal government to gather information on the inhabitants of OBCs “as a part of Census of India 2021 train”, as reported by The Indian Express.
A writ petition in search of caste enumeration, filed by one G Mallesh Yadav of Hyderabad, is pending within the Supreme Courtroom, which issued notices on this on February 26 this 12 months.
What has been the present authorities’s stand?
Earlier than his newest assertion, Nityanand Rai had told Rajya Sabha on March 10 too: “The Union of India after Independence, determined as a matter of coverage to not enumerate caste smart inhabitants apart from SCs and STs.”
However on August 31, 2018, following a gathering chaired by then Residence Minister Rajnath Singh that reviewed preparations for Census 2021, the Press Info Bureau said in an announcement: “It’s also envisaged to gather information on OBC for the primary time.”
When The Indian Express filed an RTI request asking for the minutes of the assembly, the Workplace of Registrar Basic of India (ORGI) responded: “Information of deliberations in ORGI previous to MHA (Ministry of Residence Affairs) announcement on August 31, 2018 to gather information on OBC is just not maintained. There was not issued any minutes of the assembly.”
The place did the UPA stand on this?
In 2010, then Regulation Minister Veerappa Moily wrote to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for assortment of caste/neighborhood information in Census 2011. On March 1, 2011, throughout a short-duration dialogue in Lok Sabha, Residence Minister P Chidambaram spoke of a number of “vexed questions”: “There’s a Central checklist of OBCs and State-specific checklist of OBCs. Some States should not have a listing of OBCs; some States have a listing of OBCs and a sub-set referred to as Most Backward Lessons. The Registrar Basic has additionally identified that there are particular open-ended classes within the lists similar to orphans and destitute kids. Names of some castes are present in each the checklist of Scheduled Castes and checklist of OBCs. Scheduled Castes transformed to Christianity or Islam are additionally handled otherwise in numerous States. The standing of a migrant from one State to a different and the standing of kids of inter-caste marriage, by way of caste classification, are additionally vexed questions.”
Amid uproarious scenes, the then Prime Minister stated: “I guarantee you that the Cupboard will take a choice shortly.” Later, a Group of Ministers was constituted below Finance Minister the late Pranab Mukherjee. After a number of rounds of deliberations, the UPA authorities determined to go for a full-fledged Socio Financial Caste Census (SECC).
What occurred to the SECC information, then?
With an permitted price of Rs 4,893.60 crore, the SECC was performed by the Ministry of Rural Growth in rural areas and the Ministry of Housing & City Poverty Alleviation in city areas. The SECC information excluding caste information was finalised and printed by the 2 ministries in 2016.
The uncooked caste information was handed over to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which fashioned an Professional Group below former NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson Arvind Pangaria for classification and categorisation of knowledge. It isn’t clear whether or not it submitted its report; no such report has been made public.
The report of a Parliamentary Committee on Rural Growth offered to the Lok Sabha Speaker on August 31, 2016, famous about SECC: “The information has been examined and 98.87 per cent information on people’ caste and faith is error free. ORGI has famous incidence of errors in respect of 1,34,77,030 people out of complete SECC inhabitants of 118,64,03,770. States have been suggested to take corrective measures.”
This time, the demand is that castes be enumerated as a part of Census 2021 itself.
What’s the opposite view?
The RSS has not made any current statements on a caste census, however has opposed the concept earlier. On Might 24, 2010, when the talk on the topic had peaked forward of Census 2011, then RSS sar-karyawah Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi had stated in an announcement from Nagpur: “We’re not towards registering classes, however we oppose registering castes.” He had stated a caste-based census is towards the concept of a casteless society envisaged by leaders like Babasaheb Ambedkar within the Structure and can weaken ongoing efforts to create social concord.
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