Demand for caste-based census intensifies

New Delhi:
 Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday led an all party delegation of the state to the Home Minister and demanded caste based census in the country.

The delegation had all political parties of Jharkhand and it submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister demanding the same. Hemant Soren said, “It’s necessary that the caste census should be conducted to ascertain the condition and population of different castes.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is in Delhi too, said it’s a legitimate demand and the need of the hour. “We will hold all parry meeting, caste census must take place. It will help make policies for the people,” he said.

OBC Muslim group too has pressed for caste based census and Momin Conference held a meeting on Sunday and condemned the government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court. Its national president Shakiluzzaman Ansari said, “we will start a movement to put pressure on the government.”

The Centre had on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that population census is not the ideal instrument for collection of details on caste, and that the Maharashtra government’s plea seeking census data on other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the state should not be entertained, as “the caste Census of Backward Classes is administratively difficult and cumbersome”.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry said: “Each time, the view has consistently been that the caste Census of Backward Classes is administratively difficult and cumbersome; it has suffered and will suffer both on account of completeness and accuracy of the data.”

The Centre said it is not feasible to collect information on Backward Class of Citizens (BCC) in the upcoming Census, with its affidavit citing “practical difficulties” in ascertaining an identification criterion for backward classes. “The population census is not ideal instrument for collection of details on caste… there are two separate OBCs lists viz Central list and state list. Unlike SCs and STs lists, the lists of OBCs are not exclusively central subjects,” it added.

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