New Delhi, 12th August, 2021, the debate in furtherance of the Constitutional Amendment Bill for restoring the power to the states to identify and to enlist the caste (OBC) has opened a fresh debate on the caste-based Census. The caste-based Census was made last time in India before the Independence in the year 1931. After the independence, the first Census was conducted in the year 1951 but the caste-based Census was left since then, in any of the decadal Census in India.

The society in India is deeply fragmented and comprised of 4635 castes and communities. The identity, status as well as share have been conferred upon in accordance with the caste system. Special safeguards as the reservation under the scheme of Mandal Commission were accepted by the country in the year 1990 but there has always been lack of required information in absence of data regarding the backward castes so the basis was made 50-year-old figures of the Census of 1931 that has been a cause of persistent dissatisfaction in the people of the country particularly among OBC.

It is irony that in every Census every house, every cattle, every tree and so on are enumerated but due to the political reasons, Castes-based Census is ill intentionally denied to keep the country uninformed on the data of the castes particularly the number of people belonging to the Backward Classes. The ruling parties in the Union have always played the opaque politics on the caste enumeration. Even the political parties, drawing the strength from Backward Classes have been resorting only to the hide and seek game, occasionally raising the issue to their opportunistic convenience, Otherwise no political party based on the strength of SC / ST or the Backward Classes has been persistent to demand the Caste Census. Some dominating castes from the Backward Classes beneficiaries to the political empowerment, are also apparently exploitative because their castes belonging SC / ST and OBC, want to continue their political monopoly among the Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and other Backward Classes leaving them equally discriminated on account of political disempowerment.

In the year 2011 though Caste Census was separately conducted but the data were never made public with the figures of general Census of 2011 so it is necessary that caste based census should be made as a part of the general Census so that social justice in real sense may be delivered after properly counting the strength of every caste of Backward Class and Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes, so that due and adequate share and representation, proportionate to respective population may be ensured and justice be done to all castes leading to meaningful social and political justice to all in the country.

SDPI stands with those who demand the enumeration of every caste in ensuring Census. It is urgently needed to hold caste-based enumeration throughout India in the Census exercise of 2021.

Issued By

Adv Sarfuddin Amed

National Vice President

Social Democratic Party of India