Most parties favour caste-based census

Posted by on May 6th, 2010 and filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) There was near unanimity among the parties – both ruling and opposition – in the Lok Sabha Thursday on the demand for a caste-based census, with Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) Sharad Yadav warning of a ‘volcanic eruption’ (of backward class people) if this was not done.

The government will reply to the discussion on caste-based enumeration in the Census 2011 Friday, the last day of the budget session of parliament.

The Bharatitya Janata Party (BJP), Left parties, the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) strongly supported the demand for the caste-based census.

Some constituents in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, including the DMK, the National Conference and the Muslim League, were also in agreement.

While some Congress MPs like Sandip Dikshit and Beni Prasad Verma supported the caste-based census, Lal Singh and Bhakta Charan Das said caste-based politics should be avoided.

Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee said his party supported the government’s stand.

Participating in the debate, Sharad Yadav said the caste system ‘is a reality’ in India, and warned that there would be a ‘volcanic eruption’ if the government did not undertake caste-based enumeration in the census.

He said the (backward caste) people were very much anguished over the UPA government’s decision not to a conduct caste-based census in the country.

‘Caste is like a mountain. Nobody can explain the anguish of the (backward) people. This kind of system does not exist anywhere in the world,’ Sharad Yadav said.

Referring to some government documents, he said there is still poor representation of backward caste employees in the higher levels at the President’s Office, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and at least 20 important ministries, including parliamentary affairs, home and mines.

‘I would like to caution you the debate will not end here,’ the JD-U leader said, adding: ‘If the government does not take the demand for the caste-based census seriously, there will be a backlash by the backward community.’

‘Please try to understand 80 percent of people of the country have only 20 percent of the jobs,’ he said.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said even after the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report, backward caste officials in the highest level are not able to command the same respect drawn by the upper caste officials in the same rank.

‘Those who are in the majority, their sentiments should be addressed. People belonging to upper caste should accept it,’ Mulayam Singh said.

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde said ‘not undertaking caste-based census is denying social justice to the OBCs (other backward classes)’.

‘We don’t want anything, at least tell us what is our number,’ he said.

T.K.S. Elangovan of the DMK also supported the demand. ‘This is a necessary step to ensure development of the backward classes,’ he said.

BJD’s B. Mahtab said: ‘Keeping caste out of the census does not mean we can wish away the caste system.’

RJD chief Lalu Prasad demanded a ‘separate column for the OBCs, minorities and SC/STs (Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes) in the (census) form’.

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