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Days after Modi Gov’t Refuses Caste-Based Census in India, BJP-Ally Reiterates the Demand

© AFP 2023 / SAJJAD HUSSAINA demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Dalit Lives Matter' (File)
A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Dalit Lives Matter' (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.07.2021
The last caste census in India was conducted 90 years ago, in 1931. However, in 2011, the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government conducted a Socioeconomic Caste Census to get data on the caste and economic status of every household in the country. The data was made public in 2015, but the caste information was withheld, citing disparity.
Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led federal government of India informed the parliament that it will not enumerate the population caste-wise, other than Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), in a census, its allies have repeated the demand for a caste-based census, saying that it is important for the development of the country.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are among the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups in India.
Taking to Twitter, former state chief of India’s Bihar tweeted: “If there can be a census of snakes, tigers, goats in the country, then why not the castes? The caste Census is necessary for the development of the country".
“It needs to be found which caste has how much population and how much share it has in the government”, he added.
​Earlier, Bihar state chief Nitish Kumar also reaffirmed his demand for a caste-based census on Saturday and said it would help in planning welfare schemes for the poor, in addition to Dalits.
He tweeted: “We believe that [a] caste-based census should be done. The Bihar Legislature unanimously passed a resolution to this effect on 18.02.19 and again on 27.02.20 by the Bihar Legislative Assembly and it was sent to the Central Government. The central government should reconsider this”.
​Expressing disappointment over the decision by the federal government of India, Janata Dal-United, an ally of the BJP in the state as well as the federal government, General Secretary K. C. Tyagi told the media that a resolution demanding a caste-based census might be passed during a meeting of the party’s national executive slated for 31 July in India’s capital Delhi.
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