In this article, we will discuss Need for Caste Census. So, let’s get started.
Need For Caste Census
- Benefit in Policy Making: The purpose of a caste census is not merely geared to the reservation issue; a caste census would actually bring to the fore the large number of issues that any democratic country needs to attend to, particularly the number of people who are at the margins, or who are deprived, or the kind of occupations they pursue.
- A caste census, which will generate exhaustive data will allow policymakers to develop better policies, implementation strategies, and will also enable a more rational debate on sensitive issues.
- Also Reveal Privileged Section of Society: Caste is not only a source of disadvantage; it is also a very important source of privilege and advantage in our society.
- We have to stop thinking of caste as being applicable to only disadvantaged people, poor people, people who are somehow lacking.
- The opposite is even more true: caste has produced advantages for certain communities, and these also need to be recorded.
- Caste Has Important Position in Indian Society: While census data has been captured for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, religions and linguistic profiles, there has been no profiling of all castes in India since 1931.
- Since then, caste has assumed an increasingly important position in our lives, and our reliance on inadequate data has also increased.
- To Address Prevalent Inequalities: Unequal distribution of wealth, resources and education has meant an acute shortage of purchasing power among the majority of Indians.
- As a democratic nation, we cannot forcibly overthrow the system, but we need to address it in a democratic, scientific and objective manner.
- Constitutional Mandate: Our Constitution too favours conducting a caste census. Article 340 mandates the appointment of a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes and make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by governments.
- To Burst the Myths: There are a lot of myths which actually deprive a large number of people, particularly on the margins.
- Let’s take the case of Karnataka. For a long time, there were claims that among the castes, the Lingayats are the most numerous.
- But a lot of other studies have brought out that this may not be true, and these kinds of myths lead to the argument that given that this is a caste which is numerous, it has to be constantly placated. These myths can be debunked through a caste census.
- Reduce Inclusion and Exclusion Errors: With accurate data of castes, most backward castes can be identified.
- Some have benefited so much across the years, while there are people in this country who have not benefited at all.
- The Supreme court has time and again asked governments to provide the data related to castes; however, this has not been possible due to the non-availability of such data.
- As a result, our national life suffers from mutual mistrust and misconceptions among different castes.
- All such commissions have had to rely on data from the last caste census (1931).