New Delhi: Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) MP from Telangana, Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu on Tuesday (August 31) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his “expeditious attention” for the conduct of caste-based census.
Rapolu is the first BJP MP to have openly backed Nitish Kumar’s vocal pitch for caste census.
Meanwhile a delegation of leaders from 10 political parties in Bihar, including RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, HAM’s Jitan Ram Manjhi and VIP’s Mukesh Sahani, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to discuss the issue of conducting a caste-based census.
Kumar said that PM Modi will need now need to take a decision on the caste-based census and thanked him for listing to their demands on it.
“People in Bihar and the entire country are of the same opinion on this issue. We are grateful to the PM for listening to us. Now, he has to take a decision on it,” Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said after the meeting with PM Narendra Modi over caste census.
The Bihar CM has been one of the most vocal supporters for a nationwide census, a demand he has articulated on many occasions.
What is the caste-based census?
The British enumerated caste-wise data in every census beginning 1871.
The last caste census was held in 1941 but the data in the decennial census could not be collated as the Second World War raged across the continents.
So data available for the last caste-wise numeration in India is from the 1931 census.
However, after India got Independence, the government stopped collecting caste-based data on the population OBCs.
Only Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and the population of various minority communities has since been counted.
The Mandal Commission extrapolated the OBC population in India to be approximately 54 percent.
The 27 percent OBC quota is thus pegged at half of the approximate backward population in India.
However, the NSSO 61st Round (July 2004 to June 2005) report on ‘Employment and Unemployment Situation among Social Groups in India’ estimated OBCs constituting 41 per cent of the population.