BSP wants empowerment of all, not just the elite: Sudhindra Bhadoria on caste census

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Updated: September 28, 2021 10:43 AM

Asserting that a caste survey will integrate the society and not divide it, Bhadoria said the BSP wants empowerment of all the castes and not just of the elite. 

Asserting that a caste survey will integrate the society and not divide it, Bhadoria said the BSP wants empowerment of all the castes and not just of the elite. 

Amid the growing chorus for a caste-based census, including voices from within the BJP and its allies, the Bahujan Samaj Party has favoured a caste survey in the country, asserting that castes who are bigger in population, should receive a larger share. 

Speaking to FinancialExpress.com, party’s national spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria said: “As far as our position on the census is concerned, when we were founded, Kashiram Ji and Mayawati Ji jointly raised a slogan – “Jiski jitni Sankhya bhaari, uski utni hissedari” (the larger their numbers, the larger their share). We have been saying that if they are more in numbers, they should receive a larger share.”

Asserting that a caste survey will integrate the society and not divide it, Bhadoria said the BSP wants empowerment of all the castes and not just of the elite. 

He also said that the caste system should be abolished gradually along with the development once the backward communities have been empowered. “This glass ceiling has to be removed. Everybody should be given an opportunity to rise,” he said. 

In August this year, BSP supremo Mayawati had said that her party would support the Centre in Parliament and outside it if the government started taking “positive steps” towards conducting a census of Other Backward Classes.

Earlier this month, she expressed grave concern over the Central government’s “refusal” for caste census of backward classes and said it exposed the BJP of using the community only for its electoral interests. 

Mayawati’s reaction comes after the Centre told the Supreme Court that caste Census of backward classes is “administratively difficult and cumbersome” and excluding such information from the purview of Census is a “conscious policy decision”.

Ever since the Centre told the Parliament that it would not conduct a caste census, it sparked a political debate with several parties stressing the need for a caste census. 

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Nitish Kumar, an alliance partner of the BJP in Bihar, led a 10-member all-party delegation from the state to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the demand for conducting a caste survey in the country. 

A countrywide exercise to count the population of all caste groups was last conducted in 1931. In 1941, data on castes was collected but not published, according to The Indian Express. In independent India, Census reports have published data noting the population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, but not other caste groups.

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