21 October, 2020

So How Do You Want To Carve It?

The government is sitting on the re lease of the caste census data fearing it would open a Pandora’s box

So How Do You Want To Carve It?

A password-protected file with the registrar-general and census commissioner is the best-kept secret in Delhi. Despite a vociferous agitation by the Opposition for the release of the caste census data that should have formed part of the SECC 2011 report, it is yet unclear when the caste numbers will be made public. What is in those numbers that is making the government cautious, and the opposition restless?

Academician and activist for Dalit rights Kancha Ilaiah strongly feels that there is a substantial increase in the backward caste population—that is why the government is dithering about making it public. The obvious casualty is likely to be the 50 per cent reservation cap laid down by the Supreme Court. “The government will have to do away with the cap because when it was laid down no scientific data was available,” he says.

Politically, the BJP perhaps fears that the OBC population in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will organise agitations seeking the release of the data which will be fatal for the ensuing assembly polls in Bihar. These demands for...



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