13 Aug, 2010, 08.00AM IST,ET Bureau

Take up caste census now: OBC leaders

NEW DELHI: The Opposition and OBC parties on Thursday mounted pressure
on the Manmohan Singh government to take up the caste headcount in the
second phase of the census exercise, instead of the biometric stage.

After an uproar led by the members belonging to the OBC in the Lok
Sabha, leaders of BJP, SP, JD-U, RJD and BSP met finance minister
Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram. They told the
ministers that taking up caste census in the biometric stage would
defeat the purpose as it would be a long-drawn process.

According to sources, the two leaders said that they will place the
proposal of caste enumeration during the second phase before the
Cabinet. The Opposition is confident that the government will find it
difficult to turn down its demand on the premise that it cannot afford
to anger ‘Backward Classes’.

While responding to members’ allegations in the House that the
government was trying to “befool” the people, Mr Mukherjee said that
the modalities of caste enumeration had not been decided. He said the
Group of Ministers (GoM) looking into the demand for a caste-based
census had agreed to go ahead with it, but the final decision on “how
and when” will have to be taken by the Cabinet.

The members of the ‘social justice’ parties were on their feet as soon
as Speaker Meira Kumar finished reading obituary references after the
House met for the day. JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, SP supremo Mulayam
Singh Yadav, BSP MP Dara Singh Chauhan and RJD leader Lalu Prasad
alleged that the government was trying to delay the caste headcount
exercise by including it in the biometric phase, which was a
“long-drawn” process. “This exercise cannot be completed in 100 years.
The decision to hand out voter identity cards was taken 15 years ago
and has not been implemented completely,” Mr Sharad Yadav said.

Despite repeated pleas by the Speaker to take up the issue during zero
hour, the members continued with the uproar and started approaching
the well of the House. The Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

When the House was reconvened, Mr Mukherjee, who headed the GoM, said
it was decided that caste will be canvassed without affecting the
integrity of the headcount. “The decision on the mechanism will have
to be taken formally. The decision will be taken by the Cabinet. When
the Cabinet meets and takes a decision, we will inform you,” he said.

The ministerial panel had on Wednesday recommended that caste
information can be recorded in the last stage of Census 2011 when
biometric information will be gathered. The biometric parameters
include photographs, fingerprints and iris-mapping of citizens which
will be collected for the NPR to create a multi-purpose unique
identity card. The first stage of the census — the household and
family survey — which began on April one is nearly over and the second
phase has begun.


Get all ZESTCaste mails sent out in a span of 24 hours in a single mail. 
Subscribe to the daily digest version by sending a blank mail to, OR, if you have a Yahoo! Id, change your 
settings at

On this list you can share caste news, discuss caste issues and network with 
like-minded anti-caste people from across India and the world. Just write to 

If you got this mail as a forward, subscribe to ZESTCaste by sending a blank 
mail to OR, if you have a Yahoo! ID, by 

Also have a look at our sister list, ZESTMedia:! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

Reply via email to