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Even critics of reservation should support census

  • Published
    5th Dec, 2023

Context:

Caste census is relevant and necessary for any well-designed policy to reduce social inequality.

The Need for Caste Census

  • Prima Facie Condition: Caste is acknowledged as a societal issue, demanding investigation for eradication and equality.
  • Multi-Dimensional Insight: A caste census provides a comprehensive socio-economic profile crucial for informed policymaking.
  • Legal Imperative: The absence of caste-based data contradicts affirmative action, hindering effective review of reservation policies.

Feasibility and Potential Benefits

  • Bihar's Example: Bihar's successful caste census demonstrates feasibility and challenges the perceived difficulty.
  • Minimal Additional Cost: Integrating caste enumeration with the general census incurs a negligible cost, as Bihar exemplifies.
  • Side Effects Consideration: While concerns about heightened caste consciousness exist, potential benefits outweigh limited side effects.

Concerns

  • Multi-Dimensional Social Justice: Present caste census as part of a broader ideology, encompassing gender, class, and location considerations.
  • Cross-Party Consensus: Seek bipartisan support to depoliticize the caste census issue for effective implementation.
  • Addressing Caste Cleavages: Articulate the demand quietly, emphasizing benefits and mitigating potential side effects to ensure societal cohesion.
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