Caste census recipe for social harmony: Congress : The Tribune India

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Caste census recipe for social harmony: Congress

Caste census recipe for social harmony: Congress

Congress national coordinator for the OBC, SC, ST and minority department and CWC permanent member K Raju, in an interview to The Tribune, said the BJP was afraid of a caste census as it would reveal “whether there is equality among the Hindus”.



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, October 8

The Congress on Sunday said the caste census was a recipe for social harmony rather than divisions, as it would cement all sections among Hindus by enabling them equitable access to development benefits.

Congress national coordinator for the OBC, SC, ST and minority department and CWC permanent member K Raju, in an interview to The Tribune, said the BJP was afraid of a caste census as it would reveal “whether there is equality among the Hindus”.

‘Jitni aabadi utna haq’ idea not restrictive

Rahul Gandhi's ‘jitni aabadi utna haq’ idea is to enable all communities to have fair access to all national wealth. It is enabling, not restrictive. K Raju, CWC permanent member

“We are not dividing the Hindus. We are only providing more cement for all sections within the community to stay together and move forward equitably,” Raju said in response to PM Narendra Modi’s accusations that the Congress and INDIA allies were attempting to “divide the society”. Raju said the BJP-RSS strategy of saffronising all SCs, STs and OBCs under the Hindu fold “sought to hide their deprivations”.

“The caste census will reveal the real picture of what kind of equality there is among the Hindus. The BJP is afraid of this revelation. That’s why they talk of umbrella Hindutva whereas a caste census only seeks to mirror socio-economic inequalities among Hindus,” said Raju.

A Rahul Gandhi confidante, Raju said the Wayanad MP’s ‘jitni aabadi utna haq’ slogan was enabling and not restrictive. “Jitni aabadi utna haq does not restrict a community’s share to its exact proportion in the population. The idea is to enable all communities to have fair access to all national wealth. Asked why the Congress had changed its stance on caste census considering ex-PM Jawaharlal Nehru did not accept the first Backward Class (Kalelkar) Commission report, Indira Gandhi did not implement Mandal Commission report and Rajiv Gandhi opposed Mandal Commission’s implementation, Raju said: “This perception is wrong. Though the Mandal Commission was announced by late Prime Minister VP Singh, the first job under the policy was given during PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government. Also, 27% OBC quota in central educational institutions was implemented under the Congress-led UPA regime in 2008. That law is the reason why you see so many OBC graduates, postgraduates, engineers, doctors today. Our stand on caste census is in line with the past commitment to social justice,” Raju argued amid BJP’s pitch that the Congress is anti-OBC.

On why the UPA did not conduct a caste census with the decennial census when it was in power in 2011, Raju said the caste census demand came up only in 2010 by when the preparations for the 2011 decennial census had concluded.

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