K.P.M. Basheer

To bring out its strengths and weaknesses

To record various facets of the community

Sachar panel report is the inspiration

KOCHI: Inspired by the Sachar committee report which brought out the abysmal social, economic and educational conditions of Muslims in the country, the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam has launched a comprehensive socio-economic survey of the Ezhava community in the State.

Said to be for the first time by an individual religious community in Kerala, the survey is aimed at bringing out the demographic, social, economic, health and educational profiles of the Ezhavas, one of the major backward communities and the largest Hindu caste in the State.

“The survey will bring out the real picture of the Ezhavas,” Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan told The Hindu. “The data will be tool in the realisation of our goal of becoming an empowered community in Kerala’s political and social spheres.”

He agreed that the Sachar committee report, which was commissioned by the Central government, was one of the inspirations for the Ezhava survey. He said the Sachar report was now being used as evidence for Muslims’ backwardness in their demands for community-specific programmes and projects.

“We want to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of our community,” Mr. Natesan said. “The strengths — such as the population size of the community — will be projected to make the Ezhavas as a strong political pressure group.” The community’s weaknesses that would be thrown up by the survey — such as educational backwardness — would be used to bargain for more educational and employment concessions. The data would also be used as a guideline for formulating welfare and empowerment programmes by the Yogam. “We need to find out our minus points so that we can correct them and address our backwardness,” he said.

Mr. Natesan asserted that political ambition — in that the survey results would be used for the community’s political bargaining — was clearly an important objective of the survey, but he ruled out any plan to launch an Ezhava political party.