‘Enumeration of OBCs will ensure equality in implementing govt. schemes’

Forum says the OBCs constitute 52% of the total population in India, but they have not been included as a category in census for 90 years

November 02, 2022 06:39 pm | Updated 06:42 pm IST - MADURAI

S. Nagarathinam, coordinator of MBC/DNT Communities Joint Forum for Social Justice, addressing the media in Madurai on Wednesday.

S. Nagarathinam, coordinator of MBC/DNT Communities Joint Forum for Social Justice, addressing the media in Madurai on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

By refusing to extend what the Constitution guaranteed to people belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) no government would take India on the path of development, said S. Nagarathnam, coordinator of MBC/DNT Communities Joint Forum for Social Justice, on Wednesday.

Addressing press persons here, he said the Union government had not included OBCs as a category in census for the past 90 years. According to Mandal Commission report of 1980, the OBCs constituted 52% of the total population in India, but their living condition was pathetic, he said.

“There are about 80 crore OBC people who have been kept underdeveloped since Independence. Neither political parties who come into power nor courts stand by our side,” charged P. Thavamani Devi, Forum’s State treasurer.

The Forum members said caste enumeration was done without errors between 1872 and 2011, in which the details of 1,200 Scheduled Castes and 705 Scheduled Tribes were collected. In that case, doing the same for 2,479 other backward castes or communities should not be difficult, they added.

Suggesting addition of a “simple top-down menu of Central/State OBC lists to Column 13 of Census Schedule, which should arrest all errors,” they said as the 2021 Census was a paperless exercise, any change was possible without much difficulties.

“They can also make use of the advancement in data science, Big Data, and detailed recommendations for population census issued by the United Nations to ensure error-free census,” said Mr. Nagarathnam.

M. Palanisamy, Forum’s organiser, said the census thus taken would yield volumes of rich, accurate data for discharging constitutional mandate and good governance. “It will ensure that government schemes are implemented in an equitable manner and that targeted policies are devised to build a strong nation,” he added.

“Otherwise, the future generations of OBCs will also remain in the backward sphere of society,” Ms. Devi said, adding the census would make the socio-economic status of OBCs clear for policy-makers.

They appealed to the Centre to take immediate steps to conduct caste-wise census for an inclusive society to prevail.

The members noted that they would organise a conference in Chennai on November 27 and 28 if the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court did not rule in their favour in a case filed in this regard.

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