Still away from the upcoming General Election of 2024, the Bihar government on Monday released its caste survey report and said “it’s only a compiled data and no analysis of it has been done yet”. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the survey team while Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav termed the occasion as a “historic moment”.
The report which only revealed the caste composition in the State said the Other Backward Class (OBC) population in the State is 27.1286% while, the Extremely Backward Class (EBC) comprises 36.0148%. The Scheduled Caste population in Bihar is at 19.6518% while the Scheduled Tribe population is 1.6824% even as the General Caste population stands at 15.5224%. The report also revealed that Hindus comprise 81.9986% of the population while the Muslim share is at 17.7088%.
The survey report, titled Bihar Jaati Adharit Ganana (Bihar caste based survey), has also said that total population in the state is 13 crore. Among the Other Backward Class group, the Yadavas comprises 14.26% while the Kushwaha and Kurmi castes forms 4.27% and 2.87% respectively.
The caste survey had 17-point socio-economic indicators, including caste. It was completed in a three phased exercise in August this year with around 2.64 lakh enumerators documenting the details of 29 million registered households. The 214 castes mentioned in the survey were allotted different individual codes.
“Today on the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the data of the caste based census conducted in Bihar has been published. Many congratulations to the entire team engaged in the work of caste based enumeration. The proposal for the caste based survey was passed unanimously in the State legislature,” CM Nitish Kumar said on X (formerly Twitter) as he congratulated the survey team. “All nine political parties of the State assembly will now be called for a meeting to apprise them about the caste based survey report,” Mr Kumar further said.
Bihar has set an example before the country: Tejashwi Yadav
Deputy Chief Minister, and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Tejashwi Yadav said, “Bihar once again became witness of a historic moment with the compilation of caste based survey data and its release thereafter in such a short time. Bihar has now drawn a long line and set an example before the country. What has happened in Bihar today, shall have its voice heard tomorrow across the whole country. And tomorrow is not far ahead. Bihar once again has shown light to the country.”
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar said it was never against the caste survey. “The BJP has always been in favour of the caste survey, said senior state BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh.
The Bihar Government launched a two-phase caste survey on January 7. The survey recorded the economic status of families alongside their caste, and has estimatedly collected socio-economic data for a population of 12.70 crore in the 38 districts of Bihar.
The Union Government in 2011 had undertaken a survey of castes through the Socio-Economic and Caste Census of 2011 (SECC-2011). However, the data was never made public.