Kerala to have 168 forward castes

The sub-castes among forward caste Hindus and Christians may soon be treated as castes, taking the number of forward castes in the State to 168. These include 149 castes from the Hindu community and 19 from Christians.

Earlier, there were 84 castes and 90 sub-castes in the forward communities. The Kerala State Commission for Economically Backward Classes among Forward Communities had drawn up the draft caste list the other day. These communities together account for 27.73% of the State population.

Response from public

The panel had earlier sought response from the public to finalise the list of forward caste communities that were out of caste-based reservation.

The panel decided to consider the sub-castes in the Hindu and Christian communities as full-fledged castes to solve confusion over classification.

At present, there are 70 sub-castes among the forward caste Hindu communities, including 24 in the Nair community. The Nair sub-castes include Menon, Pillai, Unnithan, and Shudra. There are 13 Brahmin sub-castes, including Namboothiri, Potti, and Bhattathiri, 14 in Ambalavasis, eight in Nedungadis, and six in Kshatriyas.

The 20 sub-castes among the forward caste Christians include converted Syrian Christians, CSI, Marthoma, Pentecost, and Jacobite.


Some Hindu sub-caste members objected to being classified under some particular caste and wanted to be marked as sub-caste of some other castes, said V.M. Gopala Menon, member-secretary of the commission.

The commission also fixed annual income of ₹8 lakh as the ceiling for identifying the economically weaker sections among the forward castes.

The panel is understood to be in favour of an extensive survey to find out the representation of these communities in State service.

It may also recommend that all benefits enjoyed by the Other Backward Communities be extended to these communities. The State should extend financial support for marrying off girls of these castes and offer assistance to its members for pursuing higher education, and identifying self-employment opportunities.

The draft list of forward caste needs to be approved by the State government. A gazette notification is also required since no authentic data on forward castes are available. After the latest amendment to the Constitution, these castes are eligible for 10% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:59:10 PM |

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