Inclusion of caste in 2011 Census gets support

Arguing strongly for the inclusion of caste in the 2011 Census, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said he failed to understand the opposition to this move which will help governments at the Centre and States frame realistic policies to provide social justice.

“Caste is a reality in India, a reality we have not yet measured. Although the ideal of a casteless society is a wish-list, we can't merely wish away the ground realities regarding caste,” said Mr. Singh.

He was speaking at a meeting organised in the Capital on Thursday by the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, and Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy.

Mr. Singh said the country still depended on the 1931 census for data on castes, but this was incomplete as it did not include the population living in the princely States.

Delivering the presidential address, CPI national secretary D. Raja said he believed the caste census will furnish the country with solid data and facts that will help it in fighting the caste system. “We are in a transitory period to a casteless society and there are challenges to overcome. Those who think the caste census will fragment society forget that it is already fragmented on the basis of caste, class and religion.”

An open letter to the Group of Ministers advocating inclusion of caste in the census signed by a number of eminent citizens including National Backward Classes Commission chairman Justice M. N. Rao, former Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India M. Vijayanunni, Prof. Satish Deshpande of the Delhi School of Economics and Prof. Valerian Rodrigues of the Jawaharlal Nehru University was released on the occasion.

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