Representatives of all parties met the Prime Minister on 23 August for talks on the need for a caste-based census. Leader of CPIML legislative party Mahboob Alam was the party representative in the talks and apprised the Prime Minister of his arguments in favour of a caste-based census.
Mahboob Alam said that no census has been conducted after 1931, whereas there have been huge changes in the structure of society in this period. A caste-based census is essential in order to make reservation and schemes related to the upliftment of dalits/OBCs meaningful and rational. Till date there is 50% reservation for this section. But social scientists believe that this section comprises about 70% or even more of the population. Therefore the population dalit/OBC communities can be accurately fixed and reservation and government schemes made accordingly only if a caste census is done.
He further said that this caste census should be conducted among all religious communities. It is not as if the caste system does not exist in the Muslim community. About 1 crore Surjapuri population residing in Seemanchal is considered by the Bihar government to be within the OBC ambit, but does not find place anywhere in the Central government list, causing this large section to be deprived of government schemes. Therefore it is right that caste census of all religious communities should be done without discrimination.
Mahboob Alam said that the Prime Minister heard the views of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav and leaders from all other parties with seriousness. We trust that after this meeting with the Prime Minister, positive steps will be taken in the direction of a caste-based census.