Equal opportunity can only stem after caste census is done: Congress

He stressed the necessity for comprehensive data collection to gauge asset ownership and representation across democratic institutions.

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Courtesy: INC

New Delhi: In a significant assertion, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh emphasized the imperative need for a caste census as the sole means to ensure equitable opportunities for all citizens of India. Ramesh underscored the longstanding socio-economic reality of caste dynamics in Indian society, acknowledging the persisting challenges of caste-based discrimination and its enduring impact on individuals' lives.

Caste census for equitable economic growth

Ramesh articulated that the inclusion of a caste census, alongside assessments of national assets and governance systems, is essential to foster a more equitable distribution of economic growth. He stressed the necessity for comprehensive data collection to gauge asset ownership and representation across democratic institutions, thereby facilitating informed policymaking aimed at fostering inclusive development.

Urgent call for updated census data

Highlighting the absence of recent data due to the postponement of the 2021 Census by the Modi Government, Ramesh lamented the dearth of updated information crucial for informed decision-making. He underscored the critical role of census data in shaping policies geared towards addressing socio-economic disparities and ensuring fair representation, particularly for marginalized communities.

"Hissedari Nyay" initiative

In tandem with Ramesh's advocacy, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge unveiled the "Hissedari Nyay" (Participatory Justice) initiative, aimed at addressing widening socio-economic disparities exacerbated under the Modi administration. Kharge underscored the alarming rise in income inequality, stressing the urgent need for a comprehensive socio-economic and caste census to inform targeted interventions aimed at fostering inclusive growth.

Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC)

Ramesh shed light on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) conducted in 2011, covering 25 crore households, which yielded crucial data on caste dynamics and socio-economic parameters. However, he lamented the government's failure to publish caste-related data, underscoring its significance in crafting effective welfare policies and ensuring equitable distribution of reservation benefits.

Bridging data gaps for inclusive policy formulation

Echoing Ramesh's sentiments, Kharge emphasized the indispensable role of caste census data in promoting social justice and equitable development. He stressed the need for disaggregated data to ascertain the efficacy of affirmative action policies and address disparities in accessing opportunities arising from economic growth.

Towards inclusive development

As Congress champions the call for a comprehensive caste census, coupled with socio-economic assessments, it seeks to chart a course towards more inclusive development. By bridging data gaps and advocating for participatory justice, Congress aims to address entrenched socio-economic disparities and pave the way for a more equitable India.