ANI Photo | ‘Right to Social Security’ act should be made in this country: Ashok Gehlot on caste based census

After the Bihar Government released caste-based census data, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday announced that soon his state would undertake a caste-based census, mirroring the recent initiative undertaken by Bihar.
Gehlot made the announcement during a media interaction following a state party meeting in Jaipur.
Drawing inspiration from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s advocacy for a caste census, Chief Minister Gehlot emphasized the importance of such data in crafting social security policies.
“I always say that the ‘Right to Social Security’ act should be made in this country… If all these laws are made, then who will get benefits and who won’t, who is eligible and who is not, all these things will be clear once a survey is conducted… We are going to do this”, Gehlot stated.
The Bihar government recently released the results of its caste-based survey, revealing that the Other Backward Class (OBC) and Extremely Backward Class (EBC) together account for 63 per cent of the state’s population.
Gehlot explained that the Rajasthan government would proceed with the caste-based census based on a similar approach to Bihar, focusing on proportional participation based on the population.
This move aligns with the broader efforts to ensure equitable distribution of government resources and benefits among various castes and communities.
The decision by Rajasthan to conduct a caste-based census comes after Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also expressed his intention to carry out a similar survey.
Baghel questioned the reluctance of the central government to conduct a nationwide census, particularly in light of the successful initiatives in Bihar and other states.
Baghel said, “Does the BJP not believe that the OBC in Chhattisgarh are more than 43 per cent? Why are they not doing a census?… Why is the census of 2021 not taking place? When there can be a head count, economic survey and Bihar government can do a caste-based survey, why can’t the central government do the census?”
Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav lauded the success of the caste-based survey in Bihar, attributing it to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s leadership.
Yadav expressed hope that other states would follow suit, emphasizing that the central government held the authority to conduct such a census.
In Delhi, RJD MP Manoj Jha commended Bihar’s example and called for a more sensitive society.
He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to welcome the figures, stating that this would contribute to the realization of the vision outlined in the Constitution several decades ago.
Jha said, “Through this survey, Bihar has set an example… Tejashwi Yadav has written that it is not against anyone. It will create a more sensitive society… Further, he insisted that the PM also should welcome the figures. Only then can we achieve the society that was visioned 50-60 years ago in the Constitution.”
The caste-based census initiative has sparked discussions on the importance of data-driven policy-making and social justice in Indian society

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