Citing the Patna High Court's endorsement of the Bihar caste census as both "legally sound" and "competently launched," Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati asked on Wednesday (9 August) when Uttar Pradesh will embark on a similar process.
"In light of the Patna High Court's complete validation of Bihar's governmental caste census, intended to accurately assess the socio-economic state of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community and formulate a corresponding development scheme, attention is now riveted on the onset of this pivotal procedure in Uttar Pradesh," she posted on X.
While targeting the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh for not conducting a caste census while multiple states across the nation are doing it, Mayawati raised a demand to conduct a nationwide caste census by the central government.
Asserting her perspective, the BSP president articulated, "The discourse surrounding caste-based census is not just a matter of political significance, but one of social justice, analogous to the implementation of the Mandal Commission's recommendations. Such an evaluation is imperative to integrate the marginalized, feeble, disregarded, and oppressed sections of society into the mainstream, enabling them to partake in the nation's progress."
Granting a boost to the Bihar administration, the Patna High Court dismissed a cluster of petitions on 1 August that contested the survey's legitimacy. The survey had been sanctioned in 2022 and commenced earlier this year.
The Patna High Court bench averred, "We deem the state's actions entirely legitimate, commenced with due proficiency, with the valid goal of ensuring development in conjunction with justice."
This judgment from the high court was contested in the Supreme Court. On Monday, the apex court declined to halt the verdict, thereby greenlighting the caste survey in Bihar, while postponing the hearing on petitions challenging it until 14 August.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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