The Nitish Kumar government’s long-awaited caste survey results are now available. In Bihar, the Extremely Backward Classes make up the largest social group (36% of the total population), followed by the Other Backward Classes (27.13%).
The two groups together make up 63% of the state’s overall population, which was just over 13.07 crore at the time. Of the total, the general group makes up 15.52%.
The population is made up of 81.99 percent Hindus, 17.7 percent Muslims, 0.05 percent Christians, 0.01 percent Sikhs, 0.08 percent Buddhists, and 0.12 percent members of other religions.
According to the caste study, the Kushwaha and Kurmi communities make up 4.27 percent and 2.87 percent of the population, respectively. Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, is a member of the Kurmi ethnic group.
Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, commended the entire team involved in the caste-based enumeration project and said that the survey not only identified castes but also provided information on everyone’s economic situation.
“Today, on the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the data of the caste-based census conducted in Bihar has been published. Many congratulations to the entire team engaged in the work of caste-based enumeration!” Bihar CM posted on ‘X’.
“The proposal for caste-based enumeration was passed unanimously in the Legislature. It was decided with the consent of all 9 parties of the Bihar Assembly that the state government will conduct a caste-based census from its own resources and its approval was given by the Council of Ministers on June 6, 2022. On this basis, the state government has conducted a caste-based census from its own resources,” he said.
Hours after the Bihar caste survey was released, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi once again reiterated his demand for caste statistics at the national level.
“The caste census of Bihar has revealed that OBC (other backward classes), SC and STs are 84 per cent there. Out of 90 secretaries of the Central Government, only three are OBCs, who handle only 5 per cent of India’s budget,” Rahul Gandhi wrote on X.
“Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India. The greater the population, the greater the rights – this is our pledge,” the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said.
After the Narendra Modi administration at the Centre made it plain that it would not be able to conduct a headcount of castes other than SCs and STs as part of the census, the Nitish government ordered the survey last year.
The state government was accused by the BJP of exploiting the survey to inflame caste divisions and gain political advantage ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the 2025 state assembly elections.
The decision had been contested in both the Supreme Court and the High Court.
The Centre had argued before the Supreme Court that only the central government has the authority to conduct censuses or any other actions similar to censuses.
According to Nitish Kumar, the state is not conducting a caste census; rather, it is just gathering data on people’s economic situation and caste so that the government can take specific actions to better serve them.
The survey has been completed, and data will be made public soon, Nitish Kumar had stated on August 25.
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