Sat. May 18th, 2024

The Bihar government has released data from a controversial caste-based survey, revealing that nearly 63.1 percent of the state’s population belongs to backward classes. Additionally, almost 85 percent of the population belongs to either a backward or extremely backward class, or a Scheduled Caste / Tribe. The survey shows that 36 percent of the state belongs to an extremely backward class, 27.1 percent to a backward class, 19.7 percent to a Scheduled Caste, and 1.7 percent to a Scheduled Tribe. The general category, including upper castes, accounts for 15.5 percent of the population.

The report also highlights the minority status of Muslims in Bihar, who make up less than 18 percent of the population, while Hindus account for 82 percent. These numbers indicate a slight increase in the Muslim population from the 2011 Census.

The survey further reveals that the Yadav community, to which Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav belongs, is the largest sub-group, accounting for 14.27 percent of all OBC categories. Kushwahas and Kurmis form 4.27 and 2.87 percent of the population, respectively. Brahmins constitute just 3.66 percent of Bihar’s population.

The data from the caste survey holds significant electoral importance, particularly as the Lok Sabha elections approach next year. The OBCs and marginalized communities have been crucial in influencing electoral outcomes, with the BJP gaining OBC votes at the expense of the Congress over the past five Lok Sabha polls. In 2014, the BJP received 44 percent of the OBC vote, compared to just 15 percent for the Congress. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led NDA coalition won 39 out of Bihar’s 40 seats, partly due to their appeal to OBC voters.

However, despite the electoral significance of OBC communities, representation in positions of power has not always matched their population share. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi highlighted the underrepresentation of OBCs in the Indian government, noting that only three out of 90 Secretaries belong to this group. In fact, comparing the Bihar Assembly in 2015 to the one in 2020, there has been a decline in OBC and EBC MLAs from 48.6 percent to 40.7 percent, while MLAs from upper castes have increased from 23.9 percent to 29.2 percent.

The Bihar caste survey report also sheds light on the importance of OBC and EBC communities for political parties across the country, particularly in states with upcoming elections such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Telangana. OBC households account for a significant proportion of the population in these states.

The release of the Bihar caste survey report has sparked controversy and drawn battle lines between the ruling BJP and opposition parties. The INDIA bloc, advocating for a national caste census, has been strengthened by the report. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the issue, criticized those attempting to divide the country along caste lines.

In conclusion, the Bihar caste survey report provides crucial insights into the demographics and political dynamics of the state. The data highlights the significance of OBC and marginalized communities in elections and underscores the need for better representation in positions of power.

By admin