‘Not against it’: RSS clarifies stance on nationwide caste-based census | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Not against it’: RSS clarifies stance on nationwide caste-based census

Dec 22, 2023 04:50 AM IST

On Tuesday, Shridhar Ghadge, who heads the RSS’s Vidarbha unit,had said the organisation does not support the demand of a nationwide caste census

Two days after its senior functionary said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) does not support the demand for a nationwide caste census, the organisation’s publicity in-charge, Anand Ambedkar, on Thursday clarified that the Sangh is not against caste-based enumeration but wants such an exercise to be used for achieving “overall development of society”.

A demand for nationwide caste census has been aggressively put forth by the Congress-led INDIA bloc (HT File photo)
A demand for nationwide caste census has been aggressively put forth by the Congress-led INDIA bloc (HT File photo)

Read here: Caste survey will do no good, will aggravate inequality: RSS

On Tuesday, Shridhar Ghadge, who heads the RSS’s Vidarbha unit,had said the organisation does not support the demand of a nationwide caste census, which, he added, would exacerbate societal inequalities in the country.

“We do not see any benefits in it [caste census], instead only harm. It is the root of inequality and we have a clear stand that there should be no inequality, enmity or quarrel,” Ghadge had said, while addressing Maharashtra ministers and legislators from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena.

The remarks of the senior functionary of the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, put the ruling party in a peculiar situation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, especially since Union home minister Amit Shah has categorically said the BJP has “never opposed the idea of caste census”.

Clearing the air on Thursday, Ambedkar said: “Sangh is not against caste census, but such an exercise should be used to achieve overall development of society while ensuring that no harm is caused to social harmony and unity.”

He added: “We believe the caste census must be used for all-encompassing progress of society, and all stakeholders must ensure that social harmony and integrity are not disturbed.”

A demand for nationwide caste census has been aggressively put forth by the Congress-led INDIA bloc, hoping it could pose a challenge to the BJP in the general elections next summer by fracturing its rainbow Hindu coalition, especially among other backward classes. OBC leaders from various political parties have been advocating for a caste-based census, especially after a similar exercise was recently done in Bihar.

Read here: RSS opposes caste census, says it will aggravate inequality

“RSS has been continuously working towards creating a Hindu society free of discrimination, based on harmony and social justice. While acknowledging historical disparities, the RSS fully supports measures taken by several governments for the progress and empowerment of marginalised sections,” Ambekar added.

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