Congress’ caste census push puts its Kerala unit in a bind

| Updated: 12 October, 2023 2:13 pm IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress’ push for a national caste-based censor has met with its first major opposition – from Kerala. One of its traditional upper-caste influential support groups has vowed to oppose the proposal tooth and nail.

The Nair Service Society (NSS), one of the most prominent community associations in Kerala which has always favored the Congress party electorally, has said that such a reservation system is designed to create divide between different caste groups in the Hindu community.

“Caste-based reservation is an unhealthy system that poses a threat to the nation’s unity and hence leads to a divided society,” it said in a statement.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that caste-based reservation amounts to a violation of Section 15 (1) of the Constitution. The system has proven unscientific as it failed to achieve its goal even 76 years after Independence. However, the respective governments framed policies bypassing the orders of the Supreme Court,” it reads.

The state unit appears treading cautiously on this matter and its leaders remain tight-lipped.

The New Indian contacted Congress national general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and some other senior Congress leaders but they refused to comment.

READ MORE: Caste census across India gets nod from CWC post elections

Congress MP Raj Mohan Unnithan said: “Yes, I am aware of it but it is better to ask KC Venugopal who can give an answer on this matter.”

NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair, in his statement, said that political parties are advocating the caste-based reservations only for vote bank politics and to divide the society on communal lines.

“It (caste-based reservation) triggers racial discrimination and rivalry between various communities eventually leading to communalism. The relaxation in norms in the name of reservation waters down eligibility criteria in the education and job sectors. When the financially sound section in the backward communities enjoys all the benefits of reservation, poor people among them are being pushed back further. Whereas economically weaker sections in forward communities struggle hard,” he said.

He has called upon all to find a suitable alternative to consider everyone as equal irrespective of caste and religion.

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