MP Gaurav Gogoi pushes for Bihar-like caste census in Assam

GUWAHATI | Updated: 08 October, 2023 2:23 pm IST
Congress Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi demanded for a caste census in Assam, possibly making the Himanta government nervy

GUWAHATI: Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi has pushed for a caste census in the state in the line of Bihar. The MP delivered a speech at “General Field” Golaghat on the occasion of the seventh annual convention of the TAIPA central committee and talked about the need for a caste census in the state.

“I am happy with Rajasthan pushing for a caste census. Bihar is already doing it. To know, where we have improved as a community, it is not possible to know without a census. Without this data, we will be working without a vision. I also demand that we have a census for different castes and communities in Assam. If we have a proper census like Bihar, we will know how much work we have to do for each community,” said Gaurav Gogoi.

 

The MP further raised that policy implementation will be more effective with a proper caste census. “We can take several policies and schemes and we can open various colleges, but how many government jobs have we been able to give various communities? I am hopeful, like Rajasthan and Bihar, we will be able to have a similar census in Assam,” added Gaurav Gogoi.

Gaurav’s push for a caste census has seen backing from regional parties such as the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP). The New Indian spoke to Ziaur Rahman, AJP Spokesperson who also agreed that a similar census will profit communities in policy implementation. “At a micro level, such a census will profit deprived communities in policy building. We will also be able to know about the socio-economic condition, which is difficult to ascertain from a population census,” added Rahman.

READ: Assam’s indigenous Muslim communities back socio-economic survey

As per the Tribal Development Plan report of the Neer Nirmal Pariyojana, Assam, initiative, the tribal population is 38,84,371, which is 12.4 per cent of the total population of the state. The tribal in Assam constitute 3.72 per cent of the total tribal population of the country. The State has registered 17.4 per cent decadal growth of tribal population in 2001-2011 which is slightly higher than the overall decadal growth for the state.

Assam is an ethnically diverse state with different languages, traditions and cultural practices; it is the melting pot of a large number of ethnic tribes and races, which have infused richness in the cultural tapestry of Assam. Major tribes of Assam are: Bodo (35.1 per cent), Mishing (17.52 per cent), Karbi (11.1 per cent), Rabha (7.6 per cent), Sonowal Kachari (6.5 per cent), Lalung (5.2 per cent), Garo (4.2 per cent), and Dimasa tribes (3.2 per cent). They constitute 90 per cent of the ST population of the state. The other tribal people in Assam are Deori, Hajong, Thengal Kachari, Khasi, Jaintia, Mech, Chakma, Mizo, Hmar, Kuki tribes, Naga tribes, Barmans (in Cachar), Man (Tai speaking), Khampti and Singhpho tribes. The spatial distribution of tribal population in Assam could be broadly classified under two groups: Hill tribes and Plain tribes.

According to the 2011 national census, Other Backward Classes comprise 25 per cent of the entire populace while Scheduled Castes comprise 7.15 per cent. The census also mentions that General category people comprise 54 per cent of the populace.

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