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TN Assembly Resolution Urges Centre for Caste-Based Census

TN Assembly Resolution Urges Centre for Caste-Based Census

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NEW DELHI, June 26: The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Union government to conduct a caste-based census all over the country along with the general population census.

The resolution moved by the chief minister MK Stalin, said, “This House considers that a caste-based population census is essential to formulate policies in order to ensure equal rights and equal opportunities in education, economy and employment to every citizen of India. This House, therefore, unanimously urges the Union government to commence the census work immediately, which has been due from 2021, along with a caste-based population census, this time.”

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) member R. Arul, who spoke during the debate, however, said he would not agree with the Chief Minister’s resolution as the State government itself could conduct a caste-based census.

Law Minister S. Regupathy explained that though the State government could undertake the exercise of a caste-based census under the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, the Census Act could override this.

Earlier, addressing the House, Mr Stalin recalled the letter he had written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2023, demanding a caste-based census along with the general census. “The decisions and acts of a State government can get legal protection only if they are done on the basis of data collected by the Centre. If State governments collect data through surveys, these may be stayed by the courts in the future,” he reasoned.

Mr Stalin said as per section 3 of the Census Act, only the Union government could conduct a census. He said though there was an argument that a State government could conduct a caste-based census as per the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, this Act actually only allowed the collection of data on socio-economic conditions.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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