By – Prakarsh Kastwar

According to figures from the Hukum Singh committee, which was established in 2001, OBCs are thought to make up more than 50% of the state’s population in Uttar Pradesh. With a 19.40% representation, Yadavs are the largest OBC caste. There is a need for a census of castes.

According to estimations derived from the data used by the Hukum Singh committee, which was established by the state government in 2001, other backward classes (OBCs) in Uttar Pradesh are expected to make up more than 50% of the state’s total population amid the clamor for a caste census.

According to the same data, Yadavs are the largest of the major OBC castes with a 19.40% share, followed by Kurmis and Patels with 7.4%.

While the entire OBC population is made up of 4.3% Nishads, Mallahs, and Kevats, 2.4% Bhars and Rajbhars, 4.8% Lodhs, and 3.6% Jats.

Even though there was no reliable information on the caste makeup of the OBC population after the 1931 Census, a committee headed by Hukum Singh, the state’s then minister for parliamentary affairs, estimated that there were 7.56 crore OBCs living in the state in 2001 using family registers (maintained in rural areas). The OBC population may have made up more than 50% of the state’s 16.61 crore population, according to the 2001 census, if the average percentage of the population living in urban areas, 20.78%, is also taken into account.

After the Mandal Commission report’s implementation, the Hukum Singh committee focused on the concerns surrounding the most disadvantaged classes’ (MBCs) quota within the 27% allotted to OBCs.

“Yes, based on the Mandal Commission and Hukum Singh committee reports, the possibility of an OBC population share of more than 50% in the state cannot be ruled out,” said Prashant Trivedi, associate professor at Giri Institute of Development Studies in Lucknow. According to the Mandal Commission, the OBC population in the country is 52.2%, he stated.

As the politics around MBCs gained traction, the Yogi Adityanath government decided in 2018 to form another social justice committee led by Justice Raghvendra Kumar in response to the demand for MBC quotas inside the OBC quota.

In October 2018, the Justice Raghvendra Kumar Committee delivered its approximately 400-page report. The OBCs were divided into three groups by the committee: backward classes, more backward classes, and most backward classes.

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar and others increased pressure on the issue because no real action was made to offer quotas to MBCs under quotas for OBCs. Rajbhar had left the Yogi Adityanath government in 2019. He ran in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in coalition with the Samajwadi Party. Rajbhar has rejoined the BJP, and there are reports that he may be re-inducted into Yogi Adityanath’s government ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

INDIA, a coalition of opposition parties, has backed the call for a caste census. In a post on X (previously Twitter) on Monday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav urged the BJP administration should stop politics and conduct a nationwide caste census. Anil Yadav, organization secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, stated that the Bihar caste census report would expose the BJP’s attempts to distract attention and diminish the demand for a caste census.

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