PM Narendra Modi, while addressing his rally at Jagdalpur, Bastar, said, “Congress leaders have been clamouring for “Jitni Abadi Utna Haq.” He pointed out that this stands in contrast with former PM Manmohan Singh’s stand, who used to “advocate that the minority community should hold the primary claim to the nation’s resources.”
“Does this imply that they (Congress) intend to diminish the rights of the minority? Consequently, should the Hindu population, being the largest, step forward to assert all their rights?” The PM said, adding that for him, the welfare of the poor is the ultimate goal.
Rahul Gandhi’s “Jitni abadi utna haq” call raises controversy, while his demand for a caste census is an attempt to find the answer. But the caste census is just cold data and only one part of the information puzzle about India’s social inequality. Almost 70 per cent of the Indian population is from the OBC/SC/ST castes, 15 per cent are Muslims, and 15 per cent are ‘upper caste’. This does not automatically mean that every occupation should or will also reflect these numbers proportionally. That is, we cannot expect the proportion of people in, say, banking and sports to be 70 per cent OBC/SC/ST, 15 per cent Muslims, and 15 per cent upper caste. Why is it that 94 per cent of senior officers in the government are upper caste while 80 per cent of the MGNREGA labourers are OBC/SC/ST? These are legitimate questions that any society should challenge and answer.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of multiple development projects worth Rs 26,000 crore in Chhatisgarh’s Jagdalpur, including a Rs 23,800-crore steel plant and several rail and road projects. This is the PM’s fourth visit to the Congress-ruled state since August. Meanwhile, the ruling Congress party in the poll-bound state said Sunday that it was calling for a bandh in Bastar on Tuesday as a mark of protest against the privatisation of the Nagarnar steel plant.