India’s adversary, the caste system, has severely limited the country’s capacity to realise its enormous potential. Following the team’s loss in the Tokyo Olympics, a Dalit member of the Indian women’s hockey team was subjected to caste insults, and her family was subjected to upper-caste abuse. From birth to death, customs, rituals, housing, occupations, development planning, and even voting preferences, caste has been at the forefront of Indian social existence. According to studies, impoverished classes do 90% of menial jobs, but this statistic is flipped in white-collar positions. The appalling absence of caste diversity in many sectors – the media, the court, higher education, bureaucracy, and the corporate sector — undermines these institutions and their effectiveness.
India must be bold and decisive in addressing caste concerns using data and statistics, in the same manner that the United States collects data on race, class, language, and inter-race marriages, among other metrics, to address race issues. Our constitution also encourages a caste census. Article 340 calls for the creation of a commission to study the situation of the socially and educationally disadvantaged and offer recommendations to governments on what actions should be done. A caste census will provide extensive data, allowing politicians to design better policies and implementation plans, as well as a more logical debate on sensitive subjects. In 2017, the Justice Rohini committee was established to investigate the OBC communities’ sub-categorisation; however, without data, there can be no data-bank or appropriate sub-categorisation. All commissions have to depend on information from the most recent caste census (1931). Since then, there have been significant demographic changes, necessitating the updating of the statistics. While census data for SC, ST, religions, and linguistic profiles has been collected since 1931, there has been no profiling of all castes in India.
If India is to develop as a confident and powerful nation, it must overcome its apprehension and ostrich-like escapism when it comes to conducting a caste-linked socioeconomic census. This will begin a procedure that will eventually remove an Indian from the caste system.