Sunday, April 14, 2024

PM Modi on Rahul Gandhi’s caste census


After the release of Bihar’s caste survey data, PM Narendra Modi has raised questions about the demands of the Congress leadership for a nationwide caste census, pushing for a policy of “jitni abaadi utna haq,” or rights proportional to population size. PM Modi is concerned that this could lead to deprivation of minority rights. In his address at a rally in Jagdalpur, Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, Modi accused the leadership of nurturing destructive and divisive plans while hinting at their connections with ‘anti-national forces.’ 

Nationwide caste census: Threat to minority rights? 

Modi’s commentary comes in the backdrop of the release of Bihar’s caste survey data, which shows Hindus at about 81.99% and Muslims at approximately 17.70% of the state population. The Congress leadership advocates for rights according to the population size, a sentiment Modi perceives as a move with the potential to deprive minorities of their rights. However, the subjects of the recent Bihar caste survey or leader Rahul Gandhi’s demand for a nationwide caste census were not explicitly mentioned in Modi’s address. 

The Prime Minister responded to the Congress leadership’s stance by asserting his commitment to the welfare of the poor, stating, “Yesterday, the Congress party initiated a new chant. Congress ke neta kehte hai jitni abaadi utna haq, mei kehta hoon agar is desh me sabse badi koi abaadi hai toh woh abaadi gareeb hai… Aur gareeb ka kalyan yahi mera maqsad hai”

“Congress leaders say rights should be according to the size of the population. I say the largest population in the country is that of the poor. The welfare of the poor is my goal.”

Congress’ stand on minority rights: Cause of concern? 

PM Modi also expressed concern over the implications of Congress’s stand on the nation’s resources. He recalled former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion that minorities, particularly Muslims, should have the primary claim over the nation’s resources. Capitalizing on this, he posed queries regarding the potential consequences if rights were to be allocated based on population size. 

Modi expressed worries, asking,

“Is the Congress trying to reduce the rights of the minorities? And if the population basis is going to decide, who has the first right? Who has the largest population? Should rights be according to population? The Congress should make it clear,” he said, expressing his fears over a potential depletion of minority rights. 

Congress and anti-national forces

Addressing further allegations, Modi expressed his belief that is collaborating with anti-national forces and is bent on dividing Hindus and wrecking Bharat. He asked,

“Until now, the Congress has not revealed what secret deal it has with another country. I caution you against their conspiracy… If you (Congress) want to talk about rights, the first right over minerals and property of this country is of the poor, Dalits, tribals, and backward people,”

Modi also capitalized on the huge number of attendees at his rally, despite a bandh declared by the ruling in Chhattisgarh over the privatization of the Nagarnar steel plant. He maintained that the people of Bastar will remain the sole owners of the steel plant and attacked for allegedly promoting its people and family interests.

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