The caste survey, which was set to be released on August 20, will take more time, Chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes H Kantharaj has said.
Earlier this month, Social Welfare Minister Anjaneya had said that the government would release the results of the Socio-Educational and Economic Survey, popularly called the caste survey, on August 20.
Kantharaj however, said that the results were not consolidated yet and that it would take “some more time” to submit the report to the state government. “There will not be a great delay though,” he said. “Doing all this work in just a year is a difficult task.”
The caste survey has been the subject of both anticipation and censure, because its results could upset the common wisdom of political calculations in the state.
However, Kantharaj said that it would be unfair to merely look at the survey in terms of the numbers of people belonging to each caste. He said the survey would generate a lot of data, given that it will link caste to social, economic, religious, and political indicators.
He said that the survey would look into household assets, land ownership and type of land, civic amenities such as water supply, and even political developments. “For instance, there are reservations at the gram panchayat level up to the zilla panchayat. The survey would also look at which castes have availed of this reservation,” Kantharaj said.
If the caste survey does yield this information and it is made publicly accessible, it would offer an opportunity to use this data not just for government policies, but also research. The bulk of public interest however, lies in the numbers game: Which community will be the strongest numerically? Will the final tally upset the Lingayat-Vokkaliga hold over politics in the state?