Up to nine non-political and social organizations working for the rights of the backward and disadvantaged classes gather on a single platform in Patna on June 30 to discuss “communalism and muddled opposition” and what could be the way forward. Forum will also prompt Bihar government conduct caste census in a “rational” manner so that it does not contain errors such as the “aborted” national socio-economic class census.
Organizations involved in the discussion are All India Pasmanda Muslim Mehaz (AIPMM), Rashtriya Ati Pichhda Sangharsh Morcha, Samajik Nyay Andolan, Bihar, Bahujan Bhagidari Andolan, Bihar, Bahujan Choupal, Jankranti Morcha, Safaikarmi Jankranti Foundation and Ech Komsha Bihar. Among the notable speakers who will address the gathering of public speaker and author Kanch Elia Shepherd, Former MP of Rajya Sabha Ali Anwar Ansari, Professor Tanveer Ijaz from University of Delhi, Harikishwar Ram, Dalit thinker and Tabendra Kushwaha, retired officer of the IAS along with Dr. Hilal Ahmed from CSDS.
Former MP and Chairman of AIPMM Ali Anwar Ansari told The Indian Express, “We have gathered against the backdrop of the bulldozer model of caste in which people are targeted for questioning the government. We also have to ask some questions to the socialist parties who seem confused and absent from their ideology. Here is a move in Bihar districts to create awareness about the stratification survey that is being conducted.”
The former JD(U) MP added that once caste surveys reveal the socio-economic and educational status of families, transcending their religions, “sectarianism should take a back seat”. “We want an error-free census in which the enumerators are also held accountable for the wrong entry. Although the state caste survey is not recognized by the center, it will create an atmosphere in which people can focus on ways to improve their economic and educational condition rather than falling into the trap of any schedule Divisive business.”
Ansari said the nine social groups had planned a series of meetings, starting from Bihar in the coming months. “We chose Bihar because it is conducting a class census,” said Ansari, adding that they were looking to create an atmosphere for alternative politics from the politics of “caste and religion exhaustion.”
Professor Tanvir Ijaz, who is also the director of the Pasmanda Srudies Forum, said: “If one wants to understand the Muslim community, one has to start from the bottom, particularly the Pasmanda community. Basmanda means ‘those who have been neglected’ and these people can be Hindus and Muslims. The Basmanda community feels fear and low confidence that they will not be able to empower themselves. But they are marginalized, and nation building can come to a halt.”