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Should Kerala Conduct a Socio-Economic and Caste Survey?

The Need for a Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in Kerala Politics

The need for a Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) has once again become a hot topic in Kerala politics, with two influential community leaders advocating for its implementation for conflicting reasons. Vellapally Natesan, the general secretary of SNDP Yogam, has called for an SECC to expose what he believes is the appropriation of public resources by Christians and Muslims in Kerala. He claims that both communities have gained supremacy in various socio-economic aspects due to appeasement politics.

On the other hand, Palayam Imam V P Suhaib Moulavi has also voiced his support for an SECC, but for different reasons. He believes that the Muslim community has not received government assistance and has instead relied on remittance money from the Gulf for progress. Moulavi argues that certain individuals are spreading misinformation about minority communities and that an SECC would provide an accurate record of resource distribution.

The debate over an SECC in Kerala has been further fueled by the recent victory of BJP candidate Suresh Gopi in Thrissur. Natesan has used this victory to highlight the alleged Muslim appeasement by political fronts in the state, suggesting that Hindus may follow the path of Christians in supporting the BJP if changes are not made.

While the LDF government in Kerala has previously avoided the issue of conducting an SECC, the Muslim League has been a strong advocate for it. Muslim League leader M K Muneer argues that the state has the authority to conduct its own census, citing the 105th Amendment to the Constitution.

However, the decision to conduct an SECC in Kerala is currently sub judice, with two organizations taking the issue to the Supreme Court. The delay in the country’s decennial census, which was postponed due to COVID-19, has further complicated the situation. Despite the challenges, the debate over an SECC in Kerala continues to gain momentum, highlighting the importance of addressing socio-economic disparities in the state.


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