Nepal census begins today, how conscious are we of our identity?

Yen (Kathmandu), Nepal Mandala – The 11th National Census has begun today collecting data of the head of household, women, men and third gender people in each household in about 39000 VDCs and about five dozen municipalities across Nepal. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has deployed some 8500 surveyors across the country to collect the details including name, surname, caste, age, education and profession of the head of the household, women and third genders. It is learnt that CBS has estimated the population of the country has reached about 29 million. The population in the previous census in 2001 was 22.15 million. The Government of Nepal has allocated a budget of 1 billion rupees.

The Newah believes the CBS and its 8500 surveyors deployed will collect the data free and fare and present a correct census this time. Previous census were known faulty as the surveyors have handled the data collection and corrected as per their wishes. In most cases reported in the past were that the surveyors have categorized “Hindu” for those Buddhists making offerings to elephant god Ganesh. It has only been revealed that the surveyors “involved” had little knowledge about Nepal’s distinct religious practices where all deities have been worshipped together since the time immemorial. Some of those surveyors, who argue that worshipping Ganesh turns one to be “Hindu”, are ignorant of the fact that goddess Sarasvati is the consort of Bodhisatva Manjusri, who are worshipped together in the Buddhist world.

In the questions of ethnic and language identity, too, the surveyors in the past have forced the head of household (whose details were being collected) to write “Newari” in the ethnicity and language clause despite some had insisted that they are “Newar” by ethnic identity and their language is “Nepal Bhasa”. So this time, it is important that we do not let those “surveyors” list us as they wished in the list of Census 2011. It also depends on how conscious we are of our own identity. So let’s make sure who we are – “Newar” our nationality; “Nepal Bhasa” our mother tongue; “Buddhism” is our religion. Newar also known to have “Hindu” “Muslim” and “Christian” people. Make sure that you are not one of those converted by circumstances.

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