Supporting the demand for a caste-based census, LJP on Friday said government should undertake the exercise, as it will give a clear picture of the population of different castes living in the country.
"Some castes say that they are 52 per cent, Some say they are 20 per cent....There are several castes which have no mention in any list, neither they are backwards nor Dalits. We demand census on caste lines. There is no harm in it. Caste-based census was last done in 1931," LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters in New Delhi.
Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the Lok Sabha today that government would take a decision shortly in the matter, Paswan said, "We will welcome the move if government decides to conduct caste-based Census."
Paswan underlined that no system has damaged the country to the extent the caste system has done. "But despite this, caste system is a reality... One can change everything but not castes in this country. Regions change, governments change, rich become poor but castes continue to exist."
The LJP chief suggested that if caste system has to be eradicated, those entering inter-caste wedlocks should be given reservation benefits by the government.
Referring to the death of Delhi-based scribe Nirupama Pathak at her hometown in Koderma district of Jharkhand, which was being suspected as a case of honour killing due to her inter-caste love affair, Paswan said, "This incident is an eye-opener. This shows how caste system is still deeply rooted in our society."