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ANS – India’s Supreme Court will on August 25, hear a private citizen’s petition challenging the Presidential ordinance of 1950 which took away affirmative action benefits from Dalit Christians. According to the Dalit Freedom Network, the Constitution had earlier allowed for affirmative action benefits for all Dalits. Then an ordinance which took away this fundamental right from Dalit Christians was passed. The Dalit Freedom Network says the government of that day received bad advice from some of the upper caste Christian leaders and from those who wanted to steal religious freedom from the Dalits. It was argued that since the Christian faith does not teach or support the caste system, all affirmative action benefits must be withdrawn from Dalit Christians. In a statement e-mailed to ASSIST News Service (ANS), the Dalit Freedom Network says that in the past 50 years, Dalit Christians have tried to influence the Indian Parliament to rectify this situation. The e-mail says: “They have argued that they face discrimination on religious grounds. They state that they are punished for remaining Christians and that others will be punished if they freely and voluntarily turn to the Christian faith. So far all their efforts to find justice have failed.” The Dalit Freedom Network says that without the affirmative action benefits granted to other Dalit religious groups, Dalit Christian discrimination continues today…[Go To Full Story]