ANS (03/31/06) On the 5th of April the Supreme Court of India will see three former Law Ministers of India argue it out on the issue of giving affirmative action benefits to Dalit Christians who have been discriminated against for the last 50 years.
Previous Law Ministers Shanti Bhusan and Ram Jethmalani will argue that the Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of religion and the fact that Dalits have turned to Christianity cannot be used as the basis of denial of affirmative action benefits. Former law Minister of the BJP, Mr. Arun Jaitley has been deputed by the Hindu nationalist RSS to argue against giving Christian Dalits the same rights as given to Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu Dalits.
The Central Government is also supposed to submit the report of its recent Commission which was mandated to look at the plight of Dalit Christians. Dalit Christian leaders in different parts of India have complained that a fair hearing was not given to their case when members of the Commission visited some of the States.
According to inside sources the report of the Government Commission is not likely to be in favor of Christian Dalit getting their due rights under the Constitution. There is wide spread anger among Dalit Christians against the ruling Congress Party and its dilly-dallying on this issue when all other parties except the BJP have come out in open support of affirmative benefits to be given to Dalit Christians.
The Supreme Court is unlikely to continue giving extensions to the Government to file its response.
The All India Christian Christian Council has issued a global call to prayer for this issue as it now enters the final stages.
For more information on the plight of the Dalits of India, go to www.dalitnetwork.org.