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Church reps meet ministers for SC status to Dalit Christians

ICC Note

Christian and Muslim Dalits in India face discrimination due to their religious status as minorities and ethnic identity as Dalits. India must end the discrimination of Christians and Muslims.

By Babu Thomas

05/07/2010 India (Christian Today)-Church representatives this week met three Union ministers to lobby for Scheduled Caste status to Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin.

The ministers were apprised of the ‘unjust’ para 3 of Constitutional Order 1950 that excluded Christians and Muslims from the Scheduled Castes net and were urged to call for the implementation of Ranganath Mishra Commission Report (NCRLM Report) that recommended extending SC status to Christians and Muslims.

“Muslims and Christians of SC origin firmly believe in democratic structures such as Parliament and Judiciary. We have been ardently following peaceful democratic means for the past sixty years to demand our legitimate rights as citizens of this country. We are planning to intensify our peaceful struggles till we reach our goal,” stated a letter addressed to the ministers.

Incidentally, yesterday, a Christian advocacy group condemned this discrimination against Christians and Muslims and said the “eligibility for membership of the Scheduled Castes should not be linked to religious status”.

“Since caste-based discrimination continues to be practised to some extent in all religious communities, and Dalit converts are typically regarded and treated as Dalits, irrespective of their religious faith, this effectively imposes social and economic penalties for those embracing Christianity and Islam,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) stated in a briefing released May 6.

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