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Ramdev supports SC status to Dalit Christians, Muslims

ICC Note:

“Dalit is a dalit, whether he is a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim. So, all Dalits should get equal rights” says Yoga guru Baba Ramdev

By: Babu Thomas

05/14/2012 India (ChristianToday)-Taking a bold step to reach out to minorities, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev last week backed the inclusion of Dalit Christians and Muslims in the Scheduled Caste net.

“I did not know till recently that Article 341 does not cover Muslims and Christians from Dalit background. This is not fair. Dalit is a dalit, whether he is a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim. So, all Dalits should get equal rights” Ramdev told reporters on Saturday.

Addressing a convention organised by the All India United Muslim Morcha, the yoga guru extended his wholehearted support and said a struggle to achieve equal rights for Dalit Christians and Muslims will be launched in August.

Ramdev also said there was ‘prejudice’ against Muslims in the country and that image has to be corrected.

“We are with our Muslim brothers and sisters. My ashram has more than 3,000 Muslims. We have no religion there, nor any parity, nor temple or mosque. We are all one,” Ramdev said.

The Presidential Order of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Order 1950 limits reservation for Scheduled Castes to followers of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Article 341 of the Constitution excludes Dalit Muslims and Christians from reservation.

“No person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste,” states para 3 of Article 341. While Dalit Sikhs and Buddhists were later included in the SC net, there was a clear discrimination against those from Christianity and Islam.

This discrimination continues despite the Ranganath Misra Commission constituted by the UPA government asserted that non inclusion of SC Christians and Muslims was discrimination based on religion and goes against the Constitution.

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