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Dalit Christians and Muslims on hunger strike against discrimination
ICC Note:
Christian and Muslim Dalits continue to stand together to fight for equal treatment under the law. They have raised the ante in a hunger strike, reminiscent of Gandhi. One of the marchers says, “We are here not just to promote what is good, but also to fight evil. And to discriminate against for someone his religion is evil. “
08/02/2012 India (AsiaNews)  Hundreds of Dalit Christians and Muslims marched in the rain on the streets of New Delhi, to demand the UPA government (United Progressive Alliance) ensure their rights under the Scheduled Caste Law, before the general elections in 2014. Organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and Islamic leaders, the march culminated in front of the Parliament building, where protesters have started a dharma (fast of protest), wearing shirts reading “UPA – Respond to the Supreme Court.”
The slogan chosen by demonstrators refers to the numerous cases brought by ordinary people, civil society and religious leaders to end discrimination based on religion and enforce the status of Scheduled Caste (SC) also for Christian and Muslim Dalits. The struggle to ensure equal rights has been on going since 1950, when parliament passed Art. Sc 3 of the constitution. On the basis of this paragraph, the law recognizes the rights and economic, educational and social benefits only to Hindu Dalits. Later, in 1956 and 1990, the status was extended to Buddhists and Sikhs.
Among the personalities present at the march, Msgr. Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of New Delhi: “The discrimination against Dalit Christians and Muslims goes against every principle enshrined in our Constitution which is secular by nature.”

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