Christian groups to stage dharna for SC status to Dalit Christians,
Submitted by admin4 on 2 November 2009 - 6:37pm.
By TwoCircles.net News Desk,
New Delhi: Leading Christian religious groups will stage a dharna on
Parliament Street in New Delhi on November 18 demanding amendment in
the Constitution to grant Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians
and Dalit Muslims in the country.
The National Council of Dalit Christians in collaboration with
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and National Council of Churches
in India have decided to organize a rally followed by a daylong dharna
"to express the urgency and gravity of Christians', Muslims' and
secular-minded peoples' just demand for Scheduled Caste rights to
Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims."
The Constitutional Scheduled Caste Order 1950 restricted SC status
only to the SCs professing Hinduism. Later on the order was amended to
include in the fold SCs who embraced Sikhism and Buddhism.
"Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims have been denied their right for
the last fifty nine years. National Commission for Religious and
Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) stated that non inclusion of SC
Christians and SC Muslims in the SC list is a discrimination based on
religion and goes against the articles 14, 15 and 25 of the
Constitution of India. Religion must be de-linked from caste. The
discriminatory Para 3 of the Constitution Scheduled Caste Order 1950
should be deleted by appropriate action," said the Christian groups in
"But it is very unfortunate that the Union Government has shelved this
report and makes millions of SC Christians and SC Muslims continue to
suffer unjustly," the groups said adding that the Writ petition filed
in the Supreme Court in 2004 is unduly delayed because of the
indifference of the Union Government to give a reply to the Supreme
Meanwhile the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has also
recommended that Scheduled Caste status must be extended to the
Scheduled Caste Christians and Scheduled Caste Muslims. The National
Commission for Minorities too has supported the demand.
"Most of the political parties have supported the demand of Scheduled
Caste Christians and Muslims. Various dharnas and protest rallies have
been organized in the state and national level to assert our rights.
Prime Ministers including the present one and various Ministers have
made assurances that it would be done. So far they have been only
The groups have also demanded tabulation of the report of the National
Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities in the Parliament
with Action Taken Report and implementation of its recommendations.
They have urged the Union Government to give appropriate answer to the
query of the Supreme Court to the Writ Petitions demanding the
deletion of the unjust para 3 of the Constitution Scheduled Castes
Order 1950 to extend Scheduled Caste Status to Christians and Muslims
of Scheduled Caste origin.
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