31 January, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/06/2010
INDIA
August 10: day of mourning against discrimination of Christians and Muslim Dalits
by Nirmala Carvalho
On August 10, 1950 laws were approved that discriminate against Christians and Muslims Dalits. Archbishop Joji, himself a Dalit Bishop, explains the strong social desire to eliminate discrimination and remembers the example of Mother Teresa.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “On August 10 we will observe a Black Day [day of mourning] since August 10, 1950 the President of India passed the infamous Art. 3 of the Constitution on Scheduled Castes (SC). It is a protest against the discrimination suffered by Dalit Christians and Muslims. " Mgr Marampudi Joji, President of the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Backward Classes of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), thus explains to AsiaNews the sole reason for the protest on Aug. 10 organised by CBCI, the National Council of Churches in India and the National Council of Dalit Christians.

The promoters are asking that black flags be displayed in a sign of mourning on Christian churches and other buildings, in meetings and at public events. The hope is that - as Bishop Joji underlines in a declaration - "this is will be make our Christian communities ware and to urge the central government to pay attention to our just demand."

The 1950 law affords members of the Sc various rights as provided in art. 341 (1) of the Indian Constitution. But the 3rd paragraph of the norm specifies that those "who profess a religion different from Hinduism” are not considered members of these groups.  In 1956 and 1990 amendments were introduced to extend the category also to Buddhists and Sikhs. While Christians and Muslims are still excluded. Thanks to this law, the Hindu Dalits have facilitated access to economic, educational and social positions, with allocated jobs in state bureaucracy.

Dalit Christians and Muslims have long accused of the norm of being unlawful and of violating basic constitutional principles-such as equality (Article 14), the prohibition of discrimination for reasons of faith (Article 15) and freedom to choose religion (art. 25).

The National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities (known as the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission) was instructed to "fully repeal" the law in order to " completely remove the status of SC from religion and make the system of SC completely neutral with respect to religion, as is that of Scheduled Tribes. "

Several institutions have also asked to accept other religions in this system as Christians and Muslims, as have governments in 12 Indian states. The Councils state legislators of Bihar (2000), Uttar Pradesh (2006) and Andhra Pradesh have been asked to immediately include Christian and Muslim Dalits in the SC.

Even the Supreme Court has repeatedly urged the federal government to address and resolve the problem but has received no answer.

Numerous protest marches and dharna (protest fasts) organized across the country have had no impact. Neither the repeated assurances of ministers and politicians to solve the problem been followed up.

Archbishop Joji recalls that "Mother Teresa was the icon of the Poor, she fought for the poor and against the discrimination of the Dalits on the basis of their faith is the worst discrimination against the poor. In the pernicious caste system, Dalits are deprived of everything. They constitute over 16% of India's population and two thirds of Indian Christians. Mother Teresa devoted herself tirelessly to the poorest of the poor, the marginalized. On the centenary of the birth of this great saint, we hope that justice is done to Dalits Christians and Muslims. Since I became a priest in Vijawada in 1974, I have been close to the work of Mother Teresa and I helped to open her shelters in the diocese. In 1992, when I became bishop of Khamman, Mother Teresa was happy and said: This is proof that all are equal in the Catholic Church [Mgr. Joji belongs to the Dalits caste and was the first Dalit bishop of the Indian Church, Dalit in Sanskrit means "trampled" and were once considered social waste]. Mother loved the Dalits and is dedicated to them. Mother Teresa is a source of love, hope and charity and we hope that in the year of her centenary the government will listen to the voices of the past society. "


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/29/2011 INDIA
Karnataka, 4 Christians arrested over "door to door" forced conversions
07/18/2011 INDIA
Indian bishops, on hunger strike for the rights of Christian and Muslim Dalits
by Nirmala Carvalho
03/10/2008 INDIA
Upper caste and Dalit Catholics clash, police shoot and kill
by Nirmala Carvalho
08/10/2012 INDIA
Christian and Muslim Dalits observe Black Day against discrimination
by Nirmala Carvalho
06/06/2008 INDIA
“The various religions must engage in a dialogue that is truly open-minded, says Mgr Dabre
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
IRAQ
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
IRAQ
Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.