18 October 2017
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  • » 07/22/2017, 11.52

    INDIA

    Bishops: August 10 a 'black day' for discriminated Dalit Christians

    Purushottam Nayak

    The initiative of Indian Bishops' Conference Office for Dalits and Disadvantaged Classes. The constitutional order of 1950 excludes all non-Hindus from the advantages reserved to the former "untouchables". In the following years, the changes included Sikhs and Buddhists. Christian and Muslim Dalits are marginalized

     

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - This August 10th will be a "Black Day" to highlight the discrimination suffered by Dalit Christians in India for 67 years. It is the initiative launched by the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI) Office of Dalits and the Disadvantaged Classes. In recent days, the bishops expressed their solidarity with the new president, Ram Nath Kovind, of dalit origins. They also want to remind people that the country implements a constitutional-based discrimination against those Dalits that embrace Christianity.

    The constitutional order of 1950 on the "scheduled caste", signed on August 10, 1950 by the then president of India [Rajendra Prasad, ndr] states that "No person professing a religion other than Hinduism may be considered a member of Scheduled Caste ". Subsequently, the order was modified to include Sikhs (in 1956) and Buddhists (in 1990).

    The bishops complain that civil petition 180/2004, which requested the deletion of paragraph 3 of the order of 1950, is still pending before the Supreme Court. That is, they argue that "the constitutional rights of Christian and Muslim Dalit have been denied for 67 years because of religion." Specifically, ecclesiastical hierarchies believe that paragraph 3 is "unconstitutional, a black page written outside the Constitution and inserted through the black door of an executive order."

    Hence the invitation of Msgr. Anthonisamy Neethinathan, president of the Cbci Office, addressed to all Christians in India, "to observe August 10 as a Black Day in your regions, dioceses and institutions." The event can take the form of "meetings, rallies, demonstrations, hunger strikes, memorandum, vigil and so on". Thus, concludes the bishop, "in your areas you can show support and solidarity to the Christians who suffer because of their humble origins. I urge you to use media, and in particular social media, to spread news in civil society. "

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    See also

    21/07/2005 INDIA
    Campaign in favour of Christian Dalits meets first success
    "Christian Dalits must enjoy the same opportunities as Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits do".

    05/11/2007 INDIA
    Hindu Dalits against equality for Christians and Muslims
    A nation-wide campaign is being launched today to stop the central government from extending Scheduled Castes rights to Christian and Muslim Dalits, who have been hitherto excluded. For Hindu nationalists the move is essentially electoral but the Catholic Church warns that if India is to progress it must recognise that economic development and social oppression do not go together.

    28/07/2017 14:35:00 INDIA
    For administrator of Baroda, Dalit Christians have to speak out against marginalisation

    Mgr Fernandes spoke at the annual meeting of the National Council of Dalit Christians. The constitutional order of 1950 excludes Dalit Christians and Muslims from employment and education quotas. An India-wide protest has been set for 7 December.



    14/02/2005 INDIA
    Hopes for the rights of Dalit Christians
    Supreme Court will consider the constitutional status of Dalit converts to Christianity hitherto marginalised and rejected by Indian society.

    12/10/2006 INDIA
    Hearings to determine full Dalit rights postponed . . . again
    Supreme Court adjourns hearings till April 2007. Frontline Christian leaders are "frustrated" their campaign to have rights cover all Dalits has to wait further.



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