» 05/10/2010, 00.00
Census of castes underway, a hope for Dalit Christians
The Church and human rights organizations support the tremendous task of collecting data that is beginning in the country. The government "will be forced to open their eyes to the reality of caste discrimination, and do something to resolve the situation."
New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The census even based on caste “is a good idea. The last one we did in 1931, and it is important that the government knows the conditions in which all castes live. It is very useful also that it be underlined once and for all that changing religion does not in any way change the socio-economic status of a person”; Fr. Cosmon Arokiaraj, secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Scheduled Castes tells AsiaNews. Dalits, the "untouchables" of Indian social system are a key sector for the Indian Church, counting for 70% of their faithful, a total of 16 million people.
What is about to begin is the fifteenth census in the history of India: by next year, about 2 and a half million civil servants will visit about 7 thousand cities and 600 thousand villages in the country to ask for data on fifteen key parameters. Among these, age, sex, caste, literacy, religion and economic situation. Everything will be collected and presented by the end of 2011.
According to Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights activist and winner of the prestigious Gwanju Prize, this endeavour will “force the government to open its eyes to the situation of the untouchables, and then implement the recommendations submitted by the Minorities Commission. We will have a picture of how Christians and Muslims of the lower classes live: the Government, based on data of 1931, pretends to ignore these people, and many are living without rights. "
Until now, the activist continues, "these people are only employed by non-governmental organizations, Christian groups and those for minorities. Now the government will do something social discrimination based on caste is a reality in the country, which can no longer be ignored. We will finally have places reserved for lower castes, and a greater allocation of money to carry out development plans. "
However, Raghuvanshi warns, "there is always the great risk of corruption: a survey like this could pave the way for the ambitious plan for a unique identity card, but there is the risk of further discriminate, with a semblance of legality, against religious minorities .
23/02/2016 14:34:00 INDIA
Agreement reached between the government and Jama 10 million people still without water
The state representatives have succumbed to the demands of the Jat community: downgraded and included among quota for government jobs. The Jat are an influential caste, which has at least 10 elected chief minister in Haryana and controls a third of the state assembly. The protests have left 20 dead and more than 200 injured, with an estimated damage of 2.5 billion euro.
At least 2 thousand Dalits convert to Buddhism to escape marginalization
According to the Scheduled Castes Order, only Dalit Hindus and Buddhists can enjoy the rights provided for their status. Christians and Muslims loose all rights, including the right to political representation. But even within Christianity, non Dalits alienate their outcast brothers and sisters.
13/12/2016 18:28:00 INDIA
Indian bishops approve action plan for Dalits
Caste discrimination is still evident, even in the Church. A country-wide policy recognises Dalits in their intrinsic human value. Twelve of India’s 19 million Catholics are Dalits. The State does not recognise them the same rights and privileges as other Dalits.
World AIDS Day: Indian Catholics at the forefront in the care for the sick
About 80% of centres that deal with HIV is run by the Catholic Church. 140 institutes across the country, for the treatment of disease and improvement in quality of life. More than one million children orphaned by HIV, discriminated against at school and abandoned by their family.
19/04/2017 17:24:00 INDIA
For Bihar nun, working for Dalit liberation is faith in action
Sister Poonam belongs to the Congregation of Jesus, which was established by Mary Ward. She is part of a movement of consecrated people who are also social activists. In India 70 per cent of Catholics are Dalits. Nuns and priests "must be prophetic voices in the Church and society,” and raise awareness about the marginalised, identify leaders and educate them.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
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