29 March, 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


» 08/10/2012
INDIA
Christian and Muslim Dalits observe Black Day against discrimination
by Nirmala Carvalho
Thousands take part in events across the country. On 10 August 1950, India adopted a law that discriminates against non-Hindu and non-Buddhist Dalits. In 62 years, nothing has changed. An appeal is made to India's new President Mukherjee and Sonia Gandhi for a quick change to the law.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Christian Dalits are discriminated because of their faith. In a secular state like India, it is scandalous that non-Hindu and non-Buddhist Dalits are denied their rights on religious grounds," said Mgr Anthonisamy Neethinathan, chairman of the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI). He spoke to AsiaNews on the occasion of Black Day, which marks the beginning of discrimination against Christian and Muslim Dalits.

Marked across the country, the event gave Dalits this year an opportunity to call on India's new president, Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) President Sonia Gandhi to abolish Paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, which denies Christian and Muslim Dalits the same rights as other Dalits.

Mgr Neethinathan noted that all Dalits that do not come under the law are held on the margins of society, hard pressed to find work and still subject to the absurd Hindu caste system. After 60 years of democracy, changing religion does not change Dalit status.

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, assigns certain rights on the basis of Article 341 of the Indian Constitution. However, paragraph 3 explicitly says that "no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu [the Sikh or the Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste."  In 1956 and 1990, Buddhists and Sikhs were added to Hindus. Now only Christians and Muslims are still excluded.

The Order gives Hindu Dalits preferential treatment in the economic, educational and social fields, as well as job quotas in the public service.

Christian and Muslim Dalits have slammed the Order for violating the Indian constitution, like Article 14 (equality before the law), Article 15 (non-discrimination on grounds of religion) and Article 15 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion).

The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (aka the Ranganath Misra Commission) called for the replacement of the 1950 Order with something that would "completely de-link the Scheduled Caste status from religion and make the Scheduled Castes net fully religion-neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes."

Various agencies and governments in 12 Indian states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, have indicated their support for extending the Order to Christians and Muslims.

Similarly, the Indian Supreme Court has told the federal government on several occasions to solve the problem without getting an answer.

Despite protest marches and fasting (dharma) across the country over the past few years, politicians have not budged. Despite promises of a quick solution, they remain under the sway of Hindu culture and its legacy and fear the reaction of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the powerful Hindu nationalist party.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/20/2004 INDIA
A Hindu al-Qaeda, religious fundamentalism as a political tool
by Bernardo Cervellera
01/24/2005 INDIA
Peace and religion: a deeper understanding of one's faith helps inter-faith dialogue
by Nirmala Carvalho
05/25/2006 INDIA
Government "should publish data on conversions and anti-Christian attacks"
by Nirmala Carvalho
03/11/2005 INDIA
Christian and Muslim Dalits backed by fellow Dalits from other religions
08/06/2010 INDIA
August 10: day of mourning against discrimination of Christians and Muslim Dalits
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.

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.