08/02/2012, 00.00
INDIA

Dalit Christians and Muslims on hunger strike against discrimination

Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and religious leaders organized a march to demand rights and guarantees granted by law only to Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh Dalits. Archbishop of New Delhi discriminating against someone for their religion is an evil to be fought.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of Dalit Christians and Muslims marched in the rain on the streets of New Delhi, to demand the UPA government (United Progressive Alliance) ensure their rights under the Scheduled Caste Law, before the general elections in 2014. Organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and Islamic leaders, the march culminated in front of the Parliament building, where protesters have started a dharma (fast of protest), wearing shirts reading "UPA - Respond to the Supreme Court."

 

The slogan chosen by demonstrators refers to the numerous cases brought by ordinary people, civil society and religious leaders to end discrimination based on religion and enforce the status of Scheduled Caste (SC) also for Christian and Muslim Dalits. The struggle to ensure equal rights has been on going since 1950, when parliament passed Art. Sc 3 of the constitution. On the basis of this paragraph, the law recognizes the rights and economic, educational and social benefits only to Hindu Dalits. Later, in 1956 and 1990, the status was extended to Buddhists and Sikhs.

 

Among the personalities present at the march, Msgr. Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of New Delhi: "The discrimination against Dalit Christians and Muslims goes against every principle enshrined in our Constitution which is secular by nature. We are here not just to promote what is good, but also to fight evil . And to discriminate against for someone his religion is evil. "

 

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