(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
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. "