The Long Wait: Will the Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians Ever See the Dawn

Dear All,

Greetings from NCDC (National Commission for Dalit Christian) and LTD (Lighting The Dark) Media.

We feel this is the right stage to prepare a process document of the struggles of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims for Scheduled Caste Rights. This is meant to create awareness among other communities, and policy makers in India.

On March 15th 2010 about 2 lakh members of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims will gather in Delhi to demand their rights as Scheduled Castes.

Fr.A. X J. Bosco S.J is preparing the main text of the document which contains struggles and the litigation processes.

Here we are requesting you to give a supportive writing to add in the document and will be taken to the policy makers for the effective lobbying by the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

Kindly spare some time to support us by sending your views in writing maximum four pages in typing to lobby the government during the budget session in 2010.

Thanking you,

LTD Media


The Long Wait: Will the Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians Ever See the Dawn

The caste system in India is a unique form of slavery, invented by the Brahminical class to keep itself always on the top of the societal structures. Dr.Ambedkar calls it a system of graded inferiority with inequality, oppression and injustice built into it. The so called untouchables, who were literally treated a slaves for centuries, were grouped as Scheduled Castes by the English in 1936.

With the sympathetic view to the liberation and development of the SCs (Dalits) and to bring them to the mainstream of the Society, the Maker of the Constitution, decided on positive discriminatory measures. The privileges consisted of 1. A special quota in the Electoral bodies – the Parliament, State Assemblies, Panchayats etc., 2. Reservations and concessions concerning education, employment and other physical and social disabilities and later 3. SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, to protect the lives and properties of the Dalits.

The 1950 Constitutional Scheduled Caste Order, became the curse of all the Non-Hindu Dalits, by defining in para 3 that no one professing a religion other than Hinduism, will be considered as a member of Scheduled Caste.

The Sikhs and Buddhists eventually were included in the list of SCs, in 1956 and 1990 respectively by a simple majority voice vote in the Parliament. The Sangh Parivar and Hinduthva forces object to granting SC status to the Muslims and Christians, under an imaginary excuse that India will be converted to Christianity and Islam, and the Dalit Muslims and Christians continue to suffer injustice

In March,2004, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Delhi filed a PIL ( Civil Writ 180/2004) in the supreme court, with Mr.Franklin Caesar as the second petitioner and famous lawyers Mr.Shanthi Bhuhshan and Mr.Prasant Bhushan as advocates. The PIL demands that the unjust Para 3 of The Scheduled Caste Order 1950 must be deleted and the Dalit Christians must be granted SC status.

The Congress government infested with RSS people in its ranks considers the question of Dalit Christians as a nuisance and of the lowest priority. The Additional Solicitor General who represented the Government has been asked to submit to the Supreme Court the response of the Government. After postponing it for more than a year, the Govt. referred the burning issue pending for decision before the Supreme Court, concerning the deletion of Para 3 of the 1950 Constitutional Scheduled Caste Order and granting of SC status to Dalit Muslims and Christian, to the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) through Additional Terms of reference in September 2005.

The NCRLM visited 28 states, listened to the individuals and groups, conducted seminars and consultations, studied the innumerable letters, sent by people for and against and finally came to the conclusion, that denying SC privileges to Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians is an injustice based on religion, that Caste must be delinked from religion and that Para 3 of Article 341 must be deleted.

Though the report was submitted in May 2007, the Government, reluctant and unwilling to make this report public and kept it in the cold storage for more than two years. The report was tabled in the Parliament on 18th December, 2009, after the Muslim MPs and the opposition MPs demanded for it vociferously and disrupted the procedures in the Rajya Shaba. The Supreme Court, listening to a rejoinder petition on 6th January, has directed the National SC commission again to reply to the query. As the Supreme Court machinery is favourable to the Government, it sees to it that case does not come up in the court. NCRLM has given favourable proposals, and the National SC commission too has accepted the conclusions of the NCRLM. As once Mr.Prashant Bhushan suggested to the Chief Justice, instead of waiting for a reply from the Govt. whish is non- committal and in no mood to give a reply, the Supreme Court can judge the case on its merits. Justice delayed is ….

Fr.AXJ.Bosco SJ


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