Plans on for SC Status to Minorities

By Cithara Paul - NEW DELHI, Indian Express 

The Congress-led UPA government seems to have learnt no lessons from the recent drubbing it received in the Assembly elections and is continuing its “politics of appeasement.”

Its minority cell is working overnight to prepare a blue print on ‘SC status to Muslims and Christian Dalits’ to be circulated among the various stakeholders that will finally take the shape of an affidavit to be filed in the Supreme Court.

The case of Dalit status to Muslims and Christians has been pending before the SC since 2004 and the Government had been excusing itself from filing an affidavit knowing very well its political and social implications. Now the stage seems to be ready for addressing the issue of striking down the Presidential(SC) order of 1950 which denies equal rights to Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin. In spite of its ‘politics of appeasement’, the Congress suffered bad news from the minorities in the recent polls. Though it managed to retain five minority dominated seats in Delhi, the voting percentage for AAP candidates from these areas shows that minority voters are trying other options too. In Rajasthan and MP, the Congress lost even its traditional minority constituencies.

In the last LS polls, the Congress had won the most number of minority dominated seats.

The Muslim electorate had played a crucial role in bringing the Congress back to power.

The Congress has the highest number of Muslim MPs from minority dominated constituencies followed by the BSP and the National Conference.

The Minority Ministry has anchored its case, which is likely to be taken up in the Cabinet meeting soon, on the Ranganath Mishra Commission Report which in no uncertain terms recommended dalit status to Muslims and Christians converted from Hindu dalit communities.

It also takes note of the recommendations made by National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), which also recommends the same.

The Ministry blue print also mentions the recommendations of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). “Our ministry has strongly recommended giving SC status to Dalit Christians and Muslims. For which it is important that the Presidential Order of 1950 is amended,” said a JS level official at the Minority ministry.

The Presidential Order holds that only Dalits who practice Hinduism can be treated as SC. Equally potent is the issue of reservation inParliamentary and Assembly seats. Another source, who has been actively involved in the subject for the last five years said that the SC MPs and MLAs belonging to all parties will try their best to scuttle the move.
Courtesy:  Indian Express


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