Bishops seek Modi’s help for Dalit reservation

February 19, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Dalit ChristiansNew Delhi, February 18, 2015: Catholic leaders, who addressed a New Delhi seminar along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have sought his help in introducing reservation for Dalit Christians.

Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi urged Modi Tuesday to introduce reservation benefits to Dalit Christians, noting that it has been denied for six decades.

The denial of this privilege as “unjust and discriminatory,” the archbishop said at the function organized to celebrate the canonization of Saint Euphrasia and Saint Chavara in New Delhi.

“This is a clear case of unjust and discrimination on basis of religion which cannot stand in a secular nation. We repose our faith in your government to make possible what looks impossible,” the archbishop said appealing to Modi.

Indian constitution guarantee quota in educational institutions and government jobs to Dalits, the socially depressed cast group, for their welfare. But a presidential order in 1950 denied these benefits to Christians of Dalit origin on the ground that their religion does not follow caste system.

He wanted Modi to initiative to reverse the Presidential order that “has not been reversed despite of various appeals and protests,” he said.

Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church also sought Modi’s help for dalit reservation.

“I would also like to appeal to you the request of Dalit Christians to have reservation together with their brother citizens in the other religions,” he said.

For the past six decades Christian groups have been campaigning to enlist Dalit Christians for reservation but successive government have ignored the request of this politically negligible minority community.

Hindu groups have also opposed granting quota rights to dalit Christians on the plea that it would dilute the current quota for Hindu Dalits in education and jobs, reports say.

– zee news

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