Aug 10th – Delhi Black Day. Jayalalitha calls for action

August 12, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Black Day observed in Delhi
by Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC)

Jayalalitha supports demand for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims

Black DayBlack Day was observed in New Delhi on 9th August 2013 from 4 pm to 5 pm in front of the Sacred Heart Church. Most Rev. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi and Regional chairperson for commission for SC/OBC presided over the program. Dr. Alwan Masih the General secretary of Church of North India(CNI) synod, Advocate Mushtaque Ahmed,Hafeez Ahmad Hawari, National President, All India Jamiatul Hawareen,  bishops, priests, pastors, nuns Christian and Muslim leaders participated in the demonstration and expressed their solidarity with the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslim Volunteers demonstrated half naked with black flag. Slogans were raised to demand UPA to resolve the issue and reply to the Supreme Court.

The Constitution (Scheduled Caste) order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India which says that “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. This order is against the Secular nature (Preamble of the Constitution) of the country, against Article 14(Equality before the law), against article 15(prohibition of discrimination of any citizen on ground of only religion), Article 25 (Freedom of Conscience and free to profess any religion), Article 26 (equality before the law and equal protection of the law) and against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party.

That is why the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims observe August 10th as Black Day throughout India. Civil Writ petition 180/2004 in the Honorable Supreme Court of India praying the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) order 1950 is still pending in the Supreme Court of India for the past nine years since the UPA Government is not replying to the Supreme Court. Thus Constitutional rights for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims are denied based on religion for more than 63 years.

Different commissions appointed by the Government have clearly recommended that Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims should be included in the Scheduled Caste list.

The National commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) popularly known as Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s Report says the following.

“In view of what has been said above, we recommend that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) order 1950, which originally restricted the scheduled caste net to the Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis etc – should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely de-link the scheduled caste status from religion and make the scheduled castes net fully religion – neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes”.

The national Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has recommended that Scheduled Caste status must be extended to the Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin. The National Commission for Minorities too has given its consent.

Till now twelve State Governments and Union Territories have recommended to Union of India for granting SC status to these people. The Bihar State Assembly, Uttar Pradesh State Assembly and Andhra Pradesh state Assembly have passed resolution for granting SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the years 2000, 2006 and 2009 respectively.

Most of the National and Regional political parties have supported the demand of Scheduled Caste status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin by writing letters to the Prime Minister and concerned authorities.

We are sorry that the rights of the minority communities of Scheduled caste origin is denied and delayed for many years. Our peaceful and democratic demonstrations will continue till our rights are attained.

Our Demand:

The Union Government should come forward to resolve the issue immediately without further delay.

The union Government should give appropriate answer to the query of the Supreme Court based on the recommendation of Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s report.

– Fr. Z. Devasagayaraj
– Mr. Samuel Jayakumar
– Mr. Franklin Caesar Thomas

Jayalalitha supports demand for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims

JayalalithaMaking a plea to give parity to Dalit Christians with their Hindu counterparts, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded deletion of the restrictive definition of Scheduled Castes in the Constitution (SCs) Order, 1950.

“The matter cannot brook any further delay. Prompt steps should be taken to bring in necessary legislation in the current session of Parliament,” she wrote to the Prime Minister on Friday.

Denial of affirmative action programmes to Dalit Christians is an injustice that has aggravated the sense of alienation among minority communities, she said and urged the PM to delete this ‘restrictive definition’ from the statute to bring all Dalits on equal platform irrespective of their faith. This would pave the way for Dalit Christians to avail benefits on par with SCs in Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

Para 3 of the Constitution (SCs) Order, 1950—the Presidential Order—says “no person who professes a religion different from Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste)

Putting forth strong legal arguments, Jayalalithaa said the Constitution (SCs) Ord­er, 1950, derives its sanction from Article 341 of the Constitution, but the Constitution does not confine SCs to any select religion. “By extending the benefits of positive affirmation to a certain category of persons and then to proceed to confine the benefits under the Constitution Order, 1950, to citizens professing only specified religions like Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism and excl­uding from its purview citizens professing other religions, is not only ultra vires Article 341 but also militates against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship to all its citizens”, the Chief Minister observed.

– new indian express

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