22 March 2018

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08/13/2013 INDIA

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister states Dalit Christians are equal to Dalit Hindu

J Jayalalitha, from a Hindu Brahmin family, has asked the Indian Prime Minister to also grant Dalit Christians the rights provided by the castes law. According to the Constitution on the Scheduled Caste (SC) only Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist "untouchable" have access to economic, educational and social benefits.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Dalit Christians should be treated the same as Dalit Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists and enjoy the rights enshrined in the law on castes".  This was stated by J Jayalalitha, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, in an official letter sent on August 9 to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to discuss the issue in Parliament. She comes from a family of Brahmins (priests, the highest social group according to the Indian caste system, ed) and is of Hindu religion.

On the same day in New Delhi the Christian and Muslim communities marked the so-called 'Black Day' - before the church of the Sacred Heart - commemorating July 10, 1950, the date on which the Constitution on Scheduled Castes (SC) was approved. According to art. 3, the law recognizes the rights and economic, educational and social benefits only to Hindu Dalits, with jobs allocated them in the civil service. Later, in 1956 and 1990, the status was extended to Dalit Buddhists and Sikhs, excluding Christians and Muslims.

"The social tensions generated by the unbalanced status of Dalit Hindus and Christians - stresses Jayalalitha in the letter - have only gotten worse over time, increasing the sense of alienation among minority communities."

According to a new genetic study, more than 4500 years ago the people of the north and south of the Indian sub-continent began to mingle with each other, but this inter-mingling stopped about 2 thousand years ago, when - according to the study - the caste system first emerged. After independence (1947), and the drafting of the Constitution, this hierarchical stratification lost all of its ancient meaning. However, the Dalits (the outcastes) are still considered "untouchable" and represent the lowest strata of society.



See also

13/11/2006 INDIA
Court rules Dalit entitlements only for Hindus
Judges agree that a Dalit Christian who re-converted to Hinduism is entitled to Scheduled Caste quota benefits in applying for public sector employment; Christian Dalits are not.

29/08/2011 INDIA
Karnataka, 4 Christians arrested over "door to door" forced conversions
According to the police they were proselytizing among the Dalits and poor Hindus. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "The situation is alarming. The Dalits are empowered by Christian prayer and Hindus are afraid of this. "

11/01/2018 12:08:00 INDIA
The Dalits no longer tolerate hegemony of ruling castes

In Maharashtra the former untouchables block the city of Mumbai. Hindu radicals "try to repress them with violence because they do not believe in the equality of people". About 201 million Dalits live in India, out of a population of 1.2 billion.

27/10/2010 INDIA
Discrimination against Dalits in India a "sin" and "shame"
This is what the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) confirmed during the national ecumenical conference on justice for the Dalits (22-25 October 2010). The common commitment of Catholics and Protestants to break down the caste system.

15/03/2010 INDIA
Delhi: demonstration against Dalit ‘Via Crucis’ ready to go
More than 10,000 Christian and Muslim ‘untouchables gather in the capital to ask the government to improve their condition. Mgr Neethinathan, bishop of Chinglepet, tells AsiaNews that discrimination makes no sense, that the economy cannot developed with such injustices.

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