"Include Dalit-Christians in SC list," Indian Christian Association tells Central Government

"Do not mislead the Parliament, the Indian public and the international Christian community"
( [email protected] ) Dec 26, 2003 07:57 PM EST

Chennai, India., Dec. 26 - The All-India Christian People's Forum has announced that it will not stop till its demand to the BJP-led Government, for providing equal status to Christian Dalits, on a par with Hindu, Sikh and neo Buddhist Dalits, for reservation in education and job opportunities has been met.

It also urged the Centre not "to misrepresent obvious facts and mislead Parliament, the Indian public and the international Christian community," but to concede the just demand of the Christian Dalits to be included in the Scheduled Castes list.

Taking objection to the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Sathyanarayan Jatia's statement on the Christian Dalit issue, the AICPF general-secretary, Brindavan C. Moses, said the Minister was taking shelter under the observation made by the Registrar-General of India that "stratification among Christians on the basis of caste" could turn into an international controversy, as it would be construed as if India was imposing its caste system on Christians.

Hierarchical stratification among Indian Christians on the caste basis began a long time ago and it was well entrenched here. Christian Dalits formed more than 60 per cent of the Indian Christian population as people had embraced the faith primarily as a form of social protest against exploitation, oppression and the practice of untouchability in Hindu society, he said.

The AICPF would like to inform the Minister that the international community was well aware of such oppressive stratification among Christians, Mr. Moses added.