SC Status: Dalit Christians, Muslims Knock On Congress Doors
NEW DELHI (SAR NEWS) – Dalit Christians and Muslims in the country have urged Sonia Gandhi, the president of the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, to ensure that Scheduled Caste status is granted to the two minority communities as early as possible.
In a letter addressed to the chief of the Congress party, which heads the coalition government, the Christian and Muslim representatives stressed the need for a Scheduled Caste status to their communities on a par with Dalits in Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
They pointed out that a Public Interest Litigation (writ 180/2004) was pending in the Supreme Court for the last six years and the government had been dragging its feet over giving a reply in this regard to the apex court.
The Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, a study done for the National Commission for Minorities through Prof. Satish Deshpande, and many other studies have conclusively proved that Para 3 of the Indian Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950, is a discrimination based on religion and hence an injustice, as it goes against the Constitution Articles 14, 15, 16 and 25, they said, adding that it must be deleted by appropriate means.
“All the Scheduled Caste people, irrespective of religion, suffer the same deprivation, seclusion and disabilities, and they are socially and economically backward. A change of religion does not change the caste. Hence, Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin must be granted equal rights on a par with other Scheduled Caste people,” the letter stated.
Dalit Christians and Muslims, who have been consistently voting for the Congress, have become disappointed and disillusioned. They feel that the Congress government has let them down and betrayed their hopes, the community leaders said, and urged Sonia Gandhi to take the matter seriously.