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.
Dalit Muslim hope in Supreme Court ruling
ALL INDIA MUSLIM BACKWARD COMMUNITY WELFARE TRUST(AIMBC) MUMBAI MAHARASHTRA
In a great development for a PIL lodged in Supreme Court by Akhil Maharastra Khatik Samaj (AMKS) for inclusion of
Dalit Muslims in Scheduled Caste category, the apex court recently ordered Union of India to file counter affidavit to the
writ petition. It is happening for the first time that the Union of India has responded to this petition. Shamsuddin Shaikh,
chairman of Akhil Maharashtra Khatik Samaj, has said that they are fighting for Dalit Muslim rights for more than a
decade. From 1935 to 1950 all Dalits irrespective of their religion were provided with reservations.
However, on Jan.26, 1950 when the constitution of India came into force an Order was passed by then President of
India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, limiting the reservation to only “Hindu Dalits”, clearly prohibiting the provision of Article 341
which states that all SCs should be given reservation. The Presidential Order 1950 denies inclusion of Dalits of any
community other than Hindu in the SC category. The order says no person who professes a religion different from
Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the SC. This part of the order runs contrary to the provisions of Articles 14
(equality before the law), 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion) and 25 (freedom to profess and practice
any religion) of the Constitution.
The situation clearly calls for a constitutional amendment to include Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians. Sikhs and
Budhists were already included under SC.
Dalit Muslims deserve SC reservation as they are not only engaged in the same profession as “Hindu Dalit” but also
suffer the same discrimination as their “Dalit Hindu” counterpart. Mushtaq Ahmed, Supreme Court advocate in the above
case, said the Ranganath Mishra Commission has also recommended SC status for Dalit Muslims. There are 35 Dalit
Muslim castes among Muslims.The final hearing of apex court is on 29/3/2011.we hope dalit converts will get justice.