Christians to observe India's Constitution signing Anniversary as Black Day

Published 05 August 2014  |  

Christians in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) of India will observe the anniversary of India's Constitution signing day as 'Black Day'. They said the constitutional rights for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims have been denied for the past 64 years.

"On 10th August 1950, the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) order 1950 was signed by the then President of India which says, "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. Thus Constitutional rights for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims are denied based on religion for the past 64 years," the statement made by the organisers of the event stated.

The event to be organized jointly by Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) and National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) at the CNI Bhavan, 16, Pandit Pant Marg from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 12th August 2014. It will be presided over by Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary of the CNI Synod and Most Rev. Archbishop Vincent Concessao and Most Rev. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi.

Christian and Muslim groups have been demanding for the past decade to the successive government to grant the same right to all Dalits irrespective of their religious background as recommended by the Ranganath Mishra Commission -- which has recommended the same so that Dalits from Muslim and Christian backgrounds too can access to reservation and benefits granted by the government to these backward communities.

Last December, Christian leaders from all backgrounds came together and demanded the recommendation of the commission to be implemented as soon as possible. The helpless leaders were lathi charged, attacked with water cannons in a freezing temperature; many of them courted arrest as well.

Although the then Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh promised them to look into the matter, it has not come to fruition and the government at the centre has changed again.

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