All NCCI Staff members observed “Black Day” on August 10, 2016 at the NCCI Campus, Nagpur to protest about the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians and Muslims in the country. In his address, Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns, highlighted the injustice related to the issue and lamented that the Civil Writ Petition 180/2004 in the Honorable Supreme Court of India praying for the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Presidential Order 1950 has been pending in the Supreme Court of India for the past 12 years, since the Government has not yet replied to the Supreme court.
The infamous Presidential (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 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”. It was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. But this law has continued to keep Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians out of the Scheduled Caste list.
The NCCI Staff members along with the Secretaries assembled in front of the NCCI Secretariat, with black ribbons pinned on their chests/shoulders and held Black Day posters in their hands as a mark of protest. Rev. Christopher Rajkumar hoisted a Black Flag as an affirmation of solidarity with the suffering Christians and Muslims of Scheduled caste origin. The protest came to a close with the word of prayer by Rev. Caesar David.
Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns
National Council of Churches in India