The National Council of Dalit Christians, Catholic Bishops Conference of India- Office for SC/ BC and National Council of Churches in India-Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns jointly organized a ‘Dharna’ on 4th August 2022 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi to protest against the religion-based discrimination vide Constitutional Scheduled Caste Order 1950, para 3 which denied Scheduled caste rights and privileges to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled caste origin. This order was promulgated on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India through which Scheduled Caste status was denied to all Dalits except Hindu Dalits. This is a grave injustice and Religion based discrimination in the secular nation and a denial of the fundamental principles of the constitution of India. Though, the para 3 of this order was amended in 1956 and 1990 respectively to impart SC rights to Sikhs and Buddhists of scheduled caste origin but the Christians and Muslims were left out. This year, the Republic of India celebrates its 75th Independence Day on 15th of August and asection of Indian society, Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin are forced to continue their struggle against the injustice and denial of the fundamental constitutional rights for more than seven decades.
In Delhi, this year since the monsoon session of the parliament wasin the first week of August. the organizing committee had decided to hold a “Dharna” at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 4th of August 2022.The dharna was led by the leaders of NCDC, NCCI and CBCI. Besides, Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslim leaders and activistsfrom different states of India attended the dharna declaring the solidarity to the struggles of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. The prominent leaders who addressed the dharna were Shri Abdul Khaleque(Member of Parliament from Barpeta, Assam) and Dr. Thol. Thirumavalavan ( Member of Parliament & President of Viduthalai ChiruthaikalKatchi, Tamilnadu), MoulanaHajumuddin of Jamait Ulema-e- Hind, Mr. V. J. George ( President of NCDC), Dr. E. D. Charles ( General Secretary- NCDC), Fr. Vijay Kumar Nayak ( Secretary- CBCI office for SC/BC), Mr. Pradip Bansrior ( Executive Secretary, Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns, NCCI), Rev. Dr. T. Bhaskar (Secretary- Telangana Council of Churches), Sister Manju Devarapalli (General Secretary, NDCW) addressed the dharna.
The main demands of the Dharna were the followings:
- Repeal the paragraph 3 of the constitutional Scheduled Caste Order 1950 and end the religious based discriminat
- ion on Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims
- Grant Scheduled caste rights to Christians and Muslims of sch
eduled caste origin
- Implement the Justice Ranganathan Misra Commission report and make SC status religion neutral.