The National Council of Churches in India with the initiative of the Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns observed ‘Black Day’ on 10th August 2017, protesting against the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the country. On this day in solidarity with the people who are oppressed, 27 members gathered together on the lawn of NCCI wearing black badges and displaying posters. A black flag was hoisted by Rev. Caesar J. David – Executive Secretary of Communications. It was not only an emblem of mourning for the injustice inflicted upon Dalit Christians and Muslims, but also an urgent appeal to the authority to repeal the unconstitutional law that violates and suppresses the rights of many citizens.
Mr. Pradip Bansrior – Executive Secretary of the Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns shared a reflection on the significance of the protest against the infamous Presidential Order that was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India which said, “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. But this law continues to rule out Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians from the Scheduled Castes List until date. Mr Pradip Bansrior also suggested how concerned people should respond in times like this: to be critical about not only the powers that be, but also about the way one lives, being a responsible citizen and a steward of God. The observance concluded with a prayer by Ms. Ushakiran Herold, remembering the plight and affliction of the people who are oppressed, and beseeching God to intervene and to bring justice for the oppressed.
Intern – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns
National Council of Churches in India