July 2, 2010
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) joins with the National Council of Dalit Christians to invite you to participate in a rally on 21 July, 2010 (Wednesday) from 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi -110001 to urge the Union of India to grant the equal rights and status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin.
Paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) order 1950deprives Muslims and Christians of Scheduled Caste Origin, the Scheduled Caste status. It reads as “no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.”
The Report of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) which was tabled in the Parliament on 18th December 2009, states "...we recommend that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950-which originally restricted the Scheduled Caste net to the Hindus and late opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis, etc - should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely delink the Scheduled Caste status from religion and make the Scheduled Castes net fully religion neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes." (16.3.5)
The study on 'Dalits in the Muslim and Christian Communities': A Status Report on Current Social Scientific Knowledge, prepared for the National Commission for Minorities, Government of India, by Prof. Satish Deshpande University of Delhi, 2008 observes, "there is no compelling evidence to justify denying SC (Scheduled Caste) status to Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians." (p. 81)
On 22 Apri1 2010, National Commission for Scheduled Castes had fully acknowledged and endorsed the recommendation of the NCRLM concerning the deletion of Paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 for extending the Scheduled Castes status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Castes Origin:
EFI urges the Central Government:
1. To take urgent action on the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities report, particularly under the Additional Term of Reference for granting Scheduled Castes status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Castes Origin, and
2. To give an appropriate answer to the query of the Supreme Court to the Writ Petitions praying for deletion of the unjust paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and to extend Scheduled Caste status to Muslims and Christians of Scheduled Caste Origin.
People from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar will be participating in the rally. Please confirm your participation and your time of arrival to the rally to 9818805668. For more details please visit the EFI website.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations