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Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, President of National Unites Christian Forum said,
The Prime Minister's statement on the development of minorities and the backward classes comes as a ray of hope for all oppressed and exploited sections of minorities. The Forum welcomes his views that SC/ST and all minorities should have first claim over resources,
Tn the light of the recent Sachar panel's report which has further confirmed what the Christians of Dalit origin have been repeatedly telling the Government, that the change of religion does not bring about a change in their socio-economic status who live in the Indian society and not exclusively in their own religious communities. Hence they are subject to the same painful and humiliating experiences and injustices that Dalits of other religions do. The Forum also asks the government to explain as to how the same status was restored to the Sikhs and Buddhists but is being continuously denied to the Christians. The NUCF appeals to the Government not to delay any longer but to act on ensuring the welfare of all such minorities whether they are good vote banks or not.
Various Christian organizations from different states of India representing the Christian Dalits have been staging long relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar during the winter session of the Parliament.
As the feast of Christmas is around it would be truly a Christmas Gift if the Government could positively respond to the repeated appeal of Christian Dalits for what is their due. It is hoped that the Government will act in this regard and soon.
Rev. Richard Howell
National United Christian Forum
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