India Supreme Court Postpones Ruling on Rights of Dalit Christians
The lives of millions of Dalit Christians has been once again left hanging in the balance as the Indian Supreme Court delays its decision on whether to give Dalit Christians the same legal rights as Dalits of other religions.
Published 02 December 2005 | Maria Mackay
The Indian Supreme Court has once again delayed its decision on whether Dalit Christians will receive the same legal rights as Dalits of other religions.
|TOP|The postponement leaves the lives of millions of Dalit Christians in the country uncertain of their future, reports BosNewsLife.
The Supreme Court said it would consider the constitutional validity of the current legislation which removes the rights afforded Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh Dalits if they convert to Christianity or Islam.
The court case, put forward by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, will be reconsidered in the third week of February next year.
“The continuing delay of giving Dalit Christians equal rights with other Dalits is an affront to India’s secular democracy,” the National Director Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CWS), Stuart Windsor, told BosNewsLife.
|AD|One positive development is a new investigation to be launched into the alleged discrimination of millions of Dalit Christians, according to BosNewsLife.
India’s National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorites (NCRLM), an advisory body to the government, launched the investigation following the mass demonstration in the Indian state of Orissa in support of the Dalit Christians.
The Indian government currently provides affirmative action positions or ‘reservations’ for Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits in university placements and government jobs but makes no such provision for Christian Dalits.
Dalits are the so-called “untouchables” according to India’s ancient caste system of Hinduism, making up around 300 million people.
Although there are no exact figures, several million of the Dalit population, considered to occupy the lowest place in the caste system, are believed to be Christians.