Dalit Christian Supreme Court Case Commences in India

|TOP|The Supreme Court of India will see three former Law Ministers of India debate over the introducing of positive action benefits for Dalit Christians, 5th April 2006, tells Dr Joseph D’Souza, International President of the Dalit Freedom Network.

Dalit Christians have faced severe persecution over the past 50 years, but now former Law Ministers Shanti Bhusan and Ram Jethmalani will put forward that the Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of religion. In addition, they will look to reveal that the fact that Dalits have turned to Christianity cannot be used as the basis of denial of affirmative action benefits.

Opposing Dalit rights is the former Law Minister of the BJP, Mr Arun Jaitley, who has been deputed by the Hindu Nationalist RSS to debate for them against proposals to give Dalits similar rights to those enjoyed by Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindu Dalits in the country.

|AD|Dr. Joseph D’Souza also explained that “The Central Government is also supposed to submit the report of its recent Commission which was mandated to look at the plight of Dalit Christians. Dalit Christian leaders in different parts of India have complained that a fair hearing was not given to their case when members of the Commission visited some of the States.”

Assist news also report that according to inside sources, the report of the Government Commission is unlikely to grant Christian Dalits rights under the Constitution.

“There is widespread anger among Dalit Christians against the ruling Congress Party and it’s dilly-dallying on this issue when all other parties except the BJP have come out in open support of affirmative benefits to be given to Dalit Christians,” said D’Souza.

The All India Christian Council has issued a global call to prayer for this issue, and asks for more intensive prayer as the final stages of the debate are set to conclude.