India's Christians observe anniversary of official discrimination against dalits
CWN - August 10, 2011
Wearing black badges and raising black flags, Christians of different denominations joined together on August 10 to observe 'black day' to mark the 61st year of official discrimination against Christian dalits.
It was on August 10, 1950 that the federal government enacted the special legislation paving way for the constitutional discrimination against dalit Christians.
“Dalit”—the word literally meaning “trampled upon”--refers to members of the lowest castes, treated as “untouchables” in traditional Indian society. In 1950, the government made Hindu dalits are eligible for free education and quotas in government jobs and legislatures, in a bid to improve their social status.
While these statutory privileges were later extended to Sikh and Buddhist dalits, they are denied to Christian dalits--who account for Two-thirds of the 27 million Christians in India.
“In many places, the bishops themselves led the protests,” Father Cosmon Arokiaraj, secretary of the Dalit Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, told CWN from Lalgudi near Trichy in the southern Tamil Nadu state, where he led more than 1,000 Christians in a public protest.
The “black day” protest follows a July 25-28 hunger strike and march on parliament in New Delhi. That earlier protest was joined by nearly 50 Catholic bishops, and drew over 10,000 demonstrators.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our April expenses ($20,385 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!