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Christian bodies in Chennai protest for implementation of Mishra panel report

Friday, February 19, 2010 07:49:34 AM, Pervez Bari,

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Bhopal: Several Christian organisations staged a  day-long “Protest Fast and Dharna” at Chennai to demand that the Tamil Nadu Government and the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, (DMK), party use its political goodwill with the United Progressive Alliance, (UPA), Union Government to help in the immediate implementation of the Justice (Retd.) Ranganath Mishra Commission report for full human rights to Dalit Christians.


According to a Press release the memorandum was submitted to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on the occasion. The memorandum  said: “We, the Dalit Christians together with our brothers and sisters in the Muslim faith, do once again demand:

1. The Government inform the Supreme Court of its decision on the report.

2. The Government through Legislative action in the Budget Session of Parliament or by a Presidential Ordinance entirely scrap the notorious Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and restore our rights to the full.


The Memorandum was signed by the Most Rev. Dr. M. Chinappa, Archbishop of Madras Mylapore and president, Tamil Nadu Bishops Conference; Dr. John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, Government of India; Adv. Edward Arokio Doss, president, NUDCI; Lawrance, State president, All India Catholic Union, Tamil Nadu; F. A. Nathan, president, Chennai Catholic Association and M. Selvam, Secretary, CA, Chennai.


Christian leaders and members of the Civil Society led by The Most Rev. Dr. M. Chinappa, Dr. John Dayal, Adv. M. Arokio Doss and others sat on the “Protest Fast and Dharna”.


The hunger strike and “Dharna” was jointly organised by the All India Catholic Union, Tamil Nadu unit, and the National Union of Dalit Christian India. Similar agitations would be organised in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and New Delhi in coming weeks.


Immediate action by the State and Union governments will also defeat the conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Hindutva forces to disturb national peace on this issue, speakers at the “Dharna” reportedly noted.


“We denounce the communal designs of the Sangh Parivar and call on all democratic and secular forces to preserve the secular identity of India by restoring Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslim rights which were taken away by the then government at the behest of powerful communal elements. It is now time to exercise political will and restore these rights which include not merely reservations in government employment and educational systems but such fundamental political rights as participation in the Panchayati Raj elections from which they are debarred in their home villages”, the release stated.


The release added: “We recall the long history of our injury, and the painful journey we have made of protest. Christians and Muslims of Dalit Origin have agitated now for 60 years, urging the Government not to discriminate on grounds of religion, but to once again restore the political, economic and development privileges accorded all Dalits by the Constitution of India when it was signed into law on 26th January 1950. These rights were taken away brutally by the Presidential Order of 1950 which strengthened the right wing fundamentalist religious lobby and which continues to constitute a slur on the Secular foundations of the Indian Nation”.








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