Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in his address to the Christian community at Amaravati stated that “he would stand by the Christian community till the Dalit Christians are accorded the status of SCs and STs for reservation benefits.” His stand for Dalit Christians is laudable.
Article 15 of the constitution says: “the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them.”
Even though our constitution guarantees equal rights to every citizen, Dalit Christians are denied reservation benefits on par with the Hindu Dalits on grounds that in Christianity they have no caste system. Though Sikhism and Buddhism do not follow the caste system, they are accorded all the reservation benefits on par with the Hindu Dalits.
The socio- economic disabilities of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims are the same as those suffered by caste Hindu Dalits. But the religion based discrimination is still continuing under the cover of controversial presidential order of 1950.
Therefore the incoming government at the centre, irrespective of party affiliation should see that equal justice is done to the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims on par with the Hindu Dalits, Sikhs and neo – Buddhists for reservation benefits.
– Thomas Mulackel, Bangaluru