Muslim, Christian Dalits unite status demands

Hundreds of Muslims and Christians of backward class Dalit community joined hands here Sunday to put pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to accord Scheduled Caste (SC) status to them.

Muslim, Christian Dalits unite status demands
Hundreds of Muslims and Christians of backward class Dalit community joined hands here Sunday to put pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to accord Scheduled Caste (SC) status to them.

The Dalit Muslims and Christians, including many women, attended a rights conference jointly organised by members of both communities at S.K. Memorial Hall in support of their decades-old demand of removing various restrictions on their reservation under Article 341 of the Indian Constitution.

'It is high time that UPA government should accord SC status to Muslim Dalits and Christian Dalits by removing the restriction of reservation for them under Article 341,' M. Ejaj Ali, president of All India United Muslim Morcha, said in his address.

'It (the move) is bound to give a new direction to socio-economic empowerment of Muslim and Christian Dalits,' Ali, who has been spearheading a movement for the last 15 years for Muslim Dalits, said.

He described the conference as a 'new beginning' for the rights of the both the communities.

The leader, a Muslim Dalit himself, also questioned the seriousness of the central government for accepting the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and Ranganathan Committee related to granting SC status to Dalits of both the communities.

Ali, a city-based surgeon, said it was unfortunate that the UPA government accepted almost all recommendations of the Sachar Committee on May 18, but deferred the decision on granting SC status to Muslim Dalits till it received the Ranganathan Committee report, which studied the condition of religious and linguistic minorities in the country.

Franklin Seazer, leader of National Council of Dalit Christians from Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh Bishop Conference secretary Father A.X.J. Bosco attended the conference.

'It will strengthen our demand,' Bosco said.
Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2007, 19:22
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