The campaign follows a decision by the Church of North India to add is voice to the groundswell of support across the country for an end to the discrimination against India’s Dalit community.
At its February meeting the Executive Committee of the CNI synod passed a resolution that:
“RESOLVED that to press our deman to include Dalit Christians and Muslims in the Schedule Caste list, all the Dioceses, Pastorates, Congregations and institutions under the CNI be requested to join in the national one million post card campaign by sending at least one post card to the Hon’ble Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson from each family so as to pressurize the government to file its reply before Supreme Court of India based on the Justic R.N. Mishra Commission’s report to include Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the Scheduled Caste list. Further it is RESOLVED that the Churches, Institutions and Dioceses under the umbrella of CNI Synod should organise rallies in collaboration with other denominations in order to draw the support of political parties which may respond as the election is nearing”
The Most Revd. Dr. P. P. Marandih, Moderator, the Synod of the Church of North India, led the EC members in the signing of the post cards. The Executive Committee comprises of members representing the 27 Dioceses of the Church of North India spread across Northern India including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Under this campaign, every day at least 100 post cards each will be posted to Sonia Gandhi, President of Congress Party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh until we reach the target of one million post cards.
Mr. Alwan Masih, General Secretary, Synod of the Church of North India, while apprising the members of the executive committee, said that over the years the government of India is avoiding giving a concrete answer to the issue. Let the government give its reply to the Supreme Court where a case is pending. We can chalk out our action plan after hearing yes or no from the government. He challenged and called the members of the Executive Committee, the supreme legislative body of the Church of North India, to make this a movement until we achieve our goal.
The Most Rev. Dr. Philip P. Marandih, Moderator, the Synod of the Church of North India, while endorsing and appreciating the call made by the General Secretary, said, “We need to have a dialogue with the Catholic Church and other churches and ecumenical bodies, so that we can all work together for our rights.”
The petition was filed eight years ago in Supreme Court challenging validity of the amendment of the Constitution in 1950. the amendment said, “No person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste.” Later on Sikh Dalit’s and Neo-Buddhist Dalit’s have also been accorded the Schedule Caste benefit.
For more than six decades, Christian and Muslim Dalit’s have been excluded from government benefits meant for the social benefit of Dalit’s on these religious grounds.
The Synod of the Church of North India
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