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Dalits and Christian dalits

[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Dalits vs. Christian dalits

Henry Thiagaraj<hremi@vsnl.com> wrote on 15 Jan 1999:

Though born a Dalit, because I was born in a converted Christian family, I
did not get any reservation benefit. 

My comments:

It is unfortunate that the Government should discriminate dalits on the
basis of their religious faith. I may mention in this connection that as
far as Andhra Pradesh in concerned, dalits (SCs and STs) enjoy 22.5
percent reservation in education and employment. But a dalit on becoming a
Christian is still treated as a dalit for the purpose of claiming full
reimbursement of his scholarship from the Central Government, but treated
to belong to Backward Caste C category with just one percent reservation
for the purpose of education and employment. A child of even a dalit IAS
officer on the other hand continues to enjoy the benefits conferred to
dalits, while a dalit who became a Lecturer under the rule of reservation
becomes a Professor under the same rule of reservation even before his
teacher could get into that position. 

It is stated in the draft manifesto that "Religion is a purely personal
matter never to be brought into the area of poltical discourse".
Discrimination between dalits and Christian dalits is a case of government
interfering with religious freedom. I suggest that a mention is made in
the IPI manifesto to extend all concessions presently provided to dalits
to the Christian dalits also. Non-dalits may note that such a move will
not in any way result in a further reductions of their opportunities in
education and employment. 

Prof. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Ph.D.
Chairman, Rayalaseema Vikas Parishad
63A Vidyanagar, Tirupati, AP 517502, India
(Presently in the USA on a visit)

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