The Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore and the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes will observe August 10 as a ‘black day’ in protest against denial of SC status to Dalit Christians and Muslims.
Fr. A. Arputharaj, Secretary, SC/ST Commission, Puducherry, told reporters here on Monday that the presidential order issued on August 10, 1950 not granting SC status for Dalit converts was unjust. Therefore, August 10 has been deemed as a ‘black day’, he said.
The order holds that only Dalits who practise Hinduism can be treated as SC.
There were two amendments to it – in 1956 and 1990 – to grant SC status to Sikhs and Buddhists. The case against the constitutional order 1950 has been pending for the past 13 years, he said.
The case had been referred to a higher Bench and still it has not been constituted.
He said the constitutional rights for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims were denied based on religion for the past 67 years.
Mr. Arputharaj said that Bishop Neethinathan, Chairperson of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) office for SC/BC, had called upon people to observe August 10 as black day in their respective regions, dioceses and institutions.
Meetings, rallies, demonstrations and candle light vigil will be organised to express solidarity with Dalit Christians, he added.