Dalits among Muslims, Christians should not be denied reservation, says VCK chief
Thirumavalavan wants Scheduled Caste tag for these groups
VCK president and Chidambaram MP Thol. Thirumavalavan on Saturday supported the demand of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims that they be recognised as Scheduled Castes, which gives them the right to reservation.
Mr. Thirumavalavan said his party fully supported the fight of Dalit converts and their protest on August 10, observed as a ‘Black Day’.
Noting that only those Dalits who converted to Buddhism and Sikhism were eligible for reservation while those who converted to Christianity and Islam had been excluded, the VCK chief said the Centre should not deny them their right to reservation any longer.
“Amendments were brought in to a Presidential Order in 1956 to include Dalits who became Sikhs. In 1990, amendments were made to include Dalits who converted to Buddhism. However, Dalits who have embraced Islam and Christianity haven’t been included in the Scheduled Castes list,” Mr. Thirumavalavan said.
He said the Centre had been denying Dalit converts their rights even after the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommended almost a decade ago that reservation should be extended to them.
“Denying the right to reservation to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims goes against Article 25 of the Constitution, which gives every Indian the freedom to practice any faith,” he said.