Dalit Christians too face Caste Discrimination

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Discrimination against Dalit Christians by church authorities rocked the Tamil Nadu State Minorities Commission meeting, presided over its Chairman M. Prakash, at the Collectorate here on Tuesday.

Representatives of various Dalit Christian organisations levelled series charges against church authorities. They said that 70 per cent of Christians in the district were Dalit Christians. But the churches were dominated by a section of Christians, whose population was just two per cent.

A representative of Dalit Christian community speaking at the meeting of Tamil Nadu State Minorities Commission at Dindigul Collectorate on Tuesday.— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN

Even basic rights were denied to Dalit Christians and they were ill-treated and totally ignored. The government should intervene and protect the basic rights of Dalit Christians, they demanded.
Now, Dalits Christians were treated as minority by the dominant section of Christians, they alleged.
Reacting to their complaints, Bishop M. Prakash admitted that there was discrimination against Dalit Christians in churches across the State.

Then, Dalit Christians questioned how long the suppressed class could negotiate without any solution. Christopher, representative of a Dalit Christian organisation, said that schools run by Christian Missions did not admit Dalit Christian students and refused to follow 17 per cent reservation for Dalits prescribed by the government in minority schools.

The Commission should inspect minority schools. Recognition of erring schools should be cancelled and funds from the government should be stopped, he demanded. Reacting to Muslims’ demand for construction of a memorial for Tipu Sultan, the Chairman said that funds had been sanctioned and the site was finalised. Construction work would commence in a week or 10 days.

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