In India, the benefits available to the ‘Sheduled Castes / SC are not extended to Christian and Muslim SCs. So, the Christians and Muslims in India, are demanding ‘Scheduled Caste’ rights for their Christian and Muslim Dalits / SCs.
Indian Christians have filed petitions in the Supreme Court of India,challenging the para 3 of the “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, for getting the ‘SC’ benefits for Christian SCs.
According to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, J.Jayalalithaa:
- Because of the exclusion SC Christians from the benefits of reservations etc., social tensions of unbalanced growth between Hindu scheduled castes and Christian converts have “aggravated” in course of time,
- As per the “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, SCs means such castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within such castes, races or tribes as are deemed under article 341 to be “Scheduled Castes” for the purposes of the Constitution, and the Constitution does not confine the category of SCs to any select religion,
- Extending benefits of positive affirmation to a certain category of persons and to specific religions like Hinduism, Sikhism and excluding from its purview citizens of other religions is “ultra vires” of Article 341 of the Constitution of India and it “militates” against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship to all its citizens and
- The above Order must be amended in tune with the socio-economic realities of modern day India.
Hence, the Tamilnadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has written a letter to the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, requesting for:
- Inclusion of SC Christians in the “List of Scheduled Castes”, annexed to the above Order, as recommended by “Ranganath Misra Commission” of June 2011,
- Treatment of scheduled caste Christians on par with Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists and include them in the SC List,
- Filing Counter Affidavit supporting the petitions filed by SC Christians in the Supreme Court of India,challenging the para 3 of the “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950,
- Deletion of Para 3 of the “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950,
- She wanted the Centre to file counter affidavits supporting the request of SC Christians, for early disposal of pending pleas in Supreme Court challenging the validity of para 3. of the “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and
- Prompt Action by the Government of India to initiate the necessary statutory steps to include all Scheduled Castes irrespective of religion within the ambit of the status of SCs listed in the Order, and bring in necessary legislation in the current session of Parliament.