by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – India’s federal government appears to be deliberately dragging its heels in an 18-year-old landmark case concerning the preservation of affirmative action for millions of Dalit Hindus who convert to Christianity, the Christian Post reports.
Considered the lowest of the low and “contagiously impure” in the Hindu caste system, India’s 201.4 million Dalit Hindus have been subjected to atrocities by Hindus higher up in the caste system. Accordingly, Dalit Hindus are given federal government protection prescribed by the Indian Constitution, CP reports.
Dalit Hindus have positions reserved for them in government and educational institutions, and they are provided with other benefits.
As Dalit Hindus turned to Christ, the Center for Public Interest Litigation filed a case against the Indian government in 2002, challenging the 1950 Order, which grants special rights to Dalit (low caste) Hindus but does not cover the Dalits who become Christians.
The case is now 18 years old and has still not been resolved, leaving Dalit Christian vulnerable to attack and loss of jobs and benefits.
Franklin Caesar Thomas, coordinator of the National Council of Dalit Christians, and veteran activist John Dayal have told Christian Solidarity Worldwide that they believe the Indian government is deliberately stalling. Such stalling is “a British-era tactic to defer a decision indefinitely,” Dayal said.
“Caste barriers don’t break with time, as the killings of Hindu Dalits by upper caste Hindus has shown,” Dayal added.
India has been ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party since 2014 and now ranks 10th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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