Muslim, Christian Dalits be given reservation: Ali Anwar

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) Dalits belonging to Muslim and Christain community today staged a sit-in and a rally here demanding implementation of Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission report, recommending their inclusion into the Scheduled Caste list.

The rally, headed by MP Ali Anwar, was organised by the All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz. ''80 per cent of Muslims and a majority of Christians in India belongs to the Dalit community and are suffering from 'some diluted type of untouchability and social discrimination like that of their Hindu counterparts,'' Mr Anwar said.

''But the Dalits in the Hindu, Sikh and Buddhism religious-fold have been put on the Schedule Caste list, while Dalits expressing their religious faith in Islam and Christiainty have been left out and denied this official reservation benefits,'' Mr Anwar said, adding, ''why they(Muslim-Christian Dalits) should not be treated on a par with the Hindu and Sikh Dalits." Several leaders, who addressed the rally and the sit-in dharna, besides the Mishra Commission and the SC/ST commission--a Constitutional body, also supported the inclusion of these two lower castes into the Scheduled Caste list.

The leaders alleged that exclusion of Dalits from other than those with Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths was a ''conspiracy'' of upper castes and Hindutva forces which wanted to help only those professing their faith in Hinduism, and consider Sikhism and Buddhism as its offshoots.

''Like Islam and Christainty, Sikh religion too opposed casteism and Varna-ashram of the Hindu religion and culture but the influence of old Indian culture inflicted the caste system among the Sikhs as well as among the Muslims and the Christians in the country.'' a Sikh leader said. Hence, all Dalits irrespective of their religious affiliations should be officially treated as Scheduled Caste, the leader added.

He also described bestowing of Scheduled Caste status on the Dalits among the Sikhs long back in 1956 was a 'conspiracy' to start a practical process of amalgamating the Sikh into the pan-Hindu religious network.

Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister seeking further ammendment to the 93rd Constitutional Ammendment making it mandatory for every Minority Institution to provide reservation for socially and educationally backward people.


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