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Saturday, 16 June, 2007

If Christians are also dalits then why blame Hindus for casteism?

St. Stephen’s college at Delhi has introduced quota for Dalit Christians. There is a long pending demand for giving reservation to Dalit Christians on the lines being given to Dalit Hindus. Buddhists are also demanding reservation for Dalit Buddhists. Muslim also claim that there are Dalits Muslims. So when Dalits are in every religious community then why blame Hindus for casteism?

Moreover, being a Dalit has its own advantages. A dalit can get reservation for his children even if he becomes President of India. If a choice is given, majority of upper class Hindus will opt to be treated as Dalits. Then there is a quota war going on between Dalits as politicians have created casteism amongst Dalits also, SC, ST and OBC. Some Dalits feel that they are not getting more reservation benefits as some other Dalits are getting. Recent clashes between Gujjars and Meenas is a case in example.

Everybody wants to be treated as a Dalit but everybody also abuses Hinduism for their Dalitness. The fact is that now being a Dalit is not a curse, it is a boon.


John Mathai said...

It is important to remember that the issue is not about admission of Christian students but of creating another category of quota called "Dalit Christians" There is a case in the Supreme Court whether or not such a category can be a reservation category. The matter is still to be decided. St Stephen's should have waited for the decision. Not doing so just goes to show the kind of respect this College and by implication the Church has for the highest court of law in India.

Moreover, let us not forget that there is no viable way for certifying who is a Dalit Christian and who is a non-Dalit Charistian. If one looks at this closely one can realise that this new quota is merely a quota for bishops who will have the power to give dalit certifications. Thus it a programme for back door entry.

Let us also note that though the church is expected to give 5% of expenditure to St Stephen's and 95 % comes from the government, actually the church gives nothing at all. If we are so keen to assert our rights should we not first fulfill our obligations?

Moreover this move will have serious repurcussions on the Christians themselves. So far in Christian colleges, as per law, minority seats are meant for ALL christians regardless of whether they are Catholics or Protestants or Baptists. Now, the door has been opened for a Catholic Christian College from having seats for Catholic only and keep protestants out and vice versa.


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