In a victory to the campaign by Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) against the misuse of reservations by the Church in Andhra, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has directed the Andhra Pradesh govt department of Social Justice to take appropriate action against LRPF's complaint on the same.
In January, LRPF had exposed the way the Church in Andhra Pradesh was sabotaging conversions by influential Evangelists who were trying to force the governments to extend the reservations to even those from the SC, ST and OBC communities who have already converted. Organiser had reported
the same wherein LRPF had given representation with demographic details of Christians in Andhra Pradesh, appeasement policy of the state government, the disproportionate number of Churches in various Districts and Mandals, and the need to safeguard the identity of SC/STs so that they continue to enjoy the constitutional benefits.
In its letter to the Principle Secretary of the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry has forwarded the email representation of LRPF and directed them to take appropriate action on the matter.
Letter of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to the by Principal Secretary of the Social Welfare Department of Government of Andhra Pradesh
The LRPF representation had quoted the Centre for Policy Studies report titled ‘What happened to the Christians of Andhra Pradesh?’ to draw attention to the demographic data of Christians in Andhra. The data show a sharp decline in those who declared their religion as Christian between 1971 and 2011. In just one district—Guntur, the number of Christians has come down from 4.15 lakh to just 0.89 lakh in last 40 years, while the population of the district went up from 28.44 lakhs to 48.87 lakhs between 1971 and 2011.
Another recent LRPF investigation revealed that while the official estimate of the population of the Christians in AP is 1.39%, 43.99% of the honorarium beneficiaries are Christian Pastors. The data clearly shows that a large percentage of Christians who have been baptised and have undergone Pastor Training courses continue to hold Hindu Caste Certificates only to obtain government benefits like the recent one-time relief honorarium during COVID lockdown.
This is a significant step as the AP government will have to report the action taken on the complaint to the central government Ministry. LRPF has also said that it will pursue the matter with the AP government and also the central government in the matter. LRPF says that unless such misuse of caste certificates by converted Christians does not stop, the Hindu SC/ST's who are truly downtrodden will be robbed of the government benefits.