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Dalit Christians accuse Catholic leadership of discrimination

WebdeskJul 27, 2021, 08:48 AM IST

Dalit Christians accuse Catholic leadership of discrimination

Nirendra Dev

 

  

The protest organized by the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) condemned the "untouchability" practised by the Catholic hierarchy in India, particularly in the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry region.

 

New Delhi: Christians in India, including from Dalit sections, were told that the religion in their lives in the name of Jesus Christ would ensure 'equity and respectability', but the utopian situation never seems visible.

 

Casteism as the 'invisible untouchability practices' continues to haunt Christians in India.

 

And the taste of the cake is in its eating.

 

The Dalit Christians in Tamil Nadu staged a protest demonstration in front of the District Collector’s Office in Salem, Tamil Nadu, last week ahead of the consecration of the new bishop Arulselvam Rayappan in Salem.

 

The protest organized by the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) condemned the "untouchability" practised by the Catholic hierarchy in India, particularly in the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry region, a Christian leader said.

 

The complaint has been that in the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry region, it has become a trend that only 'non-Dalit bishops/archbishops' have been appointed consecutively during the past fifteen years.

 

“A statement from DCLM said, "As a consequence, there is only one Dalit bishop now out of the 18 Catholic dioceses in the region even though Dalits comprise about 75 per cent of the Catholics in the region, making their representation negligible. This situation has continued for decades. So, Dalit Catholics are anguished by this, and during the past one year, they were vigorously protesting the unjust situation and insisting on appointing only Dalit bishops in Tamil Nadu and a Dalit archbishop in Pondicherry-Cuddalore archdiocese in the vacancies existing for the past two years."

 

However, despite all these, the two bishops appointed now are also only Non-Dalits.

 

Sources said the protest was also against the Apostolic Nuncio in India for his 'compliance' with the caste discrimination and untouchability practised by the Catholic hierarchy in India.

 

The protestors have also appealed to Pope Francis to intervene and stop the caste discrimination in Catholic Church in India.

 

There are about 20 million Catholics in India.

 

With 24 million followers, Christianity is now India's third-largest religion after Hinduism and Islam in 1.35 billion people.

 

Laudatory remarks on Fr Stan 'withdrawn' by the judge:

 

Justice SS Shinde, judge of the Bombay High Court, on Friday (July 23) withdrew his oral statements praising late Father Stan Swamy.

 

This came after government pleader Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the NIA, raised objections during a hearing.

 

"I take those words back. Our endeavour is always to be balanced," said Justice Shinde, whose laudatory remarks after Stan's death were being grossly misinterpreted by a section vis-a-vis the merit of the case that he was held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

 

Jesuit Priest Stan was arrested in October 2020 in a high-profile case along with 15 others in what is also known as the Bhima Koregaon case for allegedly 'conspiring' with outlawed Maoists to overthrow the central government and also target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

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