The churches of India join hands to create an awareness regarding the rife cast system in Indian culture.
According to details, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, (CBCI) has settled on resolution that every parish in India will observe December 13 as “Dalit Rights Day” when the prevailing caste system would be talked about from various point of views. Seeing the prejudice shown to the Dalit Christians, the Christian Bishops Conference of India, (CBCI) has established a special wing for the low castes and Dalits.
In this regard, an Indian priest at the Christian Bishops’ Conference of India, (CBCI) said, “Though the Church does not believe in caste supremacy, it is a sad reality that the Indian Church is not free from its clutches. We want the believers to be more aware and sensitive towards the subject.”
During the course of the day on December 13, every bit of aspects of Dalit life, which include the role played by B. R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi, will come under discussion. The subject of conditions of the Dalit Christians will also be discussed, while at the same time, the church will reaffirmed its resolution to fight for getting rights for Dalit Christians.
According to the priest, the Indian Church has been inspired by Pope Francis; who encourages the Christians all around the world, to “empower the downtrodden.” He explained that emancipation of Dalits was always on the agenda of the Indian Church, “but this kind of national observation across all parishes in India is new.”
In the wake of the “Ghar Wapsi” campaigns being run, in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala; when Hindu outfits pressurized the Christian converts to reconvert to Hinduism. “The church is not scared of ghar wapsi controversies. We genuinely feel for the uplift of Dalits and the decision to observe Dalit Rights Day has been taken after considering all aspects of their issues,” the priest said.
Moreover, the priest also acknowledged that Dalit Christians are so down trodden that they have every reason to whine. “The life of a Dalit Christian is quite miserable as he is still a Dalit despite the conversion. They are deprived of many protection and privileges of Hindu Dalits because they converted to Christianity. But within the Church, they are never treated as equals. Whatever be the compulsions, it is good to hear that CBCI is concerned about Dalit Christians,”he said.