KOCHI: The government did not show the willpower to implement the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission, according to the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC).
In a circular issued in connection with Justice Sunday, Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan, chairman, KCBC SC/ST Commission said it was injustice to deny the constitutional rights of Dalit Christians only because they had embraced Christianity.
“Both the Central and state governments are ignoring the agitations by Dalit Christians. It is also unfortunate that both the Left and Right fronts did not include Dalit Christians in their list of candidates for the Assembly election,” Bishop Ponnumuthan said.
“Even after 64 years of Independence, lakhs of people in the country are living in a pathetic condition.
The Dalits suffered the worst and they continue to be discriminated in the name of caste.
Catholic priests and nuns, who strived for the welfare and human rights of Dalits, were targeted and even killed,” the pastoral letter said. "The struggle by Dalit Christians is not just an agitation for reservation benefits, but to win the constitutional rights of an Indian citizen.”
Dalit Sikhs and Dalit Buddhists were included in the SC/ST list in 1990. But there is no reason for denying the same to Dalit Christians.
It is further alleged in the letter that the government was deliberately trying to delay the case pending before the Supreme Court by making false submissions.
The pastoral letter will be read out in all Catholic churches in Kerala during the Holy Mass on August 21.