CHENNAI: Amid the raging debate over religious conversions across the country, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan on Thursday accused the Catholic church of discriminating against Dalits. However, he opposed the efforts by Hindu organisations to re-convert Christians and Muslims.
Addressing a joint press meet along with the coordinators of the Dalit Christian People Federation (DCPF) here, he alleged that Michael Raja from Sivaganga diocese was not being conferred a degree in theology which would qualify him for priesthood.
He said the DCPF would take it to the notice of the Pope. Dalit untouchability prevailed in Catholic church even though about 22 lakh of the 36 lakh Catholics were Dalits. The administration of Catholic Diocese and churches were with non-Dalits, he claimed.
Worshipping rights for Dalits in churches were denied and car processions were not being taken through Dalit colonies, he said and added that a separate graveyard had been allotted to Dalit Christians.
Thirumavalavan said an ‘Untouchability Eradication Conference’ will be held in Sivagangai in March. The federation would insist on eradicating untouchability in churches throughout the country. Attacking the BJP government, he said that it was keen on imposing Hindutva ideology. Reacting to a query, Thirumavalavan said he could answer whether his party would continue in the DMK alliance only at the time of elections. However, he added that he would make the issue of alliance clear after Pongal Day.
The party would conduct an agitation on December 23 against the BJP government opposing its attempts to impose Hindutva ideology. He said preference is being to Sanskrit alone while 21 languages were recognised as national languages in the country. Thirumavalavan also strongly attacked efforts to declare Bhagavad Gita as the national scripture.