Voice of Dalit Christians

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John Dayal, Senior Journalist

India’s Dalits, the former untouchables in the Vedic Caste Hierarchy, are possibly the only group of people in the world who have a conditional freedom of faith. They are free only to profess Hinduism if they want political representation, high education and some guarantee of employment. The Presidential Order of 1950, which ordained this, is also, arguably, the most stringent anti-conversion law, targeting Christianity and Islam. The struggle to regain that freedom once guaranteed every citizen of Independent India, has continued since 1950. It has, however, never really been carried in the media, largely because the corporate, upper caste ownership of the Press, did not find it newsworthy, or they derided it. Surveys have found that Dalits, of any denomination, do not find any presence worth the name in the so called Mainline Print and TV journalism.

I congratulate Dalit Christian Digest of this digital media to give voice specially to Christians of Dalit origin, who seek to regain their birthright, and their political presence.

(The author is former president, All India Catholic Union and member, National Integration Council.)

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