Full Text: Dalit Memorandum against Church Discrimination

Dali 2

Date: 15.12.2014 

Mr. KudanthaiArasan,

Founder & President,

Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi,

And alliance of various Dalit Christian Movements

No: 541, Kamarasar Nagar- New Street

Melakaveri- Post,

Kumbakkonam- 612002,

Thanjavur-District,

Tamil Nadu,

Mobile No: 09894182482.

E Mail Id: kudanthaiarasan73@gmail.com

Note: National Commission for Scheduled Castes is requested to take necessary action/ start enquiry proceeding against the following Church Authorities against the traditional practice of untouchability oriented caste discriminatory practice/ social exclusion based up on the Indian Constitution Article 17, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 (Act No. 22 of 1955)- An Act to prescribe punishment for the (Preaching and Practice of “Untouchability”) for the enforcement of any disability arising there from and for matters connected therewith and as per the Indian Constitution Article 338 (9).

To

Honourable.Dr P.L Punia

Chairperson

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

Nation Commission for Scheduled Castes,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable. Raj Kumar Verka

Vice-Chairperson

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

Nation Commission for Scheduled Castes,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable. Raju Parmar

Member

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

Nation Commission for Scheduled Castes,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Ishwar Singh

Member

Nation Commission for Scheduled Castes,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable. P. M. Kamalamma

Member

Nation Commission for Scheduled Castes,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Note: National Commission for Minorities is requested to take necessary action/start the enquiry proceedingsforthwith against the following Church Authorities based up on the caste/ untouchability oriented discriminatory practice by referring the same Commission’s precedent decision File No. C/DL/60/0242/10-NCM, the Bench of the NCM hearing on 24.10.2011, concerning with case of Catholic Cemetery, Tamil Nadu and the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992  (NCM’s decision copy is enclosed).

 

Honourable.Naseem Ahmad,

Chairperson

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.TseringNamgyalShanoo,

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Dr Ajaib Singh,

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Prof. Farida Abdulla Khan,

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Mabel Rebello,

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Capt. Praveen Davar,

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Honourable.Dadi E. Mistry

Member

Nation Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor, LokNayakBhawan,

Khan Market,

New Delhi-110003

 

Church Authorities (particularly His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio for India and Nepal) are requested to eradicate the traditional practice of untouchability/ social exclusion based up on the following Holy See’s Christian Canon law, Indian Constitution, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Because the Holy See Country is a permanent observer of United Nations, it should follow the International Law and Covenant- it had signed accord with United Nations).

“Can. 208 From their rebirth in Christ, there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality regarding dignity and action by which they all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ according to each one’s own condition and function.

Can. 222 (2). They are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.

Can. 223 (1). In exercising their rights, the Christian faithful, both as individuals and gathered together in associations, must take into account the common good of the Church, the rights of others, and their own duties toward others.” (Courtesy Holy See Web Site).

His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio,

Apostolic Nuncio for India and Nepal,

Apostolic Nunciature,

50-C Niti Marg,

Chanakyapuri,

New Delhi- 110 021

 

His Eminence Baselios Cardinal CleemisCatholicos

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Major Archbishop of Trivandrum (Syro-Malankara)

Major Archbishop’s House, Pattom,

Trivandrum- 695004 (Kerala)

 

Most Rev. Andrews Thazhath

Vice- President- I, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Archbishop of Trichur

Archbishop’s House,

Trichur-680005(Kerala)

 

Most Rev. Filipe NeriFerrao

Vice- President- II, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Archbishop of Goa and Daman and Patriarch “ad honorem” of the East Indies

Archbishop’s House,

Altinho, Panaji-403001 (Goa)

 

Most Rev. Albert D’ Souza

Secretary General, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Archbishop of Agra

Archbishop’s House,

Wazirpura Road,

Agra-282003 (Uttar Pradesh)

 

Rev. Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan

Deputy Secretary General

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Add:CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place,

Near GoleDakkhana,

New Delhi-110001

 

Most Rev AnthonisamyNeethinathan

Chairman

CBCI Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Committee for Tribal Affairs

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Bishop of Chingleput

Add : Catholic Bishop’s House Thimmavarum,

Kancheepuram Dt. – 603 101 (Tamil Nadu )

 

Most Rev. Vincent Barwa

Member

CBCI Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Committee for Tribal Affairs

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Bishop of Simdega

Add : Bishop's House, P.O.Simdega – 835 223, Dt Simdega

(Jharkhand)

 

Most Rev. Sarat Chandra Nayak

Member

CBCI Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Committee for Tribal Affairs

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Bishop of Berhampur

Add: Bishop's House,

Pukudibandha Junction,

Narendrapur P.O.-760007 Ganjam Dist. (Odisha)

 

Fr. Z. Devasagayaraj

Secretary

CBCI Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes and Committee for Tribal Affairs

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Add : CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place,

New Delhi – 100 001

 

Most Rev Lumen Monteiro CSC

Chairman

Caritas India

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Bishop of Agartala

Add :Bishop's House,

Durjoy Nagar P.O.

Agartala-799009 (Tripura)

 

Fr. Fredrick D'Souza

Director

Caritas India

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Add : CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place, New Delhi – 110001

        

Fr. Paul Moonjely

Assistant Executive Director

Caritas India

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

Add: CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place, New Delhi – 110001

 

Fr. V.M. Thomas, SDB

National President

Conference of Religious India (CRI)

Provincial Superior

Don Bosco Provincial House,

A.R. Barua Road, 

Pan Bazar

Guwahati – 781 001, Assam.

         

Fr. Joe Mannath, SDB

National Secretary

Conference of Religious India (CRI)

C.R.I. House

Masihgarh, Okhla,

New Delhi – 110 025.

 

His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias

President

Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)

Archbishop of Bombay

Archbishop`s House

21-Nathalal Parekh Marg, Mumbai – 400 001

 

Most Rev. Filipe NeriFerrao

Vice President

Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)

Archbishop of Goa and Daman and

Patriarch “ad honorem” of the East Indies

Archbishop’s House

Panaji .

Goa

 

Most Rev. Varghese Chakkalakal

Secretary- General

Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)

Bishop of Calicut, Bishop's House, Malaparamba

Calicut – 673 009 (Kerala)

Very urgent cry/ need to eradicate untouchability practice, social exculsion and in- equality in religious service/ profession.

We humbly request you to take necessary action and based up on the voiceless people’s powerful, real agitation for exposing the caste discrimination/ traditional practice of untouchability practice inside the Church; the rampant caste discrimination and untouchability practice is prevailing among Christians because of the Church Leaders’ support and the negligence to address the above said evil and banned crime.

Main Event: – Agitation before Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy in India), 50-C, Niti Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi- 110 021, Date 15.12.2014 (Monday) from 9.30 AM to 10.30 AM.

Further Condemnation meeting: –On the same day on 15.12.2014 (Monday), At JantarMantar, New Delhi- 1 from 11.00 AM to 2.00 PM.

Number of People who will participate: – Three Hundred (300).

Agitation against:-

1. His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio for India and Nepal, Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy in India).

2. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), CARITAS (Non- Governmental Organization) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, New Delhi.

3. Conference of Religious India (CRI), New Delhi (A collective body of all the congregations).

Reason for agitation: –

Condemning and exposing the above said Church Organizations for not taking any practical oriented steps to eradicate rampant untouchability, practise of caste discrimination inside the Church structure and among Christian society.

Condemning and exposing the above said Organizations for not giving proper representation to Dalit Christians in the Church leadership (in bishops, arch bishops and cardinalspreliminary selection process itself Dalit Christians are neglected- Along with spiritual, moral Christian ethics and values, as on date mainly based up on the caste basis, bishops are selected- spiritually and morally good Dalit Christians are not selected for bishops posts purposefully). As per the Holy See (Vatican) Web Site, Dalit Christian’s population is numbered around 80%, in the leadership only about 5% of Dalit Christians are there; purposefully they are prevented to become bishops/ leaders of the Church.

Condemning andexposing above said Organizations for not spending the financial resources for the development of Dalit Christians, in the name of Dalit Christian’s funds are generated, but it is not spent for the empowerment of Dalit Christians. There is accountability and social, economic auditing for the fund which is not spent for the development of Dalit Christians.

Christians cry for justice and dignity in Indian Church

The Good News of Jesus Christ for all people is one of love, justice, peace and brotherhood and sisterhood of one human family. This Good News was brought to India at different time. The Roman Catholic Church in India celebrates this Good News for the past 500 years. However, for a large number of Christians of Dalit background the Good news has never been wholesome. They have been discriminated because of untouchability, caste discriminatory practice within the Church all these years. They are so tired of this treatment and of the corruption of the Good News of Jesus Christ by the Indian Church that they are not willing to tolerate it anymore. They are fighting for their human rights and to reclaim their dignity and rightful place in the Church and society.

The Issue- Untouchability is still practiced within the Catholic Church   (which is against our Indian Constitutional mandate):

Such practices include caste based: dual cemetery, dual festivals, and dual Church car procession, dual parishes, calling of Dalits by derogatory caste names, and mistreating Dalit Priests, Dalit nuns in the Churches and convents. In the important/ normal spiritual duties of the Church, Dalit Christians are prevented and prohibited because of the untouchability, caste discrimination. In some Churches dead bodies of Dalits are not allowed inside the Church for funeral mass, and marriage processions are not permitted in the common road in caste-Christian streets. Untouchability practices in North India include not recruiting Dalits for priesthood and refusing to appoint Dalit bishops. There are 167 dioceses in India which have about 200 active bishops. However, there are only 10 Dalit bishops! In India there is not even one cardinal or archbishop who is a Dalit. Denying leadership position to Dalits as bishops, provincials, superiors of convents and other positions of responsibility has been a common practice.

Related with Caritas India of CBCI.

Caritas India is the development wing of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. It was founded in 1962 and has been functioning for the past 52 years spending thousands of crore rupees in the name of the poor Dalits. According to their website in the past five decades, Caritas India has contributed significantly to nation building by supporting 22945 projects to tune of Rupees. 13,730 million.

We are sorry to say that the Caritas India has not done projects for the development of Dalit Christians who are majority in the Indian Catholic Church. If they disagree can they give the report of the activities done for the development of the Dalit Christians? Have they done anything for the empowerment of these Dalit Christians really?

It is not only the program, but who runs the whole show of development of the Dalits and Dalit Christians. Who is in the administration of Caritas? Starting from the Director to the decision making bodies in all the levels only dominant caste people are occupying the seats and acting against the welfare of the Dalit Christians by having the discriminatory caste mind set.

Related with the Conference of Religious India (CRI)

The Conference of Religious India (CRI)and their congregations havedone lot of things mainly for the elite rich dominant caste people in India through their institutions and schools. Now the time has changed and all the congregations have moved into running English medium, Matriculation and CBSE schools, colleges, and other higher education institutions. Except one or two congregations, Catholic Religious Congregations do not have a Dalit policy to admit the Dalit Christian and other Dalit students and appoint Dalit Christian teachers. Catholic Religious Congregations make use of the church money which is the money of the poor and develop their institutions; their congregations do not work for the development of Dalit Christians and other Dalits.

Some specific cases:  Recently a seminarian (Mr. Michaelraj) was sent out of the seminary because he is a Dalit. In Jalandar Diocese (Punjab) the Church refused to appoint local Priests as Bishops. In Jammu promotion has been denied in vocation for local Catholic Dalit Christians. Church receives funds from donor agencies by telling the poorest plight of Dalit Christians, but fails to use it to improve the educational and the socio economic levels of Dalit Christians.

Our Demands to the above said Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio for India and Nepal, Apostolic Nunciature, Chanakyapuri and the Catholic Church hierarchy/ Leaders are as follows:

1. Immediately abolish all forms of untouchability in all the Churches throughout India and respect the Indian Constitution Article 17, which treats untouchability practice as crime, banned discriminatory practice.

2. Excommunicate the people who practices untouchability.

3. Treat the practice of caste discrimination in the Church as equivalent to schism/ Sin; take immediate practical oriented steps to eradicate untouchability, declaring theoretical statements to cheat others and the victims (Dalit Christians) are not enough.

4. Appoint Dalits as a Cardinals and Arch Bishops; give 80% representation to Dalit Christians in the Church leadership.

5. Appoint Dalit Bishops, proportionate to the number of Dalits (Dalit Christian population is eighty percentages as per the Holy See- Vatican Website) in the Church.

6. Forthwith ordain expelled Dalit Christian seminarian Mr. Michaelraj in Sivagangai Diocese as priest, because he is honest, innocent, righteous, spiritually sound and character wise disciplined; when he is eligible to be ordained in other dioceses/ congregations, why not in the Sivagangai diocese. He is purposefully prevented and prohibited to get the ordination, because he is a Dalit and the caste/ untouchability oriented discriminatory mind set of the concerned bishop and bishops had put a stumbling block. Let the concerned Sivagangaibishop and the bishops set aside the caste mind, vengeance by believing in reconciliation, sharing peace with each other during holy mass and forgiveness in Christ and ordain him immediately (though Mr. Michaelraj is spiritually, morally good).

7. Recruit only local Dalit Christians as Priests and Nuns Trainees in the Northern dioceses to encourage Dalit vocation for becoming Priests and Nuns.

8. In the Northern dioceses appoint only local priests as bishops.

9. Give representation to Dalits in all the National centres, organizations, participatory structures and institutions (including the finance handling power). Especially powerless posts are given to Dalit Priests and Dalit Nuns like hostel warden, garden in- charge, cooking in-charge, housekeeping in- charge and so on, other dominant caste Clergies will have powerful posts and money handling posts.

10. Do not just make policies, make practical oriented rules and ensure that all the Dalit Christians and other Dalit students get admission in Catholic educational institution (including the professional Colleges as per Dalit Christian population ratio).

11. Provide free education to Dalit Christians in all Catholic matriculation and self-financing schools and colleges.

12. Dalits Christians should be given preference with contracts in the Church and congregations projects.

13. Besides the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience all priests and religious in India should take the vow of denouncing caste/ caste oriented discriminatory mind set (including have castes names by diplomatically telling it as family names).

14. All the Catholics including priests and nuns should give up their dominant caste names like Reddy, Fernandes, Naidu, Moras, D. Souza, KuttiNadar, Lobos etc. (castes names are added with the names by telling and justifying the evil practice as adding the family name; by having castes names as family names, priests and nuns reveal the caste supremacy and its hegemony).

15. We demand the Catholic Church to discuss and come out with a Dalit Christian policy in admissions and appointments of educational Institutions and Church related Organizations immediately.

16. We demand the Caritas- India to prepare a plan for the economic and other empowerment of Dalit Christians forthwith and it should be implemented within the stipulated time duration.

15. In Caritas- India, appoint Dalit Christians in the administrative and managing bodies of all the level. Let them don’t blame that there are not qualified persons. We will provide the names for Caritas- India, if they cannot find them.

16. Elect and appoint Dalits as provincials and superiors in the Congregations without showing caste discrimination and without having caste mind set.

Let the Church not Fail: If caste is more powerful than the message of Christ in the Catholic Church, as it has been all these years, the Church can never be a witness to God and humanity in India, and it would have failed all the great men and women who served so hard to establish the Kingdom of God, of justice, peace and love.

Our final ultimatum to the Church in a human way:

Within ten days, necessary steps may please be taken by the Church Authorities by publishing the white paper declaration with practical oriented correct measures (we do not want your mere theoretical, beautifully well written futile statements) to curb the traditional practice of untouchability which is prevailing inside the Church and the social, spiritual exclusion in the spiritual/ professional service (in the Church Leadership, proper representation to Dalit Christians) as per Dalit Christians population, if not we will intensify our mass movement struggles throughout India in a legalised way as per the law of this noble Country by abiding to the law, rules and regulations of this Country.

Thanking you

Yours truly

Mr. KudanthaiArasan,

Founder & President,

Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi,

And alliance of various Dalit Christian Movements,

Mobile No: 09894182482.

E Mail Id: kudanthaiarasan73@gmail.com

E. Vallarasu, Dalit Christian Liberation Movement

P. Sandanadurai, Dalit Christian Liberation Movement

A. Lourdusamy, Dalit Christian Liberation Movement

P. Chirsturaj, Dalit Christian Welfare Society

A.P.Gowthamasitharthan,

Founder and Convener of Social justice Federation of India and Founder and Managing Trustee of  Dr.Ambedkar Educational Foundation Delhi.

Ashwin Kumar, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

R. Vinod Kumar, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

Kothapalli Shankar, All India Scheduled Castes Students Federation

ArunMasillamani, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

Helen Gnanadeepam, Women’s Liberation Movement, VTPK

Josephin Mary, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

S. Pasupathi@ Porali, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

Pushpa Raj, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

Shekar, Dalit Activist, Mailaduthurai, Tamil Nadu

D. J. Anthonyraj, Dalit Christian Liberation Movement

M. Yeheyah, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatchi

Jerry Pradesh, Dalit Christian Liberation Movement, Youth Wing

EmiliPushpam, Viduthalai Tamil PuligalKatch

Comments

comments

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 + 1 =