• Supreme Court of India issues notice to Government on All India Catholic Union (AICU) application that Article 341 Part 3 is used in Sangh Parivar’s  Ghar Wapsi campaign against Minorities
  • AICU welcomes ruling upholding Right to Privacy
  • Jharkhand CM being sued for targeting Christians



August 26, 2017

The following is the text of the statement issued today at a Press Conference at the Bengaluru Press Club by Mr Lancy D’ Cunha, the National President of the All India Catholic Union, and AICU official spokesman Dr John Dayal.


The All India Catholic Union [AICU] has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling upholding Privacy as a fundamental right of all citizens. The ruling will have widespread impact on all persons, and specially on religious and other minorities. The AICU is studying the full ramifications of the ruling, as also that of the recent majority judgement outlawing Instant Triple Talaq in Muslims. AICU is in solidarity with women in their struggle for equal rights.

“We also express gratitude to the Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud who recently issued notice to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on a petition filed by AICU and its past president, Dr. John Dayal, challenging the validity of Article 341 para 3 of Constitution. This Article, which was once known as the President’s Order of 1950, denied Dalit Christians and Muslims reservation and other benefits,” AICU president Mr. Lancy D’ Cunha said.

AICU’s lawyer, Mr P I Jose, told the Supreme Court that this provision was being misused by Hindutva organizations like the RSS and VHP to indulge in Ghar Wapsi, that is re-​conversion​n of Christians and Muslims into Hinduism. The RSS and its affiliates are misusing the delay in not hearing the original 2004 public interest petition on this issue, by engaging in Ghar Wapsi etc. and therefore there is a need to hear the matter early, even though the government of India is delaying it by not filing a reply, Advocate Jose told the Court.

As per para 3 of Constitution (scheduled castes) order 1950 which the petition has challenged, “no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a scheduled caste”. Bodies like the RSS and VHP are capitalizing on the delay by luring Dalit Christians to re-convert by promising them Scheduled Caste rights and other incentives. AICU, which represents the Catholic Laity in the country, is deeply concerned over ‘Ghar Wapsi’ or the re-conversion programme and ether coercive and violent actions indulged in by Hindutva right wing outfits, and had moved a fresh petition for scrapping of the clause.

It is important to mention that on the one hand the poor Christians of Dalit origin are deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of faith and worship, on the other hand large groups of politically and institutionally patronised narrow fundamentalist religious bigots openly come out with violent intimidatory programs like “Ghar Wapsi” and other like programs depriving the poor Christians of Scheduled caste origin their basic human rights of peaceful living. The existing laws seem to legitimise Ghar Wapsi, while making it prohibitive and punitive for any Dalit to exercise his or her freedom of faith and convert to Islam or Christianity. Conversions to Buddhism and Sikhism do not invite this punishment.

The AICU was among the first ones to challenge the Presidential Order when it was issued in 1950. It has now decided to take legal recourse apart from its normal advocacy and mass mobilisations to seek the protection of the rights of religious minorities.

Image result for images of christian conversion

The AICU has also, therefore, decided to take legal action against the chief minister of Jharkhand, Mr Raghubar Das, and his government who recently pushed an anti-religious conversion bill in the state legislature. The chief minister then added insult to injury by using public money to issue an outrageous newspaper advertisement which uses a garbled statement of Mahatma Gandhi made before Independence to target Christians. Our lawyers are currently in the process of finalising our petition, Dr John Dayal said.

AICU has also noted the hate speeches that have emanated from the recent session of Sangh Parivar organisations in Goa. These have further vitiated the surcharged atmosphere, and aggravated the communal polarisation in the country. Sadhvi Sarasvati’s call for death to beef eaters is the type of targeting that has led to the rash of the large number of lynching of Muslims and Dalits ins several states in India.

AICU has called on the new President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to order exemplary action against such hate mongers. Although government has sought to appease Christians in Goa and the north east by keeping the states out of the ban on beef, the politics of the cow has targeted Muslims and other communities whose food habits and economy depended on the trade in bovines. Its ramifications have not been fully understood, and AICU fears they will irretrievably damage the economic health of the farmers and the poor.

The Catholic Union is alarmed at the serial attempts by the Central and State governments to saffronise all levels of education in the country by direct changes in academic curricula, text books and teaching. The warped interpretation of history, archaeology and social sciences will make children misfits in a modern world and will unravel the progress made in the decades since Independence.

In Karnataka, the AICU demands that the state government immediately set up a Christian Development Corporation by elevating existing the existing board, which has inadequate powers. We also demand that other states other states in the country which do not have Minority Commissions or development corporations set them up soon.

We also call upon political parties Karnataka to ensure that the Christian community is represented in their party structures, and in the candidates, that they chose for the state assembly and other elected bodies. It is a matter of concern that at present there are just two Christians in the State assembly although the population is over 10 per cent

The Union also backed the Catholic community in various parts of the country which have been fighting the desecration of Crosses, and their arbitrary demolition despite authentic documentation of their antiquity. The community in the past had often voluntary shifted holy Crosses if they felt it was in the national cause. It was in line with the Christian community giving up a church so that India’s rocket and space sciences could have their first base in Kerala.

Released to the media by Dr John Dayal, past president of All India Catholic Union and Official Spokesman.

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1 Response

  1. Isaac Gomes says:

    This has reference to All India Catholic Union (AICU) Spokesperson Dr John Dayal’s press statement of 26 August 2017 on AICU having challenged in the Supreme Court of India, paragraph 3 of the Indian Constitution (scheduled castes) order 1950 which reads, “no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a scheduled caste.”  AICU has demanded reservation for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

    The central point to note here is neither Christianity nor Islam supports Casteism.  For both religions, any form of discrimination in their religious communities on the basis of race, colour, varna or caste, is an anathema.  All Christians, by virtue of the one and the same Baptism, become one with Christ.  “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:27-28 English Standard Version (ESV).

    In fact at the SEMINAR IN KOLKATA ON CURRENT POLITICAL SCENARIO AFFECTING CHRISTIANS IN INDIA held at St. Xavier’s College Auditorium Kolkata, on 9th July 2017, the Guest-in-Chief Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta in his reply to a question on casteism in Christianity unequivocally said “Casteism in Christianity is a sin. There is no place for casteism in Christianity because it is totally against the teachings of the church – all are equal in the eyes of Jesus Christ.”  Therefore when the Supreme Court of India will call a Cardinal or a Bishop and a Maulavi to the witness box, both will  testify against Casteism and vouch that no one is high or low in their religion – all are equal in the eyes of God or Allah.  Also the Supreme Court judges cannot be taken lightly on their knowledge of scriptures.  

    It must also be mentioned that at the said Seminar in Kolkata both Dr John Dayal and Derek O’Brien TMC Rajya Sabha MP admitted that in spite of court cases, reservation for Dalit Christians was a virtual impossibility as (1) The Congress Government which introduced Reservation, could not do this during its long tenure (2) Even Dalits were opposed welcoming them into their fold.

    The Supreme Court judges may also ask AICU leaders the Petitioners led by Dr John Dayal, which form of Christianity they practise – the one tainted with Casteism or the one preached and practised by Christ who shed the last drop of his blood for salvation of not only his own people, but for the salvation of the whole world.  The judges may also put a rider as to why AICU was taking up the cudgels for Dalit Muslims.  

    AICU’s appeal to India’s new President, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to order exemplary action against hate mongers, is praiseworthy.  But it is not clear whether this appeal is part of the said suit in the Supreme Court.

    AICU’s demand that the state government of Karnataka should immediately set up a Christian Development Corporation by elevating existing the existing board, with inadequate powers, does not hold water, as like the demand for reservation for Dalit Christians and Muslims, again it based on religious considerations. It is not clear whether this demand is also part of the Supreme Court suit, as a copy has not been submitted to CCV.

    AICU’s demand that other states other states in the country which do not have Minority Commissions or development corporations set them up soon, the following Press Information may be worth reading:

    Press Information Bureau 
    Government of India
    Ministry of Minority Affairs

    12-August-2015 18:40 IST

    Minority Commission 

    As per information furnished by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), the States of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, NCT of Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and West Bengal have set up State Minority Commission. 

    The States of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Sikkim and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have not yet set up a Minority Commission in their respective States/UTs. The NCM Act does not extend to state of Jammu & Kashmir. Tripura has passed a Bill in this regard on 26.11.2008 which awaits assent of the President. 

    No time frame can be given, as it is for the concerned States/UTs to set up Minority Commissions in their respective States/UTs. 

    In so far as the Central Government is concerned, Hindus have not been declared as a minority community under Section 2(c) of National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992. Setting up of Minority Commissions by the State Governments is a State subject.

    This Information was given by Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs in Lok Sabha today.

    The fact that most of the states have Minority Commissions and the point "No time frame can be given, as it is for the concerned States/UTs to set up Minority Commissions in their respective States/UTs" considerably weaken AICU's argument. 

    To be just and fair to CCV readers and to differentiate between chalk and cheese,  Dr Dayal should have given a copy of the suit filed at Supreme Court of India, to Dr James Kottoor, CCV Editor-in-Chief.

    Without AICU stressing on and bringing about structural changes within the Indian Church Hierarchy (Parish Pastoral Councils and Parish Finance Committees in each parish of India, as mandated Vatican II) and looking inward for greater transparency and accountability among its affiliates/member associations,  some readers may be perceive the Supreme Court exercise to be an overdrive.    

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