India: Dalit Christians seek better deal in Karnataka


More than a decade after the Government of Karnataka accorded Dalit Christians the status of backward classes under category one, the community remains deprived of education, employment and political representation, thanks to the non-implementation of the government orders issued in both 1994 and 1995. In a letter submitted to Minister of Social Welfare Balachandra Jarkiholi in Bangalore on 9 October 2006, the Karnataka Dalit Christian Federation highlighted the difficulties faced by Dalit Christians in trying to procure caste certificates, which is mandatory for availing themselves of reservation benefits. "The government officials - village accountants, revenue officials and tahsildars, have not been issuing caste certificates under some pretext or the other," said Y Mariswamy, a member. They demanded that the converted Christians in the State Gazette be changed to 'Scheduled Caste Christians' and State Government recommend to the Centre to table and approve the bill on reservation for them. October 11, 2006

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