Posts Tagged 'quota for triabal'

Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians

Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians
Thursday, 29th January 2009. 12:39pm

http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3742

By: Vishal Arora.

New Delhi: Hindu nationalists in India have launched a campaign to demand removal of affirmative action benefits for those tribal (aborigine) people who have converted to Christianity.
As part of its ‘intellectual’ campaign to rescue tribal ‘purity’ (of culture) from the influence of the Church, the Sangh Parivar (a family of organisations under the leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, India’s most influential Hindu nationalist group) yesterday re-released a book to demand removal of tribal Christians from the Scheduled Tribes category in the Indian Constitution, reported The Hindustan Times.

Communities listed as Scheduled Tribes in the Constitution can avail from the 7.5 per cent seats reserved in government and public sector jobs and educational institutions for them. The tribal communities in India – whose members are originally not Hindus but belong to ethnic faiths – form around nine per cent of India’s population. According to estimates, around 20 per cent of India’s 24-million Christian community is from tribal backgrounds.

A tribal leader from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karia Munda, re-released the book, ‘Bees Varsh Ki Kaali Raat’ (A Twenty-Year Black Night) that was originally launched in the late 1960s by Kartik Oraon, a politician from the BJP’s archrival party, the Congress. The book argues that “Christian converts walked away with quota benefits meant for tribals in the first 20 years of Independence (in 1947), despite having ‘abandoned’ tribal practices.”

“We are expecting wide political support on our demand, including from the Congress (party). This is a genuine demand of all tribals,” the daily quoted Harsh Chauhan, convenor of Janajati Suraksha Manch (Forum for Protection of Tribals), believed to be a Sangh Parivar outfit, as saying.

“The Manch says Kartik Oraon handed a memorandum signed by 235 Lok Sabha (House of the People) MPs (members of Parliament) to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asking for converts to Christianity and Islam to be removed from the benefits of ST (Scheduled Tribes) quota. The Sangh Parivar is keen to reinstate the demand all over again,” said the daily.

While a tribal person retains the right to the government’s affirmative action after converting to Christianity or Islam, when a Dalit (formerly known as ‘untouchables’) person coverts out of Hinduism to these religions, she or he loses all benefits. Hindu nationalists are also opposing Christians’ demand to allow job reservations for ‘Dalit Christians’ – the matter is pending before the Supreme Court of India.