Thought for the day
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8
The representatives of the Church of South India (CSI) under the leadership of the Synod Director of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns took part in the Rally and Dharna in New Delhi reinforcing the decades-long demand to include the Christians and Muslims in the Dalit origin in the Scheduled Caste (SC) list and thus extend the affirmative action to them. The Rally and Dharna, which were organised by the National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC) with the support of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI, in which CSI is the biggest member), and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), were led by the bishops from various churches, leaders of the organisations and lay leaders on the 13th March 2019. The Dalit Christian delegates from various churches across India raised the demand for the SC status and voiced their disappointment that the elected governments are not willing to lend an ear to this rightful demand by the people from the lower strata of Indian society.
the demand to remove of the third paragraph of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order of 1950, commonly referred as the Presidential Order, that states that any person professing a religion other than Hinduism, Buddhism or Sikhism cannot be considered a member of a Scheduled Caste, is a demand based on equal justice. Now the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims face discrimination on the basis of their choice of religion. This discrimination is starkly against the crux of the Indian constitution, which proclaim justice and equality for each and every citizen of India. The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, led by former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Misra, that recommended the de-linking of Scheduled Caste status from religion. Those who spoke in the Dharna at Jantar Mantar demanded that “The government must implement the recommendations of this commission”. The delegates attended the Dharna decided to intensify the demand in the recent future.
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip
Director, Dalit & Adivasi Concerns Dept.,
To bring the Dalit and Adivasi issues into the centre stage of discourse through advocacy and campaign by affirming cultural and theological aspects. The department will specifically mainstream these concerns by integrating them in the activities of various departments of the CSI Synod.
To express solidarity with the communities of faith which are victimized by untouchability and caste violence and empower them to overcome caste discrimination and marginalization.
To sensitize CSI urban congregations about the travails and aspirations of their counterpart Dalit and Adivasi members in rural congregations through audio- video productions.
To encourage the Dalits and Adivasi/Tribals to use music, art, and creative writing as liberative tools by giving them training and providing them opportunities.
To strengthen the efforts of the International Dalit Solidarity Network in liaison with the partner churches and related international organisations.
Integrally work with the Girl Child campaign of CSI- SEVA, Assure My Future, with the specific perspective of Dalit and Adivasi Concerns. Lenten campaign against the bonded labour in which Dalits and Adivasi are most affected.
Programme on strengthening the efforts of School for Small Farmers especially in catering to the specific needs of Small Farmers in Dalit and Adivasi Congregations.
Consultations, Workshops, and Study Groups on issues related to Livelihood, Cultural, Economical, Political, and Theological concerns of Dalits and Adivasis in India Today.
Publications on theology, sermons, essays, songs, poems, both print and web materials, with the specific focus on Dalit and Adivasi Concerns.
Leadership training for the young Dalits and Adivasis in order to equip them to face the challenges of discrimination.