“Be Educated, Be Organised and Be Agitated”
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Christians in India usually suffer double discrimination: persecution and injustice of having denied their legal/constitutional rights based on religion for the past 67 years!
Discrimination and injustice are against Christian values. (Ref John 13:34-35) Jesus was not bound by the expectations of society. He extended the love of God to many who had been deemed “unworthy.” Through Jesus’ own example and teachings, we are called into action.
What is a “Black day”? Black days are observed when something very unpleasant or sad happens. As August 10, 2017, was called as Black Day jointly by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC), the Diocese of Eluru, under the leadership of His Lordship Jaya Rao Polimera, Chairman, SC, ST & BC Commission, TCBC (Telugu Catholic Bishops Conference) in executing the ‘Black Day’, brought all the major protestant denominations of Eluru under one ecumenical-umbrella and successfully demonstrated a massive peace-rally at 10.00 am from St. Theresa’s High School Grounds to District Collectorrate.
Candidly speaking, the rally was so much successful that thousands of Christians voluntarily joined in great number and witnessed their concern and support through participating peace-rally without showing any angry reaction.
His Lordship Jaya Rao Polimera, in the capacity of the Chairman of SC, ST & BC Commission of TCBC, executed the rally and submitted a memorandum to the Mr. Katamaneni Bhaskar, Collector, West Godavari District. He also emphatically explained the objectivity of observing ‘Black Day’, stating that the Union Government should come forward to resolve the issue immediately without further delay and should give appropriate reply to the query of the Supreme Court based on the recommendation of Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s report.
After submitting the memorandum the protestors observed an awareness meeting at the District collectorate premises to remind every participant about their responsibility in the future. The leaders and officials related to the dalit movements spoke about the seriousness of the movement.
What are the developments of Black day till now?
Different commissions appointed by the Government have clearly recommended that Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims should be included in the Scheduled Caste list. The National commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) popularly known as Justice Ranganath Misra Commission’s Report says the following “Constitution Scheduled Caste Order 1950 para 3 is unconstitutional and it is a black letter written outside the Constitution.
The national Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has recommended that Scheduled Caste status must be extended to the Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin.
What is the response of the state Governments?
Till now twelve State Governments and Union Territories have recommended to Union of India for granting SC status to these people. The Bihar State Assembly, Uttar Pradesh State Assembly, Andhra Pradesh state Assembly and Puducherry state Assembly have passed resolution for granting SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the years 2000, 2006, 2009 and 2017 respectively. Most of the National and Regional political parties have supported the demand of Scheduled Caste status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin by writing letters to the Prime Minister and concerned authorities.
Designing the Action plan
1. On July 24, 2017, a meeting was called and an action plan was designed under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Emmanuel, Procurator & Rev. Fr. Raju, Director, SSC.
2. After his return from the mission appeals His Lordship Jaya Rao Polimera on August 4, 2017, appointed the executive members for the rally and distributed the responsibilities to the concerned Priests and lay people.
Our Sincere thanks to all the fathers, Brothers and Sisters.....especially the Rev. Fr. G. Moses, Parish Priest, Ashoknagar, Rev. Fr. Bala, parish Priest, Jubileenagar, Mr. Abraham, Mr. Jakkula Benargi.................
“We must stand on our own feet and fight as best as we can for our rights.
So carry on your agitation and organize your forces.
Power and prestige will come to you through struggle”.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar