BJP slams SC status for Dalit Christians, Muslims
The BJP says the very concept of Dalit or Scheduled Caste is Hindu community-specific, reports Shekhar Iyer.india Updated: May 23, 2007 21:31 IST
The BJP has criticised the Ranganath Mishra Committee report’s recommendation for extending the Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Muslims and Christians, saying "the very concept of Dalit or Scheduled Caste is Hindu community-specific."
Calling the move a "very dangerous" move and against the provisions of the Constitution, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the people had opted out of Hinduism for Christianity or Islam because of their claim to be "non-caste based, non-discriminatory societies."
Prasad said "Once they are out of caste-based society, they cannot revert and seek benefits from the same society which they have given up. This has been clearly laid down in Constitution and several Supreme Court judgements."
He said "Justice Mishra had been Chief Justice of India. The least we had expected was some proficiency in law and Constitutional matters from a person of that standing. But this report has provoked us to remind that Justice Mishra also had been Congress MP for Rajya Sabha for six years. And his report is politically coloured report."
Prasad cited the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Soosai versus Union of India matter in 1996, where a converted Christian petitioner had sought benefits of SC.
The Court had held that to establish that an order discriminated against Christians, "it must be shown that they suffer from a comparable depth of social and economic disabilities and cultural and educational backwardness and similar levels of degradation within the Christian community. It is not sufficient to show that same caste continues after conversion."
Meanwhile, top BJP leaders who met at former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s residence on Wednesday decided to revamp the UP unit within two months.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh said the organisational elections could not be held earlier due to the assembly polls.
The UP unit has sent a report to the high command about the debacle, which saw the BJP win no more than 49 (down from 88 won last time) of the 403 seats in the UP House. UP in-charge Kalyan Singh has already resigned taking moral responsibility for the party's poor showing in elections.
A three-day meeting of the BJP’s national executive would be held in Jaipur from June 15.
First Published: May 23, 2007 21:28 IST