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B Upendran | HENB | Bengaluru | Oct 16, 2022:: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has opposed the idea of giving Scheduled Caste status to people who claim to “historically” have belonged to the SCs/STs, but have converted to another religion. Last week, the Union government appointed a commission headed by former CJI K G Balakrishnan to examine the matter.
“The VHP reiterates that scheduled castes are the persons who have historically been deprived on the basis of their castes, while the Abrahamic religions claim to have no caste distinction amongst them and therefore SC reservation cannot be extended to them,” the VHP said in a statement.
“In 1950, a Constitution Order was issued making it clear that only Hindu Scheduled Castes would get reservation facilities. Despite this, Christian missionaries and Islamic organisations have been making constant efforts in their irrational demands to extend this facility to converted SCs. We wouldn’t allow them to snatch the constitutional rights of SCs,” Alok Kumar, the working president of VHP said on Sunday.
While addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, he noted that Dr Ambedkar and many prime ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru, had not acceded to the demand to extend benefits to converted SCs.
“The rights of the Scheduled Caste communities can’t be allowed to be snatched away by the religious converts. Backed by their money power, political influence and international support, they will lodge themselves in all areas of reservation and all those members of the Scheduled Caste communities for whom the provisions of reservations were made will be deprived of the facilities,” he added.
The concurrent matter has been released by the VHP, Bengaluru unit through a statement under the title: Rights for Reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for Hindus only as per the spirit of Indian constitution.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 says that no person professing a religion other than Hinduism or Sikhism, or Buddhism can be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. However, Muslim and Christian groups have often demanded similar status for Dalits who have changed their religions leaving their Hindu fold.
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