The infamous Presidential (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India which says “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the scheduled caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. But this law, as we are all aware of, keeps the Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians from the Scheduled Castes list.
Demanding the equal justice for the Dalit Christians, the Church of South India, especially the Madras Diocese, joined hands with the Catholic Church and staged a protest Dharna in Valluvar Kottam in Madras. Rt. Rev. J. George Stephen, the Chairperson of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department of the CSI Synod and Bishop in Madras, Bishop Neethinathan (Catholic Church), Thol Thirumavalavan; the charismatic Dalit leader, Rev. Sunil Raj Philip (Director, Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department of the CSI Synod), Rev. Paul Dayanandan (Vice- President, CSI Madras Diocese), Rev. Dr. Samuel Jacob (Secretary, CSI Madras Diocese), Rev. Francis (Dalit concerns leader, CSI Madras Diocese), Priests from the Church of South India- Madras Diocese and Catholic Church, lay leaders and Dalit Christian members from various church in and around Chennai attended this protest.
Observance of the Black Day took place in various dioceses of the Church of South India demanding the Scheduled Caste status of the Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin.
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
CSI Synod Dalit & Adivasi Concerns Department