Demand for reservation benefits to Dalit Christians, Muslims

A strong plea for giving reservation benefits to Dalit Christians and Muslims was made by DMK in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

New Delhi: A strong plea for giving reservation benefits to Dalit Christians and Muslims was made by DMK in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, party leader T R Baalu said the Dalits had converted due to "injustice" meted out by caste Hindus.

Since their social status did not change because they had converted to another religion, they should be provided with benefits of reservations that were extended to Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

"If need be, the government should bring in a Constitution amendment bill to extend reservation benefits to Dalits who have converted to Christianity or Islam," he said.

Baalu said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who is also the DMK Chief, had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard and urged the Centre to take immediate steps to extend quota to the converted Dalits.

Quoting Rig Veda, the DMK member said caste divisions among Hindus was drawn from the "Chatur Varna" concept.

"Dalits, who converted to Christianity and Islam, should be treated on par with the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes," he added.

PTI

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