The Assurances of the Indian Government
Successive governments have given assurances inside and outside of parliament to extend statutory benefits to the Dalit Christians but they have not fulfilled this promise.
Janatha Dal Government
While passing the amendment bill to include Neo-Buddhists in the Scheduled Caste list in 1990, the Welfare Minister of that time in the Janata Dal government, Shri. Ramvilas Paswan, promised in Parliament that the Dalit Christians would be the next group to be inducted into the reservation list.
Government led by the Indian Congress Party
Shri. Sitaram Kesari, a former Welfare Minister in the Congress government, on 21st November 1992 at mammoth rally in Vijayawada, made a declaration about the immediate introduction of the required bill.
A huge rally over 90,000 Christians of all denominations, churches, organizations took place on 1st March 1994 in New Delhi. A memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister of the Congress government, Shri. Narasimha Rao, who gave assurances to the Christian delegations on 3rd March 1994 at his residence in Delhi, and on 29th August 1994 at Vijayawada and again in Delhi on 24th August 1995.
The Minister of state for Welfare, Shri. Thangabalu, gave assurances in the Rajya Sabha in this regard on 29th April 1994.
In March 1996, the Congress government of Shri. Narasimha Rao ostensibly attempted to introduce a bill in favor of the Dalit Christians, but this was thwarted by the procedural manoeuvres of the parlimentarians.
United Front Government
DHARNA IN APRIL 1995
A two day dharna was organized from April 27 to April 28 1995 to demand extension of Scheduled Caste Status to Dalit Christians. Two hundred delegates came to Delhi from all over India. Ram Vilas Paswan: "It is sad that Christians have to come to Delhi from all over India again and again with the same demand".
A United Front Government included in its programme the extension of reservation benefits to the Dalit Christians as one of the major policies under the heading of social justice. The Prime Minister, Shri. Deve Gowda, also assured the Christian delegations on 23rd of July 1996 that the Government was committed to this measure and the required bill would be introduced during that monsoon session.
BSP leader Kanshi Ram assured that his party was ready to support the struggle for the inclusion of Dalit Christians in President's Constitution (SC) Order of 1950.
V. Naryanaswamy, Congress (I) MP in Rajya Sabha said that more than 19 members of the parliament supported his party Member's Bill on Dalit Christians' right.
Massive Rally in Madras for DALIT CHRISTIAN RIGHTS
A massive rally was organized in Madras on Nov 18 1995 to press once again the demand for the inclusion of Christian dalits in the Scheduled Caste list.
Mr.Karunanidi said, " Religious discrimination meted out to Christians of Scheduled Caste origin should be stopped since it is against the spirit of the Constitution. He urged the central Government to bring in an appropriate bill in parliament to include Christian dalits in the Scheduled Caste list, just as Sikhs and Buddhists were included in 1956 and 1990.
It took our Sikh and Buddhist friends long years of struggle to regain their just rights: the long, painful struggle of our Dalit Christians continues. Often they are victims of violence, their widows bereft of the State's protection and their children robbed of the government's munificence. The Demand for EQUAL RIGHTS to Dalit Christians has been vindicated by successive government Commissions but justice is being delayed by the the politician's craving for political advantage: the political will for reform is absolutely absent. The liberation of Dalits and Tribals calls for collective action. Earnestly we appeal to every person of good will to show solidarity in this action to liberate the oppressed of India. May your involvement and commitment bring LIBERATION to our Dalit Christians.