Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And ... religious intolerance in India as well ...

[But that's hardly news really.] Against Dalit Christians, who face discrimination in relief efforts (and much more) in the wake of the devastating Tsunami of 2005. [Anglican Journal. Hat tip to Assiniboine. The article is dated Dec. 2005 ... but I'm not entirely sure that things are any better. Dalits and especially Dalit Christians, continue to be treated very poorly in India. I should say that I think India's policy of "reservations", which is mentioned in the article, is at best misguided and counterproductive. Even the Constitution mandated it for a certain amount of time. Now it's become thoroughly twisted by the machinery of party politics and "vote banks." More at Dalit Freedom Network and Joseph D'Souza's blog.]
Many of the 300 million Dalits who converted to Christianity have lost their rights in India. Most of those who bore the brunt of the Asian tsunami crisis in India were Dalit Christians who live by the coast and many lost their homes. Social discrimination against the lower-caste Dalits who converted to Christianity was exposed during the tsunami relief operations.

1 comment:

assiniboine said...

As to "reservations," well, there are many who consider Affirmative Action in the US to be a policy which has run its course, but even many of its critics consider that as a preliminary measure in better integrating African Americans into the mainstream of American life it had its uses. Certainly it is an improvement on the upper-limit quotas on, say, Jewish enrollment in universities which preceded it.

In the more conventional US sense of "reservations" ("reserves" elsewhere) of land for Native Americans, by the same token, it cannot be doubted that they saved at least a small amount of land for aboriginal use which otherwise would certainly have been scooped up for white settlement (more extensive aboriginal land claims in both Canada and Australia are making the original reserves something of a mere beach head in those countries). While obviously that water is over the dam in India -- several millenia ago, indeed -- one may presumably suppose that Dalits wouldn't mind in the least.