Discussion:
Mull ani Bull
(too old to reply)
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-27 15:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?

Regards,


Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-28 00:49:46 UTC
Permalink
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts, common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below. Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question posed to him.

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!
The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-28 13:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall
Gabe Menezes
2013-08-28 13:31:36 UTC
Permalink
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Santosh Helekar
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM

Gabe Menezes.
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-29 03:15:37 UTC
Permalink
I am sure Prof. Borges will provide the facts on the main issue of this thread. But on the peripheral issues of balance and rhetorics, I have to say that neither of the respondents below have ever shown any propensity for balance, especially when it comes to sectarian matters. This is evident even in the contents of the present posts and the proverbial bird flocking behavior on display. The fact that rhetoric was very much involved in the first case is obvious from the repeated use of the hyperbolic word "revelation".

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Gabe Menezes <gabe.menezes at gmail.com>
Post by Gabe Menezes
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent
Assembly
Post by Marshall Mendonza
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-29 03:15:37 UTC
Permalink
I am sure Prof. Borges will provide the facts on the main issue of this thread. But on the peripheral issues of balance and rhetorics, I have to say that neither of the respondents below have ever shown any propensity for balance, especially when it comes to sectarian matters. This is evident even in the contents of the present posts and the proverbial bird flocking behavior on display. The fact that rhetoric was very much involved in the first case is obvious from the repeated use of the hyperbolic word "revelation".

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Gabe Menezes <gabe.menezes at gmail.com>
Post by Gabe Menezes
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent
Assembly
Post by Marshall Mendonza
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-29 03:15:37 UTC
Permalink
I am sure Prof. Borges will provide the facts on the main issue of this thread. But on the peripheral issues of balance and rhetorics, I have to say that neither of the respondents below have ever shown any propensity for balance, especially when it comes to sectarian matters. This is evident even in the contents of the present posts and the proverbial bird flocking behavior on display. The fact that rhetoric was very much involved in the first case is obvious from the repeated use of the hyperbolic word "revelation".

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Gabe Menezes <gabe.menezes at gmail.com>
Post by Gabe Menezes
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent
Assembly
Post by Marshall Mendonza
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-29 03:15:37 UTC
Permalink
I am sure Prof. Borges will provide the facts on the main issue of this thread. But on the peripheral issues of balance and rhetorics, I have to say that neither of the respondents below have ever shown any propensity for balance, especially when it comes to sectarian matters. This is evident even in the contents of the present posts and the proverbial bird flocking behavior on display. The fact that rhetoric was very much involved in the first case is obvious from the repeated use of the hyperbolic word "revelation".

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Gabe Menezes <gabe.menezes at gmail.com>
Post by Gabe Menezes
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent
Assembly
Post by Marshall Mendonza
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-29 03:15:37 UTC
Permalink
I am sure Prof. Borges will provide the facts on the main issue of this thread. But on the peripheral issues of balance and rhetorics, I have to say that neither of the respondents below have ever shown any propensity for balance, especially when it comes to sectarian matters. This is evident even in the contents of the present posts and the proverbial bird flocking behavior on display. The fact that rhetoric was very much involved in the first case is obvious from the repeated use of the hyperbolic word "revelation".

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Gabe Menezes <gabe.menezes at gmail.com>
Post by Gabe Menezes
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent
Assembly
Post by Marshall Mendonza
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM
Gabe Menezes.
Gabe Menezes
2013-08-28 13:31:36 UTC
Permalink
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Santosh Helekar
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM

Gabe Menezes.
Gabe Menezes
2013-08-28 13:31:36 UTC
Permalink
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Santosh Helekar
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM

Gabe Menezes.
Gabe Menezes
2013-08-28 13:31:36 UTC
Permalink
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Santosh Helekar
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM

Gabe Menezes.
Gabe Menezes
2013-08-28 13:31:36 UTC
Permalink
REPLY: Well put my man, let's await the response! I too did not see any
rhetorics from your end. I too concur that you are well read and well
informed and more importantly, very well balanced indeed. There was no bird
brained output from you.
Post by Santosh Helekar
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.
I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.
Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.
Regards,
Marshall
--
DEV BOREM KORUM

Gabe Menezes.
Sebastian Borges
2013-08-29 03:54:57 UTC
Permalink
There
were a few Christian members in the Constituent Assembly. Prominent among
these were Dr. H.C. Mookherjee (W. Bengal), Mr. Joseph Alban D'Souza (Bombay) and
Rev. Jerome D'Souza SJ (Madras).? It is
difficult to guess whether Mookherjee, being a Protestant from Bengal, was
acquainted with caste discrimination among Christians. JAD'Souza too might not
have reckoned that the Caste distinction among Goan and Manglorean Catholics was
serious enough to mar the "egalitarian" character of Christianity. But the same
consideration cannot be given to the reverend, since there exist separate
churches and cemeteries for dalits in Tamil Nadu to this day! But then, being a
Catholic priest, he could not be expected to admit this fact. Moreover, it
would have been a bad advertisement for the Faith, since it was the general impression that Scheduled
caste Hindus converted to Christianity in order to escape the oppression by
caste Hindus.
Perhaps,
I am putting the cart before the horse. The debates of the Constituent Assembly
are very instructive in this regard. The necessity of reservations for the SCs
was a general consensus. However, Mookherjee said that in a secular state minorities
should not be recognised on the basis of religion. Christian masses, he said,
are not interested in reservations; all they asked for was food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. Their interests were
secure in the hands of "the majority community which had been very generous toevery one of the minority
communities." He also felt that minorities would be wise to trust the majority
community, and win its good-will if they wanted to live in peace and honour in
this country.For this Dr. Mookherjee was hailed by Sardar Patel as "the great
patriotic Christian leader."Fr. Jeromereferred to "the multiple
signs of good-will on the part of the majority community"and fully
backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that there should be no reservation of seats.
According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth
and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress, socially,
politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be a Christian,
or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member.
He went on to say that "it
is not we (the Christians) who are taking a ?risk, it is the
majority community that is undertaking a responsibility!"
J A D'Souza does not appear to have participated in the debate.

Some
members like Guptanath Singh (Bihar) were more open-minded. He said that those
classes who are the backbone of Indian society - agricultural, pastoral or
artisan classes - though they are not counted as Scheduled Castes or Tribes
should be given some opportunities to serve in government services. He proposed
the addition of "and
such other castes who are educationally and socially backward"after Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
But,
unlike the Christian leaders, others were not as gullible. Like Christian Dalits,
the Sikh Dalits ?too were excluded from
reservations because, according to Sardar Patel, ?untouchability is not recognised in the Sikh
religion. The Sikhs felt that if these Scheduled Castes who have been converted
to Sikhism are not given the same benefits as the Scheduled Castes have been,
there was a possibility of their reverting to the Hindu Scheduled Castes and
merging along with them. Therefore, Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East
Punjab, fought tooth and nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh
castes namely, the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East
Punjab. ?And he succeeded!
Had
the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome, adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh, history
would have been different.
?
More
details may be accessed at the following links:
http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm
?
It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not exist in 1947??


Sebastian
Borges
??

On 27 Aug 2013 2 Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this
information?

Marshall



Again on 28 Aug 2013? Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that
Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a
total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall



---------------------------
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 04:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and
information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and
benefits by the government from 1937 onwards due to their social and
economic diabilities.

This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,
whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and
benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut off. After fighting
this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the
Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may be
noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not
recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the
logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.

A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have
pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and
benefits be extended to all dalits irrespective of religion. However, the
government lacks the will to implement this.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 10:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Prof Borges for your very informative post and the weblinks. I
shall go through the information in detail over the week-end and come back
with a detailed response. In the meanwhile, here is my prima facie response:

1. Apparently, Prof Borges is confusing reservation of seats in Parliament
based on religion with reservation of economic and social benefits to
dalits.

2 Any person conversant with Indian history would know that there was
proportional representation based on religion in the provincial assemblies.
Hence, the Congress ruled in some provinces and the Muslim League were in
power in some provinces. This was the state of affairs at the time of
independence. Incidentally even cricket was played based on religious
representation. In the pentangular tournaments there were teams
representing the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Europeans and the Rest. On a side
note, my uncle played for the Rest and later on represented Punjab in the
Ranji Trophy.(being based out at Patiala and teaching at the Yadavindra
Public School).

Hence at the time of drafting of the Constitution by the Constituent
Assembly, many members thought of proportionate representation based on
religion. But many others learning from the tragic partition of India and
the resulting bloodshed rose above self and self-interest and
idealistically opted for a secular state without religious representation.
The only exception was made in case of Anglo-Indians for whom 2 seats were
reserved. Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.

2. However, this logic and reasoning was turned on its head when after
protracted struggle, Sikhs were granted the benefits in 1956 and Buddhists
in 1990. Prof Borges, kindly note. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are
egalitarian religions and do not recognise castes like christianity and
islam.

To understand the mindsets one needs to fast forward to the year 2000. Guru
Nanak's and Mahavir's birth anniversaries were celebrated by the government
(then BJP) with great fanfare. But the 2000 birth anniversary of Christ was
totally ignored. Christianity and Islam are treated as foreign religions
and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are treated as Indian religions. Even if
one were to refer to the definition of Hindu in the Indian Constitution, a
Hindu is defined as a person who does not profess the Christian, Islam,
Jewish or Zoroastrian religion. But the term Hindu includes a jain,
buddhist and sikh. That the Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists consider themselves
as minorities and not as Hindus is another story.

3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25 & 30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-30 05:13:32 UTC
Permalink
I have now had time to peruse and read through the 2 documents attached to
Prof Borges' post. I must admit that I am terribly disappointed.

The entire debate from start to end is all about ending communal
representation in the legislatures and Parliament. Nowhere, I repeat,
nowhere is there any mention, discussion or debate about the existence or
non-existence of casteism or caste discrimination among Christians as Prof
Borges contended. Refer his post to JC below:

"(4) As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by the
makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the Christian
members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste discrimination
did not exist among Christians. One of these was a Catholic priest. And
now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches are pressing to reverse
this provision! "

As I said in my earlier posts, Prof Borges is confused and mixing up
issues. The debate and discussion in the Constituent Assembly was all about
ending sectoral or communal representation in the legislatures and
Parliament. I quote from Prof Borges's own posting:

"Fr. Jerome referred to "the multiple signs of good-will on the part of the
majority community" and fully backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that
there should be *NO RESERVATION OF SEATS.* ( Note: caps and italics are
mine to emphasize that what was rejected was RESERVATION OF SEATS in
Parliament)

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his
birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.*(Note: italics are mine to emphasize that he made a
point that all socially and economically backward persons, irrespective of
religion or caste should be given benefits. Nowhere does he say that
economic and social benefits should not be extended to dalits of Christian
origin as surmised by Prof Borges)

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that the
* **masses do not want reservations. *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically
asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every case was as
follows: *"We know that we shall never enter the Legislatures; **reservations
do not concern or interest us."* There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people who
depend upon service to earn their living. *Their reaction was that *if
there was any kind of reservation they would like to have reservation in *jobs.
(*italics are mine. Pl note that Prof Mookerjee has stated in plain
language that the Christian masses did not want reservation in legislatures
but reservation in jobs)

" Sir, in considering whether the House should accept the recommendations
of the Advisory Committee and the resolution placed before it by Sardar
Patel there are two questions which, it seems to me, the House should ask
itself. The first is: are we really honest when we say that we are seeking
to establish a secular state? *And the second is, whether we intend to have
one nation. if your idea is to have a secular state it follows
inevitable **that
we cannot afford to recognise minorities based upon religion. This to my
mind is the strongest possible argument why RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR
RELIGIOUS GROUPS** should be abolished** ( *Note:* *caps and italics are
mine. He speaks of abolishing reservation of seats for religious groups) *and
that immediately.* *So **far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there **are certain economically backward groups
in every community and for them **provision has been made in the directive
adopted in December last. *( Note: he makes it a point that there are
economically and socially backward groups in every community and that there
are safeguards made in the Directive Principles. This was the situation as
on 26th November 1949 when the new Constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly and 26th January 1950 when the new Constitution came
into effect. However, on 10th August, 1950, about 8 months later this
safeguard was overturned by a Presidential Order *1950, known **as the
Constitution **(SCHEDULED CASTE) Order, no.19, **Aug.10, 1950 which
specifically restricted the benefits to only Hindus and **excluded all
other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims). **Refer:*

4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who
professes a religion different from the Hindu 5[, the Sikh or the
Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste.]

http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm

Prof Borges is also incorrect when he states that Sikhs were granted
reservations and benefits because they fought for it at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution. The truth is that Sikhs like other religions
were excluded from the Presidential Order (refer above), but secured the
benefits after a struggle in 1956. The benefits were later extended to
Buddhists in 1990.

I wish to further inform Prof Borges that persons belonging to scheduled
tribes of whatever religion continue to get the benefits of reservation and
economic assistance.

What the dalit christians are asking and fighting for legitimately is that
they be treated at par with their hindu, sikh and buddhist counterparts as
they suffer from the same economic and social disability in which they were
born. Dalit christians are not asking for separate electorates or
reservation of seats in Parliament. They are asking for reserved seats in
educational institutions, reservation in jobs, financial assistance like
loans to study, set up business as given to other dalits.

I, however, agree with Prof Borges when he states that casteism has not
been eradicated in the Church and it is true that in parts of Tamil Nadu,
even to this day, dalits are buried in a separate section of the cemetery.
A crying shame for all of us who call ourselves Christian!!!

Regards,

Marshall

*Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East Punjab, fought tooth and
nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh castes namely,
the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East Punjab.
And he succeeded! Had the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome,
adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh,
history
would have been different.

More
details may be accessed at the following
links:http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm

It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If
Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to
obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not
exist in 1947? *

*Prof Sebastian Borges*
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-30 05:17:25 UTC
Permalink
Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians, rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement, please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order 1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if any section of their communities should be included in the list. They, however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and?information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and?benefits by the government >from 1937 onwards due to >their social and?economic diabilities.
This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,?whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and?benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut >off. After fighting?this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the?Buddhists in 1990 were extended the >reservations and benefits. It may be?noted that both Buddhism and >Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not?recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However >this was the?logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.
A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have?pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and?benefits be >extended to all dalits >irrespective of religion. However, the?government lacks the will to implement this.
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-30 05:13:32 UTC
Permalink
I have now had time to peruse and read through the 2 documents attached to
Prof Borges' post. I must admit that I am terribly disappointed.

The entire debate from start to end is all about ending communal
representation in the legislatures and Parliament. Nowhere, I repeat,
nowhere is there any mention, discussion or debate about the existence or
non-existence of casteism or caste discrimination among Christians as Prof
Borges contended. Refer his post to JC below:

"(4) As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by the
makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the Christian
members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste discrimination
did not exist among Christians. One of these was a Catholic priest. And
now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches are pressing to reverse
this provision! "

As I said in my earlier posts, Prof Borges is confused and mixing up
issues. The debate and discussion in the Constituent Assembly was all about
ending sectoral or communal representation in the legislatures and
Parliament. I quote from Prof Borges's own posting:

"Fr. Jerome referred to "the multiple signs of good-will on the part of the
majority community" and fully backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that
there should be *NO RESERVATION OF SEATS.* ( Note: caps and italics are
mine to emphasize that what was rejected was RESERVATION OF SEATS in
Parliament)

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his
birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.*(Note: italics are mine to emphasize that he made a
point that all socially and economically backward persons, irrespective of
religion or caste should be given benefits. Nowhere does he say that
economic and social benefits should not be extended to dalits of Christian
origin as surmised by Prof Borges)

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that the
* **masses do not want reservations. *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically
asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every case was as
follows: *"We know that we shall never enter the Legislatures; **reservations
do not concern or interest us."* There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people who
depend upon service to earn their living. *Their reaction was that *if
there was any kind of reservation they would like to have reservation in *jobs.
(*italics are mine. Pl note that Prof Mookerjee has stated in plain
language that the Christian masses did not want reservation in legislatures
but reservation in jobs)

" Sir, in considering whether the House should accept the recommendations
of the Advisory Committee and the resolution placed before it by Sardar
Patel there are two questions which, it seems to me, the House should ask
itself. The first is: are we really honest when we say that we are seeking
to establish a secular state? *And the second is, whether we intend to have
one nation. if your idea is to have a secular state it follows
inevitable **that
we cannot afford to recognise minorities based upon religion. This to my
mind is the strongest possible argument why RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR
RELIGIOUS GROUPS** should be abolished** ( *Note:* *caps and italics are
mine. He speaks of abolishing reservation of seats for religious groups) *and
that immediately.* *So **far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there **are certain economically backward groups
in every community and for them **provision has been made in the directive
adopted in December last. *( Note: he makes it a point that there are
economically and socially backward groups in every community and that there
are safeguards made in the Directive Principles. This was the situation as
on 26th November 1949 when the new Constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly and 26th January 1950 when the new Constitution came
into effect. However, on 10th August, 1950, about 8 months later this
safeguard was overturned by a Presidential Order *1950, known **as the
Constitution **(SCHEDULED CASTE) Order, no.19, **Aug.10, 1950 which
specifically restricted the benefits to only Hindus and **excluded all
other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims). **Refer:*

4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who
professes a religion different from the Hindu 5[, the Sikh or the
Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste.]

http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm

Prof Borges is also incorrect when he states that Sikhs were granted
reservations and benefits because they fought for it at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution. The truth is that Sikhs like other religions
were excluded from the Presidential Order (refer above), but secured the
benefits after a struggle in 1956. The benefits were later extended to
Buddhists in 1990.

I wish to further inform Prof Borges that persons belonging to scheduled
tribes of whatever religion continue to get the benefits of reservation and
economic assistance.

What the dalit christians are asking and fighting for legitimately is that
they be treated at par with their hindu, sikh and buddhist counterparts as
they suffer from the same economic and social disability in which they were
born. Dalit christians are not asking for separate electorates or
reservation of seats in Parliament. They are asking for reserved seats in
educational institutions, reservation in jobs, financial assistance like
loans to study, set up business as given to other dalits.

I, however, agree with Prof Borges when he states that casteism has not
been eradicated in the Church and it is true that in parts of Tamil Nadu,
even to this day, dalits are buried in a separate section of the cemetery.
A crying shame for all of us who call ourselves Christian!!!

Regards,

Marshall

*Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East Punjab, fought tooth and
nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh castes namely,
the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East Punjab.
And he succeeded! Had the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome,
adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh,
history
would have been different.

More
details may be accessed at the following
links:http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm

It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If
Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to
obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not
exist in 1947? *

*Prof Sebastian Borges*
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-30 05:17:25 UTC
Permalink
Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians, rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement, please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order 1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if any section of their communities should be included in the list. They, however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and?information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and?benefits by the government >from 1937 onwards due to >their social and?economic diabilities.
This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,?whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and?benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut >off. After fighting?this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the?Buddhists in 1990 were extended the >reservations and benefits. It may be?noted that both Buddhism and >Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not?recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However >this was the?logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.
A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have?pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and?benefits be >extended to all dalits >irrespective of religion. However, the?government lacks the will to implement this.
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-30 05:13:32 UTC
Permalink
I have now had time to peruse and read through the 2 documents attached to
Prof Borges' post. I must admit that I am terribly disappointed.

The entire debate from start to end is all about ending communal
representation in the legislatures and Parliament. Nowhere, I repeat,
nowhere is there any mention, discussion or debate about the existence or
non-existence of casteism or caste discrimination among Christians as Prof
Borges contended. Refer his post to JC below:

"(4) As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by the
makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the Christian
members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste discrimination
did not exist among Christians. One of these was a Catholic priest. And
now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches are pressing to reverse
this provision! "

As I said in my earlier posts, Prof Borges is confused and mixing up
issues. The debate and discussion in the Constituent Assembly was all about
ending sectoral or communal representation in the legislatures and
Parliament. I quote from Prof Borges's own posting:

"Fr. Jerome referred to "the multiple signs of good-will on the part of the
majority community" and fully backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that
there should be *NO RESERVATION OF SEATS.* ( Note: caps and italics are
mine to emphasize that what was rejected was RESERVATION OF SEATS in
Parliament)

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his
birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.*(Note: italics are mine to emphasize that he made a
point that all socially and economically backward persons, irrespective of
religion or caste should be given benefits. Nowhere does he say that
economic and social benefits should not be extended to dalits of Christian
origin as surmised by Prof Borges)

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that the
* **masses do not want reservations. *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically
asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every case was as
follows: *"We know that we shall never enter the Legislatures; **reservations
do not concern or interest us."* There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people who
depend upon service to earn their living. *Their reaction was that *if
there was any kind of reservation they would like to have reservation in *jobs.
(*italics are mine. Pl note that Prof Mookerjee has stated in plain
language that the Christian masses did not want reservation in legislatures
but reservation in jobs)

" Sir, in considering whether the House should accept the recommendations
of the Advisory Committee and the resolution placed before it by Sardar
Patel there are two questions which, it seems to me, the House should ask
itself. The first is: are we really honest when we say that we are seeking
to establish a secular state? *And the second is, whether we intend to have
one nation. if your idea is to have a secular state it follows
inevitable **that
we cannot afford to recognise minorities based upon religion. This to my
mind is the strongest possible argument why RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR
RELIGIOUS GROUPS** should be abolished** ( *Note:* *caps and italics are
mine. He speaks of abolishing reservation of seats for religious groups) *and
that immediately.* *So **far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there **are certain economically backward groups
in every community and for them **provision has been made in the directive
adopted in December last. *( Note: he makes it a point that there are
economically and socially backward groups in every community and that there
are safeguards made in the Directive Principles. This was the situation as
on 26th November 1949 when the new Constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly and 26th January 1950 when the new Constitution came
into effect. However, on 10th August, 1950, about 8 months later this
safeguard was overturned by a Presidential Order *1950, known **as the
Constitution **(SCHEDULED CASTE) Order, no.19, **Aug.10, 1950 which
specifically restricted the benefits to only Hindus and **excluded all
other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims). **Refer:*

4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who
professes a religion different from the Hindu 5[, the Sikh or the
Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste.]

http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm

Prof Borges is also incorrect when he states that Sikhs were granted
reservations and benefits because they fought for it at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution. The truth is that Sikhs like other religions
were excluded from the Presidential Order (refer above), but secured the
benefits after a struggle in 1956. The benefits were later extended to
Buddhists in 1990.

I wish to further inform Prof Borges that persons belonging to scheduled
tribes of whatever religion continue to get the benefits of reservation and
economic assistance.

What the dalit christians are asking and fighting for legitimately is that
they be treated at par with their hindu, sikh and buddhist counterparts as
they suffer from the same economic and social disability in which they were
born. Dalit christians are not asking for separate electorates or
reservation of seats in Parliament. They are asking for reserved seats in
educational institutions, reservation in jobs, financial assistance like
loans to study, set up business as given to other dalits.

I, however, agree with Prof Borges when he states that casteism has not
been eradicated in the Church and it is true that in parts of Tamil Nadu,
even to this day, dalits are buried in a separate section of the cemetery.
A crying shame for all of us who call ourselves Christian!!!

Regards,

Marshall

*Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East Punjab, fought tooth and
nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh castes namely,
the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East Punjab.
And he succeeded! Had the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome,
adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh,
history
would have been different.

More
details may be accessed at the following
links:http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm

It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If
Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to
obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not
exist in 1947? *

*Prof Sebastian Borges*
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-30 05:17:25 UTC
Permalink
Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians, rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement, please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order 1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if any section of their communities should be included in the list. They, however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and?information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and?benefits by the government >from 1937 onwards due to >their social and?economic diabilities.
This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,?whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and?benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut >off. After fighting?this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the?Buddhists in 1990 were extended the >reservations and benefits. It may be?noted that both Buddhism and >Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not?recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However >this was the?logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.
A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have?pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and?benefits be >extended to all dalits >irrespective of religion. However, the?government lacks the will to implement this.
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-30 05:13:32 UTC
Permalink
I have now had time to peruse and read through the 2 documents attached to
Prof Borges' post. I must admit that I am terribly disappointed.

The entire debate from start to end is all about ending communal
representation in the legislatures and Parliament. Nowhere, I repeat,
nowhere is there any mention, discussion or debate about the existence or
non-existence of casteism or caste discrimination among Christians as Prof
Borges contended. Refer his post to JC below:

"(4) As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by the
makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the Christian
members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste discrimination
did not exist among Christians. One of these was a Catholic priest. And
now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches are pressing to reverse
this provision! "

As I said in my earlier posts, Prof Borges is confused and mixing up
issues. The debate and discussion in the Constituent Assembly was all about
ending sectoral or communal representation in the legislatures and
Parliament. I quote from Prof Borges's own posting:

"Fr. Jerome referred to "the multiple signs of good-will on the part of the
majority community" and fully backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that
there should be *NO RESERVATION OF SEATS.* ( Note: caps and italics are
mine to emphasize that what was rejected was RESERVATION OF SEATS in
Parliament)

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his
birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.*(Note: italics are mine to emphasize that he made a
point that all socially and economically backward persons, irrespective of
religion or caste should be given benefits. Nowhere does he say that
economic and social benefits should not be extended to dalits of Christian
origin as surmised by Prof Borges)

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that the
* **masses do not want reservations. *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically
asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every case was as
follows: *"We know that we shall never enter the Legislatures; **reservations
do not concern or interest us."* There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people who
depend upon service to earn their living. *Their reaction was that *if
there was any kind of reservation they would like to have reservation in *jobs.
(*italics are mine. Pl note that Prof Mookerjee has stated in plain
language that the Christian masses did not want reservation in legislatures
but reservation in jobs)

" Sir, in considering whether the House should accept the recommendations
of the Advisory Committee and the resolution placed before it by Sardar
Patel there are two questions which, it seems to me, the House should ask
itself. The first is: are we really honest when we say that we are seeking
to establish a secular state? *And the second is, whether we intend to have
one nation. if your idea is to have a secular state it follows
inevitable **that
we cannot afford to recognise minorities based upon religion. This to my
mind is the strongest possible argument why RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR
RELIGIOUS GROUPS** should be abolished** ( *Note:* *caps and italics are
mine. He speaks of abolishing reservation of seats for religious groups) *and
that immediately.* *So **far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there **are certain economically backward groups
in every community and for them **provision has been made in the directive
adopted in December last. *( Note: he makes it a point that there are
economically and socially backward groups in every community and that there
are safeguards made in the Directive Principles. This was the situation as
on 26th November 1949 when the new Constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly and 26th January 1950 when the new Constitution came
into effect. However, on 10th August, 1950, about 8 months later this
safeguard was overturned by a Presidential Order *1950, known **as the
Constitution **(SCHEDULED CASTE) Order, no.19, **Aug.10, 1950 which
specifically restricted the benefits to only Hindus and **excluded all
other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims). **Refer:*

4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who
professes a religion different from the Hindu 5[, the Sikh or the
Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste.]

http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm

Prof Borges is also incorrect when he states that Sikhs were granted
reservations and benefits because they fought for it at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution. The truth is that Sikhs like other religions
were excluded from the Presidential Order (refer above), but secured the
benefits after a struggle in 1956. The benefits were later extended to
Buddhists in 1990.

I wish to further inform Prof Borges that persons belonging to scheduled
tribes of whatever religion continue to get the benefits of reservation and
economic assistance.

What the dalit christians are asking and fighting for legitimately is that
they be treated at par with their hindu, sikh and buddhist counterparts as
they suffer from the same economic and social disability in which they were
born. Dalit christians are not asking for separate electorates or
reservation of seats in Parliament. They are asking for reserved seats in
educational institutions, reservation in jobs, financial assistance like
loans to study, set up business as given to other dalits.

I, however, agree with Prof Borges when he states that casteism has not
been eradicated in the Church and it is true that in parts of Tamil Nadu,
even to this day, dalits are buried in a separate section of the cemetery.
A crying shame for all of us who call ourselves Christian!!!

Regards,

Marshall

*Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East Punjab, fought tooth and
nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh castes namely,
the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East Punjab.
And he succeeded! Had the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome,
adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh,
history
would have been different.

More
details may be accessed at the following
links:http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm

It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If
Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to
obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not
exist in 1947? *

*Prof Sebastian Borges*
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-30 05:17:25 UTC
Permalink
Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians, rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement, please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order 1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if any section of their communities should be included in the list. They, however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and?information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and?benefits by the government >from 1937 onwards due to >their social and?economic diabilities.
This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,?whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and?benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut >off. After fighting?this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the?Buddhists in 1990 were extended the >reservations and benefits. It may be?noted that both Buddhism and >Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not?recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However >this was the?logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.
A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have?pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and?benefits be >extended to all dalits >irrespective of religion. However, the?government lacks the will to implement this.
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-30 05:13:32 UTC
Permalink
I have now had time to peruse and read through the 2 documents attached to
Prof Borges' post. I must admit that I am terribly disappointed.

The entire debate from start to end is all about ending communal
representation in the legislatures and Parliament. Nowhere, I repeat,
nowhere is there any mention, discussion or debate about the existence or
non-existence of casteism or caste discrimination among Christians as Prof
Borges contended. Refer his post to JC below:

"(4) As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by the
makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the Christian
members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste discrimination
did not exist among Christians. One of these was a Catholic priest. And
now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches are pressing to reverse
this provision! "

As I said in my earlier posts, Prof Borges is confused and mixing up
issues. The debate and discussion in the Constituent Assembly was all about
ending sectoral or communal representation in the legislatures and
Parliament. I quote from Prof Borges's own posting:

"Fr. Jerome referred to "the multiple signs of good-will on the part of the
majority community" and fully backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that
there should be *NO RESERVATION OF SEATS.* ( Note: caps and italics are
mine to emphasize that what was rejected was RESERVATION OF SEATS in
Parliament)

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his
birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.*(Note: italics are mine to emphasize that he made a
point that all socially and economically backward persons, irrespective of
religion or caste should be given benefits. Nowhere does he say that
economic and social benefits should not be extended to dalits of Christian
origin as surmised by Prof Borges)

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that the
* **masses do not want reservations. *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically
asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every case was as
follows: *"We know that we shall never enter the Legislatures; **reservations
do not concern or interest us."* There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people who
depend upon service to earn their living. *Their reaction was that *if
there was any kind of reservation they would like to have reservation in *jobs.
(*italics are mine. Pl note that Prof Mookerjee has stated in plain
language that the Christian masses did not want reservation in legislatures
but reservation in jobs)

" Sir, in considering whether the House should accept the recommendations
of the Advisory Committee and the resolution placed before it by Sardar
Patel there are two questions which, it seems to me, the House should ask
itself. The first is: are we really honest when we say that we are seeking
to establish a secular state? *And the second is, whether we intend to have
one nation. if your idea is to have a secular state it follows
inevitable **that
we cannot afford to recognise minorities based upon religion. This to my
mind is the strongest possible argument why RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR
RELIGIOUS GROUPS** should be abolished** ( *Note:* *caps and italics are
mine. He speaks of abolishing reservation of seats for religious groups) *and
that immediately.* *So **far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there **are certain economically backward groups
in every community and for them **provision has been made in the directive
adopted in December last. *( Note: he makes it a point that there are
economically and socially backward groups in every community and that there
are safeguards made in the Directive Principles. This was the situation as
on 26th November 1949 when the new Constitution was adopted by the
Constituent Assembly and 26th January 1950 when the new Constitution came
into effect. However, on 10th August, 1950, about 8 months later this
safeguard was overturned by a Presidential Order *1950, known **as the
Constitution **(SCHEDULED CASTE) Order, no.19, **Aug.10, 1950 which
specifically restricted the benefits to only Hindus and **excluded all
other religions like Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims). **Refer:*

4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who
professes a religion different from the Hindu 5[, the Sikh or the
Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste.]

http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm

Prof Borges is also incorrect when he states that Sikhs were granted
reservations and benefits because they fought for it at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution. The truth is that Sikhs like other religions
were excluded from the Presidential Order (refer above), but secured the
benefits after a struggle in 1956. The benefits were later extended to
Buddhists in 1990.

I wish to further inform Prof Borges that persons belonging to scheduled
tribes of whatever religion continue to get the benefits of reservation and
economic assistance.

What the dalit christians are asking and fighting for legitimately is that
they be treated at par with their hindu, sikh and buddhist counterparts as
they suffer from the same economic and social disability in which they were
born. Dalit christians are not asking for separate electorates or
reservation of seats in Parliament. They are asking for reserved seats in
educational institutions, reservation in jobs, financial assistance like
loans to study, set up business as given to other dalits.

I, however, agree with Prof Borges when he states that casteism has not
been eradicated in the Church and it is true that in parts of Tamil Nadu,
even to this day, dalits are buried in a separate section of the cemetery.
A crying shame for all of us who call ourselves Christian!!!

Regards,

Marshall

*Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East Punjab, fought tooth and
nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh castes namely,
the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East Punjab.
And he succeeded! Had the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome,
adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh,
history
would have been different.

More
details may be accessed at the following
links:http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm

It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If
Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to
obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not
exist in 1947? *

*Prof Sebastian Borges*
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-30 05:17:25 UTC
Permalink
Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians, rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement, please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order 1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if any section of their communities should be included in the list. They, however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and?information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and?benefits by the government >from 1937 onwards due to >their social and?economic diabilities.
This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,?whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and?benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut >off. After fighting?this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the?Buddhists in 1990 were extended the >reservations and benefits. It may be?noted that both Buddhism and >Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not?recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However >this was the?logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.
A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have?pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and?benefits be >extended to all dalits >irrespective of religion. However, the?government lacks the will to implement this.
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 10:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Prof Borges for your very informative post and the weblinks. I
shall go through the information in detail over the week-end and come back
with a detailed response. In the meanwhile, here is my prima facie response:

1. Apparently, Prof Borges is confusing reservation of seats in Parliament
based on religion with reservation of economic and social benefits to
dalits.

2 Any person conversant with Indian history would know that there was
proportional representation based on religion in the provincial assemblies.
Hence, the Congress ruled in some provinces and the Muslim League were in
power in some provinces. This was the state of affairs at the time of
independence. Incidentally even cricket was played based on religious
representation. In the pentangular tournaments there were teams
representing the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Europeans and the Rest. On a side
note, my uncle played for the Rest and later on represented Punjab in the
Ranji Trophy.(being based out at Patiala and teaching at the Yadavindra
Public School).

Hence at the time of drafting of the Constitution by the Constituent
Assembly, many members thought of proportionate representation based on
religion. But many others learning from the tragic partition of India and
the resulting bloodshed rose above self and self-interest and
idealistically opted for a secular state without religious representation.
The only exception was made in case of Anglo-Indians for whom 2 seats were
reserved. Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.

2. However, this logic and reasoning was turned on its head when after
protracted struggle, Sikhs were granted the benefits in 1956 and Buddhists
in 1990. Prof Borges, kindly note. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are
egalitarian religions and do not recognise castes like christianity and
islam.

To understand the mindsets one needs to fast forward to the year 2000. Guru
Nanak's and Mahavir's birth anniversaries were celebrated by the government
(then BJP) with great fanfare. But the 2000 birth anniversary of Christ was
totally ignored. Christianity and Islam are treated as foreign religions
and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are treated as Indian religions. Even if
one were to refer to the definition of Hindu in the Indian Constitution, a
Hindu is defined as a person who does not profess the Christian, Islam,
Jewish or Zoroastrian religion. But the term Hindu includes a jain,
buddhist and sikh. That the Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists consider themselves
as minorities and not as Hindus is another story.

3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25 & 30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 10:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Prof Borges for your very informative post and the weblinks. I
shall go through the information in detail over the week-end and come back
with a detailed response. In the meanwhile, here is my prima facie response:

1. Apparently, Prof Borges is confusing reservation of seats in Parliament
based on religion with reservation of economic and social benefits to
dalits.

2 Any person conversant with Indian history would know that there was
proportional representation based on religion in the provincial assemblies.
Hence, the Congress ruled in some provinces and the Muslim League were in
power in some provinces. This was the state of affairs at the time of
independence. Incidentally even cricket was played based on religious
representation. In the pentangular tournaments there were teams
representing the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Europeans and the Rest. On a side
note, my uncle played for the Rest and later on represented Punjab in the
Ranji Trophy.(being based out at Patiala and teaching at the Yadavindra
Public School).

Hence at the time of drafting of the Constitution by the Constituent
Assembly, many members thought of proportionate representation based on
religion. But many others learning from the tragic partition of India and
the resulting bloodshed rose above self and self-interest and
idealistically opted for a secular state without religious representation.
The only exception was made in case of Anglo-Indians for whom 2 seats were
reserved. Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.

2. However, this logic and reasoning was turned on its head when after
protracted struggle, Sikhs were granted the benefits in 1956 and Buddhists
in 1990. Prof Borges, kindly note. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are
egalitarian religions and do not recognise castes like christianity and
islam.

To understand the mindsets one needs to fast forward to the year 2000. Guru
Nanak's and Mahavir's birth anniversaries were celebrated by the government
(then BJP) with great fanfare. But the 2000 birth anniversary of Christ was
totally ignored. Christianity and Islam are treated as foreign religions
and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are treated as Indian religions. Even if
one were to refer to the definition of Hindu in the Indian Constitution, a
Hindu is defined as a person who does not profess the Christian, Islam,
Jewish or Zoroastrian religion. But the term Hindu includes a jain,
buddhist and sikh. That the Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists consider themselves
as minorities and not as Hindus is another story.

3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25 & 30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 10:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Prof Borges for your very informative post and the weblinks. I
shall go through the information in detail over the week-end and come back
with a detailed response. In the meanwhile, here is my prima facie response:

1. Apparently, Prof Borges is confusing reservation of seats in Parliament
based on religion with reservation of economic and social benefits to
dalits.

2 Any person conversant with Indian history would know that there was
proportional representation based on religion in the provincial assemblies.
Hence, the Congress ruled in some provinces and the Muslim League were in
power in some provinces. This was the state of affairs at the time of
independence. Incidentally even cricket was played based on religious
representation. In the pentangular tournaments there were teams
representing the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Europeans and the Rest. On a side
note, my uncle played for the Rest and later on represented Punjab in the
Ranji Trophy.(being based out at Patiala and teaching at the Yadavindra
Public School).

Hence at the time of drafting of the Constitution by the Constituent
Assembly, many members thought of proportionate representation based on
religion. But many others learning from the tragic partition of India and
the resulting bloodshed rose above self and self-interest and
idealistically opted for a secular state without religious representation.
The only exception was made in case of Anglo-Indians for whom 2 seats were
reserved. Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.

2. However, this logic and reasoning was turned on its head when after
protracted struggle, Sikhs were granted the benefits in 1956 and Buddhists
in 1990. Prof Borges, kindly note. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are
egalitarian religions and do not recognise castes like christianity and
islam.

To understand the mindsets one needs to fast forward to the year 2000. Guru
Nanak's and Mahavir's birth anniversaries were celebrated by the government
(then BJP) with great fanfare. But the 2000 birth anniversary of Christ was
totally ignored. Christianity and Islam are treated as foreign religions
and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are treated as Indian religions. Even if
one were to refer to the definition of Hindu in the Indian Constitution, a
Hindu is defined as a person who does not profess the Christian, Islam,
Jewish or Zoroastrian religion. But the term Hindu includes a jain,
buddhist and sikh. That the Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists consider themselves
as minorities and not as Hindus is another story.

3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25 & 30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 10:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Thank you Prof Borges for your very informative post and the weblinks. I
shall go through the information in detail over the week-end and come back
with a detailed response. In the meanwhile, here is my prima facie response:

1. Apparently, Prof Borges is confusing reservation of seats in Parliament
based on religion with reservation of economic and social benefits to
dalits.

2 Any person conversant with Indian history would know that there was
proportional representation based on religion in the provincial assemblies.
Hence, the Congress ruled in some provinces and the Muslim League were in
power in some provinces. This was the state of affairs at the time of
independence. Incidentally even cricket was played based on religious
representation. In the pentangular tournaments there were teams
representing the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Europeans and the Rest. On a side
note, my uncle played for the Rest and later on represented Punjab in the
Ranji Trophy.(being based out at Patiala and teaching at the Yadavindra
Public School).

Hence at the time of drafting of the Constitution by the Constituent
Assembly, many members thought of proportionate representation based on
religion. But many others learning from the tragic partition of India and
the resulting bloodshed rose above self and self-interest and
idealistically opted for a secular state without religious representation.
The only exception was made in case of Anglo-Indians for whom 2 seats were
reserved. Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.

2. However, this logic and reasoning was turned on its head when after
protracted struggle, Sikhs were granted the benefits in 1956 and Buddhists
in 1990. Prof Borges, kindly note. Both Sikhism and Buddhism are
egalitarian religions and do not recognise castes like christianity and
islam.

To understand the mindsets one needs to fast forward to the year 2000. Guru
Nanak's and Mahavir's birth anniversaries were celebrated by the government
(then BJP) with great fanfare. But the 2000 birth anniversary of Christ was
totally ignored. Christianity and Islam are treated as foreign religions
and Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are treated as Indian religions. Even if
one were to refer to the definition of Hindu in the Indian Constitution, a
Hindu is defined as a person who does not profess the Christian, Islam,
Jewish or Zoroastrian religion. But the term Hindu includes a jain,
buddhist and sikh. That the Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists consider themselves
as minorities and not as Hindus is another story.

3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25 & 30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-31 05:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Response:
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.

I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.

1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
refer to the foll weblink):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
I am yet to come across any authentic statement of Fr Jerome or any other
Christian member objecting to extension of economic and social benefits to
dalit christians.

I have pointed out several statements of Fr Jerome and Prof Mookerjee from
the debate in Parliament in my responses to Prof Borges which contradict
what Santosh has posted. For the sake of brevity, I reproduce a few of them
here.

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor,
because his birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to
make progress,socially,politically and educationally; it should not
matter whether he be a christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin
or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member."

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying
that the masses do not want reservations. They say that they are
interested in three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their
demands. When they were specifically asked whether they wanted
reservation, the reply in every case was as follows: "We know that we
shall never enter the Legislatures; reservations do not concern or
interest us." There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people
who depend upon service to earn their living. Their reaction was that
if there was any kind of reservation they would like to have
reservation in jobs."

Prof Mookerjee is further quoted as saying:

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there are certain economically backward
groups in every community and for them provision has been made in the
directive adopted in December last."

For those interested in reading the entire post, they may access the
same from the foll weblinks:

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233952.html

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233918.html

3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.

I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject. I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are
discarded.

Regards,

Marshall



*Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let
me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about
Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let
me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of
balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous
post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here
was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out
that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to
including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the
theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence
that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in
2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named
Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit
Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for
Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians,
rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father
D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on
what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled
Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by
genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this
issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil
Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions
appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian
representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by
Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950,
the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7
November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement,
please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the
claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed
Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial
Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order
1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a
Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to
Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain
economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as
before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was
compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians-
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if
any section of their communities should be included in the list. They,
however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an
egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still
bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh*
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 01:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
Marshall,
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are?discarded.
Yep, I am waiting, breathlessly, for your announcement that the evidence points out that the whole concept of god is a sham. Either that, or the announcement that with God on your side, how could you be wrong?

Mervyn
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-01 06:50:39 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.?

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr. Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an objective rational person all this information would be much more trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations, speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be false. Therefore,
in order to properly stack up his credibility against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition, lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits. Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph??
?(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled?Caste;?
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community" in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined in Schedule I to the?Government of India Act, 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see:?http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me?point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been given reservation not?on grounds of religion at all; they form part and parcel of the Hindu?Community, and they have given reservation apparently and clearly on grounds?of their economic, social educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see:?http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.
I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.
1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
?
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-02 00:39:32 UTC
Permalink
My thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of an ill-read person like me.
Dear Prof. Borges,

I too appreciate your input and perspective on this issue, which I?think are more valuable than mine. I am not sure if you are interested?in entertaining a private discussion on the scheduled castes topic?with the Goanet poster named Marshall Mendonza in response to the?following offer by him:

QUOTE
I could have a long discussion with you on this subject but it would?not be fair to other Goanet readers and so if you wish we could?take this offline..
UNQUOTE
......Marshall Mendonza

But if you are going to engage him in such a discussion, I would?really appreciate it if you could cc your replies to me. I am very?much interested in reading the documents/reading material he has read?and the reliable hearsay information he has gathered from his?discussions with others in the know. I am referring to the following?quotes by him in his latest Goanet post (http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-September/234032.html).

QUOTE
To be honest, these are some of the answers that I too am seeking. I?have not been able to lay my hands on any information/ document which?could suggest or tell us what transpired between 26th Jan 1950 and 9th?August 1950. I understand from my reading and discussions with others?in the know that there was absolutely no debate, discussion, white?paper, nothing to suggest what was in the offing.
UNQUOTE
?...Marshall Mendonza

QUOTE
I reliably understand that it was this lobby which was instrumental in?pushing the Order as they did not succeed in preventing any?discrimination in the Constitution.
UNQUOTE
?...Marshall Mendonza

I am particularly interested in knowing why his reading material, his?hearsay information, his understanding, his people in the know, etc.?are so uniquely reliable and special.

On my part, I will continue to provide more factual information from?independent sources about the history of the scheduled castes list in?the Indian constitution, and the role played by the Christian members?of the Constituent Assembly in putting it together.

Cheers,

Santosh
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 01:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
Marshall,
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are?discarded.
Yep, I am waiting, breathlessly, for your announcement that the evidence points out that the whole concept of god is a sham. Either that, or the announcement that with God on your side, how could you be wrong?

Mervyn
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-01 06:50:39 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.?

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr. Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an objective rational person all this information would be much more trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations, speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be false. Therefore,
in order to properly stack up his credibility against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition, lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits. Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph??
?(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled?Caste;?
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community" in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined in Schedule I to the?Government of India Act, 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see:?http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me?point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been given reservation not?on grounds of religion at all; they form part and parcel of the Hindu?Community, and they have given reservation apparently and clearly on grounds?of their economic, social educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see:?http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.
I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.
1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
?
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 01:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
Marshall,
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are?discarded.
Yep, I am waiting, breathlessly, for your announcement that the evidence points out that the whole concept of god is a sham. Either that, or the announcement that with God on your side, how could you be wrong?

Mervyn
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-01 06:50:39 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.?

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr. Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an objective rational person all this information would be much more trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations, speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be false. Therefore,
in order to properly stack up his credibility against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition, lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits. Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph??
?(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled?Caste;?
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community" in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined in Schedule I to the?Government of India Act, 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see:?http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me?point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been given reservation not?on grounds of religion at all; they form part and parcel of the Hindu?Community, and they have given reservation apparently and clearly on grounds?of their economic, social educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see:?http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.
I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.
1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
?
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 01:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
Marshall,
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are?discarded.
Yep, I am waiting, breathlessly, for your announcement that the evidence points out that the whole concept of god is a sham. Either that, or the announcement that with God on your side, how could you be wrong?

Mervyn
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-01 06:50:39 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.?

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr. Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an objective rational person all this information would be much more trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations, speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be false. Therefore,
in order to properly stack up his credibility against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition, lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits. Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph??
?(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled?Caste;?
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community" in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined in Schedule I to the?Government of India Act, 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see:?http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me?point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been given reservation not?on grounds of religion at all; they form part and parcel of the Hindu?Community, and they have given reservation apparently and clearly on grounds?of their economic, social educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see:?http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.
I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.
1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
?
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 01:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
Marshall,
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are?discarded.
Yep, I am waiting, breathlessly, for your announcement that the evidence points out that the whole concept of god is a sham. Either that, or the announcement that with God on your side, how could you be wrong?

Mervyn
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-01 06:50:39 UTC
Permalink
I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.?

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr. Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an objective rational person all this information would be much more trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations, speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be false. Therefore,
in order to properly stack up his credibility against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition, lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits. Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph??
?(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled?Caste;?
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community" in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined in Schedule I to the?Government of India Act, 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see:?http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me?point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been given reservation not?on grounds of religion at all; they form part and parcel of the Hindu?Community, and they have given reservation apparently and clearly on grounds?of their economic, social educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see:?http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.
I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.
1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
?
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-01 05:46:19 UTC
Permalink
?
My
thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of
an ill-read person like me. Some twelve years ago I had attended a camp on "Dalit Issues" at the Ecumenical Centre, Bangalore. The participants were
mainly Dalit pastors and seminarians belonging to different Christian
denominations from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Orissa. I was the
only Catholic. It was there that I leaned for the first time that in Tamil Nadu
there are separate churches and cemeteries for Dalits. I formed the impression
that this was the case with non-Catholic denominations alone, and that it is
only in Goa that a Catholic priest can arrogantly declare, "Fr. X, I don?t know
what your caste is; but I am a Bamon" right in the Paco Patriarcal! I don?t
know whether our own Archbishop himself has made such a statement. Today I know
I was grossly mistaken; I have learned that as late as the year 2000, the superannuated
Archbishop (Arulappa) of Hyderabad criticized the Vatican for promoting a Dalit
Bishop (Joji) as his successor, claiming that the Vatican did not know the
ground realities in Hyderabad! This means that casteism is rampant in the
Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor
wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010. Please see:
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/P_ApointmentFirstDalitBishop.htm
?and
http://www.persecution.in/content/gcic-condoles-death-first-dalit-archbishop-marampudi-joji-hyderabad

I would like to draw Marshall's attention to the statement by Shri Guptanath
Singh in the Constituent Assembly: "I want Sir, that those classes who are
the backbone of Indian society agricultural, pastoral or artisan classes - though
they are not counted as scheduled Castes or Tribes should be given some
opportunities to serve in government
services. You have already accepted the proposal to appoint a commission
to study and investigate their conditions. If you insert words to the effect
that those wretched people will be given some chance it would be better for the
country. They will prove to be most honest and efficient national servants. I hope they will
consider the points I have raised and prove to the agricultural and pastoral
classes, whose condition is worse than that of the Harijans and Adibasis, that
they are going to to something for them and assure them that they would get
their opportunities to serve the
country."Do the
terms "government services", "national servants",
"serve the country" refer to seats in legislative bodies? It is true
that he was not referring to Christiansspecifically,
as that was not expected of him. This was expected of the Christian
representatives, but they reckoned that it was none of their concern as it was
no skin off their back and the neglected group was, anyway, one that they
themselves despised, their fake egalitarianism notwithstanding.
Marshall claims that Fr Jerome's statement
that there is no caste in Christianity is factual. It is not factual even in
the twenty-first century. In fact, the statement is a cruel joke, a fraud
perpetrated on the depressed castes among the Indian Christians. If there are
no castes in Christianity, whence the Christian Dalits for whom the
Churches/Bishops are demanding special rights on par with Hindu Scheduled
Castes? Why are these being denied equality within the church itself even to
this day? Assuming that the demand is conceded by the Government of India, how
will it be implemented? How will a Christian Dalit avail of its benefits,
especially one whose forefathers were converted over a hundred years ago? Who
will issue him his Caste Certificate? On what basis?

Marshall says, "This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of
hindutva elements, whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the
reservations and benefits only to Hindus. All other religions were cut off.
After fighting this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and
then the Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may
be noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not recognise
castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the logic given for
excluding Christian and Muslim dalits."
Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was he
acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members? Was he aware
that the Christian members had committed the interests of their community into
the hands of the majority community for being dealt fair and square? If the
answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget this so
soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements? Does this not
reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does it not stem from
the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as propagated by the
upper caste Christians for their own benefit? And how do the fundamental rights
"to practice, propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and
administer educational institutions" provide any solace to the Dalit
Christians? Aren't these too just tools in the hands of the upper caste
Christians? Do they benefit the Dalits in any small way? Therefore, the
question that arises is: In this bargain, who gained and at whose cost?

Sebastian Borges
?
On ?29 Aug 2013 Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com> wrote:

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was
debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr.
Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit
Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that
there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to
support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar
and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link
to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent
Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html
?
On 31 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.


?
On 29 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a
majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.


3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25? &?
30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.
?
Regards,

Marshall
-----------

?
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-27 15:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?

Regards,


Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-28 00:49:46 UTC
Permalink
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts, common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below. Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question posed to him.

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!
The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-28 13:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall
Sebastian Borges
2013-08-29 03:54:57 UTC
Permalink
There
were a few Christian members in the Constituent Assembly. Prominent among
these were Dr. H.C. Mookherjee (W. Bengal), Mr. Joseph Alban D'Souza (Bombay) and
Rev. Jerome D'Souza SJ (Madras).? It is
difficult to guess whether Mookherjee, being a Protestant from Bengal, was
acquainted with caste discrimination among Christians. JAD'Souza too might not
have reckoned that the Caste distinction among Goan and Manglorean Catholics was
serious enough to mar the "egalitarian" character of Christianity. But the same
consideration cannot be given to the reverend, since there exist separate
churches and cemeteries for dalits in Tamil Nadu to this day! But then, being a
Catholic priest, he could not be expected to admit this fact. Moreover, it
would have been a bad advertisement for the Faith, since it was the general impression that Scheduled
caste Hindus converted to Christianity in order to escape the oppression by
caste Hindus.
Perhaps,
I am putting the cart before the horse. The debates of the Constituent Assembly
are very instructive in this regard. The necessity of reservations for the SCs
was a general consensus. However, Mookherjee said that in a secular state minorities
should not be recognised on the basis of religion. Christian masses, he said,
are not interested in reservations; all they asked for was food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. Their interests were
secure in the hands of "the majority community which had been very generous toevery one of the minority
communities." He also felt that minorities would be wise to trust the majority
community, and win its good-will if they wanted to live in peace and honour in
this country.For this Dr. Mookherjee was hailed by Sardar Patel as "the great
patriotic Christian leader."Fr. Jeromereferred to "the multiple
signs of good-will on the part of the majority community"and fully
backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that there should be no reservation of seats.
According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth
and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress, socially,
politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be a Christian,
or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member.
He went on to say that "it
is not we (the Christians) who are taking a ?risk, it is the
majority community that is undertaking a responsibility!"
J A D'Souza does not appear to have participated in the debate.

Some
members like Guptanath Singh (Bihar) were more open-minded. He said that those
classes who are the backbone of Indian society - agricultural, pastoral or
artisan classes - though they are not counted as Scheduled Castes or Tribes
should be given some opportunities to serve in government services. He proposed
the addition of "and
such other castes who are educationally and socially backward"after Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
But,
unlike the Christian leaders, others were not as gullible. Like Christian Dalits,
the Sikh Dalits ?too were excluded from
reservations because, according to Sardar Patel, ?untouchability is not recognised in the Sikh
religion. The Sikhs felt that if these Scheduled Castes who have been converted
to Sikhism are not given the same benefits as the Scheduled Castes have been,
there was a possibility of their reverting to the Hindu Scheduled Castes and
merging along with them. Therefore, Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East
Punjab, fought tooth and nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh
castes namely, the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East
Punjab. ?And he succeeded!
Had
the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome, adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh, history
would have been different.
?
More
details may be accessed at the following links:
http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm
?
It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not exist in 1947??


Sebastian
Borges
??

On 27 Aug 2013 2 Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this
information?

Marshall



Again on 28 Aug 2013? Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that
Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a
total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall



---------------------------
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 04:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and
information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and
benefits by the government from 1937 onwards due to their social and
economic diabilities.

This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,
whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and
benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut off. After fighting
this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the
Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may be
noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not
recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the
logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.

A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have
pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and
benefits be extended to all dalits irrespective of religion. However, the
government lacks the will to implement this.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-31 05:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Response:
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.

I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.

1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
refer to the foll weblink):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
I am yet to come across any authentic statement of Fr Jerome or any other
Christian member objecting to extension of economic and social benefits to
dalit christians.

I have pointed out several statements of Fr Jerome and Prof Mookerjee from
the debate in Parliament in my responses to Prof Borges which contradict
what Santosh has posted. For the sake of brevity, I reproduce a few of them
here.

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor,
because his birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to
make progress,socially,politically and educationally; it should not
matter whether he be a christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin
or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member."

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying
that the masses do not want reservations. They say that they are
interested in three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their
demands. When they were specifically asked whether they wanted
reservation, the reply in every case was as follows: "We know that we
shall never enter the Legislatures; reservations do not concern or
interest us." There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people
who depend upon service to earn their living. Their reaction was that
if there was any kind of reservation they would like to have
reservation in jobs."

Prof Mookerjee is further quoted as saying:

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there are certain economically backward
groups in every community and for them provision has been made in the
directive adopted in December last."

For those interested in reading the entire post, they may access the
same from the foll weblinks:

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233952.html

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233918.html

3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.

I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject. I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are
discarded.

Regards,

Marshall



*Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let
me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about
Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let
me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of
balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous
post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here
was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out
that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to
including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the
theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence
that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in
2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named
Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit
Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for
Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians,
rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father
D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on
what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled
Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by
genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this
issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil
Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions
appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian
representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by
Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950,
the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7
November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement,
please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the
claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed
Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial
Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order
1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a
Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to
Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain
economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as
before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was
compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians-
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if
any section of their communities should be included in the list. They,
however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an
egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still
bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh*
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-01 05:46:19 UTC
Permalink
?
My
thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of
an ill-read person like me. Some twelve years ago I had attended a camp on "Dalit Issues" at the Ecumenical Centre, Bangalore. The participants were
mainly Dalit pastors and seminarians belonging to different Christian
denominations from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Orissa. I was the
only Catholic. It was there that I leaned for the first time that in Tamil Nadu
there are separate churches and cemeteries for Dalits. I formed the impression
that this was the case with non-Catholic denominations alone, and that it is
only in Goa that a Catholic priest can arrogantly declare, "Fr. X, I don?t know
what your caste is; but I am a Bamon" right in the Paco Patriarcal! I don?t
know whether our own Archbishop himself has made such a statement. Today I know
I was grossly mistaken; I have learned that as late as the year 2000, the superannuated
Archbishop (Arulappa) of Hyderabad criticized the Vatican for promoting a Dalit
Bishop (Joji) as his successor, claiming that the Vatican did not know the
ground realities in Hyderabad! This means that casteism is rampant in the
Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor
wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010. Please see:
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/P_ApointmentFirstDalitBishop.htm
?and
http://www.persecution.in/content/gcic-condoles-death-first-dalit-archbishop-marampudi-joji-hyderabad

I would like to draw Marshall's attention to the statement by Shri Guptanath
Singh in the Constituent Assembly: "I want Sir, that those classes who are
the backbone of Indian society agricultural, pastoral or artisan classes - though
they are not counted as scheduled Castes or Tribes should be given some
opportunities to serve in government
services. You have already accepted the proposal to appoint a commission
to study and investigate their conditions. If you insert words to the effect
that those wretched people will be given some chance it would be better for the
country. They will prove to be most honest and efficient national servants. I hope they will
consider the points I have raised and prove to the agricultural and pastoral
classes, whose condition is worse than that of the Harijans and Adibasis, that
they are going to to something for them and assure them that they would get
their opportunities to serve the
country."Do the
terms "government services", "national servants",
"serve the country" refer to seats in legislative bodies? It is true
that he was not referring to Christiansspecifically,
as that was not expected of him. This was expected of the Christian
representatives, but they reckoned that it was none of their concern as it was
no skin off their back and the neglected group was, anyway, one that they
themselves despised, their fake egalitarianism notwithstanding.
Marshall claims that Fr Jerome's statement
that there is no caste in Christianity is factual. It is not factual even in
the twenty-first century. In fact, the statement is a cruel joke, a fraud
perpetrated on the depressed castes among the Indian Christians. If there are
no castes in Christianity, whence the Christian Dalits for whom the
Churches/Bishops are demanding special rights on par with Hindu Scheduled
Castes? Why are these being denied equality within the church itself even to
this day? Assuming that the demand is conceded by the Government of India, how
will it be implemented? How will a Christian Dalit avail of its benefits,
especially one whose forefathers were converted over a hundred years ago? Who
will issue him his Caste Certificate? On what basis?

Marshall says, "This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of
hindutva elements, whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the
reservations and benefits only to Hindus. All other religions were cut off.
After fighting this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and
then the Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may
be noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not recognise
castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the logic given for
excluding Christian and Muslim dalits."
Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was he
acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members? Was he aware
that the Christian members had committed the interests of their community into
the hands of the majority community for being dealt fair and square? If the
answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget this so
soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements? Does this not
reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does it not stem from
the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as propagated by the
upper caste Christians for their own benefit? And how do the fundamental rights
"to practice, propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and
administer educational institutions" provide any solace to the Dalit
Christians? Aren't these too just tools in the hands of the upper caste
Christians? Do they benefit the Dalits in any small way? Therefore, the
question that arises is: In this bargain, who gained and at whose cost?

Sebastian Borges
?
On ?29 Aug 2013 Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com> wrote:

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was
debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr.
Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit
Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that
there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to
support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar
and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link
to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent
Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html
?
On 31 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.


?
On 29 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a
majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.


3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25? &?
30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.
?
Regards,

Marshall
-----------

?
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-27 15:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?

Regards,


Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-28 00:49:46 UTC
Permalink
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts, common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below. Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question posed to him.

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!
The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-28 13:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall
Sebastian Borges
2013-08-29 03:54:57 UTC
Permalink
There
were a few Christian members in the Constituent Assembly. Prominent among
these were Dr. H.C. Mookherjee (W. Bengal), Mr. Joseph Alban D'Souza (Bombay) and
Rev. Jerome D'Souza SJ (Madras).? It is
difficult to guess whether Mookherjee, being a Protestant from Bengal, was
acquainted with caste discrimination among Christians. JAD'Souza too might not
have reckoned that the Caste distinction among Goan and Manglorean Catholics was
serious enough to mar the "egalitarian" character of Christianity. But the same
consideration cannot be given to the reverend, since there exist separate
churches and cemeteries for dalits in Tamil Nadu to this day! But then, being a
Catholic priest, he could not be expected to admit this fact. Moreover, it
would have been a bad advertisement for the Faith, since it was the general impression that Scheduled
caste Hindus converted to Christianity in order to escape the oppression by
caste Hindus.
Perhaps,
I am putting the cart before the horse. The debates of the Constituent Assembly
are very instructive in this regard. The necessity of reservations for the SCs
was a general consensus. However, Mookherjee said that in a secular state minorities
should not be recognised on the basis of religion. Christian masses, he said,
are not interested in reservations; all they asked for was food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. Their interests were
secure in the hands of "the majority community which had been very generous toevery one of the minority
communities." He also felt that minorities would be wise to trust the majority
community, and win its good-will if they wanted to live in peace and honour in
this country.For this Dr. Mookherjee was hailed by Sardar Patel as "the great
patriotic Christian leader."Fr. Jeromereferred to "the multiple
signs of good-will on the part of the majority community"and fully
backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that there should be no reservation of seats.
According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth
and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress, socially,
politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be a Christian,
or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member.
He went on to say that "it
is not we (the Christians) who are taking a ?risk, it is the
majority community that is undertaking a responsibility!"
J A D'Souza does not appear to have participated in the debate.

Some
members like Guptanath Singh (Bihar) were more open-minded. He said that those
classes who are the backbone of Indian society - agricultural, pastoral or
artisan classes - though they are not counted as Scheduled Castes or Tribes
should be given some opportunities to serve in government services. He proposed
the addition of "and
such other castes who are educationally and socially backward"after Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
But,
unlike the Christian leaders, others were not as gullible. Like Christian Dalits,
the Sikh Dalits ?too were excluded from
reservations because, according to Sardar Patel, ?untouchability is not recognised in the Sikh
religion. The Sikhs felt that if these Scheduled Castes who have been converted
to Sikhism are not given the same benefits as the Scheduled Castes have been,
there was a possibility of their reverting to the Hindu Scheduled Castes and
merging along with them. Therefore, Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East
Punjab, fought tooth and nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh
castes namely, the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East
Punjab. ?And he succeeded!
Had
the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome, adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh, history
would have been different.
?
More
details may be accessed at the following links:
http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm
?
It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not exist in 1947??


Sebastian
Borges
??

On 27 Aug 2013 2 Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this
information?

Marshall



Again on 28 Aug 2013? Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that
Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a
total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall



---------------------------
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 04:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and
information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and
benefits by the government from 1937 onwards due to their social and
economic diabilities.

This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,
whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and
benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut off. After fighting
this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the
Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may be
noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not
recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the
logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.

A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have
pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and
benefits be extended to all dalits irrespective of religion. However, the
government lacks the will to implement this.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-31 05:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Response:
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.

I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.

1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
refer to the foll weblink):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
I am yet to come across any authentic statement of Fr Jerome or any other
Christian member objecting to extension of economic and social benefits to
dalit christians.

I have pointed out several statements of Fr Jerome and Prof Mookerjee from
the debate in Parliament in my responses to Prof Borges which contradict
what Santosh has posted. For the sake of brevity, I reproduce a few of them
here.

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor,
because his birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to
make progress,socially,politically and educationally; it should not
matter whether he be a christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin
or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member."

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying
that the masses do not want reservations. They say that they are
interested in three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their
demands. When they were specifically asked whether they wanted
reservation, the reply in every case was as follows: "We know that we
shall never enter the Legislatures; reservations do not concern or
interest us." There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people
who depend upon service to earn their living. Their reaction was that
if there was any kind of reservation they would like to have
reservation in jobs."

Prof Mookerjee is further quoted as saying:

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there are certain economically backward
groups in every community and for them provision has been made in the
directive adopted in December last."

For those interested in reading the entire post, they may access the
same from the foll weblinks:

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233952.html

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233918.html

3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.

I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject. I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are
discarded.

Regards,

Marshall



*Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let
me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about
Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let
me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of
balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous
post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here
was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out
that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to
including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the
theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence
that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in
2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named
Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit
Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for
Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians,
rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father
D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on
what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled
Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by
genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this
issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil
Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions
appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian
representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by
Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950,
the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7
November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement,
please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the
claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed
Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial
Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order
1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a
Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to
Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain
economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as
before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was
compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians-
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if
any section of their communities should be included in the list. They,
however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an
egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still
bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh*
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-01 05:46:19 UTC
Permalink
?
My
thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of
an ill-read person like me. Some twelve years ago I had attended a camp on "Dalit Issues" at the Ecumenical Centre, Bangalore. The participants were
mainly Dalit pastors and seminarians belonging to different Christian
denominations from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Orissa. I was the
only Catholic. It was there that I leaned for the first time that in Tamil Nadu
there are separate churches and cemeteries for Dalits. I formed the impression
that this was the case with non-Catholic denominations alone, and that it is
only in Goa that a Catholic priest can arrogantly declare, "Fr. X, I don?t know
what your caste is; but I am a Bamon" right in the Paco Patriarcal! I don?t
know whether our own Archbishop himself has made such a statement. Today I know
I was grossly mistaken; I have learned that as late as the year 2000, the superannuated
Archbishop (Arulappa) of Hyderabad criticized the Vatican for promoting a Dalit
Bishop (Joji) as his successor, claiming that the Vatican did not know the
ground realities in Hyderabad! This means that casteism is rampant in the
Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor
wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010. Please see:
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/P_ApointmentFirstDalitBishop.htm
?and
http://www.persecution.in/content/gcic-condoles-death-first-dalit-archbishop-marampudi-joji-hyderabad

I would like to draw Marshall's attention to the statement by Shri Guptanath
Singh in the Constituent Assembly: "I want Sir, that those classes who are
the backbone of Indian society agricultural, pastoral or artisan classes - though
they are not counted as scheduled Castes or Tribes should be given some
opportunities to serve in government
services. You have already accepted the proposal to appoint a commission
to study and investigate their conditions. If you insert words to the effect
that those wretched people will be given some chance it would be better for the
country. They will prove to be most honest and efficient national servants. I hope they will
consider the points I have raised and prove to the agricultural and pastoral
classes, whose condition is worse than that of the Harijans and Adibasis, that
they are going to to something for them and assure them that they would get
their opportunities to serve the
country."Do the
terms "government services", "national servants",
"serve the country" refer to seats in legislative bodies? It is true
that he was not referring to Christiansspecifically,
as that was not expected of him. This was expected of the Christian
representatives, but they reckoned that it was none of their concern as it was
no skin off their back and the neglected group was, anyway, one that they
themselves despised, their fake egalitarianism notwithstanding.
Marshall claims that Fr Jerome's statement
that there is no caste in Christianity is factual. It is not factual even in
the twenty-first century. In fact, the statement is a cruel joke, a fraud
perpetrated on the depressed castes among the Indian Christians. If there are
no castes in Christianity, whence the Christian Dalits for whom the
Churches/Bishops are demanding special rights on par with Hindu Scheduled
Castes? Why are these being denied equality within the church itself even to
this day? Assuming that the demand is conceded by the Government of India, how
will it be implemented? How will a Christian Dalit avail of its benefits,
especially one whose forefathers were converted over a hundred years ago? Who
will issue him his Caste Certificate? On what basis?

Marshall says, "This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of
hindutva elements, whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the
reservations and benefits only to Hindus. All other religions were cut off.
After fighting this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and
then the Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may
be noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not recognise
castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the logic given for
excluding Christian and Muslim dalits."
Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was he
acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members? Was he aware
that the Christian members had committed the interests of their community into
the hands of the majority community for being dealt fair and square? If the
answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget this so
soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements? Does this not
reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does it not stem from
the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as propagated by the
upper caste Christians for their own benefit? And how do the fundamental rights
"to practice, propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and
administer educational institutions" provide any solace to the Dalit
Christians? Aren't these too just tools in the hands of the upper caste
Christians? Do they benefit the Dalits in any small way? Therefore, the
question that arises is: In this bargain, who gained and at whose cost?

Sebastian Borges
?
On ?29 Aug 2013 Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com> wrote:

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was
debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr.
Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit
Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that
there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to
support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar
and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link
to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent
Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html
?
On 31 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.


?
On 29 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a
majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.


3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25? &?
30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.
?
Regards,

Marshall
-----------

?
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-27 15:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?

Regards,


Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-28 00:49:46 UTC
Permalink
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts, common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below. Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question posed to him.

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!
The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-28 13:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall
Sebastian Borges
2013-08-29 03:54:57 UTC
Permalink
There
were a few Christian members in the Constituent Assembly. Prominent among
these were Dr. H.C. Mookherjee (W. Bengal), Mr. Joseph Alban D'Souza (Bombay) and
Rev. Jerome D'Souza SJ (Madras).? It is
difficult to guess whether Mookherjee, being a Protestant from Bengal, was
acquainted with caste discrimination among Christians. JAD'Souza too might not
have reckoned that the Caste distinction among Goan and Manglorean Catholics was
serious enough to mar the "egalitarian" character of Christianity. But the same
consideration cannot be given to the reverend, since there exist separate
churches and cemeteries for dalits in Tamil Nadu to this day! But then, being a
Catholic priest, he could not be expected to admit this fact. Moreover, it
would have been a bad advertisement for the Faith, since it was the general impression that Scheduled
caste Hindus converted to Christianity in order to escape the oppression by
caste Hindus.
Perhaps,
I am putting the cart before the horse. The debates of the Constituent Assembly
are very instructive in this regard. The necessity of reservations for the SCs
was a general consensus. However, Mookherjee said that in a secular state minorities
should not be recognised on the basis of religion. Christian masses, he said,
are not interested in reservations; all they asked for was food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. Their interests were
secure in the hands of "the majority community which had been very generous toevery one of the minority
communities." He also felt that minorities would be wise to trust the majority
community, and win its good-will if they wanted to live in peace and honour in
this country.For this Dr. Mookherjee was hailed by Sardar Patel as "the great
patriotic Christian leader."Fr. Jeromereferred to "the multiple
signs of good-will on the part of the majority community"and fully
backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that there should be no reservation of seats.
According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth
and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress, socially,
politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be a Christian,
or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member.
He went on to say that "it
is not we (the Christians) who are taking a ?risk, it is the
majority community that is undertaking a responsibility!"
J A D'Souza does not appear to have participated in the debate.

Some
members like Guptanath Singh (Bihar) were more open-minded. He said that those
classes who are the backbone of Indian society - agricultural, pastoral or
artisan classes - though they are not counted as Scheduled Castes or Tribes
should be given some opportunities to serve in government services. He proposed
the addition of "and
such other castes who are educationally and socially backward"after Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
But,
unlike the Christian leaders, others were not as gullible. Like Christian Dalits,
the Sikh Dalits ?too were excluded from
reservations because, according to Sardar Patel, ?untouchability is not recognised in the Sikh
religion. The Sikhs felt that if these Scheduled Castes who have been converted
to Sikhism are not given the same benefits as the Scheduled Castes have been,
there was a possibility of their reverting to the Hindu Scheduled Castes and
merging along with them. Therefore, Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East
Punjab, fought tooth and nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh
castes namely, the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East
Punjab. ?And he succeeded!
Had
the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome, adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh, history
would have been different.
?
More
details may be accessed at the following links:
http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm
?
It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not exist in 1947??


Sebastian
Borges
??

On 27 Aug 2013 2 Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this
information?

Marshall



Again on 28 Aug 2013? Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that
Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a
total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall



---------------------------
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 04:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and
information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and
benefits by the government from 1937 onwards due to their social and
economic diabilities.

This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,
whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and
benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut off. After fighting
this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the
Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may be
noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not
recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the
logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.

A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have
pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and
benefits be extended to all dalits irrespective of religion. However, the
government lacks the will to implement this.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-31 05:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Response:
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.

I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.

1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
refer to the foll weblink):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
I am yet to come across any authentic statement of Fr Jerome or any other
Christian member objecting to extension of economic and social benefits to
dalit christians.

I have pointed out several statements of Fr Jerome and Prof Mookerjee from
the debate in Parliament in my responses to Prof Borges which contradict
what Santosh has posted. For the sake of brevity, I reproduce a few of them
here.

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor,
because his birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to
make progress,socially,politically and educationally; it should not
matter whether he be a christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin
or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member."

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying
that the masses do not want reservations. They say that they are
interested in three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their
demands. When they were specifically asked whether they wanted
reservation, the reply in every case was as follows: "We know that we
shall never enter the Legislatures; reservations do not concern or
interest us." There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people
who depend upon service to earn their living. Their reaction was that
if there was any kind of reservation they would like to have
reservation in jobs."

Prof Mookerjee is further quoted as saying:

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there are certain economically backward
groups in every community and for them provision has been made in the
directive adopted in December last."

For those interested in reading the entire post, they may access the
same from the foll weblinks:

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233952.html

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233918.html

3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.

I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject. I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are
discarded.

Regards,

Marshall



*Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let
me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about
Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let
me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of
balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous
post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here
was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out
that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to
including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the
theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence
that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in
2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named
Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit
Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for
Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians,
rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father
D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on
what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled
Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by
genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this
issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil
Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions
appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian
representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by
Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950,
the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7
November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement,
please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the
claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed
Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial
Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order
1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a
Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to
Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain
economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as
before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was
compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians-
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if
any section of their communities should be included in the list. They,
however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an
egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still
bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh*
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-01 05:46:19 UTC
Permalink
?
My
thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of
an ill-read person like me. Some twelve years ago I had attended a camp on "Dalit Issues" at the Ecumenical Centre, Bangalore. The participants were
mainly Dalit pastors and seminarians belonging to different Christian
denominations from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Orissa. I was the
only Catholic. It was there that I leaned for the first time that in Tamil Nadu
there are separate churches and cemeteries for Dalits. I formed the impression
that this was the case with non-Catholic denominations alone, and that it is
only in Goa that a Catholic priest can arrogantly declare, "Fr. X, I don?t know
what your caste is; but I am a Bamon" right in the Paco Patriarcal! I don?t
know whether our own Archbishop himself has made such a statement. Today I know
I was grossly mistaken; I have learned that as late as the year 2000, the superannuated
Archbishop (Arulappa) of Hyderabad criticized the Vatican for promoting a Dalit
Bishop (Joji) as his successor, claiming that the Vatican did not know the
ground realities in Hyderabad! This means that casteism is rampant in the
Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor
wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010. Please see:
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/P_ApointmentFirstDalitBishop.htm
?and
http://www.persecution.in/content/gcic-condoles-death-first-dalit-archbishop-marampudi-joji-hyderabad

I would like to draw Marshall's attention to the statement by Shri Guptanath
Singh in the Constituent Assembly: "I want Sir, that those classes who are
the backbone of Indian society agricultural, pastoral or artisan classes - though
they are not counted as scheduled Castes or Tribes should be given some
opportunities to serve in government
services. You have already accepted the proposal to appoint a commission
to study and investigate their conditions. If you insert words to the effect
that those wretched people will be given some chance it would be better for the
country. They will prove to be most honest and efficient national servants. I hope they will
consider the points I have raised and prove to the agricultural and pastoral
classes, whose condition is worse than that of the Harijans and Adibasis, that
they are going to to something for them and assure them that they would get
their opportunities to serve the
country."Do the
terms "government services", "national servants",
"serve the country" refer to seats in legislative bodies? It is true
that he was not referring to Christiansspecifically,
as that was not expected of him. This was expected of the Christian
representatives, but they reckoned that it was none of their concern as it was
no skin off their back and the neglected group was, anyway, one that they
themselves despised, their fake egalitarianism notwithstanding.
Marshall claims that Fr Jerome's statement
that there is no caste in Christianity is factual. It is not factual even in
the twenty-first century. In fact, the statement is a cruel joke, a fraud
perpetrated on the depressed castes among the Indian Christians. If there are
no castes in Christianity, whence the Christian Dalits for whom the
Churches/Bishops are demanding special rights on par with Hindu Scheduled
Castes? Why are these being denied equality within the church itself even to
this day? Assuming that the demand is conceded by the Government of India, how
will it be implemented? How will a Christian Dalit avail of its benefits,
especially one whose forefathers were converted over a hundred years ago? Who
will issue him his Caste Certificate? On what basis?

Marshall says, "This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of
hindutva elements, whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the
reservations and benefits only to Hindus. All other religions were cut off.
After fighting this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and
then the Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may
be noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not recognise
castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the logic given for
excluding Christian and Muslim dalits."
Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was he
acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members? Was he aware
that the Christian members had committed the interests of their community into
the hands of the majority community for being dealt fair and square? If the
answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget this so
soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements? Does this not
reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does it not stem from
the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as propagated by the
upper caste Christians for their own benefit? And how do the fundamental rights
"to practice, propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and
administer educational institutions" provide any solace to the Dalit
Christians? Aren't these too just tools in the hands of the upper caste
Christians? Do they benefit the Dalits in any small way? Therefore, the
question that arises is: In this bargain, who gained and at whose cost?

Sebastian Borges
?
On ?29 Aug 2013 Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com> wrote:

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was
debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr.
Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit
Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that
there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to
support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar
and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link
to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent
Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html
?
On 31 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.


?
On 29 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a
majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.


3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25? &?
30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.
?
Regards,

Marshall
-----------

?
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-27 15:55:46 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?

Regards,


Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-08-28 00:49:46 UTC
Permalink
I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts, common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below. Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question posed to him.

Cheers,

Santosh


----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!
The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this information?
Regards,
Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-28 13:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall
Sebastian Borges
2013-08-29 03:54:57 UTC
Permalink
There
were a few Christian members in the Constituent Assembly. Prominent among
these were Dr. H.C. Mookherjee (W. Bengal), Mr. Joseph Alban D'Souza (Bombay) and
Rev. Jerome D'Souza SJ (Madras).? It is
difficult to guess whether Mookherjee, being a Protestant from Bengal, was
acquainted with caste discrimination among Christians. JAD'Souza too might not
have reckoned that the Caste distinction among Goan and Manglorean Catholics was
serious enough to mar the "egalitarian" character of Christianity. But the same
consideration cannot be given to the reverend, since there exist separate
churches and cemeteries for dalits in Tamil Nadu to this day! But then, being a
Catholic priest, he could not be expected to admit this fact. Moreover, it
would have been a bad advertisement for the Faith, since it was the general impression that Scheduled
caste Hindus converted to Christianity in order to escape the oppression by
caste Hindus.
Perhaps,
I am putting the cart before the horse. The debates of the Constituent Assembly
are very instructive in this regard. The necessity of reservations for the SCs
was a general consensus. However, Mookherjee said that in a secular state minorities
should not be recognised on the basis of religion. Christian masses, he said,
are not interested in reservations; all they asked for was food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. Their interests were
secure in the hands of "the majority community which had been very generous toevery one of the minority
communities." He also felt that minorities would be wise to trust the majority
community, and win its good-will if they wanted to live in peace and honour in
this country.For this Dr. Mookherjee was hailed by Sardar Patel as "the great
patriotic Christian leader."Fr. Jeromereferred to "the multiple
signs of good-will on the part of the majority community"and fully
backed Dr. Mookherjee in his decision that there should be no reservation of seats.
According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth
and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress, socially,
politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be a Christian,
or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member.
He went on to say that "it
is not we (the Christians) who are taking a ?risk, it is the
majority community that is undertaking a responsibility!"
J A D'Souza does not appear to have participated in the debate.

Some
members like Guptanath Singh (Bihar) were more open-minded. He said that those
classes who are the backbone of Indian society - agricultural, pastoral or
artisan classes - though they are not counted as Scheduled Castes or Tribes
should be given some opportunities to serve in government services. He proposed
the addition of "and
such other castes who are educationally and socially backward"after Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
But,
unlike the Christian leaders, others were not as gullible. Like Christian Dalits,
the Sikh Dalits ?too were excluded from
reservations because, according to Sardar Patel, ?untouchability is not recognised in the Sikh
religion. The Sikhs felt that if these Scheduled Castes who have been converted
to Sikhism are not given the same benefits as the Scheduled Castes have been,
there was a possibility of their reverting to the Hindu Scheduled Castes and
merging along with them. Therefore, Sardar Hukam Singh, a Sikh leader from East
Punjab, fought tooth and nail to overturn this in respect to four backward Sikh
castes namely, the Mazhabis, Ramdasis, Kabirpanthis and Sikligars of East
Punjab. ?And he succeeded!
Had
the Christian leaders, especially Fr. Jerome, adhered to the reality and followed the example of Hukam Singh, history
would have been different.
?
More
details may be accessed at the following links:
http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol10p7a.htm
?
It now transpires that Marshall knew all this. So why the question? If Articles 25 & 30 were a boon to the Christians, why are we fighting to obtain reservations for Dalit Christians today? Did these Dalits not exist in 1947??


Sebastian
Borges
??

On 27 Aug 2013 2 Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Sebastian Borges:

As far as "special privileges by way of Reservations" is concerned,
let us not forget that an injustice was done to Christian dalits by
the makers of the Constitution of India under the influence of the
Christian members of the Constituent assembly who claimed that caste
discrimination did not exist among Christians. One of these was a
Catholic priest. And now, over 60 years later, the Christian Churches
are pressing to reverse this provision!

Response:

The above statement comes as a great revelation to me. Could Mr Borges
kindly direct me to documents / literature / information where I could
access this
information?

Marshall



Again on 28 Aug 2013? Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Santosh Helekar:

I have enjoyed the discussions between Prof. Borges and others. What is
especially rewarding to me is that they have relied on historical facts,
common sense and reason. Driven by an unshakable bad habit, I have silently
fact-checked all of the professor's assertions. It has been a fun
experience for me. On the basis of this experience I have no doubt that he
is on solid ground in making the statement that he has made below.
Therefore, I cannot wait to read his response to the rhetorical question
posed to him.

Response:
Mine was not a rhetorical question but a well intentioned query in the
pursuit of knowledge.

I consider myself fairly well-read and well-informed. I am aware that
Fr
Jerome D'Souza s.j. from Mangalore was a member of the Constituent Assembly
and was offered reserved seats in Parliament for the Christian community.
But the christian representatives and Fr Jerome turned down the offer
stating that the community did not need any reservations and would like to
stand tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with other Indians. The Christians
placed their hopes, aspirations and security in the hands of other Indians,
especially the majority Hindu community. In a major concession, the
founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, in their far-sightedness,
large-heartedness, and broad-mindedness provided Articles 25 & 30 to
protect and preserve the culture and religion of religious and linguistic
minorities. Such was the spirit of the framers and founding fathers of our
nation.

Hence, Prof Sebastian Borges' statement on the issue of reservations to
dalit christians comes as a
total revelation to me as I have never ever
come across any such literature / information. In case there has been a gap
in my knowledge, I would like to fill it up and update myself. I earnestly
look forward to Prof Borges to enlighten me on this issue.

Regards,

Marshall



---------------------------
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-29 04:45:47 UTC
Permalink
Further to my last posting on this subject, as far as my knowledge and
information goes, dalits of all religions were granted reservations and
benefits by the government from 1937 onwards due to their social and
economic diabilities.

This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of hindutva elements,
whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the reservations and
benefits only to hindus. All other religions were cut off. After fighting
this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and then the
Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may be
noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not
recognise castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the
logic given for excluding christian and muslim dalits.

A number of Commissions, the last being the Rangnath Mishra Commission have
pointed out this discrimination and recommended that the reservation and
benefits be extended to all dalits irrespective of religion. However, the
government lacks the will to implement this.

Regards,

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-08-31 05:37:14 UTC
Permalink
Response:
While ignoring the usual bird brained and juvenile opening remarks which we
have now got accustomed to, I will focus on the more substantive issues.

I found the rest of the below post quite interesting. However, there do not
address the statement made by Prof Borges. and there are several gaps which
need to be filled.

1 The below post scores high on verbosity and rhetoric but low on
substance. All the quotations attributed to Fr Jerome in the below post
have all come from third parties or hearsay. If Fr Jerome did state all
these words attributed to him, surely there would be some original
documents available to corroborate and verify just like the documents
posted by Prof Borges. Is it possible for Santosh to post records
(weblinks) of the actual debate when these so-called quotations were
uttered. These would be far more reliable. Otherwise, they appear to be an
outcome of a game called Chinese Whispers which we used to play as
children. ( for those not familiar with the game or its meaning, please
refer to the foll weblink):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers


2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.
I am yet to come across any authentic statement of Fr Jerome or any other
Christian member objecting to extension of economic and social benefits to
dalit christians.

I have pointed out several statements of Fr Jerome and Prof Mookerjee from
the debate in Parliament in my responses to Prof Borges which contradict
what Santosh has posted. For the sake of brevity, I reproduce a few of them
here.

Prof Borges further quotes Fr Jerome as under:

"*According to him, a man is to be assisted because he is poor,
because his birth and upbringing have not given him the opportunity to
make progress,socially,politically and educationally; it should not
matter whether he be a christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin
or non-Brahmin, or a Scheduled Caste member."

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying
that the masses do not want reservations. They say that they are
interested in three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a
shelter over their heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their
demands. When they were specifically asked whether they wanted
reservation, the reply in every case was as follows: "We know that we
shall never enter the Legislatures; reservations do not concern or
interest us." There all sections of the people were at
one. Then came queries addressed to the lower middle classes, people
who depend upon service to earn their living. Their reaction was that
if there was any kind of reservation they would like to have
reservation in jobs."

Prof Mookerjee is further quoted as saying:

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is
concerned I do admit that there are certain economically backward
groups in every community and for them provision has been made in the
directive adopted in December last."

For those interested in reading the entire post, they may access the
same from the foll weblinks:

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233952.html

http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2013-August/233918.html

3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.

I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject. I believe that education never ends. There is always something
more to learn each day. With every new evidence, our old beliefs are
discarded.

Regards,

Marshall



*Now that Prof, Borges has presented some of the facts on this issue, let
me tell you why I know that he is on solid ground in his assertions about
Christian members of the Indian Constituent Assembly. While doing this let
me also provide evidence on the issue of impulsive rhetoric and lack of
balance when it comes to sectarian matters that I raised in my previous
post in regards to other respondents in this thread.?

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here
was debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out
that Fr. Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to
including Dalit Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the
theoretical grounds that there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence
that was cited at that time to support this fact was an article written in
2005 by an American Jesuit scholar and professor of Boston College named
Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link to that article, entitled "Dalit
Means Broken" in a prominent Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here are some pertinent quotes in that article:

QUOTE
When India?s founding Constituent Assembly debated making concessions for
Outcaste-Christians, Jerome D?Souza, S.J., representing the Christians,
rejected them, claiming there is no caste in Christianity.
UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo

QUOTE
?Who will look after the Christian Dalits?? Dr. B. R. Ambedkar asked Father
D?Souza. ?The Christian churches will,? Father D?Souza replied.

UNQUOTE
.......Fr. John Francis Izzo


The questions as to who was consulted, and on whose representation and on
what precedent the Presidential order of 1950 and the list of Scheduled
Castes were issued have also been addressed in the popular media by
genuinely well-informed activists and journalists concerned about this
issue, such as the human rights activist M. Madhu Chandra and Sunil
Dasgupta of India Today. The common answer to two of these questions
appears to be exactly what Prof. Borges claimed - the Christian
representatives on the Constituent Assembly. Here is an article on this by
Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is the relevant quote in this regard:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950,
the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via letter dated 7
November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

While there may be some ambiguity in the meaning of the above statement,
please note how thoroughly the following additional quote contradicts the
claims made in the post appended below:

QUOTE
For first time, Indian's lowest caste known as "Untouchables" or "Depressed
Classes" have been identified as Scheduled Castes introduced by Colonial
Government of India in 1935.

In the following year Colonial Government of India (Scheduled Castes) Order
1935 specified, "No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a
Scheduled Caste." Since then any Scheduled Caste origins converted to
Christianity lost its Scheduled Caste status, although they remain
economically, educationally, socially and politically backward as much as
before their conversion.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html


Here is the money quote:

QUOTE
The problem should not have arisen at all. When Jawaharlal Nehru was
compiling the Scheduled Caste list, he called three prominent Christians-
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Father Jerome D'Souza and H.C. Mukherjee-to ask if
any section of their communities should be included in the list. They,
however, said no such measure was needed. After all, Christianity was an
egalitarian, classless religion.

They were wrong-and Christians in this country believe they are still
bearing the cross.
UNQUOTE
.......Sunil Dasgupta

Cheers,

Santosh*
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-01 05:46:19 UTC
Permalink
?
My
thanks to Santosh for the very informative links; they widened the horizons of
an ill-read person like me. Some twelve years ago I had attended a camp on "Dalit Issues" at the Ecumenical Centre, Bangalore. The participants were
mainly Dalit pastors and seminarians belonging to different Christian
denominations from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Orissa. I was the
only Catholic. It was there that I leaned for the first time that in Tamil Nadu
there are separate churches and cemeteries for Dalits. I formed the impression
that this was the case with non-Catholic denominations alone, and that it is
only in Goa that a Catholic priest can arrogantly declare, "Fr. X, I don?t know
what your caste is; but I am a Bamon" right in the Paco Patriarcal! I don?t
know whether our own Archbishop himself has made such a statement. Today I know
I was grossly mistaken; I have learned that as late as the year 2000, the superannuated
Archbishop (Arulappa) of Hyderabad criticized the Vatican for promoting a Dalit
Bishop (Joji) as his successor, claiming that the Vatican did not know the
ground realities in Hyderabad! This means that casteism is rampant in the
Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor
wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010. Please see:
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/P_ApointmentFirstDalitBishop.htm
?and
http://www.persecution.in/content/gcic-condoles-death-first-dalit-archbishop-marampudi-joji-hyderabad

I would like to draw Marshall's attention to the statement by Shri Guptanath
Singh in the Constituent Assembly: "I want Sir, that those classes who are
the backbone of Indian society agricultural, pastoral or artisan classes - though
they are not counted as scheduled Castes or Tribes should be given some
opportunities to serve in government
services. You have already accepted the proposal to appoint a commission
to study and investigate their conditions. If you insert words to the effect
that those wretched people will be given some chance it would be better for the
country. They will prove to be most honest and efficient national servants. I hope they will
consider the points I have raised and prove to the agricultural and pastoral
classes, whose condition is worse than that of the Harijans and Adibasis, that
they are going to to something for them and assure them that they would get
their opportunities to serve the
country."Do the
terms "government services", "national servants",
"serve the country" refer to seats in legislative bodies? It is true
that he was not referring to Christiansspecifically,
as that was not expected of him. This was expected of the Christian
representatives, but they reckoned that it was none of their concern as it was
no skin off their back and the neglected group was, anyway, one that they
themselves despised, their fake egalitarianism notwithstanding.
Marshall claims that Fr Jerome's statement
that there is no caste in Christianity is factual. It is not factual even in
the twenty-first century. In fact, the statement is a cruel joke, a fraud
perpetrated on the depressed castes among the Indian Christians. If there are
no castes in Christianity, whence the Christian Dalits for whom the
Churches/Bishops are demanding special rights on par with Hindu Scheduled
Castes? Why are these being denied equality within the church itself even to
this day? Assuming that the demand is conceded by the Government of India, how
will it be implemented? How will a Christian Dalit avail of its benefits,
especially one whose forefathers were converted over a hundred years ago? Who
will issue him his Caste Certificate? On what basis?

Marshall says, "This Act was overturned in 1950, under the influence of
hindutva elements, whereby a Presidential Order was passed restricting the
reservations and benefits only to Hindus. All other religions were cut off.
After fighting this discrimination for many years, first the Sikhs in 1959 and
then the Buddhists in 1990 were extended the reservations and benefits. It may
be noted that both Buddhism and Sikhism are egalitarian religions and do not recognise
castes just like Christianity and Islam. However this was the logic given for
excluding Christian and Muslim dalits."
Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was he
acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members? Was he aware
that the Christian members had committed the interests of their community into
the hands of the majority community for being dealt fair and square? If the
answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget this so
soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements? Does this not
reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does it not stem from
the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as propagated by the
upper caste Christians for their own benefit? And how do the fundamental rights
"to practice, propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and
administer educational institutions" provide any solace to the Dalit
Christians? Aren't these too just tools in the hands of the upper caste
Christians? Do they benefit the Dalits in any small way? Therefore, the
question that arises is: In this bargain, who gained and at whose cost?

Sebastian Borges
?
On ?29 Aug 2013 Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com> wrote:

Some longstanding members of Goanet might remember that the main issue here was
debated many years ago in this forum. At that time it was pointed out that Fr.
Jerome D'Souza, one of the Christian members had objected to including Dalit
Christians in the list of Scheduled Castes on the theoretical grounds that
there is no caste in Christianity. The evidence that was cited at that time to
support this fact was an article written in 2005 by an American Jesuit scholar
and professor of Boston College named Fr. John Francis Izzo. Here is the link
to that article, entitled "Dalit Means Broken" in a prominent
Catholic magazine:

http://americamagazine.org/issue/518/article/dalit-meansbroken

Here is an article on this by Madhu Chandra:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra160707.htm

Here is an article in India Today that clarifies further any ambiguity that
there might be about the role played by the Christian members of the
Constituent assembly in excluding Dalit Christians from the Schedule Castes
list:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/disgruntled-dalit-christians-seek-inclusion-of-community-to-scheduled-caste-list/1/288775.html
?
On 31 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

2. Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.


?
On 29 Aug 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


Seats in certain constituencies where they were in a
majority /
large numbers were also reserved for members of the SC/ST in view of their
peculiar disabilities. It should be noted here that there was at this point
of time no distinction made between religions. All members of ST/ST of
whatever religious persuasions were extended the same benefits.

However, this status quo was upturned suddenly on 10th August 1950 by a
Presidential Order, mark you, and not by Parliamentary legislation,
excluding persons professing religions like christianity, buddhism, islam
and sikhism from availing of reservations and benefits. There was no
discussion, no debate, no circulation of white papers, simply nothing. The
logic and reasoning that was given was that except for hinduism all other
religions did not recognise castes.


3. If Prof Borges were to acquaint himself with Articles 25? &?
30, he
would perhaps realise that these are fundamental rights given to practice,
propagate and profess one's religion and to establish and administer
educational institutions. They do not provide for government support,
reservation and assistance to the poor and needy like the dalits.

4. The Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into
effect on 26th January 1950. At this point of time ALL dalits of whatever
religion were entitled to reservations and benefits. This was suddenly
changed on 10th August 1950, seven months later, NOT by an Act of
Parliament but by a Presidential Order.
?
Regards,

Marshall
-----------

?
Sebastian Borges
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-01 09:13:44 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn Lobo:

I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can
assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity
as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it,
here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste
and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

Response:

I trust you understand the difference between there is no caste in
Christianity and certain christians practising casteism. If not, please
refer to the Bible.

Regards

Marshall
Jose Colaco
2013-09-01 12:11:03 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn Lobo wrote:

'I am based in Toronto, Canada. I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans.

...... caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.'

COMMENT:

1: Request my good friend Mervyn, to please clarify what he means by "huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced". Please specify what they allegedly PRACTICE.

2: I believe I have written this. zillion times.

3: Revision aside, the major facet of Casteism is DISCRIMINATION.

4: It is mainly: a COLOR based discrimination. Am still trying to figure out how the Huns became Rajputs, If the Ship wrecked Jews became Chitpawan Brahmins, How Shivaji eventually was able to overcome Brahmin objection before becoming Chatrapati......etc

5: Caste discrimination is incompatible with Christianity.

6: Tomorrow, Mervyn might travel to another island country favoured by Canadians and write about Santeria Catholics.

7: Those Goans who practice discrimination based on their alleged ancestral pre-conversion Hindu caste, have NOT YET converted. They are best classified as individuals who are attending Christian worship services while practicing the Hindu Caste System. One day, they might resolve to shun this Apartheid practice and convert to Christianity.

jc
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 17:16:25 UTC
Permalink
1: Request my good friend Mervyn, to please clarify what he means by "huge?
factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced". Please specify
what they allegedly PRACTICE.
-snip-
7: Those Goans who practice discrimination based on their alleged ancestral
pre-conversion Hindu caste, have NOT YET converted. They are best classified as
individuals who are attending Christian worship services while practicing the
Hindu Caste System. One day, they might resolve to shun this Apartheid practice
and convert to Christianity.
Doc,
We are on the same page.?You find the caste system absurd and so do I.?

You also feel that one cannot be Christian and practice the caste system, and so do I.

The caste system was jettisoned by my fore parents. I had no exposer to it until I read about it on Goanet. The more I read about the caste system, the easier it comes for me to understand how easily a person can be deluded into caste, superstitious, mythology and religious believes.?

Mervyn ?
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 17:16:25 UTC
Permalink
1: Request my good friend Mervyn, to please clarify what he means by "huge?
factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced". Please specify
what they allegedly PRACTICE.
-snip-
7: Those Goans who practice discrimination based on their alleged ancestral
pre-conversion Hindu caste, have NOT YET converted. They are best classified as
individuals who are attending Christian worship services while practicing the
Hindu Caste System. One day, they might resolve to shun this Apartheid practice
and convert to Christianity.
Doc,
We are on the same page.?You find the caste system absurd and so do I.?

You also feel that one cannot be Christian and practice the caste system, and so do I.

The caste system was jettisoned by my fore parents. I had no exposer to it until I read about it on Goanet. The more I read about the caste system, the easier it comes for me to understand how easily a person can be deluded into caste, superstitious, mythology and religious believes.?

Mervyn ?

Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 16:15:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I trust you understand the difference between there is no caste in
Christianity and certain christians practising casteism. If not, please
refer to the Bible.
Marshall,
I am going to give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you sent the above as a joke. ?

If the above was not meant as a joke, then you are requesting me to research on a concept that has been jettisoned by all followers of Christ EXCEPT Indian Christians? ?What am I going to learn by researching a rejected concept??

Lastly, unless the Bible has been revised in the past 20 years, you are attempting to send me on a wild goose chase. There is no casteism in the Bible. Caste, in Indian Christianity, is a purely Hindu hangover. Anyone who practices it, cannot be a follower of Christ.
?

Mervyn
Jose Colaco
2013-09-01 12:11:03 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn Lobo wrote:

'I am based in Toronto, Canada. I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans.

...... caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.'

COMMENT:

1: Request my good friend Mervyn, to please clarify what he means by "huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced". Please specify what they allegedly PRACTICE.

2: I believe I have written this. zillion times.

3: Revision aside, the major facet of Casteism is DISCRIMINATION.

4: It is mainly: a COLOR based discrimination. Am still trying to figure out how the Huns became Rajputs, If the Ship wrecked Jews became Chitpawan Brahmins, How Shivaji eventually was able to overcome Brahmin objection before becoming Chatrapati......etc

5: Caste discrimination is incompatible with Christianity.

6: Tomorrow, Mervyn might travel to another island country favoured by Canadians and write about Santeria Catholics.

7: Those Goans who practice discrimination based on their alleged ancestral pre-conversion Hindu caste, have NOT YET converted. They are best classified as individuals who are attending Christian worship services while practicing the Hindu Caste System. One day, they might resolve to shun this Apartheid practice and convert to Christianity.

jc
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-01 16:15:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I trust you understand the difference between there is no caste in
Christianity and certain christians practising casteism. If not, please
refer to the Bible.
Marshall,
I am going to give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you sent the above as a joke. ?

If the above was not meant as a joke, then you are requesting me to research on a concept that has been jettisoned by all followers of Christ EXCEPT Indian Christians? ?What am I going to learn by researching a rejected concept??

Lastly, unless the Bible has been revised in the past 20 years, you are attempting to send me on a wild goose chase. There is no casteism in the Bible. Caste, in Indian Christianity, is a purely Hindu hangover. Anyone who practices it, cannot be a follower of Christ.
?

Mervyn
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-01 15:39:17 UTC
Permalink
Dear Prof Borges

I am in total agreement with you when you state that casteism is practised
in the Church in certain parts of India. So far as Tamil Nadu is concerned
I have heard about it first hand from priests and nuns who have worked
there as from the media. So far as Goa Is concerned, I admit my ignorance
as I have never lived there except for short holidays but I have heard
about stray cases.

In Poona where I grew up, it was non-existent. So too in Bombay where I
have been living for the past 19 years.

I stand by my statement that when Fr Jerome stated that Christianity does
not recognize castes, he was making a factual statement. If you can show me
one sentence from the Bible which shows that Christianity recognises
castes, I am willing to rescind my views. One needs to make a distinction
between what religion stands for and what are some deviations in the
practice of the religion on the ground. Any person who has a fairly good
knowledge of India's social structure will understand that it is not only
hinduism that has been been plaqued by casteism. Even egalitarian religions
like islam, buddhism and sikhism have been plaqued by casteism. I strongly
believe that it is only with education and economic growth will casteism
die out.

Please also try and understand that what the christian community is
fighting for is parity in economic benefits and assistance to all dalits
irrespective of religion. Nowhere has it been claimed that there are castes
in christianity as you have erroneously surmised. So far as the Church is
concerned, it is obvious that the Church is seized of the issue and is
working towards total eradication. You, yourself, have given the example of
a dalit who was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Hyderabad and is
doing a fairly good job. Society is always in transition and it is
important to keep the momentum going in a positive direction.

You have raised some interesting questions:

"Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was
he acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members?

Was he aware that the Christian members had committed the interests of
their community into the hands of the majority community for being dealt
fair and square?

If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget
this so soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements?
Does this not reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does
it not stem from the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as
propagated by the upper caste Christians for their own benefit?"

To be honest, these are some of the answers that I too am seeking. I have
not been able to lay my hands on any information/ document which could
suggest or tell us what transpired between 26th Jan 1950 and 9th August
1950. I understand from my reading and discussions with others in the know
that there was absolutely no debate, discussion, white paper, nothing to
suggest what was in the offing. However, the Congress Party which was an
umbrella organisation of various ideologies had a influential hindutva
lobby led by Dr K M Munshi, Purshottam Das Tandon among others. I reliably
understand that it was this lobby which was instrumental in pushing the
Order as they did not succeed in preventing any discrimination in the
Constitution. I could have a long discussion with you on this subject but
it would not be fair to other Goanet readers and so if you wish we could
take this offline..

So far as Articles 25 & 30 are concerned, please try to understand that
they have nothing to do with reservations or benefits for dalit christians.
They are as different as chalk and cheese or comparing onions with oranges.

I have pointed out to you in my previous posts from the documents you
attached that in fact both the Christian representatives who have been
quoted in the debate while turning down communal representation in
legislatures have made it a point to ask for safeguards in respect of
employment and financial aid. I reproduce them once again

Fr Jerome has been quoted as saying:

" a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth and
upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that
the masses do not want reservations.* *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every
case was as follows: "We know that we shall never enter the
Legislatures; reservations do not concern or interest us.*"* There all
sections of the people were at one. Then came queries addressed to the
lower middle classes, people who depend upon service to earn their
living. Their reaction was that if there was any kind of reservation they
would like to have reservation in jobs.

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is concerned I do admit that
there are certain economically backward groups in every community and for
them provision has been made in the directive adopted in December last. "

It is therefore amply clear that they sought safeguards for the poor of all
religions in employment and economic aid. Prof Mookherjee in fact refers to
the Directive (Principles, I assume) which contains such safeguards.

It is also clear from the Presidential Order of 1950 that in fact the
Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly did provide for safeguards
for the poor and oppressed of all religions. The Presidential Order was
passed (under the influence of hindutva forces) seven months after the new
Constitution came into force without discussion, debate, white paper,
nothing.

If dalit christians were excluded by the Constitution what was the need
for this Order?

By your own admission Hukam Singh fought vehemently for inclusion of
certain castes in the SC list. Yet the Presidential Order excluded the
sikhs and buddhists too.

I am afraid neither you nor Santosh have been able to provide documentary
evidence to support your contention that the Christian representatives did
not press for protection of dalit christians. From all evidence so far the
contrary is proved.

To amplify my point further, tribal christians continue to draw all
benefits and economic aid. If one were to accept your point then even
christian tribals should have been debarred from being granted aid and
benefits.

Let us rely on official documents to form our views and not hearsay,
perceptions, speculations and even Chinese Whispers.

While I appreciate that you have submitted official documents to make your
point, I regret that Santosh had to rely on Chinese Whispers to defend his
views.

Regards,

Marshall
Gilbert Lawrence
2013-09-01 16:59:21 UTC
Permalink
Marshall Mendonza wrote:
Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.

Mervyn Lobo writes:
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians


Gilbert Lawrence responds:
?
I read the link which was?kindly provided by Mervyn.? The link has nothing connected to what Mervyn alludes to as exist today in Goa.? The closest connection is:
?
"The upper caste Gaonkar Christians have demanded that only their community be given positions on the Pastoral Council of Goa's Catholic Church.[16]"
?
The fact that this upper caste group made the demand would suggest that they do not have that right.? And there is no reference that their demand has been accepted.
?
In the past the Bamons tended to be priests was in major part related to the fact that they were the only group with any education and literacy skills.? With widespread religious affiliated schools, that problem is much resolved.
?
?
?
So do you have any CURRENT data / evidence to support,? "that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans"????
?
?
Thanks in anticipation. Please do not take this personally.
?
?
?
Regards, GL
Gilbert Lawrence
2013-09-01 18:10:53 UTC
Permalink
Sebastian Borges wrote:
?
This means that casteism is rampant in the Catholic Church even outside Goa. The Dalit Archbishop proved his predecessor wrong by living up to the trust reposed in him by the Holy See with a highly distinguished
tenure until his sad demise in 2010.
?
Gilbert Lawrence responds:
?
What your above account shows there is no casteism because the Dalit was made Archbishop. And he was very successful i.e. majority of his followers (congregation) gave him their full support.
?
Regards, GL
Frederick FN Noronha * फ्रेड्रिक नोरोन्या * فريدريك نورونيا
2013-09-02 00:45:56 UTC
Permalink
Can someone please elaborate what is "Mull ani Bull" all about, how is this
subjectline relevant to the issue being debated, and who brought about this
subjectline to the debate?
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-02 12:02:27 UTC
Permalink
Dear Marshall,
I do not know about Poona, but I cannot agree with you
that there is no casteism among Goan Christians in Bombay. I have lived in
Bombay among Goans hailing from all parts of Goa at the Goan Society Bldg.,
Chira Bazar.
Your challenge that I should show you one sentence in the
Bible to the effect that Christianity recognises castes is just ridiculous, to
say the least. Please note that (1) the last word in the Bible was written not
later than the first century AD and, although the Caste system has been prevalent
in India for a few millennia, the word "caste" itself was not used in
this sense earlier than in the sixteenth century, (2) everything
mentioned in the Bible relates to the region of West Asia, Egypt and Rome;
there is no connection with India where the system was prevalent, (3) going by
your logic, one could claim that Mass, Eucharist, confession etc. are not
recognised by Christianity, since these words too do not find mention in the
Bible.
You say that the Christian community is fighting for parity
in economic benefits and assistance to all dalits irrespective of religion. How
is this possible in relation to Christian dalits? For example, how do you
identify a Christian dalit? On what basis would you put a tag of Christian
dalit on a Goan Christian Mahar whose forefathers were converted in the
sixteenth century?
Your statement, ?Nowhere has it been claimed that there
are castes in christianity as you have erroneously surmised. So far as the
Church is concerned, it is obvious that the Church is seized of the issue and
is working towards total eradication.? is self-contradictory. ?How can one eradicate something that does not
exist in the first place? Have you heard of Confrarias in Goan Churches? Do you
know that membership of these bodies is strictly caste-based? Or is it your
contention that churches are distinct from Christianity? Why did it take the
Church over four centuries to be seized of a ?non-existent? issue? The
elevation of a dalit to the position of Archbishop of Hyderabad is nothing to
gloat about, but what is galling is that this appointment was opposed by his
predecessor who had scaled the highest rung in the episcopal hierarchy. Also
that a priest should have predicted that the new Archbishop would not last more
than five years. And ?he did not do just "a
fairly good" but "an excellent" job.
You are harping on ?influence of hindutva
forces? but no evidence is forthcoming. When I talked of influence of Christian
members you wanted documentary proof. But, for your contention no such proof is
considered necessary!!! What you ?reliably
understand? is valid proof but published work cited by others carries no weight!!
Chinese Whispers?
If Articles 25 & 30 have nothing to do with
reservations or benefits for dalit christians, why did you bring them here at
all?
Is it difficult to understand that the Christian
representatives did not (or could not) ask for any benefits to be ?specifically given to Christian dalits for the
simple reason that Christianity does not recognise castes? How could they
possibly ask for benefits to a ?non-existent? group?
You are asking a rhetoric question: ?If dalit christians
were excluded by the Constitution what was the need for this Order?? I think
you will have to first prove that they were in fact not excluded by the
Constitution. Please do so.
Your statement, "I am afraid neither you nor Santosh have
been able to provide documentaryevidence to support your contention that the Christian representatives did not
press for protection of dalit christians. From all evidence so far the contrary
is proved" does not pass muster. Please provide the evidence to show that they
did, in fact, press for protection of *Dalit Christians*/*Scheduled Caste Christians*/*Oppressed Christians*.
?
Regards,
Sebastian Borges
?

On 1 Sep 2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Prof Borges

I am in total agreement with you when you state that casteism is practised
in the Church in certain parts of India. So far as Tamil Nadu is concerned
I have heard about it first hand from priests and nuns who have worked
there as from the media. So far as Goa Is concerned, I admit my ignorance
as I have never lived there except for short holidays but I have heard
about stray cases.

In Poona where I grew up, it was non-existent. So too in Bombay where I
have been living for the past 19 years.

I stand by my statement that when Fr Jerome stated that Christianity does
not recognize castes, he was making a factual statement. If you can show me
one sentence from the Bible which shows that Christianity recognises
castes, I am willing to rescind my views. One needs to make a distinction
between what? religion stands for and what are some deviations in the
practice of the religion on the ground. Any person who has a fairly good
knowledge of India's social structure will understand that it is not only
hinduism that has been been plaqued by casteism. Even egalitarian religions
like islam, buddhism and sikhism have been plaqued by casteism. I strongly
believe that it is only with education and economic growth will casteism
die out.

Please also try and understand that what the christian community is
fighting for is parity in economic benefits and assistance to all dalits
irrespective of religion. Nowhere has it been claimed that there are castes
in christianity as you have erroneously surmised. So far as the Church is
concerned, it is obvious that the Church is seized of the issue and is
working towards total eradication. You, yourself, have given the example of
a dalit who was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Hyderabad and is
doing a fairly good job. Society is always in transition and it is
important to keep the momentum going in a positive direction.

You have raised some interesting questions:

"Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was
he acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members?

Was he aware that the Christian members had committed the interests of
their community into the hands of the majority community for being dealt
fair and square?

If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget
this so soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements?
Does this not reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does
it not stem from the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as
propagated by the upper caste Christians for their own benefit?"

To be honest, these are some of the answers that I too am seeking. I have
not been able to lay my hands on any information/ document which could
suggest or tell us what transpired between 26th Jan 1950 and 9th August
1950. I understand from my reading and discussions with others in the know
that there was absolutely no debate, discussion, white paper, nothing to
suggest what was in the offing. However, the Congress Party which was an
umbrella organisation of various ideologies had a influential hindutva
lobby led by Dr K M Munshi, Purshottam Das Tandon among others. I reliably
understand that it was this lobby which was instrumental in pushing the
Order as they did not succeed in preventing any discrimination in the
Constitution. I could have a long discussion with you on this subject but
it would not be fair to other Goanet readers and so if you wish we could
take this offline..

So far as Articles 25 & 30 are concerned, please try to understand that
they have nothing to do with reservations or benefits for dalit christians.
They are as different as chalk and cheese or comparing onions with oranges.

I have pointed out to you in my previous posts from the documents you
attached that in fact both the Christian representatives who have been
quoted in the debate while turning down communal representation in
legislatures have made it a point to ask for safeguards in respect of
employment and financial aid. I reproduce them once again

Fr Jerome has been quoted as saying:

" a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth and
upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that
the masses do not want reservations.* *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every
case was as follows: "We know that we shall never enter the
Legislatures; reservations do not concern or interest us.*"* There all
sections of the people were at one. Then came queries addressed to the
lower middle classes, people who depend upon service to earn their
living. Their reaction was that if there was any kind of reservation they
would like to have reservation in jobs.

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is concerned I do admit that
there are certain economically backward groups in every community and for
them provision has been made in the directive adopted in December last. "

It is therefore amply clear that they sought safeguards for the poor of all
religions in employment and economic aid. Prof Mookherjee in fact refers to
the Directive (Principles, I assume) which contains such safeguards.

It is also clear from the Presidential Order of 1950 that in fact the
Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly did provide for safeguards
for the poor and oppressed of all religions. The Presidential Order was
passed (under the influence of hindutva forces) seven months after the new
Constitution came into force without discussion, debate, white paper,
nothing.

If dalit christians were excluded by the Constitution what was the need
for this Order?

By your own admission Hukam Singh fought vehemently for inclusion of
certain castes in the SC list. Yet the Presidential Order excluded the
sikhs and buddhists too.

I am afraid neither you nor Santosh have been able to provide documentary
evidence to support your contention that the Christian representatives did
not press for protection of dalit christians. From all evidence so far the
contrary is proved.

To amplify my point further, tribal christians continue to draw all
benefits and economic aid. If one were to accept? your point then even
christian tribals should have been debarred from being granted aid and
benefits.

Let us rely on official documents to form our views and not hearsay,
perceptions, speculations and even Chinese Whispers.

While I appreciate that you have submitted official documents to make your
point, I regret that Santosh had to rely on Chinese Whispers to defend his
views.

Regards,

Marshall
------------
Sebastian Borges
colaco1 at gmail.com (J. Colaco )
2013-09-02 17:20:04 UTC
Permalink
On 2 September 2013 08:02, Sebastian Borges <s_m_borges at yahoo.com> wrote:

'Dear Marshall, I do not know about Poona, but I cannot agree with you
that there is no casteism among Goan Christians in Bombay'

COMMENT:

Having lived and studied in Poona, I can say that I KNOW about Poona.

I can safely state that I did NOT know about "caste" among the Poona Goan
Catholics.

I agree absolutely with Marshall.

I am sure that Marshall will agree with me that our school St. Vincents
remains the best.

We did not even bother about the religion of our classmates.

All that IMHO started when the SS and BJP used religion to push their
political agenda; similar to the MGP

Of course, I cannot comment about the 16th century.

I was not around at that time.

jc
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-02 17:16:07 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn Lobo:

There is no casteism in the Bible. Caste, in Indian Christianity, is a
purely Hindu hangover. Anyone who practices it, cannot be a follower of
Christ.

Response:
I knew an intelligent person like you would have understood the message.
Only two corrections need to be made in your above response- one, there is
no caste in Christianity ( the Bible is the Holy Book) and two, caste is a
hangover only in certain SECTIONS of Indian Christians. I would not make a
blanket statement. I have never experienced or encountered casteism ever in
Poona where I grew up and now in Bombay where I live. I guess it is unique
only in certain places. Your last sentence is on the dot.

Regards,

Marshall
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-03 03:29:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mervyn Lobo
There is no casteism in the Bible. Caste, in Indian Christianity, is a
purely Hindu hangover. Anyone who practices it, cannot be a follower of
Christ.
Post by Marshall Mendonza
I knew an intelligent person like you would have understood the message.
Only two corrections need to be made in your above response- one, there is
no caste in Christianity ( the Bible is the Holy Book) and two, caste is a
hangover only in certain SECTIONS of Indian Christians. I would not make a
blanket statement. I have never experienced or encountered casteism ever in
Poona where I grew up and now in Bombay where I live. I guess it is unique
only in certain places. Your last sentence is on the dot.
?


Marshall,
I think we are in agreement.
1) If you are claiming that the Bible has no caste in it, I will agree with you.
2) If you are claiming that certain sections of Indian Christians practice casteism, I will agree with you too.
3) We definitely are in agreement that one has not understood the message, and hence cannot be a follower of Christ if s/he practices casteism.

Mervyn
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-02 17:21:14 UTC
Permalink
Response;

1.If the poster chooses to live in denial of the evidence furnished by me
in the documents provided by Prof Borges just because they are unpalatable
to him and do not support his views, there is nothing more we can do about
it. He is free to live in his world of dreams and fantasy. Who are we to
deny him his enjoyment?

2. secondly, his asking me to provide historical evidence of my owns views
( which in his bird brained and juvenile way chooses to call speculations)
should count as the Joke of the Month. All the evidence has already been
provided in my previous posts from the documents which Prof Borges himself
submitted. If he wants to a blind eye to them, we cannot help it. When he
is cornered and unable to provide documentary evidence to support his
Chinese Whispers akin quotes, in the ways of a canny and wily politician he
tries to pass the buck and wants me to provide evidence to the contrary. It
is like asking an innocent man to prove that he is not guilty. When he
provided the quotes, he ought to be able to support them with evidence. Why
is it so difficult for him to do so if he is confident in the source of his
information?

3. I have placed before the poster several questions in my previous post.
Why does the poster shy away and develop cold feet in answering them.
Resorting to rhetoric and bombast is no substitute for sound argument. I
repeat them again for his benefit:

Quote:
3. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that Fr Jerome and Prof
Mookerjee did press for not extending economic and social benefits to dalit
christians during the debates or in the run up to the adoption of the
Constitution, why was the Constitution adopted with the safeguards intact?

Why was the Presidential Order issued barely 7 MONTHS later which excluded
all other religions except hindus from availing of the benefits?

What transpired during the intervening period from 26th January 1950 to
9th August 1950 for this Presidential Order to be issued?

4. Santosh has quoted M Madhu Chandra as saying:

QUOTE
In 1950 upon the representation of Christian leaders for not including
Scheduled Caste Christians in Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order
1950, the assurance from then the Prime Minister and President via
letter dated 7 November 1950 and 17 December 1950 respectively were
given.
UNQUOTE
..........M. Madhu Chandra

If the dalit christians were excluded based on the representation of
Christian leaders,
a) why did the Christian leaders protest and make a representation to the
Prime Minister after the Presidential Order was issued?
b) Why did the PM and President have to give any assurances?
c) What were these assurances?
d) Is it possible to access these two letters of 7 November 1950 and 17
December 1950? They would shed much light.
I look forward to Santosh throwing more light rather than heat on this
subject.

When I ask these questions it is more with a keenness to acquire more
knowledge rather than proving that I am right or the poster wrong.

regards,

Marshall
*
*
*I am sorry I cannot do anything about the fact that the respondent
below continues to engage in rhetoric and insults.

I am interested in knowing how the constitutional notion of Scheduled
Castes and tribes came into being in Indian history. In response to
the said respondent's prior rhetorical question, Prof. Borges provided
factual information and links to two debates of the Constituent
Assembly. I provided facts reported by three genuinely well-informed
professionals of different backgrounds, based on their own independent
research - the first a Jesuit priest, scholar and professor (Fr.
Izzo), the second a human rights activist (Madhu Chandra) and the
third a journalist (Sunil Dasgupta). From the standpoint of an
objective rational person all this information would be much more
trustworthy and reliable compared to the long-winded interpretations,
speculations, insinuations and rhetorical questions contained in the
respondent's latest post appended below, especially, given the fact
that the claims in his earlier posts in this thread were shown to be
false. Therefore, in order to properly stack up his credibility
against that of Fr. Izzo, Chandra and Dasgupta, I would kindly request
him to provide historical evidence to support his own prior and
current speculations.

Now as far as my own task and interest are concerned I have accessed
information that answers the following questions:

1. Were Dalits belonging to Christian and other religious minorities
ever included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before the
Presidential Order of 1950, as the respondent seems to imply?

2. Did the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly petition,
lobby, ask or insist that Dalit Christians be included in the
Scheduled Castes list drawn up in the Presidential Order of 1950? (Did
they object to, or recognize as unfair, the fact that Dalit Christians
were not included in the Scheduled Castes list at any time before or
after the Presidential Order was issued?)

The answer to each of these questions is NO. Here is the evidence.

1. Scheduled castes were always recognized to include only Hindu
Dalits even before 1950, and expressly exclude Christian Dalits.
Please see this Scheduled Castes order of 1936:

http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:

QUOTE
3. Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph?
(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled
Caste;
UNQUOTE

2. Scheduled Castes were defined as "a section of the Hindu community"
in the first Minority Rights Report in 1947, and accepted as an
amendment in the assembly. Here is a quote regarding this in one of
the assembly debates:

QUOTE
1-A. The section of the Hindu community referred to as Scheduled
Castes as defined in Schedule I to the Government of India Act, 1935,
shall have the same rights and benefits which are herein provided for
minorities specified in the Schedule to para. 1
UNQUOTE
......K. M. Munshi

Please see: http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

3. The fact that Scheduled Castes were recognized and accepted as
distinct from Christians and other religious minorities by the members
of the Constituent Assembly, including the Christian members is clear
from the following quote of H. C. Mookherjee, the lead Christian
representative, in one of the debate links provided by Prof. Borges:

QUOTE
...let me point out once again that the Scheduled Castes have been
given reservation not on grounds of religion at all; they form part
and parcel of the Hindu Community, and they have given reservation
apparently and clearly on grounds of their economic, social
educational backwardness.
UNQUOTE
......H. C. Mookherjee

Please see: http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/790979/*
**
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-03 05:25:42 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mr Borges

1. As I understand it ( I am willing to be corrected if I am wrong), the
Bible contains the tenets of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus Christ.
These teachings were not region, colour, race or gender specific but is
applicable to all across the board. Those who call themselves followers of
Christ are expected to observe his teachings.

Hence your statement
" Please note that (1) the last word in the Bible was written not later
than the first century AD and, although the Caste system has been prevalent
in India for a few millennia, the word "caste" itself was not used in his
sense earlier than in the sixteenth century, (2) everything mentioned in
the Bible relates to the region of West Asia, Egypt and Rome; there is no
connection with India where the system was prevalent,(3) going by your
logic, one could claim that Mass, Eucharist, confession etc. are not recognised
by Christianity, since these words too do not find mention in the Bible. "

makes no sense to me.
I will, however, let it pass as I do not want to digress from the present
discussion.

2. regarding your point as to how people will be able to trace their
original castes, please rest assured that there are methods and ways and
means of doing so. Just like one can trace one's property details. If a
dalit christian were to reconvert to hinduism, he would be restored all the
benefits.There are mechanisms in place to trace the original castes. For
example, the East Indian christians were recently included in the OBC list
and those who were interested in availing of the benefits have been able to
secure their caste certificate. There is a help-desk in Bombay which
assists them in tracing their original caste for obtaining the certificate.
In case you are interested, I could try and obtain their contact details
and put you in touch with them.

3. Regarding hindutva influence in the Constituent Assembly, please read
what wikipedia has to state about Dr K M Munshi and Mr Purushottam Das
Tandon and Dr S P Mukherjee,.

Re: Dr K M Munshi:
" He and Purushottam Das
Tandon<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purushottam_Das_Tandon> were
among those who strongly opposed propagation and conversion in the constituent
assembly <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituent_Assembly_of_India>. He
was also the main driving force behind the renovation of the historically
important Somnath <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somnath> Temple by the
Government of India just after independence."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanaiyalal_Maneklal_Munshi
Re: Purushottam Das Tandon:
"Several controversies and contradictions abound in the life of Purushottam
Das Tandon. While he emphasized the similarities between
Hindu<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu>
and Muslim <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim> cultures, he is regarded
to have carried the image of a *soft* Hindu
nationalist<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_nationalist> leader.
He and KM Munshi <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KM_Munshi> were among those
who strongly opposed religious propagation and conversion of a people of
one religion to another; they strongly argued in the constituent
assembly<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituent_Assembly_of_India>
for
a condemnation in the
constitution<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_India> of
religious conversion."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purushottam_Das_Tandon

Re: Dr S P Mukherjee:
"*Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee* was an Indian politician, who served as
Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime Minister Jawaharlal
Nehru<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru>'s
cabinet. After falling out with Nehru, Mookerjee quit the Indian National
Congress <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Congress> party and
founded Nationalist Bharatiya Jana
Sangh<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharatiya_Jana_Sangh> party
in 1951.'
" He emerged as a spokesman for Hindus and shortly joined Hindu Mahasabha
and in 1944, he became the President."
"After consultation with Shri Golwalkar Guruji of RSS Shri Mookerjee
founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh on 21st Oct. 1951 at Delhi and he became the
first President of it. In 1952 elections, The BJS was ideologically close
to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsevak_Sangh> (RSS)
and widely considered the political arm of Hindu
Nationalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Nationalism>.
It was opposed to appeasement of India's Muslims. The BJS also favored a
uniform civil code governing personal law matters for both Hindus and
Muslims, wanted to ban cow slaughter and end the special status given to
the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and
Kashmir<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_and_Kashmir>.
The BJS founded the Hindutva <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindutva> agenda
which became the wider political expression of India's Hindu majority. His
legacy still remains influential among the conservative members within the
Congress."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syama_Prasad_Mookerjee

4. I have pointed out to you that the very fact a Presidential Order was
issued on 10th August 1950 barely seven months after the Constitution came
into force, negating benefits to dalits of all other religions other than
hindus, itself is proof that the Constitution as adopted by the Constituent
Assembly did indeed provide for social and economic benefits to dalits of
all religions. If you will kindly go through the Constitution and the
Directive Principles, you may kindly observe that they are religion neutral
http://www.constitution.org/cons/india/p04.html


5.You state "You are asking a rhetoric question: ?If dalit christians were
excluded by the Constitution what was the need for this Order?? I think you
will have to first prove that they were in fact not excluded by the
Constitution.
Please do so.

Here is my response:
a) kindly refer to Article 15 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds
of religion:
Article 15 in The Constitution Of India 1949
15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex
or place of birth
(1) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1942013/> The State shall not
discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste,
sex, place of birth or any of them
(2) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1952106/> No citizen shall, on grounds
only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be
subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard
to
(a) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1732536/> access to shops, public
restaurants, hotels and palaces of public entertainment; or
(b) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/820476/> the use of wells, tanks,
bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or
partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public
(3) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1603957/> Nothing in this article
shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and
children
(4) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/251667/> Nothing in this article or
in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any
special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally
backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Tribes

b). Pl also refer to Article 341 which states:

?SCHEDULED CASTES 341(1) The President may with respect to any state or
union territory and where it is a state after consultation with the
Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the castes races or
tribes or parts of or groups within castes areas or tribes which shall for
the purpose of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in
relation to that state or Union territory as the case may be.
(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled
Castes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any caste, race
or tribe or part of or group within any caste race or tribe but save as
aforesaid, a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied
by any subsequent notification.?

Pl note that this Article speaks about Scheduled Caste only and makes no
reference to religion.

To cut a long story short, I would request you once again to kindly
provide me documentary evidence from official archives which prove that the
Christian representatives in the Constituent Assembly sought denial of
social and economic benefits for dalit christians since you made the
statement in the first place. In case you are unable to do so, there is no
problem, we can let the matter rest here until such time new light is
thrown on the matter.


Regards,

Marshall
Santosh Helekar
2013-09-03 07:21:56 UTC
Permalink
Once again, I apologize for not being able to do anything about gratuitous rhetoric in posts like the one appended below. But I am happy to provide further evidence for the following points of interest to me, that contradict all of the speculations and insinuations made by the poster below about exclusion of Dalit Christians in the Scheduled Castes list drawn in the Presidential Order of 1950:

1. That Scheduled Castes included only Hindus, ever since this term was first introduced in the Government of India Act of 1935 in place of "Depressed Classes", and elaborated in the Scheduled Castes Order of 1936.

Please read the following documents:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1935/2/pdfs/ukpga_19350002_en.pdf
http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Please read the following original article:
Scheduled Caste Policy in India: History, Problems, Prospects
Author(s): Lelah Dushkin
Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 7, No. 9 (Sep., 1967), pp. 626-636
Published by: University of California Press

Here is a quote:
QUOTE
The term "Scheduled Castes" is a legal designation. It was adopted in 1935, when the British listed the lowest-ranking Hindu castes in a Schedule appended to the Government of India Act for purposes of statutory safeguards and other benefits.
UNQUOTE

2. That Christians were explicitly excluded from the Scheduled Castes list in the Scheduled Castes Order of 1936 by the British government of India.

Please see:
http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/compendium/part-1_page9-24.pdf

Here is a quote:
QUOTE
(a) No Indian Christian shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste
UNQUOTE

3. That Scheduled Castes being integral to the Hindu community was also the position of Mahatma Gandhi.?

Please read the following original article:
Constituent Assembly Debates and Minority Rights
Author(s): Rochana Bajpai
Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No. 21/22 (May 27 - Jun. 2, 2000), pp. 1837-1845
Published by: Economic and Political Weekly

Here is a quote:
QUOTE
Gandhi vigorously opposed proposals to the effect that the scheduled castes be treated as an entity distinct from the Hindu community from the point of view of representation, most notably in the case of the Communal Award of 1932, which granted scheduled castes separate electorates.
UNQUOTE

4. That the Presidential Scheduled Castes Order of 1950 simply followed the precedent of the Scheduled Castes Order of 1936. It changed nothing. The status of Dalit Christians was the same before as after its promulgation.

Please read these articles:
(1) The Indian Christians?A Study of a Minority
Author(s): J. H. Beaglehole
Source: Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1967), pp. 59-80
Published by: Cambridge University Press

(2) Politics of Dalit Identity
Author(s): P. Muthaiah
Source: The Indian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 65, No. 3 (July-Sept., 2004), pp. 385-402
Published by: Indian Political Science Association

Here is a quote from the first article:
QUOTE
The Scheduled Castes Order I951 (1950) followed the language of the 1936 Order in excluding non-Hindus from this category..
UNQUOTE

Here is a quote from the second article:
QUOTE
A Scheduled castes order was promulgated by the President of India in 1950 which basically re-enacted the 1936 list
UNQUOTE

5. That the Constituent Assembly approved and adopted by a broad consensus of opinion a report prepared by its Minority Rights subcommittee that defined Scheduled Castes as a "section of the Hindu community".

Please read the following debates:
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8a.htm
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

6. The Christian members of the Constituent Assembly were not only satisfied with the provisions of this Minority Rights Report, but actively praised the manner in which all the minority rights questions were handled in it.

Please read the following debates:
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8a.htm
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8b.htm

Here is a quote from Fr. Jerome D'Souza's speech in this regard:

QUOTE
let me also, though somewhat belatedly, express, my very great gratification at the way in which these minority questions have been handled, the skill and tact with which a consensus of opinion has been secured in this report and the great kindness and spirit of understanding shown by Sardar Patel in dealing with these questions here and elsewhere in discussions.
UNQUOTE
......Fr. Jerome D'Souza

6. The Christian members of the Constituent Assembly never proposed an amendment to include Dalit Christians in the definition of Scheduled Castes.

Please read all the over 150 Constituent Assembly debates at this link:
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/debates.htm

Please read this article:
Politics of Dalit Identity
Author(s): P. Muthaiah
Source: The Indian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 65, No. 3 (July-Sept., 2004), pp. 385-402
Published by: Indian Political Science Association

Here is a quote:
QUOTE
There was no organized movement by the Dalit Christians for their inclusion in list of Scheduled castes for purpose of reservations and other constitutional protection while Indian constitution was being framed. Members belonging to Christian community in constituent Assembly of India too did not support the cause of Dalit Christians in the constituent Assembly for the purpose. The leaders representing Christians in the constituent Assembly of India were H.C.Mukherjee, a high caste Bengali convert, Amrit Kuaur, a Punjabi convert from Royal background, Jerome D. Souza and S.J., a Jesuit. H.C. Morkerjee says as their spokesmen, "I am a member of minority community myself and I feel proud that the community which I am a member has decided to give up all special privileges"
UNQUOTE

I would be happy to provide copies of the articles to individuals upon private requests.

Cheers,

Santosh

----- Original Message -----
From: Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com>
Post by Marshall Mendonza
?
Response;
?
1.If the poster chooses to live in denial of the evidence furnished by me
in the documents provided by Prof Borges just because they are unpalatable
to him and do not support his views, there is nothing more we can do about
it. He is free to live in his world of dreams and fantasy. Who are we to
deny him his enjoyment?
?
2. secondly, his asking me to provide historical evidence of my owns views
( which in his bird brained and juvenile way chooses to call speculations)
should count as the Joke of the Month. All the evidence has already been
provided in my previous posts from the documents which Prof Borges himself
submitted. If he wants to a blind eye to them, we cannot help it. When he
is cornered and unable to provide documentary evidence to support his
Chinese Whispers akin quotes, in the ways of a canny and wily politician he
tries to pass the buck and wants me to provide evidence to the contrary. It
is like asking an innocent man to prove that he is not guilty. When he
provided the quotes, he ought to be able to support them with evidence. Why
is it so difficult for him to do so if he is confident in the source of his
information?
?
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-03 07:48:47 UTC
Permalink
On 2 Sep 2013 ?"J. Colaco? < jc>" <colaco1 at gmail.com> wrote:

Having lived and studied in Poona, I can say that I KNOW about Poona.

I can safely state that I did NOT know about "caste" among the Poona Goan?Catholics.

I agree absolutely with Marshall.

I am sure that Marshall will agree with me that our school St. Vincents?remains the best.

We did not even bother about the religion of our classmates.

All that IMHO started when the SS and BJP used religion to push their?political agenda; similar to the MGP

Of course, I cannot comment about the 16th century.

I was not around at that time.

jc


My Questions to jc:

1. Have you ever lived in Velim, Goa?

2. Have you attended the Velim church on a feast day? Did you observe the short procession on 3rd December (Feast of St. Francis Xavier) and/or the long procession on 8th December (Feast of Immaculate Conception), the Santos Passos on Palm Sunday and Good Friday? Did you notice that there are two Confrarias in the parish with the vestments (opa-mursa) in red-and-white (subaltern) and all-red (major)?

3. Did you know that only a chardo is eligible to be a member of the major confraria and only a non-chardo (sudir, kunbi, mhar) can become a member of the subaltern confraria?

4. Do you know that for the last few years the parish priests have been trying to demolish this caste barrier between the confrarias, but the Carambolim zonkars (your clan) are opposing the move?

5. Do you know that a couple of years ago, during St. Francis Xavier Novena, after the preacher tried to explain to the congregation the incompatibility of castes with Catholicism and advocated the opening of membership of both the confrarias to all the parishioners, a Carambolim zonkar rushed to assault the priest?

6. In spite of all this, would you still refuse to admit that casteism is practised in the Catholic church itself, at least in Velim? ??

7. Would you still say that you have not seen any casteism in the village of Velim?

Sebastian Borges
Jose Colaco
2013-09-03 13:59:22 UTC
Permalink
On Sep 3, 2013, at 3:48 AM, Sebastian Borges asked several questions of jc

Prof Borges questions (SB); jc's answers (jc)

SB1. Have you ever lived in Velim, Goa?
jc1: IF visiting during monsoon holidays and around Christmas = 'lived' ...the answer is YES
==

SB2. Have you attended the Velim church on a feast day? Did you observe the short procession on 3rd December (Feast of St. Francis Xavier) and/or the long procession on 8th December (Feast of Immaculate Conception), the Santos Passos on Palm Sunday and Good Friday? Did you notice that there are two Confrarias in the parish with the vestments (opa-mursa) in red-and-white (subaltern) and all-red (major)?
jc2: NO
==

SB3. Did you know that only a chardo is eligible to be a member of the major confraria and only a non-chardo (sudir, kunbi, mhar) can become a member of the subaltern confraria?
jc3: NO. Besides, I am a Roman Catholic. I do NOT and will NOT accept Caste Discrimination which is based on the Hindu Caste System.
==

SB4. Do you know that for the last few years the parish priests have been trying to demolish this caste barrier between the confrarias, but the Carambolim zonkars (your clan) are opposing the move?
jc4: NO
==

SB5. Do you know that a couple of years ago, during St. Francis Xavier Novena, after the preacher tried to explain to the congregation the incompatibility of castes with Catholicism and advocated the opening of membership of both the confrarias to all the parishioners, a Carambolim zonkar rushed to assault the priest?
jc5: NO. If I was there, I would have been assaulted too, as I would have stood by the priest.
==


SB6. In spite of all this, would you still refuse to admit that casteism IS PRACTISED in the Catholic church itself, at least in Velim?
jc6: Grateful if you would please direct me to any statement of mine which DIRECTLY states that. I have no problems correcting any error I may have made when responding on GN. Am I asking a Clintonian "depends what IS is"?
==

SB7. Would you still say that YOU have not SEEN any casteism in the village of Velim?
jc7: Yes, I can still say that I have NOT SEEN any casteism (whatever that term means to you) in Velim. I have certainly heard of "objections to marriage" because of alleged caste differences, and I believe that I have alluded to that in several of my writings.....including http://www.colaco.net/1/caste.htm
==

ANY FURTHER Personal questions, Prof Borges?
As you have asked Personal questions of me, Would you mind answering an equal number of Personal questions from me?

PS: While I am delighted that Prof Borges has not asked me to refer to events of the 16th century, events of which I have NO PROOF which I can cross-check (examine) to determine ALL the facts of the case(s), I am puzzled as to WHY the good Professor would quote my post wrt Poona (where I grew up) and then proceed to ask me questions about Velim (which I only visited).

I REPEAT: I do not say that individuals should not accept/be self cognizant of their antecedents. What I definitely say is that ANYBODY who claims to be a Catholic but DISCRIMINATES on the basis of this awful thing called 'Caste' is NOT a Catholic.

PN: I do not mind being dragged to the level of the Intellectual LCD by arguers and arguments which reflect (to me at least) a deep seated personal problem on the part of the intellectual LCDs.

Even though I am not trained in the field of Psychiatry, I'll venture to state this to ALL who will pay attention: Discard the bitterness and learn to work hard and to be happy. Chronic, unremitting bitterness will only destroy one's self from within.

I believe that It is OK to have vociferous and passionate debates. There are some one will lose, and others one will win. BUT after the debates are done with .....Let us Learn to have a laugh even if it is with a chilled glass of Limboo Sodh.

good wishes as always

jc
proud subHarijan Kunbi or whatever is lowermost according to that Horrible Apartheid Caste System of India.
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-05 07:20:23 UTC
Permalink
Dear
Marshall,
I
must thank you for your intervention. This encounter has widened my horizons. I
have come to realise that the abomination of caste as practised by Goan
Catholics is nothing compared to the tribulations suffered by their
counterparts in Southern India. These are some of the illustrative stories that
have come to my notice:
(1 ?? ?(1)?On 9th March, 2008, two
Christians died and 40 more were wounded in police firing during clashes between
Dalit Catholics and upper caste Catholics in the diocese of
Pondicherry-Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu).
Three
months earlier, Dalits from St Jabamalais Annai Church in Earyur built another
church dedicated to Saghaya Madha (Our Lady of perpetual Help) and sought to
have it erected as a separate parish with its own priest.
In
response some 500 upper caste Christians went on a rampage on Sunday, attacking
Dalits and torching over 30 huts. Police were pelted with stones and were thus "forced"to open fire on the aggressors.
Fr G
Cosmon Arokiaraj, secretary to the Commission for Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said, "For years Dalits have been discriminated
within the Church itself. They cannot sit with upper caste members in the same
church; they are buried in separate cemeteries; they cannot use the same roads
as upper caste people. When the mother of a Dalit priest died in the 1990s the
upper caste did not allow the funeral procession to use the main road; even the
bishop failed to bring about a compromise."
Pl. see
at: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11726
?
(2)???? The biennial report submitted by the Commission for
Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Backward Classes of the Catholic Bishop's Conference
of India at the CBCI Annual General Body meeting in 2000 at Chennai, says
"Dalit Christians, forming the majority in the Christian community, suffer
humiliation, discrimination and socio-educational disabilities even after
conversion due to the traditional practice of untouchability in the Church and
in society."
(3)???? Father K Amal, a catholic priest and the Head of Human
Rights Cell at the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore, says "Although
Christianity in principle does not have caste, the truth is different. There is
a huge resistance from the upper caste members of the church when it comes to
treating Dalit Christians as equals, or sharing power in the Church's hierarchy
with them. And a handful of people like me who favour it are not welcomed at all."
(4)???? In 1994 a church had to be closed at K K Pudur near
Chengalpattu district of Tamilnadu following clashes between Dalit Christians
and Reddy Catholics.
(5)???? In 1999 a Dalit Christian woman Jeyaseliammal's
funeral was not allowed to be held at the church in Eraiyur of Trichy district
in Tamilnadu by the Vanniyar Christians of the region.
(6)???? In the year 2000, Jnanaprakash, a Dalit Christian from
Hassan district in Karnataka, was allegedly murdered following a fight with an
upper caste member. His family members say that the police did not even
register a case.
Pl.
see at: http://www.indiatogether.org/2006/oct/soc-dalitsc.htm
?
If this is their plight in this enlightened twenty-first
century, one shudders to think about the situation extant in the 1940s when the
Constituent Assembly was debating such issues. Among the Christian members, Fr.
Jerome ( being from Madras) was certainly aware of all this and therefore
should have striven to ameliorate the lot of these brethren in Christ, instead
of sticking to the *theory* that Christianity does not recognise castes. The
Catholic dalits are not enjoying the theory, they suffer the reality! But he
did nothing of the sort, unlike some others who went out of their way to air
the sufferings of their constituents like Mr. Jaipal
Singh who, on 27th August 1947, said, "...... Sir, a good deal has been said by my friends, the
Scheduled Castes leaders in gratitude in regard to the reservation that has
been made for appointments. Only a few days ago the Government of India made
announcement that a certain policy would be followed so that the scheduled
castes would find a place in the central Government. I deeply regret that the
most needy, the most deserving group of Adibasis has been completely left out
of the picture." No such intervention is noticed
from any of the Christian members. Contrary to my earlier misconception (which
prompted you to intervene), it was not so much the influence as the acquiescence
of the Christian members which resulted in the exclusion of Christian dalits in
the Order of 1950, issued in pursuant to Article 341(1). Because this handicap
stems from the Act of 1935 and the Order of 1936. This is what they say:
?The
Act: First Schedule, on p. 217:
26-1 ............................
"an? Indian? Christian"? means? a? person? who? professes? any form of the Christian religion and is not a European or an
Anglo-Indian ;
?
"the? scheduled? castes"? means? such? castes,? races? or? tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races? or tribes, being castes,? races,? tribes,? parts? or? groups? which? appear? to His? Majesty in? Council? to? correspond? to? the? classes? of persons? formerly? known? as? "the? depressed? classes",? as His Majesty in Council may specify;?
?
Fifth
Schedule, on p. 243:
19.? In the foregoing provisions of this Schedule the
following expressions? have the? meanings? hereby? assigned? to? them,? that is to? say,-
"a
European,"? "an? Anglo-Indian,"? "an? Indian Christian" and? "the? scheduled? castes"? have? the? same? meanings respectively as
they have in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act ;
?
?
Sixth
schedule part I on p. 249:
?
13
? (1) In this Schedule, except where the context otherwise requires-
............
?
"European,"? "Anglo-Indian,"? "Indian? Christian "? and "scheduled
castes"? have? the same? meanings? respectively as they
have in Part I? of the First
Schedule? to this Act ;
?
The Order:
2.
Subject to the provisions of this order, for the purposes of the First, Fifth
and Sixth Schedules to the Government of India Act, 1935, the castes, races or
tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes specified in Parts
I to IX of the Schedule to this Order shall, in the Provinces to which those
Parts respectively relate, be deemed to be scheduled? castes so far as regards members thereof
resident in the localities specified in relation to them respectively in those
parts of that Schedule.
3.
Notwithstanding anything in the last preceding paragraph?
???? (a)? No Indian Christian shall be deemed to a member of a Scheduled Caste;
?
In the light of the above your contention
that "Article 341 speaks about Scheduled
Caste only and makes no reference to religion"holds no water. The Scheduled Castes have always been
treated as Hindu, and this was made amply clear by Mr. K M Munshi on 27th August 1947, when he said,"so
far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned, they are not minorities in the
strict meaning of the term; that the Harijans are part and parcel of Hindu
community."?Please therefore note that the Order of
1950 did not alter the status quo ante. From the above, it is also very clear
that benefits under Scheduled Castes could not have been given to any subgroup
under Indian Christian group automatically, because no such subgroup was ever recognised
till that date. Hence, it is but natural to expect that the Christian members
should have insisted on the creation of such a subgroup, by whatever name. Not
only did they fail to do this, but went on to forego all special privileges to
Christians. Mr. Mookherjee said on 27th
August 1947: "I am a member of a minority community myself and I
feel proud that the community of which I am a member has decided to give up all
special privileges, and first of all I must thank my colleagues of my community
who are members and who are present here today."
You poohpoohed Santosh's submission of the
article by a Jesuit published in a Catholic journal as of no consequence, and
are insisting that I should "provide documentary
evidence from official archives." But you are now producing
Wikipedia in support of your contention! How reliable is Wikipedia? Let me give
you an illustration. In the entry "Caste system among Indian Christians"
under "Goa" the final line reads: "The upper caste Gaonkar
Christians have demanded that only their community be given positions on the
Pastoral Council of Goa's Catholic Church." What would a reader understand
from this? Have you ever heard of such a thing happening in Goa? I looked for
the citation. It is a news item published in the Indian Express of November 24, 1999. It refers to a dispute in the parish
of Cuncolim. The parish priest had, for the first time, appointed two persons
from among the "moradors" (who are all non-chardo by caste, and not
dalits alone) on the Parish Pastoral Council. The "gaonkars" (all
chardo) insisted on having only members of their caste on that Body, as had
been the practice earlier. It was not an all-Goa issue. I also know the issue
first-hand since Cuncolim church is a bare 4 kms by road from my residence and also
on my regular route to Margao. Hence I would not give much credence to
Wikipedia. Moreover, this is what Mr. Mookherjee said about Mr. K M Munshi in
the speech cited above: "It is here that I must compliment Mr. Munshi, who
in the Minorities SubCommittee did so much running from one group to another,
in order to find their minimum demands, then pressing their case on the
attention of the Minorities Committee and who got them carried in the Advisory
Committee." How did Munshi change colours so soon?
Under the article by Fr. Izzo, I found the following
comment by one Fr. Iruthayaraj Thusnevish: "I am a
dalit catholic priest here in south India. Whatever has been said about dalit
in this article is true. I am myself going through such painful situations as a
priest. So much so I have started a separate church called DALIT CATHOLIC
CHURCH to work only for the betterment of dalits. Presently I am running a home
for the aged, providing educational help to poor dalit students, empowering
dalit women with tailoring learning and free sewing machines and planning to do
many more programs besides saying mass and prayers only for dalits. ....."
This is an unfortunate trend; the Catholic Church is disintegrating in South
India as a result of caste feuds. This is buttressed by another fact: In the
backdrop of the police firing cited above, a thousand Dalit Christians officially
got reconverted into Hinduism. ?
?
Regards.
Sebastian Borges


On ?3 Sep
2013 ?Marshall Mendonza <mmendonza55 at gmail.com> wrote:


3. Regarding hindutva influence in the
Constituent Assembly, please read
what wikipedia has to state about Dr K M Munshi
and Mr Purushottam Das
Tandon and? Dr S P Mukherjee,.

Re: Dr K M Munshi:
" He and Purushottam Das
Tandon<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purushottam_Das_Tandon> were
among those who strongly opposed propagation and
conversion in the constituent
assembly <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituent_Assembly_of_India>. He
was also the main driving force behind the
renovation of the historically
important Somnath <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somnath> Temple by the
Government of India just after
independence."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanaiyalal_Maneklal_Munshi
Re: Purushottam Das Tandon:
"Several controversies and contradictions
abound in the life of Purushottam
Das Tandon. While he emphasized the similarities
between
Hindu<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu>
and Muslim <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim> cultures, he is regarded
to have carried the image of a *soft* Hindu
nationalist<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_nationalist> leader.
He and KM Munshi <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KM_Munshi> were among those
who strongly opposed religious propagation and
conversion of a people of
one religion to another; they strongly argued in
the constituent
assembly<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituent_Assembly_of_India>
for
a condemnation in the
constitution<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_India> of
religious conversion."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purushottam_Das_Tandon

Re: Dr S P Mukherjee:
"*Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee*? was an
Indian politician, who served as
Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime
Minister Jawaharlal
Nehru<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru>'s
cabinet. After falling out with Nehru, Mookerjee
quit the Indian National
Congress <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Congress> party and
founded Nationalist Bharatiya Jana
Sangh<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharatiya_Jana_Sangh> party
in 1951.'
" He emerged as a spokesman for Hindus and
shortly joined Hindu Mahasabha
and in 1944, he became the President."
"After consultation with Shri Golwalkar
Guruji of RSS Shri Mookerjee
founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh on 21st Oct. 1951
at Delhi and he became the
first President of it. In 1952 elections,?
The BJS was ideologically close
to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsevak_Sangh> (RSS)
and widely considered the political arm of Hindu
Nationalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Nationalism>.
It was opposed to appeasement of India's
Muslims. The BJS also favored a
uniform civil code governing personal law
matters for both Hindus and
Muslims, wanted to ban cow slaughter and end the
special status given to
the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and
Kashmir<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_and_Kashmir>.
The BJS founded the Hindutva <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindutva> agenda
which became the wider political expression of
India's Hindu majority. His
legacy still remains influential among the conservative
members within the
Congress."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syama_Prasad_Mookerjee

4. I have pointed out to you that the very fact
a Presidential Order was
issued on 10th August 1950 barely seven months
after the Constitution came
into force, negating benefits to dalits of all
other religions other than
hindus, itself is proof that the Constitution as
adopted by the Constituent
Assembly did indeed provide for social and economic
benefits to dalits of
all religions. If you will kindly go through the
Constitution and the
Directive Principles, you may kindly observe
that they are religion neutral
http://www.constitution.org/cons/india/p04.html


5.You state "You are asking a rhetoric
question: ?If dalit christians were
excluded by the Constitution what was the need
for this Order?? I think you
will have to first prove that they were in fact
not excluded by the
Constitution.
Please do so.

Here is my response:
a) kindly refer to Article 15 which prohibits
discrimination on the grounds
of religion:
Article 15 in The Constitution Of India 1949
15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of
religion, race, caste, sex
or place of birth
(1) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1942013/> The State shall not
discriminate against any citizen on grounds only
of religion, race, caste,
sex, place of birth or any of them
(2) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1952106/> No citizen shall, on grounds
only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of
birth or any of them, be
subject to any disability, liability,
restriction or condition with regard
to
(a) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1732536/> access to shops, public
restaurants, hotels and palaces of public
entertainment; or
(b) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/820476/> the use of wells, tanks,
bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort
maintained wholly or
partly out of State funds or dedicated to the
use of the general public
(3) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1603957/> Nothing in this article
shall prevent the State from making any special
provision for women and
children
(4) <http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/251667/> Nothing in this article or
in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the
State from making any
special provision for the advancement of any
socially and educationally
backward classes of citizens or for the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Tribes

b). Pl also refer to Article 341 which states:

?SCHEDULED CASTES 341(1) The President may with
respect to any state or
union territory and where it is a state after
consultation with the
Governor thereof, by public notification,
specify the castes races or
tribes or parts of or groups within castes areas
or tribes which shall for
the purpose of this Constitution be deemed to be
Scheduled Castes in
relation to that state or Union territory as the
case may be.
(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude
from the list of Scheduled
Castes specified in a notification issued under
clause (1) any caste, race
or tribe or part of or group within any caste
race or tribe but save as
aforesaid, a notification issued under the said
clause shall not be varied
by any subsequent notification.?

Pl note that this Article speaks about Scheduled
Caste only and makes no
reference to religion.

To cut a long story short, I would request you
once again to kindly
provide me documentary evidence from official
archives which prove that the
Christian representatives in the Constituent
Assembly sought denial of
social and economic benefits for dalit
christians since you made the
statement in the first place. In case you are
unable to do so, there is no
problem, we can let the matter rest here until
such time new light is
thrown on the matter.


Regards,

Marshall
..................
Sebastian Borges
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-07 01:34:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sebastian Borges
Under the article by Fr. Izzo, I found the following
comment by one Fr. Iruthayaraj Thusnevish: "I am a
dalit catholic priest here in south India. Whatever has been said about dalit
in this article is true. I am myself going through such painful situations as a
priest. So much so I have started a separate church called DALIT CATHOLIC
CHURCH to work only for the betterment of dalits. Presently I am running a home
for the aged, providing educational help to poor dalit students, empowering
dalit women with tailoring learning and free sewing machines and planning to do
many more programs besides saying mass and prayers only for dalits. ....."
This is an unfortunate trend; the Catholic Church is disintegrating in South
India as a result of caste feuds. This is buttressed by another fact: In the
backdrop of the police firing cited above, a thousand Dalit Christians officially
got reconverted into Hinduism. ?
Sebastian Borges,
While caste is a truly cruel practice, one that affects (whether they admit it or not) all those in India, sitting here in Toronto I can only view what you have written above in amazement. It is almost like time travel. It is like I have been transported back 400 years.

Reading the above is also like reading a debate between an ancient Greek and an ancient Egyptian on who treated their slaves better. It is only of academic interest to the reader. To the person on the receiving end though, slave treatment, or in this case, near slave treatment is terrifying.?

My question, and this is to any brave heart here, is:
Does a person still retain his/her caste when s/he becomes an atheist? ?

Or does one remain a cultural Hindu forever.....

Mervyn
augusto pinto
2013-09-07 11:45:06 UTC
Permalink
In Message: 2 - Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2013 18:34:34 -0700 (PDT)

Mervyn Lobo <mervynalobo at yahoo.ca> wrote:

"My question, and this is to any brave heart here, is:
Does a person still retain his/her caste when s/he becomes an atheist? ?

Or does one remain a cultural Hindu forever....."

Dear Mervyn,

One does not need to be a brave heart to answer your question.The answer is
a simple YES.

Culturally Hinduism, or at any rate what we were before conversion, maybe a
tribe or a caste or another religion like Buddhism or Jainism or Islam all
of which had a presence in Goa at some time or another, is part of our
cultural make-up.

Some may be more affected by it and for others it may be something that is
not quite in the foreground of one's consciousness, but deep down somewhere
that Hinduness or Muslimness or whatever one's identity was prior to
conversion is still part of our cultural make up.

Just as one is a Goan and Indian despite the fact that one's parents had
migrated to East Africa many decades ago and despite the fact that one
knows very little about what Goa is or was now or in the past..

This is just as what happens when one also inherits a Catholic Christian
identity which sticks to one despite the fact that one has long ago become
an agnostic.

OK I'm done. And I don't think that I did a particularly brave thing. Don't
you think so Mervyn?

Augusto
--
Augusto Pinto
40, Novo Portugal
Moira, Bardez
Goa, India
E pintogoa at gmail.com
P 0832-2470336
M 9881126350
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-07 16:58:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by augusto pinto
Some may be more affected by it and for others it may be something that is
not quite in the foreground of one's consciousness, but deep down somewhere
that Hinduness or Muslimness or whatever one's identity was prior to
conversion is? still part of our cultural make up.
Just as one is a Goan and Indian despite the fact that one's parents had
migrated to East Africa many decades ago and despite the fact that one
knows very little about what Goa is or was now or in the past..
This is just as what happens when one also inherits a Catholic Christian
identity which sticks to one despite the fact that one has long ago become
an agnostic.
OK I'm done. And I don't think that I did a particularly brave thing.
Don't?you think so Mervyn?
Augusto,
I actually like this explanation of yours.

My forefathers moved to Tanzania not last century, but the century before i.e. in the 1870's. Even so, they retained their identity as Goans and kept most of the customs. The bizarre customs they er, casted off.?

Into the trash can went caste and the dowry system, among others. This becomes easy to do when you have a good education, which normally lets you see the light.?

A good secular education will also make a person question the need for religion or a belief in an all powerful god. The scientific evidence available today makes it nearly impossible for any person who reads the same to believe in the concept of a 'creator' and the devil.?

But you are right, the religious and cultural exposure one grew up with, will remain an important part of us even when we chose to jettison the absurd.?As for the brave thing, be prepared for the religious fanatics to now start attacking you just because you do not think exactly like them.?

Mervyn
Sebastian Borges
2013-09-07 12:21:37 UTC
Permalink
Dear Merwyn,
I know that in
order to become a Christian one gets him/herself baptized. In order to become a
Hindu too one goes through certain ceremonies. (I don?t know what they are, but
have read that people who have "reconverted" to Hinduism have gone
through some such ceremonies.) So, how does one become an Atheist? Does one
perform/undergo certain ceremonies? Or does one just stop
performing/participating in some activities which s/he did as a Catholic/Hindu/
.....? Does eschewing such activities automatically make one an Atheist? Else,
how does your neighbour know that you have converted to Atheism? We must note
that caste discrimination (positive or negative) is performed on you by others
who must necessarily know your caste. To my mind, Casteism, like Atheism, is an
attitude of the mind. My reading is that the caste system might have
originated/evolved as an adjunct of Hinduism, but caste discrimination, or
casteism, is not a necessary part of the Hindu faith; one may devoutly practice
the Hindu religion without being a casteist and one may renounce the Hindu faith
yet retaining the casteism.

And I, a
Catholic of Goan parentage (born and brought up outside Goa and blissfully
oblivious of the practice of Christianity in my parents' parish in Goa) but
settled abroad proudly declare: "I absolutely
deplore the mention and use of The Hindu Caste System wrt Christianity, be it
for subjugation OR for the purpose of gaining special privileges by way of
Reservations." [Perhaps
this was the stance adopted by the Christian members of the Constituent Assembly
too.] Denying admission into the major confraria to a dalit is certainly not
subjugation, but that admission, when granted, would certainly be a special
privilege to a dalit since this has never been available to him. Now, would you
say that, with my stance, I am tacitly supporting my father's relatives who are
denying that admission to a dalit?

It is not that
the Vatican is unaware of the type of Christianity that is being practised by
the Catholic Church in India. Please see:?
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/dclm%20memorandum.htm
http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/dalitaccusation.htm
These are
nearly 14 years old; what steps has the Vatican taken, in the meanwhile, to correct the situation and
with what success?

Your Greek and Egyptian might debate the issue to their heart's content, and until the cows come home; but would this bring any solace to the slave? Please give it a thought.
?
What is meant
by "a cultural Hindu"? Is the culture of an Ayyangar identical with
that of a Rajput, both being Hindu?

Sebastian Borges


On Fri, 6 Sep 2013 Mervyn Lobo <mervynalobo at yahoo.ca> wrote:

Sebastian Borges,
While caste is a truly cruel practice, one that affects (whether they admit it or not) all those in India, sitting here in Toronto I can only view what you have written above in amazement. It is almost like time travel. It is like I have been transported back 400 years.

Reading the above is also like reading a debate between an ancient Greek and an ancient Egyptian on who treated their slaves better. It is only of academic interest to the reader. To the person on the receiving end though, slave treatment, or in this case, near slave treatment is terrifying.?

My question, and this is to any brave heart here, is:
Does a person still retain his/her caste when s/he becomes an atheist? ?

Or does one remain a cultural Hindu forever.....

Mervyn

..........................
Sebastian Borges
Mervyn Lobo
2013-09-07 16:59:41 UTC
Permalink
To my mind, Casteism, like Atheism, is an?attitude of the mind.?
Sebastian Borges,

The way I see it, to be an atheist one has to make tough decisions and jettison all that has been fed since s/he was born. A believer in the cast system can only remain so if s/he does not have the capacity to question basic injustices.
Your Greek and Egyptian might debate the issue to their heart's content, and?
until the cows come home; but would this bring any solace to the slave? Please
give it a thought.
Exactly my point. Freedom for the 'untouchable' or slave is not going to come from religion. The religious are the ones who propagate this belief. Caste discrimination will only disappear when in becomes illegal to do so i.e. the secular state has to tackle the discrimination issue.?


Mervyn
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-01 09:13:44 UTC
Permalink
Mervyn Lobo:

I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can
assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity
as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it,
here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste
and Christianity go hand in glove in India.

Response:

I trust you understand the difference between there is no caste in
Christianity and certain christians practising casteism. If not, please
refer to the Bible.

Regards

Marshall
Marshall Mendonza
2013-09-01 15:39:17 UTC
Permalink
Dear Prof Borges

I am in total agreement with you when you state that casteism is practised
in the Church in certain parts of India. So far as Tamil Nadu is concerned
I have heard about it first hand from priests and nuns who have worked
there as from the media. So far as Goa Is concerned, I admit my ignorance
as I have never lived there except for short holidays but I have heard
about stray cases.

In Poona where I grew up, it was non-existent. So too in Bombay where I
have been living for the past 19 years.

I stand by my statement that when Fr Jerome stated that Christianity does
not recognize castes, he was making a factual statement. If you can show me
one sentence from the Bible which shows that Christianity recognises
castes, I am willing to rescind my views. One needs to make a distinction
between what religion stands for and what are some deviations in the
practice of the religion on the ground. Any person who has a fairly good
knowledge of India's social structure will understand that it is not only
hinduism that has been been plaqued by casteism. Even egalitarian religions
like islam, buddhism and sikhism have been plaqued by casteism. I strongly
believe that it is only with education and economic growth will casteism
die out.

Please also try and understand that what the christian community is
fighting for is parity in economic benefits and assistance to all dalits
irrespective of religion. Nowhere has it been claimed that there are castes
in christianity as you have erroneously surmised. So far as the Church is
concerned, it is obvious that the Church is seized of the issue and is
working towards total eradication. You, yourself, have given the example of
a dalit who was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Hyderabad and is
doing a fairly good job. Society is always in transition and it is
important to keep the momentum going in a positive direction.

You have raised some interesting questions:

"Was the President connected with the Constituent Assembly in any way? Was
he acquainted with the sentiments expressed by the Christian members?

Was he aware that the Christian members had committed the interests of
their community into the hands of the majority community for being dealt
fair and square?

If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, how did he forget
this so soon? How did he come under the influence of hindutva elements?
Does this not reflect on the wisdom of the Christian representatives? Does
it not stem from the great lie that there are no castes in Christianity as
propagated by the upper caste Christians for their own benefit?"

To be honest, these are some of the answers that I too am seeking. I have
not been able to lay my hands on any information/ document which could
suggest or tell us what transpired between 26th Jan 1950 and 9th August
1950. I understand from my reading and discussions with others in the know
that there was absolutely no debate, discussion, white paper, nothing to
suggest what was in the offing. However, the Congress Party which was an
umbrella organisation of various ideologies had a influential hindutva
lobby led by Dr K M Munshi, Purshottam Das Tandon among others. I reliably
understand that it was this lobby which was instrumental in pushing the
Order as they did not succeed in preventing any discrimination in the
Constitution. I could have a long discussion with you on this subject but
it would not be fair to other Goanet readers and so if you wish we could
take this offline..

So far as Articles 25 & 30 are concerned, please try to understand that
they have nothing to do with reservations or benefits for dalit christians.
They are as different as chalk and cheese or comparing onions with oranges.

I have pointed out to you in my previous posts from the documents you
attached that in fact both the Christian representatives who have been
quoted in the debate while turning down communal representation in
legislatures have made it a point to ask for safeguards in respect of
employment and financial aid. I reproduce them once again

Fr Jerome has been quoted as saying:

" a man is to be assisted because he is poor, because his birth and
upbringing have not given him the opportunity to make progress,
socially,politically and educationally; it should not matter whether he be
a Christian,or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Brahmin or non-Brahmin, or a
Scheduled Caste member.

Prof Mookherjee in the debate is quoted as saying:

"So far as the masses are concerned my friends are united in saying that
the masses do not want reservations.* *They say that they are interested in
three or four things only. They want food, clothing, a shelter over their
heads, medical aid and good roads. These are their demands. When they
were specifically asked whether they wanted reservation, the reply in every
case was as follows: "We know that we shall never enter the
Legislatures; reservations do not concern or interest us.*"* There all
sections of the people were at one. Then came queries addressed to the
lower middle classes, people who depend upon service to earn their
living. Their reaction was that if there was any kind of reservation they
would like to have reservation in jobs.

"So far as the idea of building up one nation is concerned I do admit that
there are certain economically backward groups in every community and for
them provision has been made in the directive adopted in December last. "

It is therefore amply clear that they sought safeguards for the poor of all
religions in employment and economic aid. Prof Mookherjee in fact refers to
the Directive (Principles, I assume) which contains such safeguards.

It is also clear from the Presidential Order of 1950 that in fact the
Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly did provide for safeguards
for the poor and oppressed of all religions. The Presidential Order was
passed (under the influence of hindutva forces) seven months after the new
Constitution came into force without discussion, debate, white paper,
nothing.

If dalit christians were excluded by the Constitution what was the need
for this Order?

By your own admission Hukam Singh fought vehemently for inclusion of
certain castes in the SC list. Yet the Presidential Order excluded the
sikhs and buddhists too.

I am afraid neither you nor Santosh have been able to provide documentary
evidence to support your contention that the Christian representatives did
not press for protection of dalit christians. From all evidence so far the
contrary is proved.

To amplify my point further, tribal christians continue to draw all
benefits and economic aid. If one were to accept your point then even
christian tribals should have been debarred from being granted aid and
benefits.

Let us rely on official documents to form our views and not hearsay,
perceptions, speculations and even Chinese Whispers.

While I appreciate that you have submitted official documents to make your
point, I regret that Santosh had to rely on Chinese Whispers to defend his
views.

Regards,

Marshall
Gilbert Lawrence
2013-09-01 16:59:21 UTC
Permalink
Marshall Mendonza wrote:
Fr Jerome's statement that there is no caste in Christianity is factual.

Mervyn Lobo writes:
I am based in Toronto, Canada. I am not sure where you are based but I can assure you that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans. Just in case, just in case you are not aware of it, here is a link that will update you, with every agonizing detail, how caste and Christianity go hand in glove in India.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians


Gilbert Lawrence responds:
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I read the link which was?kindly provided by Mervyn.? The link has nothing connected to what Mervyn alludes to as exist today in Goa.? The closest connection is:
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"The upper caste Gaonkar Christians have demanded that only their community be given positions on the Pastoral Council of Goa's Catholic Church.[16]"
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The fact that this upper caste group made the demand would suggest that they do not have that right.? And there is no reference that their demand has been accepted.
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In the past the Bamons tended to be priests was in major part related to the fact that they were the only group with any education and literacy skills.? With widespread religious affiliated schools, that problem is much resolved.
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So do you have any CURRENT data / evidence to support,? "that caste is a huge factor in the peculiar type of Christianity as practiced by Goans"????
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Thanks in anticipation. Please do not take this personally.
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Regards, GL
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