Report Seeks Delinking SC Status from Religious Basis

May 22, 2007

Source: Zee News

New Delhi, May 22:Seeking to extend the Scheduled Caste status for those in minority communities, the National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities is understood to have suggested a Constitutional amendment to completely delink such a status from religion.

In the report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, the commission has suggested that Para 3 of the Constitution (scheduled castes) order 1950, which originally restricted the Scheduled Caste net to Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis should be wholly deleted, sources said.

Contending that caste is a totally social concept in India and does not have any religious basis, it is understood to have said that appropriate action should be taken so as to completely delink the Scheduled Caste status from religion and make the scheduled castes net fully religion-neutral like that of the scheduled tribes.

The commission, headed by Justice Ranganath Misra, is understood to have said that all those groups and classes among the Muslims and Christians whose counterparts among the Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists are included in the Central or state Scheduled Castes list should also be covered by the scheduled castes net.

If any such group or class among the Muslims and Christians etc is now included in an OBC list, it should also be deleted from there while transferring it to the Scheduled Castes.