A Christian woman has approached the Supreme Court opposing the plea seeking reservation of the converted Dalits, saying that such an issue would not only have country-wide repercussions but also a direct negative impact on the core religious beliefs of the Christian community.

In the Intercolutory Application filed by one Joanna Dcosta from Mumbai, it is said that in sharp contrast to the salient principle of equality mentioned in the Bible, recognition of a section of the community as Dalit or Scheduled Caste Christians would lead to the division of the Christian community in total disregard of the explicit verses of the holy Bible.

The applicant states that she learned about the writ petition seeking a grant of reservation benefits to Christians who have converted from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe of Hinduism, to be categorised as ‘Dalit Christians’ through newspaper and online articles.

The application for intervention filed through Advocate Bharat T. Manubarwala says, “… issue involved in the present petition has not only country-wide repercussions but also direct negative impact on the core religious beliefs of the Christian community and considering the significance of the matter, the Applicant seeks to intervene herself to assist this Hon’ble Court for proper appreciation of the issue raised in the writ petition in its proper perspective.”

The plea mentions that if the prayer of the writ petition is accepted, it will create a societal imbalance raising similar demands from various groups within the Christian community to be added to the list of Scheduled Caste.

“… the prayer in the writ petition to strike down Clause 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950 as void, will create a new community of “Dalit Christians”. This kind of community coming into being would be akin to re-writing the Holy Bible which it is respectfully submitted could be done only by God himself and no mortal human being”, submitted the applicant.

The applicant further requested the Apex Court to not entertain such kind of writ petition which is nothing but the act of a few self-serving individuals intending to wreak havoc on well-settled religious affairs.

“… caste has been used in the Constitution as an individual’s identity as per the varna system and not colloquially for referring to a community. Every citizen has a right of identity under Article 21. This right of identity includes the right to shed the identity. Therefore, every individual has the right to shed his identity of caste. Hence, if a person chooses to adopt a religion like Christianity which is completely alien to the concept of varna system, it will be against Article 21 to extend this concept of caste despite the new religion being completely alien to it", says the plea.

The application says that Bible forbids thinking along the lines of caste and that Biblically there is no rationale for casteism to exist. "The Christiantians should eschew castes, because the thinking behind casteism is made obsolete in Christianity", says the applicant.

It is also pointed out in the plea that the Hindu Dalits convert to Christianity for abandonment of the historically prevailing oppressive caste systems and follow a caste-neutral religion, thus, the converts demanding special status and reservations can assert peace and harmony within Christianity as one whole religion by sub classification to only our particular sect.

“… the right of a certain section of Hindu Dalits to shed their identity by converting to Christianity would be totally defeated if they were to be regarded as Dalit Christians especially when Christianity as religion never recognizes caste system”, the plea says.