TODAY -

National Consultations for Christians submits documents to Government on CV Bill, 12th Plan
- India's Christian community -

14th June, 2011



On Saturday, June 11, 2011, a group of key leaders from across the three major streams of India's Christian community met in Delhi to assess the state of the community and make recommendations to the government on several issues.

The group submitted statements on the 12th Five Year Plan to the Minorities Working Group of the Planning Commission and on the proposed "Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011" to the National Advisory Group.

About 40 people attended the National Consultations at the India International Center organised by the All India Christian Council. The meeting was chaired by His Grace Most Reverend Vincent M. Concessao, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Delhi, who highlighted the plea of Dalit Christians for Scheduled Caste status and the deletion of paragraph three of the Presidential Order of 1950 in order to prevent the division of Dalits along religious lines.

The keynote address was by Mr. Vivek Mehrotra, IAS, Secretary of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, who highlighted initiatives to assist the Christian community in education, economic, area, and institutional development. All programmes and their beneficiaries are listed at www.minorityaffairs.gov.in. The chief guest, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, chair of the National Commission of Minorities, also addressed the gathering.

He explained the NCM's dual role as an advocate for minorities before the government and in closing the communication gap with minorities about what the government is currently doing. He said the NCM was investigating if it had powers to prosecute perpetrators of violence against minorities in a similar way to the US Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. He also said, "If five minorities are notified by the government, then how can some minorities be excluded from the Presidential Order of 1950? And a change of faith has nothing to do with if you deserve benefits."

Leaders from the Christian community represented Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals. Catholics included Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi; Fr. Joseph M. Kujur, Tribal Unit Chief at Indian Social Institute; Fr. G. Cosmon, Executive Secretary of the CBCI Commission for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes; Ms. Vilettta Scott, Council of Catholic Women of the Archdiocese of Delhi; and Fr. Dominic Emmanuel, public relations officer of the Archdiocese of Delhi.

Protestant leaders included Alwan Masih, General Secretary of the Church of North India; Mr. Samuel Jayakumar, Executive Secretary of the NCCI; and Mr. S. Raju of the NCCI.

Evangelical leaders included: Rev. Kennedy Dhanabalan, Executive Director of EFICOR; Mrs. Tehmina Arora, Advocacy Director of EFI; and Rev. Paothang Haokip, General Secretary of Good Shepherd Community Church and vice-chairman of the All India Christian Council (aicc).

Other notable leaders included Mr. A.C. Michael, Member, Delhi Minorities Commission, Rev. Thomas Sebastian, Chairman of NUCF, N. Mukta Toppo, President of CCWAD, and Mrs. Lansinglu Rongmei, aicc National Legal Secretary.

Dr. John Dayal, aicc Secretary General and Member of the India's National Integration Council, coordinated the proceedings. Ms. Vrinda Grover, noted human rights attorney, attended and shared her perspectives on the proposed Communal Violence Prevention Bill.

The Christian community statement to the Planning Commission for the 12th Five Year Plan "A Christian Perspective: Protect, Reassure, Encourage, Empower" is available here:
http://indianchristians.in

The Christian community's observations on the National Advisory Council draft bill on "Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011" is available here:
http://indianchristians.in




* This Press Release was sent by christiancouncil.in
The sender can be contacted at newsletters(at)christiancouncil(dot)in
This PR was webcasted on June 14 2011 .


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