Bellary Diocese

  • Create an account
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Our Patron - St. Anthony

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events currently scheduled.
View full calendar

Dec. 06 - Dalit Liberation Sunday: Building Bridges, Overcoming Prejudices

E-mail Print PDF

NEW DELHI, DEC. 04 (CBCI SC/ST/BC): ¬†¬†“We can correct a person, never by his/her prejudices” has been an old saying, which is still relevant for our times as well. It is very unfortunate that the Indian society and the Indian Church are plagued with the problems of religious prejudices, regional prejudices, linguistic prejudices, gender prejudices and the worst of all caste and sub-caste prejudices. These social prejudices have had a baneful influence and sordid effect on the lives of the people where caste bias overrules every other consideration for establishing justice and establishing reign of God. These prejudices have been one of the root causes for discrimination and growing violence against Dalits. Whether it is a question of segregation or secession, whether it is a question of oppression or opportunities, whether it is a question of caste people or Dalits and Tribals, whether it is a question of manual scavenging or white collared jobs, whether it is a question of caste Christians or Dalit Christians, whether it is a question of migrants or inhabitants, whether it is a question of strangers or neighbours, whether it is a question of people with disabilities or people with different abilities and whether it is a question of division among the Dalits the amount of the indoctrination of prejudices makes the correction seem impossible. But we do not give up the struggle.

Prejudices have drawn visible and invisible boundaries among people and have widened the gap between people of different identities. The prejudiced lines of control (loc) have become contested zones of battlegrounds, with little space or no space available for making reconciliation with the other. Churches and Christians are in no way exception to overcoming prejudices. Exclusions in the name of caste, gender, class and religion have become rampant and individualism vis-√†-vis community living has been dominating the lives of the people. In such a context, where prejudices dominate and overpower the life within our Churches and societies, it is necessary that we as Churches have to be challenged to overcome prejudices by crossing our own graffiti boundaries and to building bridges with people of different life affirmations. Dalit Liberation Sunday (DLS) 2009 is a calling to that end, and the theme for this year is “Crossing Boundaries & Building Bridges: Overcoming Prejudices.”

Drawing inspiration and strength from Jesus, let us as individuals and as Churches commit ourselves to cross the boundaries of our own prejudices and identities, by creative ways and means of widening our tents. On crossing the boundaries, let us build bridges with those who have been victims of our own prejudices in our vicinities. Once we overcome the caste prejudices, we are on the move towards liberation and transformation of our societies and Churches. Once such prejudices are overcome, there will be an increasing space for mutual respect, mutual dignity and mutual learning from each other, and justice, peace and equality will no longer be a distant reality. DLS calls the local congregations and communities to work out innovative, creative and challenging strategies to overcome prejudices and work towards affirming life, given to all people and identities in all fullness. One of the concrete ways of overcoming caste prejudices may be promoting inter-caste marriages.

Dalit Liberation Sunday has become an annual feature observed jointly by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI) and the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) for the last three years. Over the years, there has been a positive response to these observances in sensitizing the local congregations towards the concerns of Dalits. Caste issue is no longer visualized as a sociological issue or an issue outside the purview of the Church but has become a challenge to the core of our faith and the gospel.

On 6th December 2009, the Sunday preceding the International Human Rights Day and the Second Sunday in the season of Advent falls the Dalit Liberation Sunday for this year. December 6th, as we all know also happens to be the anniversary day of the cruel demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodya and the day to remember the death anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar. This year DLS observance would be a fitting moment to learn lessons for overcoming prejudices of religious fundamentalism and to take inspiration and courage from Dr. Ambedkar to overcome prejudices of caste. We need to look at Dalit Christian issue not only as a reservation issue but also as a challenge to equal treatment of all religions in this country. The paragraph 3 of Constitution Scheduled Castes Order 1950 which restricts Scheduled Caste privileges to Dalits professing Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism is against secular principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.

DLS 2009 also affirms the freedom of religion and conscience guaranteed in the Indian Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The marginalized sections of Indian society have the right to know Christ, follow him and bear witness to him. It is very unfortunate that the Indian State itself uses coercive orders and laws against the basic principles of democracy such as freedom of religion.    

The CBCI Commission for SC/ST/BC invites the entire Christian community to observe this DLS 2009 in all sincerity and faithfulness to our calling as Christians and sensitize all people of good will to overcome prejudices and build friendships with all people in our communities. The entire Christian community has to resolve to continue our struggle for equal rights of Dalit Christians by demanding the Union Government to table the Ranganath Misra Commission report in the winter session of the Parliament and to give a positive reply to the Supreme Court. Let us pray for all our Dalit Christian brothers and sisters on the DLS 2009!

Thanking you for your cooperation 

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

 

(Bishop Charles Soreng)

Chairperson

CBCI Commission for SC/ST/BC

 

 
You are here: Home News Events & Updates Dec. 06 - Dalit Liberation Sunday: Building Bridges, Overcoming Prejudices

Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine

Bellary-Mathe-small The Shrine of Bellary Arogya Mathe was blessed and dedicated on 8th September 2000 on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary in memory of the great jubilee 2000 and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Bellary

Read More...

Diocesan Diamond Jubilee

This year is Diamond Jubilee of our Bellary Diocese.  It is completing 60 years in the service to God and His people.

Read More...

Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22