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Bishop Anthony Poola of Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh says many Dalit Christians are converting to Hinduism because they are being denied benefits resulting from scheduled caste (SC) status.
Unlike their Hindu counterparts, Dalit Christians are not given reservation quotas on jobs, elected bodies, in educational institutions or other benefits, he said.
The prelate said the primary thing that identifies an Indian is his caste and that one’s religion does not change one’s caste.
Bishop Poola was speaking at a July 1 seminar in Hyderabad entitled: Dalit Christian Issues, which was attended by the chief minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, and federal minister for health and family welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad.
About 230 Christians, including local lawmakers, bishops, priests, pastors and members of the public, were also present.