DMK President M. Karunanidhi today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Dalit Christians and fishermen community in Scheduled Tribes list. Thanking Mr. Modi for the recent Cabinet’s decision to include Narikuravars in the list of Scheduled Tribes, he said it was a demand made by DMK for a very long time and expressed satisfaction that it had been fulfilled.
On his demand for including Dalit Christians in the SC/ST category, Mr. Karunanidhi said, “When SC/STs convert themselves to Christianity, they are deprived of all the privileges and concessions hitherto enjoyed by them.” “DMK has been demanding that the SC/STs after conversion to Christianity should be treated as SC/STs and allowed all concessions and privileges,” he said, adding there were precedents such as recognition of Sikh Christians and Buddhist Christians.
He also said the fishermen community should be included in the ST category as marine tribes. “The fishermen community, by their very geographical nature, is socially and educationally akin to the Scheduled Tribes.” Their inclusion in ST list, which they “deserve in all respects”, would enable them to climb up the ladder of life, Mr. Karunanidhi said.
Mr. Karunanidhi requested Mr. Modi to “consider the two demands and sought an early action by the government.”Last week, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for inclusion of three communities, including Narikuravar, from the state under the Scheduled Tribes category.