Dalit Christians: The Dual Alienated People in India

  • Koshy Mathi Assistant Professor, Department in History Christian College, Chengannur, Kerala, India
Keywords: Dalit, Dalit Christians, Upper Castes, Constitution, Reservation, Syrian Christians, Discrimination


In India, Dalits are placed at the bottom of the caste Pyramid. Over the last four centuries, thousands of Dalits joined Christianity in various Indian states particularly in southern states to escape from the social oppressions. The large scale conversion of Dalits took place mainly during the 19th century and early 20th century and chiefly in the protestant churches, and these are characterized as ‘mass conversions”. The mass conversion of Dalits meant exodus of Dalits to Christianity and rejection of caste in response to Gospel received from new faith. Dalit conversions were a religious and political decision of the community. Still, they suffer from same untoucability and remain part and parcel of the Dalit community and continue to live along with other dalits in the same segregated situations. Basically, it is a problem intrinsically related to human rights and violation of constitutional rights. The primary objective of the study is to find out whether their aspiration, dream for justice, equality, freedom, dignity and solace, was realized after joining the Christian fold. It is also aimed to trace out the types of social oppression, restriction, degradation and disabilities that the Dalit converts undergo.

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