CHRISTIAN DALITS IN PUDUCHERRY -- With special reference to ERAIYUR
P.CHARLES CHRISTOPHER RAJ
M.A., M.Phil. M.I.M., M.L.I.S.C., M.C.A.,B.Ed.,P.G.D.T.A.,P.hd.,
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR of HISTORY
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL STUDIES
KASTHURBA COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
VILLIANUR, PUDUCHERRY 605 110
Christian Dalits in India are officially non-existent because any individual cannot enjoy two status i.e. one cannot be a Christian and a Dalit at the same time. If you want to be the follower of Jesus Christ and converted to Christianity, you leave behind the Hindu caste-status and abide by the faith where everyone is equal at the sight of God. But, the caste system is so much intertwined with the Indian tradition and it is inevitable for the individual to escape from it. Then, who is a Dalit?1. In the biblical context this term has been used to describe people who have been reduced to nothingness or helplessness2. This term was first used by the Marathi reformer Jyotirao Phule to describe the Outcastes and Untouchables as the oppressed and the broken victims of caste-ridden society3. The term Dalit is a past participle of the Sanskrit root dal implying to crack, split, and open etc. Dalna means tearing or causing to burst and Dalit as a corollary means split, broken, destroyed, scattered torn etc. The noun dala, besides meaning the splitting, has also the positive connotation of something unfolding itself (dala-komala- a lotus, dala-kosala – a jasmine). Two inter-related processes can be identified with regard to the evolution of the term. The term has gained a new connotation with a positive meaning. It must be remembered that...