Dr Charles Dias interview: ‘There has been no such integration… SC/ST quota was given for 10 yrs, see situation even after 70’

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The Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations of India has challenged within the Delhi High Court the Constitutional (One Hundred and Fourth Amendment), 2019, which Parliament handed in 2020. The modification eliminated the nomination-based illustration of the Anglo-Indian group within the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. The federation’s president Dr Charles Dias, a former Congress-nominated member of the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian group in Kerala, talks to The Indian Express about why he thinks the supply is crucial.

Why was this provision essential and what function did it serve for the Anglo-Indian group?

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When India was about to get freedom, the central provision existed even then, with the primary member being nominated in 1942. From that point, and even now, the group is scattered throughout the nation. So, it’s not potential for the group to have an elected consultant of its personal, as there will probably be no consolidated votes. Meanwhile, being descendants of Europeans, the group has a novel tradition, language, and heritage of its personal, which must be preserved. Without this provision, the group’s voice will fully disappear.

In its observations, the Delhi High Court has mentioned that the Anglo-Indian group has built-in with the Indian inhabitants over the previous 70 years and so the aim of the supply has been served. Isn’t the supply now redundant?

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There has been no such integration, as has been advised, with the group remaining distinct. Initially, the supply for the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes was additionally given for 10 years, with the expectation that these communities will probably be uplifted in that interval. But see what the state of affairs is even after 70 years – they proceed to be sidelined and denied their due. Not even 10 per cent of the SC-ST group receives jobs regardless of 30 years of the implementation of the Mandal Commission.

Does this imply that the supply must exist in perpetuity? The further solicitor normal has mentioned that the group can’t be in comparison with SCs and STs due to the backwardness and social stigma the latter face.

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We don’t need it without end, solely until the time the group is uplifted. By advantage of our European descent, there’s an incorrect notion that the group is privileged. That could have been so in the course of the British Raj, however that has not been the case for many years. Most of the group lives at Railway centres – it’s because most Anglo-Indians labored within the Railways, thereby usually being known as ‘the railway people’. As they retired, they continued to remain round these centres in rented lodging, usually one-room tenements and sometimes dilapidated. Housing has been a giant subject for the group. As far because the assertion that we will’t be in comparison with SC-ST communities – what’s the foundation of this assertion, and what statistics or information have been offered to help this?

There is a 2013 report the Minority Affairs Ministry had commissioned that discovered that the group was educationally and economically backward. In my state, Kerala, Anglo-Indians are labeled as OBC (Other Backward Class).

There is the difficulty of the Census 2011 and the wrong counting of the Anglo-Indian inhabitants that the group has raised repeatedly, together with on this case. What is the difficulty?

According to the 2011 Census, there are 296 Anglo-Indians in India. Whereas our group is approximately four-lakh robust. There are 17 Anglo-Indian organisations from throughout the nation affiliated with us and we carried out our personal census by which we discovered our inhabitants to be 3,46,000. But that is under-reported as we had been unable to reach out to everybody. In the Census, there isn’t any column the place Anglo-Indians can determine themselves. They are sometimes counted amongst Christians. But we’re a definite group, outlined underneath Article 366(2) of the Constitution, and have to be handled as such.

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