Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Dalit attack case ends with settlement
Six men pay $630 in damages after allegations they beat and urinated on the face of a dalit man
- ucanews.com reporter, Chandigarh
- June 4, 2012
Following a village council meeting yesterday involving 1,000 upper-caste men and a number of dalits, the accused men paid 31,000 rupees (US$620) to end the case.
The settlement follows an argument in Rohtak district on May 28 in which the men urinated on Ashok Kumar‚Äôs face during a dispute over eggs and money and then beat the 23-year-old.
Kumar spent five days in a local hospital before filing charges, but the men urged him to settle the case without the involvement of authorities, said dalit rights activist Udit Raj.
‚ÄúIn most cases, pressure is put on people of low-caste ancestry to give up the fight against injustice, and eventually dalits are forced to compromise,‚ÄĚ he said.
The incident comes after a 70-year-old member of India‚Äôs lowest caste and his disabled daughter were set on fire, also in Haryana, in April.
A dalit was lynched on Friday for drawing water from a well in Patna, eastern India, and in January a dalit woman in western Maharashtra was paraded around naked following her marriage to an upper-caste man in two high-profile cases among scores of others across the country, said Raj.
‚ÄúThe mindset of the society is yet to change,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúDalits are handicapped due to poverty, non-cooperation of police in filing cases, inaction by the government and biased judges.‚ÄĚ
Data by the National Crime Records Bureau showed 32,712 cases of crimes perpetrated against India‚Äôs lowest caste in 2010.
A recent report by the National Coalition for Strengthening Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes Act found 34,127 cases in 2010 that fall under legislation designed to protect dalits, of which only 11,682 were registered with the authorities.
The report added that police ‚Äúdiscourage‚ÄĚ dalits from registering cases and the conviction rate remains low.
Christian dalit protest continues
Christian leaders 'fail dalit Christians'