Chennai: Pointing out that there is no entry as ‘Buddhist Adi Dravidar’ in the Presidential order, the Madras high court has upheld an order of the Erode district collector, rejecting a plea from a B.Ed graduate, who converted from Christianity to Buddhism, seeking a direction to the authorities to issue a community certificate as Buddhist Adi Dravidar to him.
Dismissing the petition filed by G.J.Tamilarasu, a division bench comprising Justices R.Subbiah and R.Pongiappan said, "Buddhism never appreciates the factum of "caste" in its ideologies and preaching, and this is the reason behind Buddhism that has its own significance.
When this being the factor, the petitioner’s claim of conversion to Buddhism, is of little significance. That being the case, the question of issuing community certificate indicating the community/caste as “Buddhist Adi Dravidar” does not arise".
According to petitioner, he was born to Christian parents. For the sake of education, while he was studying in XI standard, he had obtained community certificate as Christian Adi Dravidar. Thereafter he completed his M.A and B.Ed degree in 2007. In 2015, he got himself converted to Buddhism, as he was drawn towards its Doctrine due to its religious customs and practices. The name change was also notified in the TN government gazette. Thereafter, he applied for issuance of community certificate in his name, as belonging to Buddhist Adi Dravidar Community, he added.
Opposing his plea, additional advocate general Narmadha Sampath submitted that there was no such entry as Buddhist Adi Dravidar in the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes orders (Amendment) Act and hence, the petitioner could not be issued with a SC certificate as Buddhist Adi Dravidar, she added.
Concurring with her submission, the bench said the petitioner was mainly staking his claim based on a 2009 GO. On a careful perusal of the said G.O, it was of the opinion that it applies only to persons who have reconverted back to their original community/religion.
The question of reconversion was not the case here, as the petitioner has just converted to Buddhism and not re-converted back to Hinduism.
Admittedly, the ancestors of the petitioner do not belong to Buddhism. If the ancestors of a person belong to Hinduism and converted to Christianity, then if any of the descendants after two or three generation, if reconverted back to Hinduism and on being accepted by the Hinduism community, only then the said GO would be made applicable and that person will get the status of a particular community.
In the instant case, originally the petitioner’s family was professing Hinduism, then they converted to Christianity and the petitioner in particular, got converted to third religion, namely Buddhism.
Therefore, he was skipping from one religion to another, which will not give the benefit of claiming the status of Buddhist Adi Dravidar by issuance of community certificate, the bench added....