PIL in SC to give minority status to Hindus in 8 states

First Published 2, Nov 2017, 11:35 AM IST
PIL in SC to give minority status to Hindus in 8 states
Highlights
  • The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% and government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindu students citing Notification on Minority Communities dated 23.10.1993 which declares Muslim’s as minority, but not the Hindus.
  • According to the National Commission for Minority Act 1992, which came into effect on May 17, 1993, the minority communities include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.
  • It is to be noted that the Act does not extend to Jammu and Kashmir. 
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A PIL has been filed in the top court by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking minority status for Hindus in 8 states of Inida. These states include Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, J&K, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab. The PIL further states that although they are minority communities in these states, they are deprived of the benefits they get.

According to a report by livelaw.in, he further added, "The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% and government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindu students citing Notification on Minority Communities dated 23.10.1993 which declares Muslim’s as minority, but not the Hindus.” 

According to the National Commission for Minority Act 1992, which came into effect on May 17, 1993, the minority communities include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis. It is to be noted that the Act does not extend to Jammu and Kashmir. 

With reference to this, the PIL stated, "Jains were also added in the list in 2014, but not the Hindus, though they are minority in eight states." It also added, "According to 2011 Census, Hindus are monitory in eight states i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J&K (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%). But, their minority rights are being siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither Central nor the State Governments have notified Hindus as a ‘minority’ under Section 2 (c) of the NCM Act. Therefore, Hindus are being deprived of their basic rights, guaranteed under the Articles 25 to 30."

Upadhyay contests how the majority in the given states are enjoying the benefits meant for minority communities. He says, "Muslims are majority in Lakshdweep (96.20%) and J&K (68.30%) and there is significant population in Assam (34.20%), West Bengal (27.5%), Kerala (26.60%), Uttar Pradesh (19.30%) and Bihar (18%). However, they are enjoying the ‘minority’ status, and the communities which are real minorities, are not getting their legitimate share."

He further justifies his plea by saying, "Christians are majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland and there is significant population in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but they are treated as minority. Likewise, Sikhs are majority in Punjab and there is significant population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana but they are also treated as minority."

Referring to the PM's 15 Points Programme/scheme, he said, "meant for religious and linguistic minorities, it is not being appropriately used, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal."

According to a report by Zee News, the rights of the minority Hindus in these states are being illegally b‌eing "siphoned off" because neither the Central nor the state governments have notified 'Hindus' as minorities under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minority Act. "Therefore, Hindus are being deprived of their basic rights, guaranteed under Articles 25 to 30," said Upadhyay.

Upadhyay, incidentally also happens to be a BJP leader in New Delhi.

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