Indian Catholic News

Supreme Court asks panel to define ‘minority’

The petition said despite Hindus being a minority in several states, they do not get the concessions available to religious minorities.

The Supreme Court of India. (File Photo: IANS)
New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court has asked National Commission for Minorities to consider a demand to include Hindus as a minority religious group in eights states of India, where people of other religions dominate the population.

The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, which said Hindus are a minority in
Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Punjab.

Sikhs dominate the population of Punjab, while Christians are a majority in Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya. Muslims form majority in Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir, according to 2011 censuses.

However, the petition seems to have got its facts wrong about Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Both Christians and Hindus from some 30 percent each in Arunachal, while in Manipur they both form 41 percent each, according to census records.

The petition said despite Hindus being a minority in several states, the government consider only Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as minorities all across the country.

“Hindus are real minority. But, their minority rights are being siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to majority population because Central Government has not notified them as ‘minority’, the petition said, according to report in the Hindustan Times.

The petition’s argument is that the erroneous definition of minorities has worked against rights of Hindus.

“The government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% but government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students but none to Hindus,” it said.

Source: Hindustan Times

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