SC Directs NCM To Consider A Representation To Include Hindus As Minorities In Eight States Of The Country

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New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said that the decision on minorities in eight states should be taken “preferably, within three months.” The SC has directed the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to “consider” a representation to include Hindus as minorities in eight states of the country.

The direction came when the court heard a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay. According to the petition, Hindus in eight states — Lakshadweep (2.77% of the population according to Census 2011), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75 %), Meghalaya (11.53%), Jammu and Kashmir (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (41.39%) and Punjab (38.49%) — are numerically in minority in terms of population despite being the majority community in the entire country.

To be sure, the petition seems to have got the facts wrong about Manipur, where Hindus account for the majority, although the state also has a Christian population of roughly the same size.

The Centre, the petition alleged, was acting in an arbitrary manner by designating only Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as minorities in the country, not Hindus.

Senior advocate professor Bhim Singh said the issue of minority and majority was settled once and for all by the constituent assembly while drafting the Constitution. “The Constitution framers held that the issue of majority and minority should be viewed nationally and not at state levels. So, there is no question of following any other model once the matter is settled,” he said.

Upadhyay said Muslims are actually the majority in Lakshdweep and J&K and in significant numbers in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. “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 a ‘minority’ under Section 2 (c) of the NCM (National Commission for Minority) Act,” he said in his petition. Therefore, the members of the community are being deprived of their rights under the constitution, he added.

Senior advocate R S Suri said, “Hindus should be given minority community status in these states as it all depends on the population of the community and granting of minority status will also give protection to the Hindus. “

Under section 2 (c) of the National Commission of Minorities Act, 1992, the Centre has notified only five communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis – as “minority.”

 

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