Hindus can be granted minority status in 9 States : Centre to SC

This Issue has come up almost 75 years after Independence !

New Delhi – ‘Any religious or linguistic community including Hindus can be declared a ‘minority community’ by the State Government’, stated an affidavit submitted by the Central Government to the Supreme Court. BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay filed a petition wanting the SC to direct the Centre to lay down guidelines for identification of minorities at the State level.

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs asked whether followers of Hinduism, Judaism, Bahaism, and other religions could set up educational institutions of their choice in the respective States ? Also, can they be identified as a minority in the State ? This can be considered at the State level. The Centre gave the example of Maharashtra where Jews were declared a minority. Similarly, Karnataka Government notified Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Tulu, Lamani, Hindi, Gujarati and Konkani as linguistic minorities in the State.

Advocate Upadhyay has challenged the validity of Section 2 (f) of the National Institute of Minority Education Act, 2004. He alleged; this clause gives unlimited powers to the Centre. Article 2 (f) empowers the Centre to identify and notify minority communities in India.

Hindus are minorities in 9 out of 28 States in India

Advocate Upadhyay in his petition has said that although there are Hindu minorities in 9 States, they do not get the benefit of services, schemes, etc. meant for the minorities.