NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi led government refuses to accept Hindus as minorities in ten states. However, very cleverly the centre told the Apex Court that states where Hindus are in less numbers, can declare them as minority within their own territories. The states are to set up institutions and administer the same as their own, it responses added.
Citing the reasons “the centre said that States can also declare a religious or linguistic group as a minority community within its territory, as Maharashtra did in case of Jews in 2016, Karnataka notified Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Tulu, Lamani, Hindi, Konkani, and Gujrati languages as minority languages over there.
Earlier in February this year, the Supreme Court has pulled up the Centre for not taking a stand on a plea seeking that minority status of the Hindu community and imposed fine of Rs: 7500.”
The response came in the light of PIL filled by Ashwini Upadhyay, a senior member of the bar, who is also associated with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) who often squeezes the government on burning issues. In his plea, Ashwini Upadhyay sought a direction to the Centre to lay down guidelines for identification of minorities at the state level saying the Hindus are in minority in 10 states and are not able to avail the benefits of schemes meant for minorities.
The states Laddakh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur have less numbers of Hindus, and they need to be given minority’s status in their respective states.
Ashwini Upadhyay had challenged the validity of section 2(f) of the National Commission for Minority Education Institution Act, 2004 alleging that it gives unbridled power to the Centre and termed it “manifestly arbitrary, irrational, and offending”.
The Section 2(f) of the NCMEI Act empowers the Centre to identify and notify minority communities in India. However, the Ministry of Minority Affairs in its response said, “It is submitted that the State governments can also declare a religious or linguistic community as a minority community within the said state.”