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Who is a minority in India?

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New Delhi, Feb 29: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre on a plea claiming that Hindus are minorities in various states and union territories but are being denied rights enjoyed by other minority groups.

A three member bench issued notice to the ministries of Home Affairs, Law and Justice and Minority Affairs, seeking their stand on the plea which wants the Centre to define the word ''minority'' and frame guidelines for their identification at the state level.

Who is a minority in India?

Last month, the Supreme Court asked the Centre, National Minority Commission and Central Wakf Board to respond to a petition alleging that the government was implementing schemes worth over Rs 4,700 crore to benefit minority communities while denying the same to Hindu trusts and similar institutions in other religious denominations.

Hindus are a minority in these states

The Hindus are minorities in 8 Indian states. Muslims are a majority in Lakshadweep (96.58%) and Kashmir (96%) and there is significant population of the community in Ladakh (44%), Assam (34.20%), West Bengal (27.5%), Kerala (26.60%), Uttar Pradesh (19.30%) and Bihar (18%).

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The petition by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has claimed that " Christians are undoubtedly in majority in Mizoram (87.16%), Nagaland (88.10%), Meghalaya (74.59%) 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 a majority in Punjab and there is significant population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana. But, they are also treated as minority. Buddhists are majority in Ladakh but treated as minority," it added.

The law

Section 2(c) of National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 had granted minority status to five communities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis) based on their national population.

SC's no to plea on minority status on state-wise population

Last week, the top court declined to examine a plea seeking to define the word 'minority' and insisting on framing guidelines to accord the minority status based on population of every state of a particular community.

The court observed the remedy on this case lies elsewhere and not within the ambit of the top court.

The Supreme Court had on December 17, 2019 dismissed a petition asking for minority status to be based on the population at the state level, saying religion must be considered pan-India.

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"States were formed on linguistic basis. That is not the case with religion. What is the problem if a community is majority in Jammu & Kashmir but minority in all other states? In Lakshadweep, Hindus may be 2% but they follow Hinduism which is the majority in India," the court had said.

The problem is the share of minorities in population changes as it goes from the national to state level. It also changes at the district level.

Maharashtra to provide 5% reservation to Muslims in education

Maharashtra government will take a decision on bringing 5% reservation for Muslims in educational institutions soon.

High Court had given its nod to give 5% reservation to Muslims in government educational institutions," said Nawab Malik, according to ANI. "Last government did not take any action on it. So we have announced that we will implement the HC's order in the form of law as soon as possible.

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