Can Hindus be given minority status, SC asks NCM to examine

The Time of India, Feb. 12, 2019 writes the following from New Delhi, under the caption,
“Can Hindus be given minority status, SC asks NCM to examine”:

Can Hindus in states where they are numerical minorities avail of welfare benefits
meant for minority communities? And should minority status be set at the state rather than national level?

An apex court bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that it was for
the NCM to first take a call on the issue and asked the commission to take a view on a
representation filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

“Instead of entertaining the present writ petition, we are of the view that at this stage
the NCM should be asked to consider the representation dated Nov. 17, 2017, filed by the petitioner and pass appropriate orders thereon. The court would expect the commission to take a decision in the matter as early as possible, preferably within three months,” it said.

According to 2011 Census, Hindus are minority in eight states: Lakshadweep (2.5%),
Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), Jammu & Kashmir (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%). But their minority rights are being siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population belonging to other communities as neither central nor state governments have
notified Hindus as a minority under National Commission for Minority Act,” the petition
said.

SC had earlier refused to entertain Upadhyay’s petition seeking minority status for
Hindus in eight states and asked him to approach and raise the issue before NCM. The
petitioner filed a representation before the commission but approached SC after getting
no response from the commission.

The petitioner contended that Hindus were outnumbered by people from other religions in seven states and one UT. It pleaded that Hindus be granted the minority status to pave the way for them to avail of welfare schemes meant for minorities.

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