Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a meeting of the National Development Council in 2006, “To ensure that minorities, especially Muslims, can benefit equally in development, we need to have a basic plan.” They should have first right to the resource.
Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India grants linguistic and religious minorities the right to establish and operate educational institutions and Article 30(2) of the Constitution states that the Central and State Governments, while granting aid to educational institutions, shall make provision for linguistic education. And there will be no religious discrimination against educational institutions run by minorities. But the question is who are the linguistic and religious minorities? If more than 6000 languages are spoken in the world, can the Indian government declare 6000 linguistic minorities? Similarly, there are more than 1000 religions in the world, so can the Indian government grant religious minority status to all religions in the world? And the bigger question is whether minorities should get the right to open primary schools or should they also get the right to open engineering colleges, medical colleges, law colleges and universities?
Indian constitution is made for Indians not for foreigners and Indian constitution gives right to preserve Indian language, Indian customs, Indian manners, Indian dress, Indian culture, Indian culture, Indian style, Indian tradition and Indian creed, foreign language, foreign customs not , foreign customs, foreign dress, foreign rites, foreign culture, foreign style, foreign tradition and foreign religion. Article 30 mentions minority based on language and community but not for foreign language and foreign community but for protection of Indian language and Indian community ie Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Gujarati, Assamese, Marathi speakers in Uttar Pradesh can have linguistic minority status. But it isn’t. Those who speak French, German, Japanese or Chinese. The same criteria also applies to sect-based minorities such as Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Arya Samaj followers who have started in India can get religious minority status under Article 30 but Jews, Parsis, Christians, Bahais and Muslims such as Believe in foreigners. A sect cannot get minority status.
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Constitution is made up of two words ‘Sama’ and ‘Vidhan’, which means common law, while ‘Bandharan’ means ‘Law’. Just as ‘religion’ has no synonym in the English language, so ‘religion’ is used, similarly ‘constitution’ has no synonym, so constitution is used. Just as religion and religion have different meanings, so constitution and constitution have completely different meanings. The meaning of the Indian Constitution is clear in Articles 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 25, 26, 27. Article 14 states that all Indians are equal and have equal protection of law. Article 15 says that no one shall be discriminated on the basis of caste, creed, language, region, place of birth and Article 16 says that everyone, whether Hindu or Muslim, shall have equal opportunities in employment. Article 19 gives all citizens the right to migrate, reside, settle, take up employment anywhere in the country. A reading of the Constitution makes it clear that equality, equity, harmony, equal opportunity and equal rights are the soul of the Indian Constitution. Some people mislead the society by citing the rights given in Articles 25-30, whereas the beginning of Article 25 – ‘subject to public order, health and morals’ means the right to follow good customs-traditions, but vice, evil practice, black magic, superstition, Prejudice and discrimination are not protected under Article 25. Similarly, all other fundamental rights and directive principles of policy, all of them point to the establishment of a society based on equality and harmony. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention commissions and ministries on the basis of religion.
Articles 29-30 mention the term ‘minority’ but do not define minority. A reading of the Constituent Assembly debate makes it clear that Article 29 gives all Indians the right to preserve the Indian language, Indian customs, Indian customs, Indian dress, Indian culture, Indian culture, Indian religion, Indian style and Indian tradition. Foreign language, foreign customs, foreign customs, foreign dress, foreign rites, foreign culture, foreign style, foreign tradition and foreign religion. So far the central government has amended the constitution 125 times and the Supreme Court’s decision has been overturned 5 times, but still no guidelines have been drawn up to define linguistic and religious minorities and determine them district-wise. Minorities Commission and Ministry of Minority Welfare are needed in countries like Pakistan-Bangladesh where Sharia is enforced and non-Muslims do not have equal rights with Muslims and are severely persecuted and their numbers are constantly decreasing but secular countries like India where every fundamental right It is unconstitutional to create a Minority Commission and a Ministry of Minority Welfare where all are equal and where no discrimination of any kind is possible and to give religious minority status to foreign sects.
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The British introduced the minority-majority divide under the policy of divide and rule. In 1899, the then Census Commissioner also said that Hindus were the majority in India and Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims were minorities, hence the ‘minority’ issue was vigorously debated in the Constituent Assembly. During the debate on reservation in the Constituent Assembly on 26 May 1949, there was general agreement on the question of giving reservation to scheduled castes, but there was much opposition to reservation on religious grounds. Pandit Nehru also said that reservation on the basis of religion, belief, creed was wrong, but by then minority had come to mean Muslim. Tajammul Hussain, a member of the Constituent Assembly asserted that “We are not a minority, the word minority is an invention of the British. The British are gone, so remove the word from the dictionary. There is no minority now. India, we are all Indians.” Tajummul Hussain’s speech was met with thunderous applause in the Constituent Assembly.
Articles 29-30 contain special provisions for linguistic-religious minorities but do not define minorities. The framers of the constitution did not see the need for the creation of a Minority Commission and a Ministry of Minority Welfare, but politics required it, in 1992 the National Commission for Minorities was created, creating a National Commission for Minorities. The definition of minority is also not defined in this Act. Article 2(c) gives the Central Government unlimited power to declare any community as a minority. The process of declaring a caste group as Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is very complicated and can be done only by Parliament (Articles 341-342) but declaring a community as a minority can also be done by Parliament. Govt Babu. By this authority, the Central Government through a notification dated 23 October 1993, declared five communities (Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Parsi) as minorities. A separate minority welfare ministry was launched in 2006 and in 2014 the then UPA government declared the Jain community as a minority ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The biggest question is whether that community can be called a minority, which decides the fate of councilor-chief in nearly 200 districts of India, MPs in nearly 200 Lok Sabha constituencies and wins in nearly 1000 assembly constituencies. It is not an Indian sect but a foreign sect?
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Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a meeting of the National Development Council in 2006, “To ensure that minorities, especially Muslims, can benefit equally in development, we need to have a basic plan.” They should have first right to the resource. Manmohan Singh assumed that ‘minority’ meant Muslims, but even after seven decades of independence, the country has not defined who constitutes a minority. ‘Minority’ is widely misused due to lack of definition. Muslims in Kashmir cannot be called a minority from any point of view but they get all the facilities available to the minorities and the Hindu community which is the real minority is deprived of the facilities. Similar is the situation in Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab.
In 2002, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the TMA Pai case said that linguistic-religious minorities should be identified at the state level and not at the national level, but the Supreme Court’s decision has not been implemented till date. The side effect of this is that in many states the people in the majority are benefiting from the minority. In 2005, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that the concept of minority-majority on religious grounds is very dangerous to the unity and integrity of the country, so the split of minority-majority should be stopped at the earliest.
All citizens have equal rights in the constitution, so it is time to stop the division of society on minority-majority basis, otherwise another solution is to lay down guidelines for the definition of minority and district wise identification of minorities and it should be ensured that Article 29 of the Constitution- Under 30 only those communities which are actually socially, economically and politically ineffective and insignificant in number should be protected.
– Ashwini Upadhyaya
(The author is a Supreme Court advocate and known as PIL Man of India)