A Delhi BJP leader filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking a grant of minority status to Hindus in eight states of the country.
According to a Financial Express report, advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought minority status for Hindus in eight states where the community’s population has fallen, according to the 2011 Census — Lakshadweep (2.5 percent), Mizoram (2.75 percent), Nagaland (8.75 percent), Meghalaya (11.53 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (28.44 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (29 percent), Manipur (31.39 percent) and Punjab (38.40 percent).
Upadhyay said Hindus are being deprived of their minority rights illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population in these states, as neither the central nor the state governments have notified them as a ‘minority’ under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
“Christians are a majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland, and there is a significant population in of Christians in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as well. But they are still treated as a minority. Likewise, Sikhs are a majority in Punjab and there is a significant Sikh population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana, but they are also treated as a minority,” the petition read.
According to a report in The Tribune, Upadhyay said, “Their (Hindus) minority rights are being siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither central nor the state governments have notified Hindus as a ‘minority’ under Section 2 (c) of the NCM Act. Therefore, Hindus are being deprived of their basic rights guaranteed under articles 25 to 30 of the Constitution.”
The petition also poses a challenge to a central government notification of 23 October,1993, under which five communities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis — were notified as minority communities.
Upadhyay contended that Hindus were treated as a majority in these states despite being a minority in the population. “The Union government offered 20,000 scholarships in the field of technical education for minority students. In Jammu and Kashmir, Muslims are 68.3 percent and the government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindus citing notification on minority communities dated 23 October, 1993, which declares Muslims as a minority, but not the Hindus,” the Tribune report quoted him as saying.