The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on Wednesday formed a three-member Committee to study the matter regarding demands seeking minority status to Hindus in eight states where their population is less than 50%.
On Sunday, the commission had sought the the Law Commission’s opinion on the issue.
Last month, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court stating that Hindus in these eight states have been denied their basic rights. The petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a lawyer and a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), sought minority status for Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Lakshdweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
“According to the 2011 Census, Hindus are in monitory in eight states — Lakshadweep (2.5 %), Mizoram (2.75 %), Nagaland (8.75 %), Meghalaya (11.53 %), J&K (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 because neither the Central nor the state governments have notified Hindus as a minority under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act,” the petition stated.
As per a 1993 notification by the Centre, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis were granted minority status in India, and Jains were added to the list in 2014.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for the abolition of the minority status in the country altogether.
“The Supreme Court has observed in a case pertaining to the status of Jains as minority that minoritism must be done away with. In India, we must have equal rights according to our Constitutional status as citizens. We warn the Minority Commission that nothing like this must happen, or we shall campaign for the commission to be scrapped. The Congress is trying to divide the Indian society once more,” VHP’s international joint general secretary Surendra Jain said last month.