<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition seeking a notification for Hindus to be classified as minority in eight states has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC). The public interest litigation (PIL), filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, states that Hindus in these eight states have been denied their basic rights.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.”The Union government offers 20,000 scholarships in the field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, 68.30 % people are Muslims. The government has allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to the Muslim students but none to Hindu students,” the petition further said.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 petition also stated that Muslims were in majority in Lakshdweep (96.20 %) and J&K (68.30 %), and there was a significant Muslim population in Assam (34.20 %), West Bengal (27.5 %), Kerala (26.60 %), Uttar Pradesh (19.30 %), and Bihar (18 %).”They are, however, enjoying the minority status, and the communities that are the real minorities are not getting their legitimate share because of non-identification and non-notification of minorities at the state level, thereby jeopardising their basic rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution,” the petition stated.It added: “Christians are in majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland and there is a significant Christian population in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but they are treated as minority. Likewise, Sikhs are in majority in Punjab and there is a significant Sikh population in Delhi, Chandigarh, and Haryana but they are also treated as minority.”Earlier this year, advocate Ankur Sharma had filed a similar petition in the top court, seeking establishment of a Minorities Commission in J&K. At a previous hearing in March, the Apex Court had directed the state and the Centre to sit and deliberate on the issue together. Then in August, the Apex Court expressed its displeasure after J&K submitted that it was unable to find time to meet with the Centre on the issue.In its affidavit, which they later withdrew, J&K had cited the Amarnath Yatra, its “fragile law and order situation”, along with peculiar security issues as the reasons behind failing to schedule meetings with the Centre.On May 1, the Centre informed the court that a six-member committee, headed by the Union Secretary, Minority Affairs, had been formed to deliberate on the issue. The committee was mandated to look into problems faced by minorities (by number) in J&K, which has a majority Muslim population.However, Appeared for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that discussions for to set up the Minority Commission were taking place at various levels. In response, the court directed the state and the Centre to “deal with the contentious issue jointly,” since it was “very very important issue.”

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Minority status for Hindus in 8 states: PIL