Protection of minorities
- March 24, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Protection of minorities
Section :Right Issues
A group of senior journalists from all over India issued a collective appeal to constitutional institutions on Wednesday to step in and discharge their mandate in the wake of “attacks” on India’s religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Who is a minority?
The term “Minority” is not defined in the Indian Constitution. However, the Constitution recognises religious and linguistic minorities.
The basic ground for a community to be nominated as a religious minority is the numerical strength of the community. For example, in India, Hindus are the majority community. As India is a multi-religious country, it becomes important for the government to conserve and protect the religious minorities of the country.
Section 2, clause (c) of the National Commission of Minorities Act, declares six communities as minority communities. They are:
- Jains and
- Zoroastrians (Parsis)
- Under this act, the government formed the National Commission for Minorities which consist of Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and five Members.
- The five Members including the Chairperson shall be from amongst the minority communities.
- The commission monitors the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures.
- It also makes recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments.
Mechanisms to safeguard minorities in India:
|Constitutional Provisions||Role of Judiciary||Laws/welfare schemes||International efforts|
|1. Article 29: It provides that any section of the citizens residing in any part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.
It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic minorities.
2. Article 30: All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities (religious or linguistic) and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).
3. Article 350-B: Originally, the Constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities. However, the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 inserted Article 350-B in the Constitution.
It provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.
It would be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.
|1. The Centre’s notification which identifies Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains as minorities at the national level is against the judgement of TMA Pai Foundation case, 2002.
2. The Supreme Court in the TMA Pai Foundation case held that the unit of determining religious and linguistic minority would be ‘State’. It also authorised the state government to regulate minority educational institutions.
|1. Seekhoaur Kamao:
The objective of the scheme is to allow urban and rural livelihoods to improve for inclusive growth by providing skill to the minority communities who do not possess any skill.
2. Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD):
To conserve traditional arts/crafts of our Country and for building capacity of traditional artisans and craftsmen belonging to minority communities, a scheme namely USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) has been approved.
Under the scheme girls from minority communities are being imparted three-month skill development training in seven identified sectors relevant to the region. These include training in saffron processing, food processing, embroidery, computers IT (both software and hardware), Tourism/hospitality, electronics and plumbing.
‘NaiRoshni’ for Leadership Development of Minority Women with an aim to empower and instill confidence in women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and intermediaries at all levels.
4. “HunarHaat” (Skill Haat):
An exhibition of handicrafts, embroidery etc made by the artisans from the Minority Communities at the India International Trade Fair.
|Adoption of the “Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” by the United Nations in 1992.|