Hindus Can Get Minority Status in Some States:

State governments can consider granting Hindus the status of “minority” in their jurisdictions if the community is not in the majority within those jurisdictions, the Centre has told the Supreme Court, in order to allow them to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice in accordance with the rights guaranteed to minorities under the Constitution.

According to an affidavit filed by the Union government, because the subject of identification of minority communities is included in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, both the Centre and the states have the authority to legislate to grant minority status to certain religious or linguistic communities that are in the minority in the country or a particular state.

Upadhyay had stated that, despite the fact that followers of Hinduism, Judaism, and Bahaism are minorities in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, and Punjab, the majority communities in these states are treated as’minorities’ due to their national population percentage, and they monopolise the benefits that should go to the
The Centre has so far used its constitutional authority to designate Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains as national minorities in the country, with Muslims being the most numerous.

It did, however, indicate that governments have the authority to proclaim a group to be a linguistic or religious minority if they so desired.

“To provide an example, the government of Maharashtra has designated ‘Jews’ as a minority group inside the state. The government of Karnataka has designated Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Tulu, Lamani (Lambadi), Hindi, Konkani, and Gujarati languages as minority languages in the state, according to the Centre for Minority Languages in the United States.

In addition, it stated that governments had the authority to recognise institutions founded by smaller linguistic or religious groups as’minority institutions’ within their territorial borders. On February 13, 2020, the Karnataka government recognised Telugu private unaided schools as’minority’ schools, according to a release from the state.

“Religious and linguistic minorities are spread throughout the country and are not related to or restricted to any single state or union territory of India,” the Centre stated, indicating that the issue of identification of religious and linguistic minorities cannot be confined to a single state or union territory of India. India is a nation with a number of distinguishing traits. “A religious group that is in the majority in one state could be in the minority in another.”

In Short:

The Centre has urged the Supreme Court that states might explore giving Hindus ‘minority’ status if the group is not majority in their jurisdictions, so they can construct and operate educational institutions of their choosing.

According to the Union government’s affidavit, the Concurrent List of the Constitution empowers both the Centre and the states to legislate to provide minority status to religious or linguistic groups that are in minority in the nation or a state.

The dominant populations in these states are recognised as ‘minority’ according to their national population share and thus corner the advantages which should flow to the true minorities in them.
The Centre has designated Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains as minorities in the nation. But it noted governments might proclaim a population a linguistic or religious minority.

The Centre said state legislatures should consider declaring these religious groups and communities minorities to empower them to construct and govern educational institutions of their choosing. ‘Minority’ communities may be declared by state governments.

“For example, the Maharashtra government declared ‘Jews’ a minority group. ”The state government of Karnataka has declared Urdu, Telugu and Tamil as minority languages,” the Centre stated.
It claimed governments might designate smaller linguistic or religious minorities’ organisations as “minority institutions” inside their borders. Announcing Telugu private unaided schools as ‘minority’ schools on February 13, 2020, it stated.

“Religious and linguistic minorities are dispersed all throughout the nation and are not connected or confined to any particular state/UT of India,” the Centre said. India is a nation unlike any other. A religious minority in one state may be a majority in another.”

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