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Human Rights Of Minorities In India

An Ethnic group is a collection of people who share a culture, a language a set of values and customs. Some of the ethnic groups banded together in the 19th century and declared themselves nation states over the land they inhibited. Some ethnic groups living in the same.

Regions are quite different from one another and did not want to adopt the language cultural traditions of the newly formed nation. However, some groups were compelled to change their nationalities as a result of shifting state borders. The culture of these communities could differ from those of the majority. There are many different religions, civilizations, traditions, and heritages throughout India. There are 8 major religions, each with a unique history and culture.

There are 22 official languages and more than 800 dialects is spoken from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Minority groups are acknowledged for their differences in close-knit Democratic society like India and although they have minority rights in the community, joining a minority group is a personal decision.

The Latin Word "minor" is the root of the word minority, which is combined with it suffix to signify "little" in number." As reported by the United Nations. Minorities are any group or community that is under represented in society on account of its social, political or economic standing. The term "minority" is not specified anywhere in the Indian constitution.

Historical Background Behind The Protection Of Minority Rights Under The Constitution
In the past, Muslim, Anglo-Indian, Christian, and other minority populations were created as a result of invasions into ancient and medieval India. Due to the movement of groups fearing releases persecution such as Parsis, the Divide and Rule strategy of the British colonial power, etc. India became a melting pot of minorities.

The objective resolution introduced by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 13, 1946, was anonymously approved by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947. And it decided to adopt a safeguard mechanism for the countries, tribal areas, underprivileged backward classes, and minority communities. The special Statutes Relating to Minorities "section of part XIV, including articles 292-301, was created by the constitutional Drafting Committee in 1948 and contained several provisions and legislations.

Minorities were given no special treatment other than those related to their culture and education after significant changes were made to of minorities. The constitution which was approved by India's Constituent assembly in November 1949 and entered into force on January 26, 1950, did not, as originally intended, reserve seats in legislative body or public employment for religious minorities. Religious minorities were exempt from group-preference rules because the constituent assembly believed that such protections were only effective for advancing the disadvantages and not for preserving cultural diversity.

Minorities experienced a variety of issues, including issues with getting protection, issues with racial tensions and riots, issues with a lack of representations in the political and civil services, and issues with separatist. Failure to uphold secularism and issues with the implementation of an unified civil code are further issues. In India, minority rights guard against discrimination based on a person's ethnicity, culture, language, or religion.

Minority members must be able to use their own names, learn and utilise their native tongues, and freely express their identity. Therefore, minority rights guarantee non-discrimination, Protection from violence based on identity, equality before the law, participation in political and public life, and opportunities for cross-border and intrastate collaboration with other communities and organizations.

Minority rights are a natural component of human rights. They encourage respect for variety and toleration. They want to make sure that minorities and majorities coexist peacefully and work together to create a brighter future.

Articles under constitution of India relating to the protection of minority rights and Additional Safeguards:
  • Article 14:
    people's right to 'equality before the law' and 'equal protection of laws'.
  • Article 15 (1) & (2):
    Prohibition of discrimination against citizens on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • 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 rights of minorities in India to conserve the same. Article 29 is applied to both minorities (religious minorities in India and Linguistic minorities in India ) and also the majority. It also includes rights of minorities in India to agitate for the protection of language. Hence political speech with this are ok.
  • Article 30:
    All minorities shall have the rights of minorities in India to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Article 30 recognizes only religious minorities in India (not the majority). It includes the rights of minorities in India to impart education to their children in their own language.
  • Article 350-B:
    Originally, the constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special Officer for Linguistic minorities in India. However, the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 inserted Article 350-B in the constitution.

Minority Commission

The "Minorities Commission" aimed to safeguard and protect the interests of the minorities, was set up by the government of India in January. 1978 This commission become a statuary body and was renamed as the "National Commission For Minorities" with the enactment of National Commission for Minorities act, 1992 Under section 2(C) of this act, government of India issued a wide notification and declare 5 communities as minor communities namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis.

The Sachar Committee
In 2005 Prime Minister formed a high-level Committee to assess the social, economic, and educational status of Muslims in India. The committee also known as Sachar Committee. The committee published its report in 2006 highlighted the poor socio-economic condition of Muslims in comparison to general population.

Being alarmed by this Committee Government stepped up its commitment towards minority to address the problem of inequality, deprivation and exclusion among the Muslims in the 11th five-year plan. This was undertaken through giving attention towards educational and economic empowerment, strengthening of minority institutions, promoting madrasas.

The Sachar Committee report provides details of the Socio-economic and cultural status of Muslims in India.
It Includes the following:
  • 25% Muslim Children in the 6-14 age group have either ever attended school or dropped out.
  • Only out of 25 undergraduate and 50 postgraduates are Muslims in premier College.
  • Workforce participation among Muslim Women is very Low that is Only 25% which is in compared to Hindu women is very low whose workforce participation is approx. 80%.
  • Only about 27% of the Muslims workers in urban area are engaged in regular work as compared to 40% SC/ST, 36% OBC, and 49% Hindu upper caste workers.
  • The share of Muslim Male Workers engaged in street wending is 12% as compared to National average of street wending engaged worker is less than 8%.
  • The share of Muslim among defence personnel is only 4% which is very low.

The Sachar committee report made several recommendations to the government to Improve the poor socio-economic status of Muslims. Based on the recommendation's government started many educationally, socially, economically benefited schemes for minority.

Rang Nath Mishra commission On Minorities:
In October 2004 Government of India appointed The Justice rang Nath Mishra Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities. The commission has presented its report and made many recommendations to the centre for providing reservation to Muslims, Scheduled Caste, and Other backward classes. In Government Jobs. The commission Submitted its final report to the government in may 2007.

It's main recommendations are:
  • The Commission for Minority Educational Institutions set up under the National make it broad based in its composition, powers, functions, and responsibilities. Further it recommended that it should work as the watchdog for enforcement of all aspects of minorities educational rights.
  • Establishment of a national level Coordination Committee Consisting of representative of all the nationalised banks and other financial institutions to work under the RBI for monitoring credit which is flow to minorities.
  • Ten percent of central government jobs should be reserved for Muslims and 5 for other minorities.
  • Fifteen Percent of posts in all cadres and grades should be reserved under central government for minorities.
  • Ten percent reservations for Muslims and 5 percent for other Minorities should be reserved in all government schemes like the MNREGA etc.

Multi Sectoral Development Programme:
In addition to existing educational schemes for minorities, a special scheme launched called Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP), in rural and semi -rural area of 90 minorities concentrated districts, during the year 2008-09. These are educationally benefited scheme that is pre-matric scholarship scheme, post-matric scholarship scheme, Merit-cum -means scholarship scheme, Maulana Azad National Fellowship and Allied scheme etc.

The larger aim of the programme is to improve the socio-economic and basic facilities of life for improving the quality of life and reduces the imbalances in minority concentration districts.

Ministry of Minority Affairs
  • The ministry of Minority Affairs is entrusted with the work related to the improvement of the socio-economic condition of the minority communities through affirmative action and inclusive development efforts so that every citizen an equal opportunity to participate actively in building a vibrant nation.
  • This Ministry implements various schemes with the objective to increase the participation of the disadvantaged/underprivileged children/candidates of notified minority communities to improve the level of education, participation in employment, skill, and entrepreneurship development, so that they can compete with majority and able to stand in society.

National commission for Minorities (NCM)
  • Ministry of home affairs established the National Minorities Commission of India in a resolution on January 12, 1978. Once the National Commission for Minorities Act was enacted in 1992, the Minorities commission become a statuary body and was renamed as National Commission for Minorities (NCM).
  • The Act defines a minority as ''a community notified as such by central government.
  • Evaluate the progress of the development of minorities under the union and states.
  • It makes recommendations for the implementation of protective safeguards for the minorities
  • Under these 6 religious minorities community are notified in India.
Schemes Implemented for the welfare of Minorities:
Educational Empowerment:
  • Scholarship Schemes- Pre-Matric Scholarship, Post-Matric Scholarship and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship.
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme- Provides financial helps to 6 notified minor communities student to pursue M.Phil. and Ph.D. This scheme covers all university which is recognized under UGC. This scheme is Implemented by UGC which is implemented by nodal agency.
  • Padho Pardesh- As the name suggest Pardesh means going outside country so, this scheme is for the minority to go overseas for studies.
  • Naya Savera- This scheme is for the minorities students who want to study in coaching can apply for this for the preparation of competitive exams.
  • Nai Udaan- This scheme helps the minority students in clearing prelims conducted by UPSC/SSC, etc.

Economic Empowerment:
  • PM VIKAS - Scheme for skill development of minority by the government of India.
  • Seekho aur Kamao- The scheme for skill development of minorities.
  • USTAAD- Upgrading the skills of minorities in Traditional arts and crafts so that they can easily survive their life by showing their skill in Market.

There are many other initiatives which is taken by our various prime minister to uplift minorities some are:
  1. Availability of ICDS service that is integrated child development service which aims at providing nutrition to lactating mothers and pregnant women.
  2. Modernising Madarsa education - in this institution children of minority community studies.
  3. Government provided training in technical sector so that they can compete in the market.
  4. Enhanced credit support for economic activities to minorities for that government set up NMDFC in 1994.

Reservation In Favour Of Minority Community
Reservation is a system of affirmative action by government of India that provides representation to historically backward classes in education, employment, government schemes, health, insurance, scholarships, and politics.

So that they can represent themselves in society and lives a good life. For the advancement of their life.

In India reservation is provided in:
  1. Government educational institutions (like NLUs, IITs, IIMs etc) - this is given under article 15(4), (5) and (6
  2. Government Jobs (like IAS, Ips etc.) this is given under article 16(4) and (6)
  3. Legislatures (parliament and State Legislatures) this is given under article 334
  4. Local government seats reserved for minority community.

Reservation Quota In India For Minority In Government Jobs
  27 15 7.5
Total 49.5
So, our governments provide opportunity for our minority to uplift by providing reservation also they not only fight for job in 50 percent but they can also fight in another 50 percent if they get that merit. Basically, this reservation not merely for jobs of minority but to take part in decision making process of state. The Indian government should do more than reservation for upliftment of minority in real sense.

Tension For Minority In Contemporary India
Since in our country the largest minority group is Muslim, which is badly affected by our present government decision and they are targeted by present BJP government such as they faced discrimination, prejudice, and violence, despite constitutional protections.

BJP pursued a Hindu nationalist agenda since elected in 2014. Since in up cm yogi has adopt the policy of bulldozer which is more inclined towards the Islam for their destruction, so they fill that the present government has not given importance to them and sometime they affect the peace in society. Roosevelt said that to maintain democracy in a country minority should be equally respected as majority. Minority faced the problem of identity which is much important to live with dignity.

They feel the problem of security, they feel backwardness in society Sachar committee which was constituted in 2005 has placed Muslims below the SC and ST. they faced problem of representation in parliament and bureaucracy also as Muslim population constituted Approx 15% of Indian population but his representation in parliament is only 5 % and Hindu community MP consist approx. 91% . and in Bureaucracy Muslims are only 2.5% which is very less.

All these above problems generate the deficit of trust between the minorities Community, which is harmful for the Unity and Integrity of the Country.

In India In spite of lot of provisions and schemes there is negligible improvement in condition of Minority, so government should take care of them more and should form committee which at regular interval check the condition of minority so they can put more effort. If minority feel that they are not much taken into consideration then this is harmful for country integration and unity and this disrupt the sense of brotherhood.

They should support to institutions which promote minorities education by financially and provide best faculty to teach in these institutions.

The government should Increase the budget for Minorities. In 2021 The budget for minorities Accounts for 0.14% of the total union budget Whereas religious minorities population in our country is Approx 21 % of the total populations. Government should increase the participation of minority in legislature so that they can work more for their community because if they are in legislatures in more number then they may pay attention more than the other community legislators.

In India all political parties followed practice of secular on paper but none of show this in reality so political party also take into consideration this matter and take the participation of more minority members in their party then, they can believe that we are the important in forming a government and this is good for democracy to take the part in politics more by minority people.

The government of India should:
  • Not impose Hindu personal law on Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain communities, but instead provide them with a provision of personal status law as per their distinct religious beliefs and practice.
  • Adopt the international convention on elimination of All forms of racial Discrimination.
  • Implement the recommendation of commission for religious and linguistic minorities.
  • Reform the anti- conversion law and appreciate that both conversion and reconversion b use of fraud, force, or allurement are equally bad.
  • The right to establish and administer educational Institutions is not absolute so, there can be regulatory measures for ensuring educational character and standards and maintaining academic excellence.
In a free democracy like India, Minorities should never feel oppressed to provide equality and unity among citizens, as there is a wide difference in Contemporary India between minority and majority so, minority should be provided with special rights so that they can develop their personality to maximum level. In accordance to this view in our constitution various articles are provided so that they can compete with majority.

Other than this our government forms minority minister so that they can specifically put their attention on minority and make some good law for them. Indian government started many schemes socio, economic, educationally, politically motivated scheme for their upliftment so that country can run peacefully because if these schemes were not run then they always feel backward and this is harmful for our democracy, this can disrupt country unity, integrity, and sovereignty.

The focus of government should be that there should not create any communal harmony by this minority suffers a lot and this is harmful for democratic country. Article 29 and 30 contains the guarantee to protect religious and linguistic minorities from discrimination and to allow them to preserve their linguistic and cultural characteristics.

Every in the name of religion thousands of people were killed and their religious places are damaged. Our constitution Guarantees full fledge protection and safeguards to minorities but it is just on paper and people also consider it just a written statement. So government should focus more on this to maintain the brotherhood in our country and democracy for long time.

  • Prakash Mishra (2012). Human Rights In India. New Delhi: Cyber Tech Publication.

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