- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Minority Communities in India
According to the constitution of India, two types of communities are considered as Minority Communities in the country. First one is Religious Minority community and second one is Linguistic Minority community.
Here is a brief introduction to the religious and linguistic minority communities in India, and their constitutional rights.
Religious Minority Communities in India
Followers of all the religions except Hinduism are considered as In religious minorities on national and state level. This includes following religions:
Apart from above major religious communities in India, there are small numbers of Jews and Bahais.
Religious minorities get special benefits, especially in the field of education and educational institutions. Minority communities can establish their own educational institutions, and can reserve 50% seats of the students for own community members. In addition, they can recruit 100% staff from their own community.
Beside this, scholarships and other help is offered to minority students by Central and state Governments. Business loans with a very low interest is also offered to young entrepreneurs from minority communities. There is a 15 point development program for minorities from the Prime Minister of India.
Jains were not in the list in spite of their small population. But after demand and petitions from the community, they were declared as a minority community by Central Government.
In few states, Hindus are considered as minority community as their population is lesser than the mainstream community there.
Linguistic Minority Communities in India
Linguistic minorities are those who have different first language than the first language of majority of the people in that state. Thus, for example, Gujarati speaking people living in Maharashtra are linguistic minorities in Maharashtra and Marathi speaking people living in Gujarat are linguistic minorities in Gujarat. Such minority communities enjoy some special benefits in that state, especially in educational fields.
The Minority Commission of India
In India, there are Minority commissions on national and state levels. The commissions look into various matters related to minorities.
Central Government of India established The Minority Commission of India under National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. The Commission is a constitutional body and has a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and 5 members.
Besides The Minority Commission of India, there are State Minority Commissions in following states of India: Andhra Pradesh , Assam , Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi , Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Contribution of Religious Minorities in Nation Building
The religious minorities have contributed a lot in nation building. This contribution is very higher than their population. I would like to give detailed account of the contribution in another article. Just to mention here, I would like to say that the Jains and Parasis have worked a lot in Industrialization of India and they have also worked for spread of education. Christians have worked in the fields of education and humanitarian services. Sikhs have contributed a lot in the fields of defense, agriculture and business. Muslims also have contributes a lot in various fields, especially film Industry, music etc.
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