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Minority Communities in India

Updated on November 4, 2017
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Mahaveer Sanglikar is a famous Numerologist, Motivator and Author from Pune, 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.

Ahimsa Wheel
Ahimsa Wheel

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:

Muslims

Christians

Sikhs

Buddhists

Jains

Parsis

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. 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.

Muslims

Muslim community is the biggest minority community in India, comprising 14.23% of total population of India according to 2011 census of India. They are found various fields including politics, film industry, business and industry, armed forces, sports etc. A major part of this community is economically and educationally backward. However, majority is of middle class people in this community.

Famous Muslims of India includes Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (One of the great leaders in freedom movement), APJ Abdul Kalam (Scientist and former President of India), Salim Ali (ornithologist and naturalist), Dilip Kumar, Nasaruddin Shah, Salman Khan, Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan (all film actors), Havaldar Abdul Hamid (Recipient of Paramvir Chakra, the highest Gallantry Award in Armed Forces), Azim Premji (Industrialist, philanthropist and one of the richest persons in India) and many more. .

APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India.
APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

Christians

Christians is the second largest minority community in India. Their population is 2.3% in the total population of India, according to 2011 Census. They are spread all over India, but concentrated in North Eastern State, Kerala, Goa etc. They are mostly middle class and lower middle class people. Like Muslims, they are found in various fields of life, but they are best known for their work in educational and healthcare field.

The famous Christians of India includes Pandita Ramabai (Missionary), Mother Teresa (Missionary, Humanitarian), Sonia Gandhi (Politician), Mahesh Bhupati (Tennis Player), John Abraham (Actor) etc.

Man Mohan Singh, Former Prime Minister of India.
Man Mohan Singh, Former Prime Minister of India.

Sikhs

Sikhs are known as brave people. They are spread all over India, but concentrated in the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir. They are largely in business & Industry, Farming, Armed Forces, Police etc.

Famous Sikhs include Bhagat Singh (Revolutionary), Gyani Zail Singh (Former President of India), Manmohan Singh (Former Prime Minister of India), Milkha Sigh (Athlete), Abhinav Bindra (Olympian), Dara Singh (Wrestler & Actor), Dharmendra, Sunny Deol (Actors)

Minority Sikhs are well known as warriors
Minority Sikhs are well known as warriors | Source

Buddhists

There are two types of Buddhists in India. One is Ancient Buddhists who are found mainly in North Easter states and Ladakh. The other type is the Neo-Buddhists which are mainly the Dalits who adopted Buddhism. They are spread all over India.

The most famous Indian Buddhists include Rahul Sankrutyayan and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Jains

It is a micro-minority community, mere 0.37% in the total population of India. But the is very effective. Mostly they are in Trade, Business and Industry, as well as in the education field, administration, politics and social welfare.

The famous Jains include Premchand Roychand (Founder, Mumbai Stock Exchange), V. Shantaram (One of the pioneers of Indian film industry), Karmveer Bhaurao Patil (Educationalist), Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Scientist, founder of ISRO -Indian Space Research Organization), Osho.

More about Jains: The Structure of Jain Community

Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, Educationalist
Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, Educationalist

Parsis

Parsis have a very small population in India. They are only few thousands. But their contribution to the development of India is tremendous. They have given great freedom fighters, industrialists, philanthropists, army officers, professionals, educationalist etc.

Some of the well known Parsis include Dadabhai Nauroji, Madama Kama (Leader of freedom movement), Jamshedji Tata, JRD Tata (Industrialists), Homi Bhabha, Homi Sethna (Nuclear Scientist), Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (Chief of Army Staff, who was the greatest hero of 1971 Bangla Desh liberation war).

You may like to read more about this community at: The Parsi Community of India

Homi Bhabha: Indian Nuclear Scientist
Homi Bhabha: Indian Nuclear Scientist | Source

© 2011 Mahaveer Sanglikar

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