Minority Status Of Religious And Linguistic Communities:
Every person in India can be a minority in one State or the other. Minority status of religious and linguistic communities is “State-dependent”, the Supreme Court said.
- A Marathi can be a minority outside his home State e.g. Maharashtra. Similarly, a Kannada-speaking person may be in minority in States other than Karnataka.
- The court was hearing a petition complaining that followers of Judaism, Bahaism and Hinduism, who are the real minorities in Ladakh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur, cannot establish and administer educational institutions of their choice because of non-identification of ‘minority’ at the State level.
- But the court indicated that a religious or linguistic community which is a minority in a particular State, can inherently claim protection and the right to administer and run its own educational institutions under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
- The petition has argued that the recognition of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis nationally by the Centre as ‘minorities’ ignored the fact that religious communities such as Hindus were “socially, economically, politically non-dominant and numerically inferior” in several States.