A sub-committee set up by the National Commission for Minorities will meet on June 14 to discuss whether Hindus can be granted minority status in seven states and one Union Territory in the country.
The three-member sub-committee was formed last year, based on a plea by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyaya in the Supreme Court for granting minority status to Hindus. The court, however, rejected his petition in November, and asked him to approach the minorities commission. Subsequently, the minorities panel gave the sub-committee three months to file its report in the matter.
Upadhyay has been invited to take part in the sub-committee meeting on June 14 so that the “points made by the petitioner can be heard in detail”, National Commission for Minorities Chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi told News18.
Rizvi also said that the commission, in an interim report, had said that Hindus cannot be granted minority status at the national level due to Constitutional restrictions. “Since the Constitution mandates minority status to be granted to only six communities, there can be no further alteration in that,” Rizvi said. “However, states are at liberty to implement their own minority classification.”
The six communities to which the Constitution grants minority status are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jains. According to the 2011 Census, Hindus are in a minority in Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Punjab.