Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court demanding minority status for Hindus in a total of eight states. The PIL states that the rights of Hindus in these states are siphoned off “illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither Central nor the state governments have notified Hindus as a ‘minority’ under Section 2(c) of National Commission for Minority Act. Therefore, Hindus are being deprived of their basic rights, guaranteed under Articles 25 to 30.”
The PIL demands that Hindus must be allowed to avail the minority benefits.
It also quotes the 2011 Census and says that Hindus are minority in eight states i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J&K (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%).”
In the PIL, it is stated that Muslims are majority in Lakshadweep (96.20%) and Jammu and Kashmir (68.30%) and that they enjoy a robust population in Assam (34.20%), West Bengal (27.5%), Kerala (26.60%), Uttar Pradesh (19.30%) and Bihar (18%) but still they are enjoying the ‘minority’ status while the real minorities are not getting their legitimate share.
On Christians, the PIL states that they are a majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland and that there is significant population in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but they are enjoying minority benefits while Sikhs who are a majority in Punjab with significant population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana are also treated as minority.
The PIL also states that the “Jains were also added in the list in 2014, but not the Hindus, though they are minority in eight states.”
This petition also states that “the Prime Minister’s 15 Points Programme/scheme meant for religious and linguistic minorities is not being appropriately used, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.”