Minorities

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
Samadhaan
  • Those communities notified under section 2(c) of the NCM (National Commission for Minorities) Act, 1992, by the central government are regarded as minority.
  • Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Zorastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992.
  • Despite the Supreme Court's 11-judge bench judgment in T.M.A Pai case, which clearly determined that linguistic and religious minorities must be identified at the state level rather than at the national level, section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act 1992 gave the Centre "unbridled power" to inform minorities.

Issues faced by Minorities

  1. Discrimination: Minorities may face discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, religion, language, or other characteristics that can manifest in various forms, including unequal access to opportunities, prejudice, stereotyping, and hate crimes.
  2. Marginalization and Exclusion: Minorities may experience marginalization and exclusion from mainstream society. In the form of barriers in accessing education, healthcare, employment, housing, and political representation. This can lead to social and economic disparities between minority and majority groups.
  3. Socioeconomic Inequality: Minorities often face higher levels of poverty, unemployment, and income inequality compared to the majority population. They may have limited access to quality education, healthcare, and financial resources, which can perpetuate cycles of poverty and hinder upward mobility.
  4. Cultural Preservation and Identity: Minorities may struggle to preserve and maintain their cultural heritage and identity in the face of assimilation pressures. Language loss, erosion of traditional practices, and cultural homogenization are common challenges faced by minority communities.
  5. Political Underrepresentation: Minorities may have limited representation in political institutions and decision-making processes. This can result in a lack of voice, influence, and representation in shaping policies that directly impact their lives and interests.
  6. Violence and Intolerance: Minorities may be vulnerable to violence, hate crimes, and intolerance fueled by prejudice and bigotry. This can create an atmosphere of fear, insecurity, and social unrest within minority communities.
  7. Lack of Legal Protection: In some cases, minorities may face inadequate legal protection and enforcement of their rights. Discriminatory laws or policies can perpetuate systemic inequalities and hinder the pursuit of justice for minority individuals and communities.

Steps taken by Government for Minorities Empowerment

 

Schemes and Other Initiatives

Description

Pre and post-matric scholarship schemes for minorities (2007 and 2012)

Scholarships provided to minorities for pre- and post-matric education

Nai Roshni scheme (2013)

Leadership development program for women of minority communities

Learn and Earn scheme (2014)

Skill upgradation scheme for minorities

Minority Cyber Gram (MCG) (2014)

Introducing digital literacy skills in identified minority clusters

Nai Manzil scheme (2015)

Education and skill development program for youth from the minority community

Upgrading The Skills and Training In Traditional Arts/Crafts For Development (USTAAD) (2015)

Upgrading skills and training in the preservation of traditional arts and crafts of minorities

Hamari Dharohar (2015)

Preserving the rich and diverse heritage of the minority community in India

PM Jan Vikas Karyakram (2018)

Improving basic needs and socio-economic conditions in minority concentration areas

Naya Savera (2019)

Free coaching and allied scheme for minorities

Nai Udaan

Support for minority students after clearing prelims of UPSC, State PSC, and SSC

Strengthening of State Waqf Boards

Support provided for training and administrative costs for State Waqf Boards

Khwaja Garib Nawaz Senior Secondary School

School established at Ajmer by Maulana Azad Education Foundation to boost minority education

Maulana Azad fellowship scheme for minority students

Fellowship scheme for minority students

 

Delhi Government's Proposal for "Migrated Minority" Status:

  • In January 2023, the Delhi government has put forward a suggestion to the Centre, proposing the granting of "migrated minority" status to Hindus who have relocated to the national capital from regions such as Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh, where they constitute a religious minority.
  • This recommendation was included in a compilation of views gathered by the Centre from 24 states on the topic of identifying and notifying religious and linguistic minority communities, either by the Union or the respective states.
  • The Centre submitted this affidavit to the Supreme Court.

 Conclusion: It is important to note that the specific issues faced by minorities can vary greatly depending on the cultural, social, and political context. Additionally, intersectionality should be considered, as individuals belonging to multiple minority groups may face compounded forms of discrimination and disadvantage.

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