The term ‘minority’ as used in the United Nations human rights system refers to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities as laid out in the United Nations Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. But neither of the Declarations defines who minorities or indigenous peoples are, as no single definition could encapsulate the realities of all the diverse groups and communities concerned. Instead, the United Nations takes into account the principle of self-identification when working with indigenous peoples and minorities. The term “Self-identification” is telling …
Recently, a discussion on “Who is a Minority? Do numbers define a Minority?” was taken up on the Clubhouse portal recently and it threw up some excellent points being discussed. Let us take a look at them…
According to Madhu Kishwar ji, one of the best ways to see if any community is a minority is to see whether they are shrinking in population. If one were to see our neighbouring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh, one would see that after the Partition, the percentage of Hindu population in both these countries has reduced drastically and they have no voice there. In fact atrocities mounted upon the shrinking Hindu populace there is the most important reason why the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed to offer the tormented Hindus and Sikhs a refuge in Bharat. She also mentioned how the Partition post 1947 was among the darkest phase for Hindus when under the guise of Independence, a massive genocide of Hindus and Sikhs was conducted. To rub salt to the wounds of Partition, our nation has almost become a Shariah compliant Nation where Constitutionally nothing can be done to the Muslims unless they agree to it – for example, the azaans on the loudspeakers, triple talaaq, polygamous marriages, religious education in the Madarassas, etc.
According to Mr. M Nageswara Rao, IPS, in India, the word “Minority” has been used for Hindu oppression and subjugation. As such, the Indian Constitution does not define the term Minorities at all. When religion is global and when Islam and Christianity are the biggest religions with maximum countries following allegiance to either of these two religions, one should not consider either of these religions as a Minority in India, according to him. Secondly, it is the measure of which religion is influencing policies or is dominant or aggressive which should be considered while defining it as a Minority. He also mentioned that obesity does not define strength – he used this point to show how despite Hindus being in Majority, they are not able to protect themselves as is obvious in West Bengal right now, where reportedly the Muslim population is just about 30% and the Hindu population is almost 70%.
Suresh Chavahanke made a couple of pertinent points which were worth considering:
- There is no mention in the Constitution that any religion will remain a Permanent Minority. It is only as part of a political agenda that political parties are today striving to call non-Hindus as Minorities, irrespective of whether they are already a majority population in any State.
- Hindus should not approach the courts for Minority status at all, because saying that they are a Minority means that they have lost the battle.
Attention of the listeners was drawn to the fact that indeed there were attempts to declare Hindus as a minority on the basis of linguistic minority or religious minority in some of our States/Union Territories which are already a Christian or Islam Majority States. The Supreme Court had struck down such attempts because they claimed that the country was still a Hindu majority country. Some more such attempts to declare themselves as a separate religion was sought by Ramakrishna Mission and by Lingayat community in the past because they wanted to circumvent the blatant partiality towards the Minority Institutions, in the Articles 25-30 of our Constitution.
One question that begs attention is whether predatory religions can be called Minority at all. The fact is that in our country both the Abrahamic religions are growing by leaps and bounds either because of a population explosion or by rampant conversion. Secondly, when members of these religions indulge in subversive and/or terrorist activities, can they claim to be oppressed? Rampant encroachment on public places is also seen by members of both these religions; for example putting up of random Crosses on mountains, encroachment on footpaths by sudden sprouting up of tombs and by using public roads for Namaaz, show a predatory mentality rather than a suppressed class of people.
Our PM’s 15 point programme for Minorities, National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 uses the words Minorities without defining who the minorities are. Further, Article 25 defines Hindus as inclusive of Jains, Buddhists & Sikhs. So including them as Minorities in the abovementioned programme is unconstitutional as they are part of Minorities. The real test of a Majority is if a group of people are able to disproportionately influence public policy or take the State to ransom for getting their work done, that community can be called a Majority. But history shows us that it is the so-called Minority communities who have time and again influenced public policy or held the State to ransom with their terrorist activities or riots.
A true democracy is one which treats all people as equal without any minority or majority tags, safeguarding rights and freedoms. Constitution articles 25-30 discriminates and subjugates Hindus by denying them equal religious, cultural and educational rights on par with so called Minorities namely Muslims and Christians who could influence Constituent Assembly to make these provisions to favour them and disfavour Hindus. If India has to remain as a democratic country and our ancient civilization has to survive then the artificial anti-democratic majority minority distinction should go and all should be treated equally and for this Articles 25-30 of the Indian Constitution have to be amended.
Despite all the above arguments, one listener wanted to know the empirical evidence present to show that Muslims were an aggressive community. When presented with facts about Kashmir and recently West Bengal, the listener did not want to continue and called the others present as biased. The fact of the matter is that every political party in India wants to appease the Minorities, especially the Muslim population. In fact there are political parties too which openly espouse the Muslim cause. But there is not a single political party in Bharat which is working for Hindus alone. Unless we are able to stop the tide of appeasement and work towards Equal Rights for Hindus, we will see the most ancient, living civilization of this world, crumble during our lifetime itself.
Note: Featured image taken from Wikipedia
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