Minority Rights Day in India 2022: What are the rights of minorities under the Indian Constitution?
Every year on December 18, Minorities Rights Day is observed in India to protect the rights of minority communities. The day upholds the minorities in India's right to freedom and equal opportunity as well as raises awareness of those rights. Also, the theme for this year's observance is centered around “All in 4 Minority Rights”.
What do you understand from Minority groups?
By its original definition, a minority group is a group of people who are less numerous than the major groups within those classifications in terms of their practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
In the past, invasions into ancient and medieval India led to the creation of Muslim, Anglo-Indian, Christian, and other minority populations. India became a melting pot of minorities as a result of the movement of groups afraid of persecution, such as Parsis, the Divide, and the Rule strategy of the British colonial power, etc.
Why is Minority Rights Day in India observed?
The Declaration on the Individual's Rights Belonging to Religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities was adopted and broadcast by the United Nations on December 18, 1992. It emphasizes how minorities' national, cultural, and religious identities must be respected, protected, and upheld by states and individual territories.
The National Commission for Minorities in India observes Minorities Rights Day to encourage religious harmony, respect, and a deeper understanding of all minority communities.
What are the rights of minorities under the Indian Constitution?
The Constitution of India lists down a few essential mandates with regard to Minorities in India.
- Article 14- People's right to 'equality before the law' and 'equal protection of laws'.
- Article 15 (1) & (2) – Prohibition of discrimination against citizens on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth
- Article 16(1)&(2) – Citizens’ right to equality of opportunity in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State
- Article 25(1) – People’s freedom of conscience and right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion – subject to public order, morality, and other Fundamental Rights
- Article 28 – People’s freedom to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in educational institutions is wholly maintained
- Article 30(1) – Right of all religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice
- Article 30 (2) – Freedom of minority-managed educational institutions from discrimination in the matter of receiving aid from the State.
- Article 350-B - Originally, the constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special Officer for Linguistic minorities in India. However, the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, of 1956 inserted Article 350-B in the constitution.
Organizations safeguard Minority Rights in India
- Minority Commission
- The Sachar Committee
- Rang Nath Mishra commission On Minorities:
- Multi-Sectoral Development Programme:
- Ministry of Minority Affairs
- National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
Any aggrieved person who belongs to the minority community may approach the concerned State Minorities Commissions for redressal of their grievances.