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Constitution does not define the word ‘minorities’: Govt

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 12, 2013 Published on August 12, 2013

Article 29 of the Constitution of India has the word ‘minorities’ in its marginal heading but speaks of “any section of citizens having a distinct language script and culture”.

The Constitution uses the word ’minorities’ in some articles but does not define it anywhere, Government today said.

“The Constitution of India used the word ‘minorities’ or its plural form in some articles 29 to 30 and 350 A to 350 B.

"But does not define it anywhere,” minister of state in the minority affairs ministry Ninong Ering said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

He said that Article 29 has the word ‘minorities’ in its marginal heading but speaks of “any section of citizens having a distinct language script and culture”.

This may be a whole community generally seen as a minority or group within a majority community. Article 30 speaks specifically of two categories of minorities – religious and linguistic.

The remaining two articles – 350 A and 350 B relate to linguistic minorities only, Ering said.

“As per clause (c) of section 2 of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, five communities vide Ministry of Welfare notification dated 23rd October, 1993 are declared as minority communities viz Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis),” he said.

Published on August 12, 2013
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