“Unity in diversity” is the definition of India. All citizens of the country irrespective of their linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and religious background are given rights by the Constitution of India. The Minorities Rights Day in India was first observed on December 18, 2013 following this every year on December 18 The National Minorities Rights Day is observed in India because it safeguards the rights of religious minorities in the country. Rights belonging to religious, linguistic or ethnic minorities were adopted by the United Nations In 1992. Following the above step National Commission for Minorities was set up by the Government of India in the same year.
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians or Parsis are the five religious communities have been notified as minorities in India. Jains have also been notified as a minority community after 2014.
Some important constitutional provisions for the minorities.
- “Prohibition of discrimination against citizens on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”
- “Citizens’ right to ‘equality of opportunity’ in employment and prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”
- “People’s freedom of conscience and right to freely profess, practise and propagate religion – subject to public order, morality and other Fundamental Rights”
- “Right of all religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”
- “Freedom of minority-managed educational institutions from discrimination in the matter of receiving aid from the State”
“It is always the minorities that hold the key of progress; it is always through those who are unafraid to be different that advance comes to human society.” -Raymond B. Fosdick
This day aims to ensure that persons belonging to a national minority should enjoy equality with those persons belonging to the majority group. It promotes the exercise of individual freedoms.