A seminar on Proposed Bill Defining Status of Minorities in India was organised at India International Centre in the Capital on August 1.
Presiding over the seminar, Syed Shahabuddin, ex M.P. and President All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat asked if it is advisable to redefine minorities on national, state, district, town and village levels. He said it will lead to more confusion. Referring to Article 30 of the Constitution, he strongly advocated the rights of minorities. He said that minorities were defined in NCM Act 1992 and it was clearly stated therein that Muslims in Jammu & Kashmir, Sikhs in Punjab, Christians in Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya would not be considered minorities. The proposed amendment would give rise to confusion as which group is a minority in which state and it would do more harm to the national integration and communal harmony in the country.
Dr. M.P. Raju, Supreme Court Advocate, analysed the issue in a great detail. He said that minorities must get their due in democratic India. He further said that some minorities, owing to their higher economic status, may not need reservation, but those who are backward must have reservation. Determination of status of minorities on state basis is not in the national interest. It may give rise to unnecessary controversies.
A number of prominent delegates including religious scholars and politicians participated in the seminar.
Mohammed Suleman, President Indian National League, Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi, President Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Abdul Hameed Nomani, spokesman Jamiat Ulam-e-Hind, John Dayal, General Secretary All India Christian Council, Mushtaq Ahmed Advocate, Professor Amrik Singh, Naved Hamid, Member National Integration Council also spoke.