Monday, January 25, 2010

Organiser - The recipe for national suicide

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    • The recipe for national suicide
    • By Dr Subramanian Swamy
    • The Misra Commission has propounded some novel diktats in its report which should be recorded in "Ripley’s Believe It or Not": One is: To deny SC quotas to those who had converted to Islam and Christianity is "religious discrimination"! Another is: The country needs a "totally secular criterion" on who are and are not entitled to reservations.

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      Strange as it may sound, there is no definition of minority in the Indian Constitution [although Articles 29 and 30 make provisions for a minority, religious and linguistic), nor is there a definition in United Nations Resolutions or even an universally accepted definition in international law.

    • The present practice of regarding any group of less than 50 per cent of the population as a minority is ridiculous. The Whites of South Africa are numerically a small number, but they cannot be treated as a "minority" deserving of special protection, reservations, or affirmative action. Parsis in India despite being numerically a microscopic minority, have consistently refused to ask or accept for any Constitutional safeguards. They are therefore not a minority in the Constitutional or statutory dispensation.
    • Some countries such as Thailand and Brazil, refuse to accept that there are minorities in their country. These nations have told the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities that they have no minorities to notify, despite being a multi-religious multi-racial society.
    • In 1992, India’s Parliament enacted the National Commission for Minorities Act, but did not define a minority in it! Section 2 (c) of the Act merely states that minority is what the Government of India will notify in the Gazette!! The Government has notified, without reason or explanation, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis as religious minorities. Why they are so has not been explained. Even the State Minorities Commissions have not bothered to define minorities.
    • In other words, the nation has been discussing minority rights for the last sixty years without defining what or who can be the minorities. How can we identify minorities if we do not have a definition of the term? The Misra Commission ought to have attempted a definition of minority, but it too decided that only Muslims are fit for being called a minority, while Hindus like the Pundits in Kashmir are not.
    • Based on the circumstances arising out of the Indian legacy, and in recognition of defining events of Indian history, I would define a minority in India as follows:

      "A collective of Indian citizens, constituting a numerical minority and situated in a non-dominant position in society, endowed with characteristics which differ from those of the majority, having suffered from imposed deprivation over a long period and thus have acquired disabilities, are a minority if these disabilities cannot be removed except by providing special constitutional protection and facilities for affirmative action".
    • (The writer is the president of Janata Party and former Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Law and Justice, Government of India and can be contacted at

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