India’s Constitution clearly states that Government should not pass any bill to benefit a specific religion. Additionally, there is no definition of the word “Minorities” in the Constitution. In fact, no Constitution in any robust democracy in the world has special Bills or laws that provide special benefits for religious minorities purely because such groups are religious minorities.
What is ironical is the fact that Muslims and Christians, who are the top two religions of world are treated as minorities in India although their population share in India is more than 20 per cent. According to Articles 15,16,26, and 30 of the Indian Constitution, any Bill or law passed by any State or Central Government exclusively to favour minorities is illegal.
However, in practice, for over six decades, successive Central Governments and various State Governments have passed a whopping number of Bills and schemes that favour minorities at the expense of the majority.
The objective of this research presentation is to provide a partial list of some big ticket expenditures made by such Governments till April, 2014 for Muslims and Christians.
Muslims and Christians enjoy unique and discriminatory benefits as compared to Hindus–whether they be SC/ST and Hindu OBCs–under some of these heads:
- State Minority Benefit Schemes
- OBC Benefit Schemes – Approximately more than 50 per cent of Muslims and Christians were moved to the OBC category by National Committee for Backward Classes (NCBC)
- SC/ST Schemes – A big percentage of Muslims and Christians were moved to SC/ST. Hindu SC/STs converted to Christianity continue to enjoy SC/ST benefits with Christian and OBC benefits
- Central Benefit Schemes for Minorities
The schemes listed in the presentation are not applicable for Hindu SC/STs. Some of the bills are also applicable for Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis. But the percentage of expenditure equivalent is in the range of 15 to 5 per cent.
What is even more stunning is the fact that a majority of these privileges for Muslims and Christians in India are not available for Muslims in Pakistan and other Muslim, and Christian Countries.
This presentation or the list of bills therein is not complete. It is the first of sorts in a larger project to bring to light such state-sponsored discrimination against Hindus.