Definition of Minority

  • Recently, central Government has notified minority communities at the national level in consultation with various stakeholders under Section 2 (c) of National Commission for Minorities (NCM), Act, 1992. The six communities notified as minority communities under Section 2(c) of the NCM Act, 1992 are: Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains. Notification of any community specific to a State as minority community with in a State comes under the purview of the State concerned.
  • The Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution provide for protection of interest of minorities which includes linguistic minorities also. The working definition followed by the Commissioner for linguistic minorities is as follows:- “Linguistic Minorities are group or collectivises of individuals residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language or script of their own. The language of the minority group need not be one of the twenty two languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. In other words, linguistic minorities at the State level mean any group or groups of people whose mother tongues are different from the principal language of the State, and at the district and taluka/tehsil levels, different from the principal language of the district or taluka/tehsil concerned.”
  • The linguistic minorities are therefore identified by the respective States/UTs. The State/UT wise, broad linguistic profile is available in the 52nd Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities (CLM). Further, the interest of linguistic minorities are accorded due consideration and the office of Commissioner of Linguistic Minorities has been mandated to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities in the country. The Government has already enacted the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992 to constitute a National Commission for Minorities.