*Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik
Ashwini Upadhyay, a noted Supreme Court lawyer, has approached the apex court with a sensational prayer. In his petition the senior advocate has alleged that using minority tag as ploy public reserves are being plundered in many states. Those who are majority in certain states claim minority status in the same state saying at the national level they are a minority. In Jammu and Kashmir Muslims are in majority, but it’s strange, they continuosly enjoy all the facilities of minorities in that state. It is absurd, the Hindus, Jews and Baháís of Jammu and Kashmir, who are the real minorities in that state do not get any facilities entitled for the minorities. Same is the case in Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal, Lakshadweep, Manipur and Punjab. Majority communities in these states are granted all facilities of the minorities citing the flimsy reason that these majority communities are minorities as per national enumeration.
In his petition, Upadhyay has urged the Apex Court that the minority status should be decided at state-level so that those are entitled for minority status could get justice. Upadhyay has every right to argue so, but dividing the nation or part of a nation on the basis of religion, language, community or caste is hardly any prudent resolution. Any such move can only prove counterproductive to our national interest. For the benefit of the people at large, the special status awarded on the basis of numbers should be taken away both at the state and national levels.
In 1947 India was partitioned on the basis of religion. In our democratic and secular India these days caste has become a dominant factor in politics and elections as well. In 1947 our mother land was cut into two separate pieces of land, and if the current tendency continues in the same pace, by 2047 we may witness India split into hundred or even more fragments. This is dangerous. Maharashtra and Karnataka have used loose provisions of our constitution to divide the population into majorities and minorities on religious and linguistic lines.
Backing Ashwini Upadhyay’s petition, Government of India has also cited the same constitutional provisions. For sure, our constitution allows this. But it is the duty of a nationalist government to exhibit will and valor to repeal any such provision(s) that could threaten our unity as a nation. The government in power also needs to ensure every citizen of the country necessary facilities as per requirement and not on the basis of caste or religion.
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educationalmissions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.