Minority Rights Day, also known as Minorities Day, is annually observed across India on 18th December to create awareness about the Constitutionally-assured rights of religious minorities
- The observance of the day aims to uphold the right to freedom and equal opportunities for the minorities in India and creates awareness about their rights.
Why December 18?
The day marks the day on which the United Nations (UN) adopted and broadcast the Statement on the individual’s Rights belonging to Religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities in 1992.
Celebration of Minorities Day 2022:
The celebration of the Minority Rights Day or Minorities Day 2022 was held on 16th December 2022 at National Commission for Minorities.
John Barla, Minister of State for the Ministry of Minority Affairs, graced the event as chief guest and Justice NK Jain, Chairman of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions graced the event as Guest of Honour.
The event was presided over by Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities
i.The National Commission for Minorities invited various intellectuals from the six minority communities namely – Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jain and Zoroastrians.
ii.The representatives of each community shared the difficulties faced by the minorities of India, expectations of the minorities from the State, and recommendations for improvements in the schemes and programmes for the minorities.
iii.During the event, the commission reiterated its mandate to work towards the maintenance of peace and communal harmony in the society irrespective of religious, linguistic and other differences and to maintain the dignity of the minority communities in India by safeguarding their rights.
iv.Other minority issues like Anand Marriage Act and Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme were discussed during the event.
National Commission for Minorities (NCM):
i.National Commission for Minorities (NCM) was established by the Government of India(GoI) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
ii.Initially, GoI notified 5 religious communities, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as minority communities. As of January 2014, Jains were notified as another minority community.
iii.The functions of the NCM include,
- Evaluation of the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States.
- Monitoring of the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and laws.
- Making recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities.
- Looking into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of minorities and taking up such matters with the appropriate authorities.
- Suggesting appropriate measures in respect of any minority to be undertaken by the central or state government.
About National Commission for Minorities (NCM):
Chairperson– Iqbal Singh Lalpura
Vice-Chairperson– Kersi Kaikhushroo Deboo
Members: Syed Shahezadi; Ms Rinchen Lhamo; Shri Dhanyakumar Jinappa Gunde
Ministry of Minority Affairs:
Union Minister– Smriti Zubin Irani(Constituency- Amethi, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State– John Barla(Constituency- Alipurduars, West Bengal)