Baha段s meet Modi minister, demand minority status
New Delhi, 23 August 2014: A two-member delegation of National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of India met Union Minister of Minority Affairs Dr. Najma A. Heptulla here on Friday seeking minority status to their community. The delegation comprised Ms. Nelakshi Rajkhowa and Ms. Farida Wahidi.
According to the official website of the Baha’i community, there are over two million Baha’is scattered in over 10,000 localities of the country. The Baha’i faith originated from Baha’u’llah (1817-1892). Baha’is consider him as prophet of their faith.
India has constitutionally recognized only six religious minorities – Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains.
The National Commission For Minorities was set up on 17 May 1993. Vide a Gazette notification issued on 23 October 1993 by Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, five religious communities viz; the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities. Further vide notification dated 27 Jan 2014, Jains have also been notified as minority community.The commission, a constitutional body, safeguards the interests of the religious minorities in the country.
As per the 2001 Census, these six religious minority communities constitute 18.80% of the country’s population - Muslims alone account for 13.40% of the minority poulation. The government has not released the 2011 Census data about religious break-up of the population.