Every year Minorities Rights Day is observed on 18th December to promote the rights of minority communities in India. The aim is to protect the rights of the minority communities as well as bringing a better understanding among religious minorities.
The day focuses on the issues concerning minorities and their safety in the state. There are various seminars, campaigns, and events conducted on Minorities Rights Day.
Minorities in India:
- The minorities in India include Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains.
Minorities in India constitute about 19% of the total population.
- J & K, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep are the only states where any notified minority is in majority.
- The Ministry of Minority Affairs, which was established in 2006, is the apex body in the Union government to carry out various welfare, regulatory and developmental programmes for the minority communities.
- A National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has also been set up under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
The UN had declared that
“States shall protect the existence of the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity”.
The United Nations, on 18th December 1992, promulgated the “Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” to discourage the countries to discriminate amongst people worldwide on the basis of religion, language, nationality or ethnicity.