New Delhi: Stressing the need for determining minority status of communities at the national level, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He mentioned that the Supreme Court has taken up the matter of Sikh minority institutions in Punjab on a priority basis and warned of the consequences of determining minority status at the state level.
According to news agency PTI, the Punjab Lok Congress chief, whose party is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), mentioned, “The main contention of the petitioner is that Sikhs are not a minority in Punjab and therefore, these institutions cannot be accorded the minority status.”
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“It implies that the minority status of a community should be decided statewise and not at the national level,” he stated adding that at present, the minority status of various communities is decided nationally and rightly so.
“In case it is done at the state level, there will be serious socio-political and even techno-legal implications. It may raise discord and avoidable unrest in the society. The states may not have accurate data and they may have different interpretations of the available data,” he wrote, as quoted by PTI.
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The army veteran mentioned that “the possibility of the states applying varying timelines to data usage to suit local socio-political imperatives can also not be ruled out. If that happens, apart from Centre-State discord, inter-state and intra-state tensions may rise, polarising the society to the detriment of national integrity”.
Capt Amarinder Singh appealed to PM Modi that the minority status of various communities should not be decided at the state level: “It is strongly felt that the existing system of determining the minority status of various communities in the country at the national level should continue. You may well appreciate that the system has not only maintained consistency and uniformity with periodic interventions of the Union government, but has served well in maintaining peace and amity among various communities. Punjab is a singular example in this regard. The change, if any, will give miscreants a chance to raise a red flag.”
“I am confident that you would have the matter examined appropriately and advise the concerned ministries of the Government of India to defend the present system and the minority status of Sikh institutions in Punjab and other states,” the former chief minister stated.
(With Agency Inputs)