Indian Minority in Politics
India has always embraced diversity, becoming a vast ocean of cultures, religions, ethnicities, beliefs and practices. With such diversity, it becomes necessary to give each community their due, without inciting any conflicts. This plethora of diversity in our democratic nation makes the minority communities at times vulnerable, calling for sturdy laws to protect their rights. Moreover, it becomes the duty of the state to ensure that human rights are available to all citizens, irrespective of caste, colour, or creed. The Constitution of India strives to achieve a harmony between all the communities by ensuring “justice, social, economic or political” to all citizens and declaring itself to be a secular state. While certain laws are applicable to all Indian citizens, there are personal laws that apply to certain communities only, preserving their customs and beliefs. Minority rights protection in India has always been in limelight with political parties garnering votes of various communities through triggering their emotions upon their minority status.
The right to profess, practice and propagate any religion has been guaranteed to every person as a fundamental right under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. This article allows the minority communities to follow their beliefs and practices without any hindrance as long as it does not hamper public order, morality and health of any person. But the State can regulate the secular activities related to religious practices such as financial, political, economic activities. Article 26 gives the freedom to the religious denominations or any such sections to manage their own religious affairs including managing institutions for religious and charitable purposes; owning, acquiring and administering movable and immovable property. Again, this right is subject to public order, morality and health. Article 27 prohibits any compulsion on citizens to pay taxes, proceeds of which are to be appropriated in promotion of any particular religion. Article 28 prohibits state funded educational institutions from providing religious instructions unless there is a requirement in the terms of the endowment or trust, by which the institution has been established, regarding imparting such religious instruction.