Minorities Rights Day 2020: Minorities Rights Day is celebrated every year on December 18 in India. The Constitution of India provides equal rights for all citizens and adopted several measures for safeguarding the rights of linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Also, it takes care of those people who are economically or socially disadvantaged people irrespective of their caste, culture, and community including the people of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes.
Minorities Rights Day History
Minorities Rights Day is celebrated by the National Commission for Minorities in India which focuses on religious harmony, respect, and a better understanding of all minorities’ communities. United Nations on 18 December 1992 adopted and broadcast the Statement on the individual’s Rights belonging to religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities.
The announcement made by the United Nations highlights the cultural, religious linguistic, and national identity of the minorities that shall be respected, preserved, and protected by the states and within individual territories. And also stated that it is also the responsibility of the State government to improve the conditions of minorities and spread awareness about the national, linguistic, religious, and cultural identity.
About the Ministry of Minority Affairs
On 29 January 2006, the Ministry of Minority Affairs is carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice & Environment to ensure a more focused approach towards the issues relating to the notified minority communities namely Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsis, and Jain. For the benefit of the minority communities, the Ministry generates overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation, and review of the regulatory framework and development programme.
About National Commission for Minorities
The Union Government established the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Five religious communities have been notified as minority communities namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Parsis).
The various states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal set up State Minorities Commissions in their respective States. Their offices are also located in the capital of the States.
The functions of the State Commission are to safeguard and protect the interests of minorities provided in the Constitution and the laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures.
Therefore, Minorities Rights Day in India is observed on 18 December annually to educate people and focus on the rights of minorities in India.