Vice-president Hamid Ansari and minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan, at an annual event of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), called for stronger safeguards and equal opportunities for minorities.
“Regrettably, communal tension has re-emerged (in the country),” Ansari said, adding, they continue to be victims of bias and were being left behind.
He asked if minority problems ought to be viewed just in “arithmetic terms” or as a “state-of-mind” issue.
“Despite an enhanced awareness both for the problems of the minorities and efforts to address them…the communal fabric is under pressure,” Ansari said.
Well-known Constitution expert Fali S Nariman was among those who spoke at the event with the theme of “Responsible Minority and Sensitive Majority in Secular India”.
Nariman argued that, despite well-defined rights under the Constitution, minorities “need the protection of courts”.
Protection of minorities was not merely about “compassion”, but it had a deeply rooted “jurisprudential basis,” he added.
Pointing to instances of Muslim youth charged with terror being freed by courts, minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan said the intelligence and bureaucracy should stop stereotyping the community.
NCM chief Wajahat Habibullah said the conference would deliberate on the issues raised.