Assuring that steps would be taken to fulfil the long standing demand of Jain community for minority religious status, Union Minister for Minority Affairs AR Antulay said on Monday that awareness should be created among the people before according the status.
Antulay, participating in a meeting in Chennai, said he would look into the memorandum given to him by people belonging to Jain community.
He said there were some people who claimed that Jainism was part of Hinduism, though it was a different religion.
Reacting to a demand that linguistic minorities should be separated from religious minorities, he said the two categories should not be separated. Hindus were minorities in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and North Eastern states and everyone who was a minority should be given equal treatment.
Linguistic and religious minorities put together, comprise 33 per cent of the population. "Minorities play a decisive role in India and can shift the balance of power," he said.