The Delhi government finally granted minority status to the Jain community in the Capital. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced the decision on Tuesday evening.
Speaking to mediapersons, Dikshit said the decision to grant minority status to the Jains would enable the community to effectively manage their institutions as per parameters specified for minority institutions.
The Jain community that has been demanding minority status in the city has also welcomed the decision as one that will enable better representation.
“We can now run our hospitals, schools and other institutions according to our requirements. We do not want any quota. We would be able to give better representation to our community in institutions run by the Jain Samaj. At present, if we want to hire two teachers, both the posts are open to all. Now, we would be able to offer one post to a member of the community,” said Naren Bhiku Ram Jain, a prominent member of the Jain Samaj.
National Commission for Minorities Chairman Shamim Qureishi said a state was well within its rights to bestow minority status on any community residing there. “Under the National Commission Minorities Act, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis are identified as minority. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, for instance, is also trying to have its minority commission. In that case, Hindus may be in a minority there,” said Qureishi.
While the Jain community has minority status in several states, the community is pressing for minority status across the country. “Jains should be given minority status in the entire country,” said Jain.
According to the 2001 Census, Jains constitute 0.4 per cent of the total population of the country.