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Important Facts For Prelims

Pasmanda Community

  • 07 Jul 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

Recently, Pasmanda Community has gained attention of many political parties for inclusive growth and eradication of intra caste discrimination.

Who are Pasmanda Muslims?

  • ‘Pasmanda’, a Persian term meaning “those who have fallen behind” refers to Muslims belonging to the shudra (backward) and ati-shudra (Dalit) castes.
    • It was adopted as an oppositional identity to that of the dominant ashraf Muslims (forward castes) in 1998 by the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, a group which mainly worked in Bihar.
  • Pasmandas encompass those who are socially, educationally and economically backward and make up the majority of the Muslim community in the country.
  • The term “Pasmanda” is majorly used by Muslim associations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and other parts of India to define themselves as Muslim communities historically and socially oppressed by caste.
  • Backward, Dalit and tribal Muslim communities are now organising under the identity of Pasmanda. These communities includes:
    • Kunjre (Raeen), Julahe (Ansari), Dhunia (Mansuri), Kasai (Qureishi), Fakir (Alvi), Hajjam (Salmani), Mehtar (Halalkhor), Gwala (Ghosi), Dhobi (Hawari), Lohar-Badhai (Saifi), Manihar (Siddiqui), Darzi (Idrisi), Vangujjar, etc.

What are the Provisions Available for Minorities?

  • Constitutional:
    • Article 29:
      • It provides that any section of the citizens residing in any part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.
      • It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic minorities.
      • However, the SC held that the scope of this article is not necessarily restricted to minorities only, as use of the word ‘section of citizens’ in the Article includes minorities as well as the majority.
    • Article 30:
      • All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
      • The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities (religious or linguistic) and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).
    • Article 350-B:
      • The 7th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1956 inserted this article which provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.
      • It would be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.
  • Legal:
    • National Commission for Minority Education Institution (NCMEI) Act, 2004:
      • It gives minority status to the educational institutions on the basis of six religious communities notified by the government under the NCMEI Act, 2004-- Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains.

Who are the minorities notified by the Government of India?

  • Currently, only those communities notified under section 2(c) of the NCM Act, 1992, by the central government are regarded as minority.
  • In 1992, with the enactment of the NCM Act, 1992, the MC became a statutory body and was renamed as the NCM.
  • In 1993, the first Statutory National Commission was set up and five religious communities viz. The Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities.
  • In 2014, Jains were also notified as a minority community.

Source: TH

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