As per our Constitution, the State has no religion and is supposed to treat people of all religions equally. As evident from the sub-text of the debates of the Constituent Assembly, the rights assumed for the majority were only made explicit to the minorities as an assurance to the latter in the backdrop of the peculiar circumstances then prevailing in the aftermath of partition. In any case, it was never the intention of the makers of our Constitution to deny to the majority the rights expressly provided to the minority. Yet, it gradually led to interpretations of Articles 25 to 30 that only the minorities were given rights withheld from the majority generating an unhealthy feeling of discrimination among the majority community. It goes without saying that nursing any real or perceived grievance against the State by any section of citizens, majority or minority, is detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.
Late Syed Shahabuddin, having understood the problem of the Constitutionally imposed disabilities on majority Hindus, had introduced a Private Member’s Bill No. 36 of 1995 in Lok Sabha to widen the scope of Article 30 of the Constitution by suitable amendment to include all communities and sections of citizens by substituting the word ‘minorities’ with “all sections of citizens” therein.
In order to restore equality among all the citizens of this country irrespective of religion, there is an imperative need to abolish this discriminatory legal regime and provide constitutional and legal parity among all sections of people irrespective of their religion by suitable amendments to the Articles 26 to 30 of the Constitution, so that we Hindus would be able to enjoy the same rights, privileges and protection of the law on par with the Minorities in matters of:
(i) Management of places of worship (Temples and Religious Endowments);
(ii) Entitlement to various benefits from Govt schemes, scholarships, benefits etc;
(iii) Enabling teaching of traditional Indian knowledge and ancient texts of India in educational institutions; and
(iv) Establishment and administration of educational institutions of their choice without undue interference of the Govt and its agencies.
In this regard Dr Satyapal Singh (prior to becoming Minister) introduced in Lok Sabha a Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 to amend Articles 26 to 30 of the Constitution.
We reiterate that the amendments proposed in this Bill do not take any rights away from any community or groups, but only ensures that all sections including Hindus enjoy the same rights and privileges as are now available only to Minorities, and all are treated equally under the law.
Copies of (i) Dr Satyapal Singh’s Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 in Lok Sabha; (ii) Syed Shahabuddin’s Private Member’s Bill No. 36 of 1995 in Lok Sabha are enclosed as Annexures-II & III respectively for ready reference.
Accordingly, we request you to take action to get Dr Satyapal Singh Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 pending in Lok Sabha passed immediately in the forthcoming session of the Parliament.
Charter of Hindu RDemands (Full Document) — Click to Download.