Kumbh Mela
Hindu priest holds oil lamp as performs evening prayers near banks of river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in Allahabad

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Bharatiya Janata Party leader's PIL (Public Interest Litigation) seeking minority status for Hindus in at least eight states across the country.

The top court told the petitioner Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay to approach the National Commission for Minorities.

The PIL stated that Hindus in eight states must be notified as members of a minority community, as the numbers had decreased as per the 2011 census and must also be given benefits accordingly.

"According to the 2011 Census, Hindus are minority in eight states i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5 percent), Mizoram (2.75 percent), Nagaland (8.75 percent), Meghalaya (11.53 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (28.44 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (29 percent), Manipur (31.39 percent) and Punjab (38.40 percent)," read the petition filed by Upadhyay who is also an advocate.

The PIL also said that minority rights of Hindus in these states are being "siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither Central nor the state governments have notified Hindus as a 'minority' under Section 2(c) of National Commission for Minority Act."

Muslim boys in Srinagar
Muslim boys in Srinagar.Wikimedia Commons

Upadhyay has argued that despite Muslims being the majority in Lakshdweep (96.20 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (68.30 percent), followed by Assam (34.20 percent), West Bengal (27.5 percent), Kerala (26.60 percent), Uttar Pradesh (19.30 percent) and Bihar (18 percent), they are still enjoying "minority" status in these states and the communities which are the real minorities in there are not getting their legitimate benefits.

"The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in the field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% and government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindu students," the petition said.