March 8: The state government declared on Monday that along with Muslims and Christians, Jains too will be considered as religious minorities in the state hereafter.
This means that the Jains will have privileges like running educational institutions etc. for their community. As per the 2001 census, there are around 41,486 Jains in the state out of a total population of 7.6 crore which amounts to around 0.1 per cent.
The minorities welfare department issued the orders on Tuesday declaring the Jain community as a religious minority in the state following a representation from the Shri Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain (DS) Mahasabha. It was stated in the representation that as per Article 30 of the Indian Constitution, Jains can be declared as a minority based on religion and language. Reacting to this in 2007, the then minority affairs minister, Mr A.R. Antulay, had written to the former CM, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, informing him that a religious community, which was less than 0.5 per cent of the population, would definitely fall under the minority category and had to be notified by the state government as a religious minority.
In July, 2010, the minority affairs ministry had confirmed that for the purpose of determining minority, the unit taken into consideration should be the state and not the country.