National Commission for Minorities Vice-Chairman George Kurian said on Friday that the Cabinet Amendment Bill passed by both Houses of Parliament is in line with United Nations Minority Rights Declaration of December 18, 1992. Welcoming the passage of CAB, Kurian said the new legislation seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries who have migrated to India. “In spirit this is in line with the declaration,” he added.
According to Kurian, the declaration calls upon states to protect the existence and identities of minority communities. It also calls upon states to encourage the promotion of national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identities. The Article 2 of the declaration states: “Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (hereinafter referred to as persons belonging to minorities) have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination.”
Under Article 2(1) of this declaration, minorities shall have the right to practice their religion, enjoy their culture and use their own language in both public and private settings without any kind of discrimination. Article 3 of this declaration guarantees persons belonging to minorities the right to exercise their rights individually and in community with others without discrimination. It was adopted by the General Assembly resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992.