Minister in Hindu nationalist BJP government says Muslims are not minority causing controversy on status of community.
Only a day after the Indian government led by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi took oath of office, Najma Heptullah, the new minister of minority affairs made an unusual statement. While some were surprised, even shocked, by her statement, others expressed happiness over it. She said: “Muslims are not minorities, Parsis are. We have to see how we can help them [Parsis] so that their numbers don’t diminish”.
Currently, Parsis number about 69,000 whereas Muslims constitute slightly less than 14 percent of the total population of 1.3 billion. In one view based on the 2006 Sachar Committee report which studied the status of Muslim community, unlike Parsis, “Muslims are worse off than any other community, even the Musahar (low caste) Dalits, in terms of their socio-economic condition.”