RELIGIOUS AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
The strength and vibrancy of a true democracy are often judged by the rights and protection accorded to its minorities. In the last 5 years under the BJP Government, hate crimes and atrocities against the minorities and other vulnerable sections of the people have increased manifold. The perpetrators of these crimes walk on the streets with impunity.
- Congress promises to uphold the rights of religious minorities: to non-discrimination, to equal opportunity in employment, to religious freedom and to establish educational institutions guaranteed under Articles 15, 16, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
- We also promise to uphold the rights of linguistic minorities: to non-discrimination, to equal opportunity in employment and to establish educational institutions guaranteed under Articles 15, 16, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
- Congress promises that rules will be made to ensure that the decennial census accurately enumerates the number of people claiming a language as their mother tongue or as their preferred spoken language.
- Congress promises to support the promotion of all the languages of our country including languages not included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. We will encourage, as far as possible, the use of such languages, including the languages of Scheduled Tribes and Nomadic Tribes, in the administration of areas where such languages are widely spoken by the people.
- We support the use of Sign Language that is used by millions of people with disabilities.
- Congress supports the principle that school education is best imparted in the mother tongue of the child and promises to support the efforts of State Governments to promote the use of the mother tongue as the preferred medium of instruction.
- We will also support the efforts of State Governments to teach the official language(s) of the State, as well as Hindi and English to children of that State.
- We will pass a new law in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha to prevent and punish hate crimes such as mob-engineered stripping, burning and lynching. The law will contain provisions to compensate the victims and to hold accountable the police and district administration for proven negligence.
- The Waqf Properties (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Bill, 2014 will be re-introduced and passed. Waqf properties will be restored to the legal trustees.
- Congress promises to uphold the character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia as minority educational institutions.
- We promise that the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Minorities will be given Constitutional status as in the cases of similar Commissions.