Mumbai Local

Jews in Maharashtra get minority status

Jews in Maharashtra are now a minority community. The State Cabinet on Tuesday approved the decision to grant minority status to the Jews, a demand pending for many years. The decision is based on the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission Act, 2004, which empowers the government to declare a community minority.

In October 2006, the State government declared Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains as religious minorities.

According to the application made by the Indian Jewish Federation to the government, the Jewish population in the State stood at 2,000-2,500.

However, the government does not have any official number of the Jewish population because the community was counted among the other religions. Now, the Jews can be counted independently as a religious minority. They can avail of all the schemes meant for minorities.

A senior official of the Minority Department said: “The minority status will also help to identify the problems of the community, and the government can come up with schemes to resolve them.”

Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky of Chabat Lubavitch, Mumbai, said the gains from the decision needed to be discussed with the authorities.

He said Saturday is considered a holy day by the Jews. “If there’s a school exam…, it creates a conflict among the people; it would be good if something is done about it.”

Rabbi Ezekiel I Malekar of Judah Hyam Synagogue, Delhi, said he hoped the Union government would follow Maharashtra suit and grant Jews minority status in every State.

“We have been living here for the last 2,000 years; it’s the right time to grant us this status.”

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 11:06:59 AM |

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