Speaking during the maiden regional conference of North India states organised by National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) at Hotel Mount View, Chandigarh, Punjab Education Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema ardently advocated that minority status must be accorded only at national level and advised that it shall not be given at State level. He said that constitutionally this status shall be provided at National level only.
Cheema said that considering State as base for giving the status, it would be dangerous if minority status is granted at State level. Likewise, Sikh population in Punjab, Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, Christians in Southern States will be in Majority. He said that, the matter has reached Hon’ble Supreme Court and the commission should strongly defend this as an obligation to protect minority rights. The minister said that, commission shall raise a bold voice to protect the minority rights and work for strength of Republic. He mentioned that, if various status are granted at State level, if may confine it later to District or Block levels, which would be more dangerous. This way, Muslims will be in majority in Malerkotla and Christians in Majha area of Punjab.
On this occasion, Cheema appealed the commission that, like Maulana Azad Schemes for Minorities, it shall come forward for benefit of Sikligar and Vanjare Sikhs. He said that, this community is rearward at economic, social and educational level, so arrangements shall be made for raising their living standards. The Minister stated that commission has formed an Urdu Promotion Council, which is a very good effort and on the same pattern a Punjabi Promotion Council shall be made for Punjabis residing in out of Punjab and in other countries. On this occasion, the first local conference organised by the commission the organisers appraised this mentioned this as great initiative.
The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Punjab and Haryana.