The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

March 13, 2011

Jains no longer Hindu, get religious minority status in AP

Jains will now be considered a religious minority in Andhra Pradesh, the tenth state in the country to give such status to the adherents of the religion.

The State government has declared that followers of Jainism would be considered a religious minority in the state. There are just over 40,000 Jains in Andhra Pradesh, most of whom are concentrated in Hyderabad. 

Jains are financially strong and own big businesses in Andhra Pradesh. The community had urged the AP government to give them the status of minority religion. Now that Jains will not be considered as Hindus in the state, they will get rights to run and open educational institutions for the community where seats can be reserved.

Jains are now considered a minority religion in 10 states. Jains have the highest concentration in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Jain organisations have been insisting that they have a separate religious identity and should get benefits of a minority under Article 30.

Though Jains number around 4 million in the country, they account for less than 0.5 percent of the population. Some sections have resisted the attempts and say that Jains are culturally close to Hinduism and shouldn't be considered separate from Hindus.

TIH Bureau

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