Saturday 14 June 2014

Duty of Majority to Protect Minority

When I was a Judge in the Allahabad High Court a case came before me which gave me an opportunity to express a view which I hold dear.

The facts were that in a certain village of Uttar Pradesh (over which the Allahabad High Court has jurisdiction) Muslims comprised of about 90% of the population of that village, while the remaining 10% were Hindus, mostly dalits.

One day a group of Muslim young men caught a dalit girl and gang raped her. They were tried, found guilty, and convicted by the trial Court. Against that judgment an appeal came up in the High Court before me.

I said in my judgment that the majority community in a particular area had the duty to ensure that the minority could live with dignity and honour. No doubt in the whole of U.P. Hindus were in the majority, but in that particular village Muslims were in the majority. Hence it was the solemn duty of Muslims living in that village to ensure that the Hindus living there lived with dignity and honour. But instead of doing so the accused (Muslims) had gang raped a Hindu girl. Hence I gave harsh punishment to the accused.

I also said in the same judgment that if the majority in the village had been Hindus, and a gang of Hindu boys had gang raped some Muslim girl I would have similarly awarded harsh punishment to such Hindu boys.

My reasoning was that the minority is usually in a weaker position viv-a-vis the majority as they are fewer in number. Hence the majority community is under a solemn duty to ensure that no harm is done to members of the minority and they can live with dignity and honour. This is necessary if a society wishes to be regarded as a civilized society. If the majority does not protect the minority, and instead oppresses or persecutes them, a state of matsyanyaya ( the larger fish eating up the smaller fish) will prevail, which will be disastrous.

I have already dealt with the concept of matsyanyaya in a previous post, and have mentioned that matsyanyaya has been condemned by all our ancient thinkers and texts, e.g. Kautilya, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Matsyapurana, Kamandaka, Manasollas, etc.


  1. I fully agree with you.

  2. Nice article sir, I love to read this types of articles. Thanks a lot to share with us......Ind Govt Jobs, Latest Recruitment, Latest Employment News.

  3. What will you say about the condition of Hindus in Pakistan sir?