SC dismisses plea by Smartha Brahmins of Tamil Nadu seeking minority status
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking minority status for smart Brahmins living in Tamil Nadu and propagating the religious philosophy of Advaita.
A bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice S Ravindra Bhat upheld the Madras High Court order, which held that wise Brahmins are not a religious sect and, therefore, cannot be granted minority status.
“Many people follow Advaita philosophy… in that case, we will have a country of minorities,” the bench said.
The High Court held on June 7, 2022, that Smarta Brahmins are not entitled to benefits under Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) of the Constitution of India.
“It is clear that there is no joint organization by the Smarta Brahmins or by any other name. It is the only caste/community with no unique characteristics that differentiate them from other Brahmins in the state of Tamil Nadu.
“Therefore, they cannot call themselves a religious denomination. Consequently, they are not entitled to benefits under Article 26 of the Constitution of India. Both the important questions of law have been answered against the appellants,” the High Court had said.