Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani has announced that the small community of Jews living in the state will be granted minority status. He made the announcement during his recent 10-day trip to Israel.
Happy to share that Government Of Gujarat has principally agreed to grant minority status to the Jews living in Gujarat. The Government shall issue notification very soon in this regard.
— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) June 28, 2018
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with the Chief Minister of the Indian State of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, and welcomed him to Israel, his first visit outside India since taking up office. The Prime Minister conveyed greetings to his friend, Indian PM @NarendraModi. pic.twitter.com/vvYPIsn5aF
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 28, 2018
The Jews in Gujarat are reportedly very small in numbers and they did not even feature as a separate community during the 2011 census. They were reportedly listed under ‘other communities’ that had total 16,480 names.
Presently there are reportedly less than 300 Jews in Gujarat belonging to the Bene Israeli Jew community. Almost 150 of them live in Ahmedabad alone. The religious minority status is expected to allow them concessions and other benefits. The community reportedly gathered in the Magen Abraham Synagogue in Ahmedabad to celebrate.
Members of the community have stated that the demand was being made since long and the minority status will ensure their security and will be beneficial in property rights and preservation of their heritage.
The Bene Israelis constitute the majority of Indian Jews. They live mainly in Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Gujarat. There have also been reports of them being targeted by Islamist jihadis. In 2017, the Gujarat ATS had arrested two Islamist jihadis suspected as ISIS operatives who were planning attacks on Jews in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. During his visit to India, PM Netanyahu had hailed India as a country where Jews had never faced persecution.