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Maharashtra State in India Grants Jews Minority Status
By Ayesha Venkataraman   |  Jun 26, 2016

MUMBAI, India — Jews in the Indian state of Maharashtra were granted minority status this week, a decision that was celebrated by local Jewish leaders, though they said they were still trying to grasp the full range of benefits Jews might derive from the new status.

There are about 4,500 Jews among India’s population of more than 1.2 billion people, and about 3,000 of them live in Maharashtra, according to unofficial estimates by Judah Samuel, the president of the Shaare Rason Synagogue, who collected the data to submit to Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla.

The Indian Jewish Congress has also applied for minority status from the central government and is awaiting a decision.

After Mr. Samuel submitted the application for minority status in Maharashtra last year, Jews were granted formal recognition “exceptionally fast,” he said.

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