India is one of the largest democracies in the world with a population that enjoys Fundamental Rights according to Part Three of the Indian Constitution after a fate of barbaric dictatorship and wide-scale torture to the people around. Along with time, there was a multiplicity of castes and religions with the clash of different civilizations, which turned to diversities and the introduction of minorities. The majority population, specifically the Hindus with linguistic variations often dominated and discriminated against the minorities in the motherland and made them helpless even though India is the largest democracy in India until Article 29 and 30 were strictly interpreted by the Indian Courts. Article 29 speaks about the conservation of language, script or culture and no discrimination to be done while getting admission in the educational institutions run by State on any basis of language, religion, race, caste, or anything. Article 30 talks about the rights of minorities to establish and administer their own educational institutions and the state shall not discriminate in funding such educational institutions. Hence, while getting both the articles together, we get a strong viewpoint and opinion for the minority rights within the ambit of legal provisions.
Definition and Protection of Interest
The term “minority”, in Indian context, is used to refer to non-Hindu communities, though there are various other implications of this term.But the term “minority” has neither been defined in the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992 nor the Constitution, and there is no such widely accepted definition of the term “minorities” globally but, the UN has given its own definition. Under Article 1 of UN Minorities Declaration, 1992, minorities as based on national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity, and provides that States should protect their existence. In the case of A.M.Patroni v. Keshavan, Kerala High Court followed the technical definition of Minorities as given by Supreme Court, the community which is 50% less than the total population. Even also, in today’s scenario, the unveiling of new communities is also discriminated and criticized other than the provisions provided under Article 29 and 30. But, the minorities have strongly been with the support from the state for the formation of their own educational institutions and their interests are protected. There are many educational institutions which are formed on the base of Article 30 like D.A.V College (Punjab), Jamia Milia Islamia, Vivekanand Educational Society, Anjuman-I-Islam and a lot more;although there are many cases as in like T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. the State of Karnatakawhere, Supreme Court was not concerned with the rights of the aid of minority and non-minority institutions and limitation imposed by the states upon them but was concerned only with the rights and obligations of private unaided institutions run by minorities and non-minorities. Hence, after this judgement, the State has to focus on funding of the minority educational institutions and this judgement was highly criticized. Another case of P.A.Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra states the policy considerations and reservations. Reservations are not allowed in minority institutions and scope of employment isn’t available in minority institutions which is any critical point. Hence, this judgement is also criticized and reservations are a point of consideration which should be done in every educational institution. In case of D.A.V College v. State of Punjab, it was observed that, although religious scriptures are to be followed in religious-based educational institutions, it’s not compulsory for the students to read that subject and its formed on the grounds of religious and linguistic minorities.
Scope of Article 30
Further in 2004, NCMEI, National Commission on Minority Educational Institutions was formed to overlook the proceedings against such institutions and for a smooth functioning of it. It can address certain grievances against those minority institutions and under this forum, can solve certain issues. India hosts a lot of benefits for such minority institutions like no reservations for anyone except 50% of seats to be granted to the students of those particular minority communities. The representatives are also not under any liabilities and as compared to other institutes in India; minority institutions have more prominent power. The provision helps to prove the secularism in India and non- arbitrary laws established.Fundamental Rights are guaranteed other than any diversity. In the long run too, such institutions are to be empowered with certain benefits and identity for the assurance to the protection of traditional and cultural studies.
India is often considered to be united within so many diversities. Still then, the progress and developments witnessed till yet are way beyond the past. The ideal provision of minority institutions might be unequal in nature for the majority population in scenario, but this is for the security of certain distinct cultures and they gain a confidence to represent themselves in global platform. When compared to privileged classes and high societies in India, often our country lags behind and the main reason is the poverty and no access provided to certain group of people, who are later known as the minorities. So far within the clashes between different communities, the minorities haven’t lost any hope from the Government and they have their own uniqueness and spirit in doing everything. The law should always protect them from overshadowing by the Majority population so as for a peaceful nation.
Also read Article 368: Boon or Bane?
Ramaga, P.V., 1992. Relativity of the minority concept. Hum. Rts. Q., 14, p.104.
AIR 1965 Ker 75
AIR 2003 SC 355
2006 (6) SCC 537
1971 SCR 688
Rajarajan, R. “SECULARISM IN INDIAN POLITICS : THEORY AND PRACTICE.” The Indian Journal of Political Science 68, no. 2 (2007): 403-12. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41856335.
Ranu Jain. “Minority Rights in Education: Reflections on Article 30 of the Indian Constitution.” Economic and Political Weekly 40, no. 24 (2005): 2430-437. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4416749.