India has a diverse population of races, castes, languages and cultures. Accordingly, the country has a greater need to preserve the rights of minorities. Article 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution provides the right related to culture and education with a view to safeguarding the rights of any section of the citizen, in any part of India, concerning different languages, scripts, cultures, etc.
In this article, we explain the cultural and educational rights contained in Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India.
What Are Cultural and Educational Rights
Cultural and educational rights are the rights that protect the culture, script or language of all sections. The fundamental right related to culture and education preserves the culture of all the minority groups in the society.
The Indian Constitution provides cultural and educational rights intending to protect the state’s diversity and make minorities live a life like the other people of the society.
How Do Cultural and Educational Rights Protect Minorities
The cultural and educational rights as given under Article 29 of the Constitution are available to every citizen equally. And so, these rights are available to minorities as well. The minorities with different cultures have the right to protect and maintain the same.
Article 29: Protection of Interests of Minorities
Clause (1) of Article 29 of the Constitution states that every section of citizens residing in India’s territory or any part of it who speak, write or practise a different language, script, or culture has the right to protect that language, script, or culture.
Further, clause (2) provides that any citizen should not be refused admission to any state-run educational institution or receive state-funded aid solely on the basis of religion, race, caste, language, or any of these factors.
The right to admission into an educational institution provided under Article 29(2) is an individual’s right that is bestowed to him as a citizen and not as a member of any community.
Case Law Related to Article 29
State of Maharashtra vs Champakam Dorairajan (1951): A Madras government edict (official order) determined the proportion of students from each community admitted to the state medical and engineering colleges. This order was challenged on the ground that it denied admission to the petitioner merely on the ground of religion or caste. The ruling was overturned because it prohibited admission solely on the basis of religion or caste.
Further, the Supreme Court declared the order unconstitutional and invalid, being violative of Article 29(2) of the Constitution.
Article 30: Right to Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions
Article 30(1) of the Indian Constitution ensures to all the minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice. The right conferred by this clause is on two types of minorities:
(1) Religious minorities, and
(2) Linguistic minorities.
Clause (2) of Article 30 further forbids the state to make any discrimination in the grant of aid to any educational institution based on the fact that it is managed by a religious minority or linguistic minority.
Case Laws Related to Article 30
DAV College, Bhatinda vs the State of Punjab (1971): The university had declared that Punjabi would be the only medium of instruction in the affiliated colleges. The court held that the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice also includes the right to a choice of medium of instruction and that the circular of the university was directly violative on the rights of minorities to receive instruction in Hindi as their language, and thus violated Articles 29(1) and 30(1) of the Indian Constitution.
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