Discuss the possible implications of replacing the words "all minorities" in Article 30 of the Constitution with words "all sections of citizens having distinct language or religion".

India is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religion nation. In order to protect all the unique cultures, languages constitution has provided protection to them under Fundamental Rights Art 29 and 30.
Article 30 of the Indian constitution grants following rights to linguistic and religious minorities:

  1. Right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice
  2. Compensation fixed by state in case of compulsory acquisition of any property of minority educational institution.
  3. In granting aid state shall not discriminate against any educational institution managed by minority
  4. Includes the rights of minority to impart education to its children in its own language

Article 30 only includes linguistic and religious minorities as against Article 29 which has been extended to all sections of citizens having distinct language or religion the right to conserve their language, script etc. If similar provision is extended to Article 30 it would lead to:

  1. Article 30 only seeks to ensure equality for minorities vis-s-vis majority
  2. Aggravate the communal imbalance caused by undue competition for priviledges from state
  3. Domination of majority institutions when compared to minority as they would be more in number.
  4. Majoritarian institutions would also enjoy autonomy like minority thus leading to more cases of mal-administration from which minority institutions suffer.
  5. The purpose of Article 30 is to preserve unique culture and language of minorities, which would be defeated.
  6. Conservation of language and script is part of one’s cultural identity same cannot be said about educational institutions
  7. Minority institutions do not implement reservation policy and giving blanket cover would go against the reservation policy

Secular values of the Indian constitutions rest on the bedrock of protection of rights of minorities both religious and linguistic. A blanket cover to all would go against these values.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the possible implications of replacing the words "all minorities" in Article 30 of the Constitution with words "all sections of citizens having distinct language or religion".

Published: September 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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