Amend articles 29, 30 of the Constitution to expand the rights given to minorities to All

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AMEND ARTICLES 29 AND 30 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA TO EXPAND THE RIGHTS GIVEN TO THE MINORITIES TO ALL SECTIONS OF INDIAN SOCIETY

1.             The Constitution of India gives a right to all religious denominations “to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes”. (Art. 26)

        Education is obviously a charitable purpose. Therefore, the Hindus do also have a right to establish educational institutions. 

2.             However, Article 30 relates to the ‘Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions’. It gives a right to, “All minorities”, religious or linguistic “to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”. 

Thus, Article 30 restricts the rights ‘to establish and administer educational institutions’ only to the minorities. 

3.             The minorities enjoy autonomy and freedom from governmental interference. However, the Constitution mandates that the State shall equally give them its grants. 

Thus, the institutions established by any minority are entitled to run it on the State funding. 

4.             The sub-text of Constituent Assembly debates shows that the rights given in Articles 29, 30 were taken to be assumed for majority and were only made explicit to the minorities; particularly an assurance to them in the peculiar aftermath of partition. 

5.             The Supreme Court in the T.M.A. Pai Foundation case ruled that "The right to establish and maintain educational institutions may also be sourced to article 26(a), which grants, in positive terms, the right to every religious denomination or any section thereof to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes…"

6.             Despite this, by various judgments of the Courts, the rights given U/a 29 and 30 have been limited to the institutions established by the minorities only. 

7.             The majority i.e. the Hindus do not have this right. Their educational institutions are frequently the victims of undue State interference. The inimical state governments frequently make the running of such educational institutions very difficult and sometimes impossible. 

The anomalous result has been that even the Ramakrishna Mission, the Arya Samaj, the Jain Institutions and recently the Lingayats approached the law Courts for a declaration that they are not Hindus, but a different and independent minority religion. 

8.             I am not suggesting that the precious rights given to the minorities to establish and administer their educational institutions be curtailed in anyway. 

        However, there is no justification to restrict this right to the minorities only. There is no ground for depriving the majority community from establishing and administering their institutions. 

9.             Therefore, the time has come to consider the expansion of rights U/a 29-30 of the Constitution to all sections of the Society without any discrimination based on minority or majority. 

10.         I therefore earnestly request that Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution be amended to include all religious and linguistic sections of India in its ambit.