NEED FOR EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS OF MINORITIES: GROUPS OF MINORITIES

Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution guarantees some specified and some unspecified rights to these groups of minorities. Right to establish and administer an educational institution of its choice is, for example, a specific right guaranteed to linguistic and religious minorities. Such institutions may be established and administered by any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture to conserve the same. The latter may also take reasonable steps to preserve the language, script or culture.

Next it is of utmost importance to know the reason for giving the right to establish and administer educational institutions. The answer may not be universally applicable to all minorities in a situation.10 Christian missionaries may for example establish modern secular education institutions in non-christianity majority areas for the benefit of the latter. It may be a muslims, parsis, jains and Sikhs for establishing educational institutions for such benevolent motives.

The constitution guarantees founders of such institutions all that can be reasonably claimed under freedom to manage and administer. The court from the very beginning have interpreted the right to administer minority institution in a very broad manner and have widened its scope. Only in some recent cases the court has realized that minority rights to autonomous institutions may be misused for profit motives, resulting in denial of rights to teaching and non-teaching staff of these institutions.

But most importantly the reason for granting such rights is the fact that minority groups realize that it needs education for survival and development. If it wants to preserve its cultural identity it would tend to establish educational institutions where its members may have a congenial atmosphere conducive to the growth of its identity. This latter factor would tend to attract boys and girls from the community who would otherwise have not joined any other institutions of other dominant groups.

This very rational scheme of survival of any distinct group demands that the primary freedom of choice guaranteed in article 30(1) should be mainly available in deciding the kind or type of education to be imparted and in selecting the target group that is students from its own community whose survival and development as a distinct group is supposed to have been the object of constitutional guarantee.

The right under article 30 (1) is absolute and unlike article 19 does not admit of any restriction. This does not mean that this right is not subject to regulatory power of the state. The state may provide regulatory measures provided (1) they are not annihilative of the right itself, (2) are in public interest and in the interest and in the interest of the institution. But it is also important to note that the regulatory power should not be such that it would invade the fundamental right of the minorities given in article 30(1) of the constitution.