India, the largest democracy of the world is a land of religious, cultural and linguistic diversity. Correspondingly we have the division of population into a majority and several minorities on the basis of religious, cultural as well as on linguistic communities.
The basic object of minority protection is to instill confidence in them, create a feeling that they will never be overrun by the majority and to homogenize the pluralities in a civil society and to integrate minorities fully and equally into the national life of the state characterized by the ethos and interest of majority. The term minority occurs only in Articles 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution.
Article 30 recognizes the right of a minority whether based on religion or language to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and prohibits the state from discriminating against any educational institutions on the ground that it is under the management of a minority. Article 30(1) holds a very special place for the fact that through education alone minorities can conserve their language, script and cultural heritage. It is the most important factor for the development of man as well as of the society. Even the international law recognizes that education is general human right and also crucial part of minority rights.
The concept of minority though not define by the Constitution occurs again in Article 29 of the constitution, where the right of any section of the citizen residing in the territory of India, ‘ to ‘conserve’ its distinct language, script or Culture is protected. Moreover Article 25 to Article 28 of the Constitution protects the religious and cultural rights of the minorities.
In Addition to these rights the articles of the Part III of the Constitution guaranteeing specified fundamental rights either to individual citizens or to all persons, whether citizens or not, strongly reinforces these protection. It seeks the protection of individual activities of members of group or sections of the population whether operating in isolation or in concert. They are often directed towards the promotion of these groups or their activities.
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.
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. The underlying philosophy of the constitution is that, no minority whether based on religion, community or language shall be deprived of its right or discriminated against in regard to the admission into state education institutions.