In a multicultural society, for the preservation of distinct cultural traits and patterns, exclusive rights may be recognised as fundamental for religious denominations and cultural and linguistic minorities. Such special rights may include educational rights. Religious, cultural or linguistic organisations provide a forum to coordinate the demands of individual members.
The Indian constitution enshrines various provisions for the protection of the rights and interest of the minorities.
Firstly, India declares herself a secular state. No particular religion or the religion of the overwhelming majority has been made the religion of the state.
Secondly, Article 29 gives the religious and linguistic minorities right to establish and manage educational institutions of their own. The minorities have been given the unrestricted rights to promote and preserve their own culture. Indeed, India is a country of diverse cultural groups and She is keen to preserve her cultural diversity. Thus for example, even though, Hindi is made the official language of India, primary education everywhere is given in the mother tongue. It may be noted that there are over 20 official languages in India.
Thirdly, Article 29 expressly forbids discrimination on grounds of race, religion, caste, language, in admission to educational institutions run by the state or receiving aids from the state.
This means that the doors of all educational institutions run by the government or receiving funds from the state are open to all groups of Indians. Linguistic, religious or ethnic minority students cannot be denied admission to such educational institutions.
Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28):-
Article 25 deals with freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.
Article 26 deals with freedom to manage religious affairs.
Article 27 deals with freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.
Article 28 deals with freedom as to attendance at religious instructions or religious worship in certain educational institutions.
Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29-30):-
Article 29 deals with the protection of language, script, and culture of minorities.
Article 30 deals with the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
Right to Privacy:-
- Right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty of the citizens.
- The ruling has implications for the government’s vast biometric ID scheme, covering access to benefits, bank accounts and payment of taxes.
- Rights groups are concerned personal data could be misused. The authorities want registration to be compulsory.