Constitution of India : Article 29: Protection of intrests of minorities

Article 29:  Protection of interests of minorities 

(1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same. (2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.

Background

Article 23(1)-(2), Draft Constitution, 1948 (1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script, and culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.

(2) No minority whether based on religion, community or language shall be discriminated against in regard to the admission of any person belonging to such minority into any educational institution maintained by the State. Draft Article 23(1)-(2) (Article 29) was debated on 7th and 8th December 1948.

It aimed to secure the cultural and educational rights of minorities. One member proposed to amend clause (1) to give minorities to right to ‘develop’ their culture. He argued that culture was not static; it was dynamic and progressive, and the Draft Article should reflect the same. This was rejected by the Assembly. Another member wanted to limit the scope of the Draft Article only to linguistic minorities.

He argued that recognizing special rights for religious minorities would promote communalism. This was in contrast to a proposal to expand the Draft Article to cover religious, racial, caste, and linguistic minorities. The second proposal was accepted by the Assembly. The Assembly adopted the Draft Article on 8th December 1948.