This article is a compilation of Article 29 as it is. You can understand it well, that’s why its explanation is also given below, you must read it. Its explanation is also available in Hindi, for this you can use the link given below;
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|📖 Read This Article in Hindi|
📜 Article 29
|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.
Culture is a basic element of any civilization. It refers to the characteristics, group behavior and knowledge of a particular group of people, which includes language, religion, food, social habits, music and art, customs, traditions, etc. And Education There is a process of learning, teaching and passing on all these things.
India is a culturally diverse country where many different cultures live together maintaining their own culture.
This is possible because our constitution respects diversity and gives everyone the right to preserve their culture (especially minorities whose cultures are most afraid of extinction).
There are a total of two articles in ‘ Cultural and Educational Rights ‘ (which you can see in the chart below), in this article we are going to understand the first article i.e. Article 29 .
|Right to Culture and Education ↗️|
|⚫ Article 29 – Protection of interests of minorities|
⚫ Article 30 – Right of minority to set up and manage educational institutions
| Article 29 – protection of interests of minorities
Who is a minority?
The definition of minority has not been given in the constitution. In the ordinary sense of the word, it means any community which is less than fifty per cent of the population of the State.
Whether a community is a minority or not shall be ascertained with reference to the requisite legislation. To be a linguistic minority, that community must have a spoken language of its own, even if it does not have a script.
After the implementation of the constitution, if any institution has been created keeping in mind the minorities, then the minority should be a person resident in India.
But if any institution established by a non-resident person for the benefit of minority community in India before the coming into force of the Constitution, it can get the protection of this article.
Article 29 has two sections, which are explained below.
Article 29(1) Any section of citizens resident 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.
The meaning of this section is that if any minority wants to maintain its language, script and culture , then the state will not impose any other culture on them.
If any law is made by the State Legislature which extends to the whole of that territory. There the reference to the population of that entire State will be used to determine who is a minority.
Remember, the right to preserve a language includes the right to campaign for its preservation. And this right can also be political.
The right conferred by clause (1) is absolute. It cannot be subjected to reasonable restrictions like the rights mentioned in Article 19(1). Therefore, a political agitation launched by a section of citizens to preserve their language cannot be made a “corrupt practice” under Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act.
By and large, under this section, any section of citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct dialect, language, script, or culture of its own has the right to conserve the same. This system protects the rights of a group.
Article 29(2) No citizen shall be denied admission to 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.
As we have understood above, clause (1) protects the rights of any group of citizens. But clause (2) is an individual right given to the citizens. That is, this right is not given as a member of any community.
This section provides protection to an aggrieved person who has been denied admission in educational institutions on the ground of his religion.
⚫ Remember , if a citizen seeking admission does not possess the requisite qualification then he cannot say that his right under Article 29(2) has been violated.
But if he has the essential qualification and yet he is refused admission on the ground only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them, his rights under this clause shall be deemed to be infringed.
It also means that if a person is given reservation or some special arrangement is made on any basis other than religion, race, caste, language or gender, then it will not be considered as a violation of this article.
For example, if the institute wishes, it can prepare special arrangements on the basis of physical ability, discipline and training etc.
That is, if you are expelled from a college on account of discipline, then you cannot say that Article 29(2) has been violated. [You can understand this in detail in the reservation article]
The most popular case related to Clause (2) of Article 29 is Champakam Dorairajan’s case of 1951 which was quite special in many ways. Let’s understand this a bit;
Champakam Dorairajan v. State of Madras case 1951
In fact, a girl named Champakam Dorairajan was denied admission in a medical college in Madras only because seats were reserved for different sections of the society by a government order. Which was something like this.
Out of 14 seats each, 6 for Non-Brahmin (Hindu), 2 for Backward Hindu, 2 for Brahmin, 2 for Harijan, 1 for Anglo-Indians and Indian Christians and 1 for Muslims seat.
Champakam Dorairajan was a Brahmin girl and despite being qualified, she could not get admission because of the paucity of seats for her. So he filed a petition in the Madras High Court regarding the violation of his fundamental rights.
Champakam Dorairajan’s side – He kept his side and said that this cannot be done under Article 15, 16 and Article 29(2) .
On the basis of this argument, it can be absolutely said that the reservation of seats was wrong. But then the argument was also given by the government.
Government’s side – The government cited Article 46 of the DPSP and said that since seats can be reserved on its basis, it was done. And Article 37 also says right here that it will be the duty of the state to implement it .
Now when this matter went to the Supreme Court, the question before the Supreme Court was whether the violation of fundamental rights can be justified on the basis of DPSP?
Supreme Court’s decision – The Supreme Court said that the reservation given on the basis of community violates the fundamental rights, therefore the state cannot make arrangements for reservation on the basis of caste or religion in the matter of admission, because it violates Article 16(2) And Article 29(2) is violated.
Along with this, the Supreme Court said another big thing that whenever there is a conflict between fundamental rights and policy directive principles, then in that situation only fundamental rights will be considered effective and not DPSP.
Understand this topic deeply – Conflict between fundamental rights and directive principles
⚫ Clause (1) pertains to a group as a whole while clause (2) pertains to persons of any group. One thing that is worth remembering here is that the title of Article 29 talks about minorities but it applies to all citizens.
The Supreme Court has also confirmed this matter saying that it is not only related to minorities but also to all citizens (i.e. both minority and majority).
⚫It may be remembered here that Article 15(1) also provides protection against discrimination but that is a general protection while the protection under Article 29(2) is protection against a specific type of wrongdoing. And that particular type of fault is denial of admission to educational institutions aided or funded by the state.
Article 15(1) is available only against the State while Article 29(2) is available against the State as well as against those persons who obstruct the exercise of this right.
So overall this is Article 29, I hope you have understood. To understand other article, you can use the link given below.
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|Hindi Articles||English Articles|
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⚫ अनुच्छेद 26
⚫ अनुच्छेद 27
⚫ अनुच्छेद 28
⚫ अनुच्छेद 30
|⚫ Article 25|
⚫ Article 26
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⚫ Article 28
⚫ Article 30
⚫ Basics of Parliament
⚫ Fundamental Rights
⚫ Judiciary in India
⚫ Executive in India
⚫ Basics of Parliament
⚫ Fundamental Rights
⚫ Judiciary in India
⚫ Executive in India
Disclaimer - The articles and their interpretations presented here are based on the original Constitution (latest edition), DD Basu's commentary on the Constitution (mainly) and various scholars of the Constitution (whose writings are available in newspapers, magazines and audio-visuals on the Internet). We have just tried to make it interesting and easy to understand.