ARTICLE 29

1
5
Introduction

A crucial clause in the Indian Constitution, Article 29, guarantees the right to cultural and educational autonomy for the nation’s linguistic and religious minorities. The fact that the distinctive language, script, and culture of minority populations are protected under this article is a tribute to India’s commitment to variety and pluralism. Article 29 strives to safeguard these communities’ distinct identities and foster a sense of pride and belonging among minority groups by ensuring that they can create and manage own educational institutions. This article, which captures the spirit of India’s secular fabric, acts as a barrier against prejudice and promotes an inclusive society where each individual has the ability to uphold and spread their unique history without concern for marginalization or assimilation.

What does Article 29 states ?

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.

Clauses of Article 29
  • Clause (1)– The Indian Constitution’s Article 29(1) strives to defend a group’s rights. With regard to their cultural heritage, this is an unalienable privilege for the minority communities. This clause cannot be subject to justifiable limitations for the sake of the public.
  • Clause (2)– The Indian Constitution’s Article 29(2) attempts to safeguard an individual’s rights. The Article contains measures that protect each individual citizen’s rights, independent of the community to which they belong. Therefore, Article 29 as a whole ensures the protection of minorities who practice different religions and languages.
Analysis of Article 29
  • The Fundamental Rights contained in the Indian Constitution protect an Indian citizen’s fundamental rights. In India, the Constitution essentially guarantees six basic rights. The Indian Constitution’s Articles 29 and 30 discuss the cultural and educational rights that are granted to citizens of India.
  • The protection of the cultures of India’s minority groups is the primary objective of Article 29 of the Indian Constitution. India’s great diversity serves as both a strength and a problem for the nation. India is complex, which leads to the need for Article 29 of the Constitution. These rights are guaranteed to India’s minority groups by the Constitution. This aids in the preservation of all of India’s disadvantaged communities. The people are also driven to defend, advance, and maintain their culture.
  • 1975 saw the promulgation of Article 29 on April 26. Article 29 is found in Chapter 3’s “Fundamental Rights” section, which is covered by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms.
  • Only individuals who are Indian citizens and live on Indian soil are granted the right. Since there is such a wide variety of cultures and traditions in India, Article 29 of the Indian Constitution grants every citizen the freedom to preserve their culture and any connected outlets.
  • Hindus are the majority population in India, yet they are a minority in some states. Christians, Muslims, and other minorities are present in India as a whole, but their numbers are lower in the states where Hindus make up the majority. As a result, if a minority in India fears losing its cultural identity, Article 29 of the Indian Constitution supports that fear.
Landmark judgement regarding Article 29

S.P. Mittal v. Union of India, AIR 1983 SC 1

  • In this instance, Sri Aurobindo was not only a superb administrator and academician but also actively involved in politics. Later, he abandoned everything to live a life of meditation in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu. There he met Madam M. Alfassa, later known as Mother, who would go on to become his disciple. In order to spread and put into practice Sri Aurobindo’s principles and beliefs, his disciples and the Mother later founded The Sri Aurobindo Society.
  • The Mother, the organization’s founding president, created the municipality of Auroville as a place where people might gather and engage in a variety of activities. Later, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to support supplies to aid in Auroville’s development.
  • When the mother died away, a number of issues, including poor project management and financial misuse, surfaced, impeding the township’s ability to function and flourish. As a result, the Tamil Nadu government took management into their own hands and filed a presidential edict that subsequently became The Auroville (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1980, bearing in mind the international nature of Auroville due to the agreement with UNESCO.
  • The constitutionality of the Act was contested on four grounds because the government had taken over a “religious” business. Its violation of Articles 29 and 30 was one of the justifications.
  • The bench concluded that the aforementioned Act does not contravene Articles 29 and 30. The court determined that it did not violate Article 29 because it did not in any way restrict their rights or prevent any person from preserving their own language, script, or culture.
  • Additionally, in this situation, in order to qualify for protection under Article 30, one must demonstrate that they belong to a minority linguistic or religious group and that they founded the organization in question. Since Auroville was built on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy and was not a place of worship, they were not eligible for protection under these articles.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here