Cultural and Educational Rights According to Indian Constitution.
Rights of education is considered most important for the success of democracy and democratic institutions. This right also assumes importance because every nation is very keen to preserve its cultural heritage. The right provides that all shall have a right to develop composite Indian culture but at the same time no culture or language will be imposed on any section of the society. All shall be free to develop culture of their choice and also be free to get the type of education they like.
The minorities will be absolutely free to preserve and develop their own culture and language. No citizen will be denied admission in any educational institution on account of his following a particular culture or belonging to a particular caste, creed or religion. All minorities, whether religious or lingual shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
In granting aid to educational institution, the state shall not discriminate against any educational institution for its being a minority managed institution. The state shall not dictate the minorities about the nature of institutions they should have. It is required to be all impartial while extending financial aid and assistance to educational and cultural institutions.
Since the state will have no religion of its own, the minorities shall have full right to establish their own trusts and propagate their own religion. But the state shall interfere only when there is need for making regulations for the exercise or this freedom in the interests of public Safety, peace, comfort or convenience or for the prevention of fraud etc.
The state can also take steps to eradicate such practices or dogmas, which stand in the way of country’s progress as a whole without attacking basic principles of religion.
Under Article 29 of the Constitution, it is provided that no citizen of India shall be denied admission to any educational institution maintained!or assisted by the state on ground of religion, race, caste or language. While giving aid the state shall not discriminate on the basis of religion. The Supreme Court in the case of Ramji Lal vs the Slate of U.P. held that freedom of religion does not authorize deliberately doing anything, which outrages the religious feelings of another class.
There is no fundamental right to convert another person to one’s own religion under Article 25 (1). because if a person purposely undertakes the conversion of another person to his religion, as distinguished from his effort to transmit or spread principles of his religion but millions of Hindus are being converted by Christian missionaries and Muslims etc. and this created communal disturbances during rule of N.D.A. Government, but conversions continued due to allurement of money and jobs and allurement of marrying four wives etc.
The provisions of Article 26 (C) and (D) do not forbid the state from taking property belonging to religious denominations. In the case of Narendra versus. the State of Gujarat, Supreme Court held that the right guaranteed by Article 26 was not absolute.
It was subject to reasonable regulations by the state provided that the substance of the right was not effected. In the case of D.A.V. College, Bhatinda Vs. the State of Punjab the Supreme Court held that the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice would include the right to have choice of medium of instructions also which would be the result of reading Article 30(1) with Article 29 (1).
44th Constitutional Amendment Act provides that:
In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of any educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause (I), the state shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause.
The state is, however, fully competent to make laws, which can help in promoting efficiency, morality and health etc. as well as discipline of a minority run and managed institution.