Safeguard for Minorities in India

Currently there are 6 minorities in India viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains.

The Constitution does not define a minority or provide details relating to the geographical and numerical specification of the concept.

However, it talks about ‘Minorities’ and speaks of those ‘based on religion or language and provides for special domain rights for them such as:

• Article 29(1): Right of ‘any section of the citizens’ to ‘conserve’ its ‘distinct language, script or culture’

• Article 29(2): Restriction on denial of admission to any citizen, to any educational institution maintained or aided by the State, ‘on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them’

• Article 30(1): Right of all Religious and Linguistic Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

• Article 30(2): Freedom of Minority-managed educational institutions from discrimination in the matter of receiving aid from the State.

• Article 347: Special provision relating to the language spoken by a section of the population of any State.

• Article 350 A: Provision for facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage.

• Article 350 B: Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities and his duties.