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No Violation of Fundamental Rights

Official Spokesman Exposes Sectional Propaganda.
Referring to the criticism, in the editorial and news columns of a section of the Press, of Government’s policy in regard to private management schools, an official spokesman today (May 30, 1957) observed:
“It is unfortunate that Government’s policy defining the basis on which private management schools which enjoy the full benefits of Government aid should function is being misconstrued and misinterpreted as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution”. He added, however, that although such criticism was confined to a small section of the Press – and this section was vitally interested in the matter by virtue of its vested interests in private school management- the apparent plausibility of the arguments advanced under the facade of alleged infringement of fundamental rights was so ingeniously worded that large numbers of people would be deluded into accepting such arguments as being logical and sound. It was necessary, in the public interest, to lay bare the fallacy of the argument of violation of Fundamental Rights, so that the willing and understanding support of the entire people of the State may be secured for the important measure of educational reform which Government desired to implement for the benefit of the people as a whole.

Proceeding, the official spokesman quoted the relevant provisions of the Constitution relating to Fundamental Rights in respect of education.
Article 29. (1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part there of 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 institutions maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.

Section 30. (1) All minorities whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
In the light of the above provisions of the Constitution, the official spokesman said, it would be seen that what has been specifically guaranteed was the right of all sections of the people to conserve and promote their culture and the right to start such institutions and run them without being discriminated against in the matter of aid from Government.
Not one of these fundamental rights would be violated by any clause or condition of the proposed reform in the educational system of the State, the official spokesman said. Firstly, it was not the intention of Government to take over all private management schools or to deny any organisation, group or individual, the right to start and run a school. In other words, it was not intended to nationalise the educational structure of the State or bring all the schools under Government ownership, management and control.

Sub-Section 1 of Section 30, the Government spokesman explained, only conceded to minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. In other words, all minorities were free to run their own denominational institutions. The last two words of the Section “their choice” was significant. The right was not extended to private schools conducted by private agencies and functioning as part of the general educational set-up of the State, open and beneficial to all sections of the people.

Sub-Section (2) laid down that there shall be no discrimination in the matter of granting aid to educational institutions, public or denominational on the ground of religion or language. The clause had reference to both denominational and public schools. The vital point to be noted in this context was that management by a minority agency alone did not make a school a minority school or a denominational school, and that such a school did not come within the purview of Sub-Section (1). Citing a specific example, the Government spokesman referred to the Seventh Day Adventists’ High School, Kottarakara, as an instance of a minority school or denominational school, the right to conduct which was conceded by Sub-Section (1). Not only was this school managed by a minority group but it adopted a course of studies suited to the cultural needs and aspirations of the minority group. Government did not at all propose to interfere with that right, even though the course of studies was not the same as the one prescribed by schools run directly by Government or private schools aided by Government. Only Government would not feel justified in extending financial aid to such a denominational institution from out of public funds.

About the application of Sub Section (2), the official spokesman said that the Government did not at all propose to adopt a policy of discrimination in the matter of granting aid to educational institutions, whatever their character may be on the ground of religion or language. In the public sector of educational enterprise, there were various private agencies. Government had no idea to discriminate in any manner in the matter of granting aid to schools in their public sector on the ground of religion or language. In other words, the religion or language served by the private agencies in the public school sector was never taken into account in the matter of recognising and aiding public schools.
These subtle distinctions were, the Government spokesman said, conveniently blurred and clouded by those who wished to obstruct Government Policy. It suited them that the denominational schools run under their management, run purely and specifically for the advancement of their religious or sectarian cultural interests, were public schools entitled to aid from Government under Section (1) of Clause 30. They argued that any attempt to exercise control over the conduct of such schools was an invasion of the fundamental right guaranteed under Section 30. In short, they were consciously and deliberately mixing up the stipulations under Section 30-by pleading that 30(1) and 30 (2) refer to the same type of schools, whereas they do not – with the privileges which private managements were allowed to have under the Educational Code in the public school sector.

What was intended by the present measure was, the official spokesman further explained, to effect a uniformity in the educational system of the State in so far as it related to non-denominational schools, whether run by the State or by private management. Such uniformity was sought to be effected not only in the syllabus and course of studies, but in the service conditions of teachers who were, after all, the backbone of the entire educational system.

Private management schools taken over by mutual consent were receiving, and would continue to receive, grants-in-aid which covered the entire salary payable to teachers, over and above a sum towards contingent expenses. It was therefore indefensible and wrong on the part of any private school management receiving such aid to oppose or obstruct certain uniform measures initiated for the welfare of the teachers on whose contentment the success of the educational efforts mainly depended. In any case, the official spokesman said, it was wrong and unjustifiable on the part of any school management or the vested interests behind it to claim absolute freedom of action after they had chosen to operate within the public school sector and were receiving aid from Government funds, which primarily came from the tax payer. Anyone who wished to run a denominational school for the specific purpose of promoting the cultural or religious interests of a section of the people would be free to do so, but would not be justified in claiming aid from Government. In other words, private denominational schools stood in a category different from private management schools, which had become part of the non-denominational public school structure of the State. The two categories should not be mixed up as one. It would indeed be contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and the concept of the Secular State if Government funds, to which all citizens contributed irrespective of caste or creed, were spent on institutions which sought exclusively to promote the cultural or other rights of any one community, class or sect.
Since the proposed measure was a matter vitally affecting the people generally and the present opposition, so skillfully camouflaged as a violation of fundamental rights, was likely to gain support from the simple and the unsuspecting, it was of the utmost importance that all sections of the public should exert their fullest influence, for their own benefit, to unmask and expose the mischief and help Government implement the proposed reform.

No Violation of Fundamental Rights
Official Spokesman Exposes Sectional Propaganda.
Referring to the criticism, in the editorial and news columns of a section of the Press, of Government’s policy in regard to private management schools, an official spokesman today (May 30, 1957) observed:
“It is unfortunate that Government’s policy defining the basis on which private management schools which enjoy the full benefits of Government aid should function is being misconstrued and misinterpreted as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution”. He added, however, that although such criticism was confined to a small section of the Press – and this section was vitally interested in the matter by virtue of its vested interests in private school management- the apparent plausibility of the arguments advanced under the facade of allegedinfringement of fundamental rights was so ingeniously worded that large numbers of people would be deluded into accepting such arguments as being logical and sound. It was necessary, in the public interest, to lay bare the fallacy of the argument of violation of Fundamental Rights, so that the willing and understanding support of the entire people of the State may be secured for the important measure of educational reform which Government desired to implement for the benefit of the people as a whole.

Proceeding, the official spokesman quoted the relevant provisions of the Constitution relating to Fundamental Rights in respect of education.
Article 29. (1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part there of 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 institutions maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.

Section 30. (1) All minorities whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.

In the light of the above provisions of the Constitution, the official spokesman said, it would be seen that what has been specifically guaranteed was the right of all sections of the people to conserve and promote their culture and the right to start such institutions and run them without being discriminated against in the matter of aid from Government.

Not one of these fundamental rights would be violated by any clause or condition of the proposed reform in the educational system of the State, the official spokesman said. Firstly, it was not the intention of Government to take over all private management schools or to deny any organisation, group or individual, the right to start and run a school. In other words, it was not intended to nationalise the educational structure of the State or bring all the schools under Government ownership, management and control.

Sub-Section 1 of Section 30, the Government spokesman explained, only conceded to minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. In other words, all minorities were free to run their own denominational institutions. The last two words of the Section “their choice” was significant. The right was not extended to private schools conducted by private agencies and functioning as part of the general educational set-up of the State, open and beneficial to all sections of the people.

Sub-Section (2) laid down that there shall be no discrimination in the matter of granting aid to educational institutions, public or denominational on the ground of religion or language. The clause had reference to both denominational and public schools. The vital point to be noted in this context was that management by a minority agency alone did not make a school a minority school or a denominational school, and that such a school did not come within the purview of Sub-Section (1). Citing a specific example, the Government spokesman referred to the Seventh Day Adventists’ High School, Kottarakara, as an instance of a minority school or denominational school, the right to conduct which was conceded by Sub-Section (1). Not only was this school managed by a minority group but it adopted a course of studies suited to the cultural needs and aspirations of the minority group. Government did not at all propose to interfere with that right, even though the course of studies was not the same as the one prescribed by schools run directly by Government or private schools aided by Government. Only Government would not feel justified in extending financial aid to such a denominational institution from out of public funds.

About the application of Sub Section (2), the official spokesman said that the Government did not at all propose to adopt a policy of discrimination in the matter of granting aid to educational institutions, whatever their character may be on the ground of religion or language. In the public sector of educational enterprise, there were various private agencies. Government had no idea to discriminate in any manner in the matter of granting aid to schools in their public sector on the ground of religion or language. In other words, the religion or language served by the private agencies in the public school sector was never taken into account in the matter of recognising and aiding public schools.

These subtle distinctions were, the Government spokesman said, conveniently blurred and clouded by those who wished to obstruct Government Policy. It suited them that the denominational schools run under their management, run purely and specifically for the advancement of their religious or sectarian cultural interests, were public schools entitled to aid from Government under Section (1) of Clause 30. They argued that any attempt to exercise control over the conduct of such schools was an invasion of the fundamental right guaranteed under Section 30. In short, they were consciously and deliberately mixing up the stipulations under Section 30-by pleading that 30(1) and 30 (2) refer to the same type of schools, whereas they do not – with the privileges which private managements were allowed to have under the Educational Code in the public school sector.

What was intended by the present measure was, the official spokesman further explained, to effect a uniformity in the educational system of the State in so far as it related to non-denominational schools, whether run by the State or by private management. Such uniformity was sought to be effected not only in the syllabus and course of studies, but in the service conditions of teachers who were, after all, the backbone of the entire educational system.

Private management schools taken over by mutual consent were receiving, and would continue to receive, grants-in-aid which covered the entire salary payable to teachers, over and above a sum towards contingent expenses. It was therefore indefensible and wrong on the part of any private school management receiving such aid to oppose or obstruct certain uniform measures initiated for the welfare of the teachers on whose contentment the success of the educational efforts mainly depended. In any case, the official spokesman said, it was wrong and unjustifiable on the part of any school management or the vested interests behind it to claim absolute freedom of action after they had chosen to operate within the public school sector and were receiving aid from Government funds, which primarily came from the tax payer. Anyone who wished to run a denominational school for the specific purpose of promoting the cultural or religious interests of a section of the people would be free to do so, but would not be justified in claiming aid from Government. In other words, private denominational schools stood in a category different from private management schools, which had become part of the non-denominational public school structure of the State. The two categories should not be mixed up as one. It would indeed be contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and the concept of the Secular State if Government funds, to which all citizens contributed irrespective of caste or creed, were spent on institutions which sought exclusively to promote the cultural or other rights of any one community, class or sect.

Since the proposed measure was a matter vitally affecting the people generally and the present opposition, so skillfully camouflaged as a violation of fundamental rights, was likely to gain support from the simple and the unsuspecting, it was of the utmost importance that all sections of the public should exert their fullest influence, for their own benefit, to unmask and expose the mischief and help Government implement the proposed reform.