Why did the Ramakrishna Mission say they are not Hindus

Legal View        

This chapter has two parts to it. One and two are the words of two learned men Shri M P Jain and Dr Durga Das Basu.

1. Quote M P Jain “The position as it has developed is that, in effect, institutions of general education established and administered by religious or linguistic minorities enjoy a much more privileged position than those run by the majority in the matter of regulation by the government or university. The Supreme Court has given a very generous interpretation to art 30 (1) in favor of minorities. While strict supervision can be imposed on majority institutions, the same cannot be done on minority institutions. It stands to reason whether such a result was envisaged by the framers of the Constitution. Was it not their intention to buttress by art 30 (1) the type of institutions contemplated by art 29 (1). The Supreme Court however specifically rejected this point.

An unhappy aspect of the present day situation that it has become difficult to ensure security of tenure to teachers in minority institutions. In this connection, rejection by the Supreme Court, in the St Xavier’s College case, of the concept of arbitration between college management and a member of the staff appears to be a very extreme view to take.

As a final comment, it needs to be said that the right of the minority under art 30 has become, by judicial interpretation, synonymous with the right of the management of an institution to claim freedom from government or university regulation. The Right to establish institutions of their choice has also come to mean that the managing bodies can administer these institutions as they like”.

2. Quote Dr Durga Das Basu How have articles 29 and 30 (1) promoted aggressiveness amongst minorities?

• “It would be incorrect not to recount ominous trends which have been revealed since the General Election of 1980 as regards the ever-aggressive demands of the religious minorities – which run counter to the very foundations of the existing Constitution. The most grievous feature of post-Independent India is that the Minorities have held up their vote as bait and political leaders of the majority community have indiscriminately swallowed that bait in their Election Manifestos. It must be pointed out that to accept such anti-nationalist demands of the Minorities (which, though sponsored by the Muslims, are being reiterated by others such as Christians, Sikhs would be to tear India into pieces, with a second Pakistan for Muslim-majority areas and so on. It is a matter of regret that the manifesto of the Congress I for the 1991 elections promised reservations for minorities in government service and the Armed Forces. The formation of Muslim Majority districts in Kerala and Bihar is another step in furthering separaticism.
• Another demand of a minority community is that the Minority Commission, set up administratively, during the Desai regime, should be given a constitutional footing and a binding force to its recommendations. Parliament has enacted the National Minorities Commission on 17/5/1992 but its recommendations have not been given any obligatory force.
• Another demand advanced on behalf of the Muslims is that the Directive in art 44 for establishing a uniform civil code should not be applicable to the Muslims who should be allowed to be governed by the Shariat as their personal law. (The Jamiat-ulama-I-Hind Statesman dt 2.10.1979). This again is going back. It is curious that while polygamy has either been abolished or controlled by Islamic states like Turkey and Bangladesh Indian Muslims are pressing to uphold it’s as their religious right. I wonder whether the Shariat is to be implemented in criminal cases too.
• Once the demands of one minority are met, the others too would ask for more. At the time of partition it was Muslims, then Christians of Northeast, next Sikhs, who knows what next. Scheduled castes that converted to Buddhism wanted to continue availing reservations for S.C.’s is a case in point. Whatever may be the merits of the case the National Front govt allowed in 1990 such converts the benefits of reservation? It may be noted that the word Scheduled Castes is not a coinage of the Constitution of independent India but had its origin in Para 2 of the Scheduled Castes Order, 1936 which had been issued in pursuance of the direction in Para 26 of Sch I of the Government of India Act, 1935 – to determine the classes who were depressed classes. (called Harijans by Gandhi).
• In the international sphere, the demand for special safeguards to protect the cultural or linguistic identity of minority communities has emerged from the principle that owing to war or like circumstances causing territorial changes without the consent of people residing in those territories, the identity of such communities who have been torn as under by circumstances beyond their control should be preserved from ethnic extinction, by affording safeguards through international Charters and national Constitutions. (Very rightly said, why are Hindus in U.K. not called minorities and given special rights)? The partition of India, which left a portion of the Muslim community in India, took place in the opposite way. For the Muslims who stayed back the partition was the seeking of their own community and not the result of any circumstances beyond their control, such as the First and Second World War, which created the international minority problem in the world.
• Those who believe that communal harmony and unity of India can be achieved only by granting more and more extra-Constitutional privileges forget the adage –‘once an infant always an infant’ and also the fact that communalism is a vicious circle. There can be one nation when we have only one Constitution for all”.

Friends I point I am trying to make is that article 29 and 30 (1) have by allowing minorities extra constitutional provisions only divided the country further. When a section of the population has extra constitutional benefits based on religion it is human nature to strive hard to maintain a separate identity and fight for more. The Preamble ‘unity and integrity of the nation’ is a mirage. Articles 26 to 30 ensure that religious and linguistic minorities cling to constitutional benefits national unity and integrity be damned.

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