Wednesday, the 8th December 1948
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee) in the Chair.
TAKING THE PLEDGE AND SIGNING THE REGISTER
The following Members took the Pledge and signed the Register:--
Shri Manikya Lal Verma (United State of Rajasthan).
Shri Gokal Lal Asawa (United State of Rajasthan).
Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee): We shall now resume discussion of article 23 to which two amendments have been moved. Amendment No. 677 relates to national language and script and is therefore postponed. Amendments Nos. 678,679, 680 and 681 (1st part) are to be considered together as they are of similar import. I can allow No. 678 to be moved.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay : General):Sir, I move--
"That in clause (1) of article 23, for the words"script and culture" the words "script or culture" be substituted."
The only change is from `and' to `or' and the necessity of the change is so obvious that I do not think it is necessary for me to say anything regarding the same.
Mr. Vice-President: There is an amendment to this amendment--No. 25 of List No. I in the name of Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal: Muslim): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg to move--
"That with reference to amendment No. 678 of the List of Amendments, in clause (1) of article 23, for the words"residing in the territory of India or any part there of" the words "residing in any part of the territory of India" be substituted."
Sir, the text says: `a section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part there of'. The expression`or any part there of' implies, if the passage is fully written out `a section of the citizens residing in the whole of the territory of India or any part thereof.' I submit that no part of the citizens can reside in the `whole' of the territory of India. It must necessarily reside in a part of India. So the words `in the territory of India or any part thereof' would be inappropriate implying a false suggestion. I submit that if we say--`residing in any part of the territory of India', that would be quite enough.Perhaps the phraseology used in the context was due to an oversight. It gives an illogical appearance or a false suggestion that a people or a group of citizens can possibly reside in the whole of India. The further conditions of a part of India having a `distinct language, script or culture' in the article really limit the purpose to any part of India.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 679.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar: General): I have been forestalled by Dr. Ambedkar. So, I do not move No. 679.
Mr. Vice-President: Do you wish to press No. 680?
Mohamed Ismail Sahib (Madras: Muslim): Yes.
Mr. Vice-President: Do you wish that 681 first part should be put to vote?
Prof. K. T. Shah (Bihar: General): First part is covered by Dr. Ambedkar's amendment. But I would like to move the second part.
Mr. Vice-President: The second part of amendment No.681 may now be moved.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Sir, I beg to move part (2) of my amendment which says--
That in clause (1) of article 23, after the word "conserve" the word "develop" be added."
The amendment portion would then be that--
"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 and develop the same."
Sir, I look upon culture of mankind, and the culture of every section of mankind, as not merely a static phenomenon but as a progressive and developing fact. To my mind,therefore, even more important than conserving it at some stage to which it has risen, is the need to develop it. And the culture of a country or a community is much wider and larger and deeper, than its script or language, as I shall show below, and hence this amendment.
Speaking of the languages of the various sections of the country,
they have, in recent years, especially during the last two or three generations, been developed and cultivated up to a point at which many of them have become suitable, in my judgment, to become the vehicles for the imparting of any state of instruction, right up to theUniversity standard. Nevertheless, there can be further development; and they ought to be further studied and promoted and developed and expanded, so as to be suitable means of expression, intercourse, and instruction or education to a much wider scale than is the case today. I,therefore, think that if you grant the right to its conservation you must also grant the right for its development, its progressive improvement and expansion.
Speaking of culture, I think that is not a single item,either of area, language or script. It is a vast ocean,including all the entirety of the heritage of the past of any community in the material as well as spiritual domain.Whether we think of the arts, the learning, the sciences,the religion or philosophy, Culture includes them all, and much else besides. As such, it is progressive, and should be regarded as being capable of constant growth as any living organism. If, therefore, you include in the Fundamental Rights this section, i.e., the right to "conserve" the same,whether or not there is any attack or danger for the mere preservation of it, I see no reason why you should not couple with the right to conserve the right to develop. That is why the suggestion that I am putting forward, namely, the right to develop. Side by side with the right to conserve there must also be the right to develop the culture of any community.
You cannot hit at this amendment, you cannot negative it, without at the same time annulling the remaining portion of the clause, namely, conservation of a static position.But development is more progressive, more dynamic; and as such should commend itself to those who have the drafting and piloting of the Constitution in their hands.
Mr. Vice-President: Then comes No. 682 which stands in the name of Seth Govind Das; but I think it should stand over seeing that it relates to national language and script.
Then we come to amendment No. 683.
(Amendment No. 683 was not moved.)
As amendment No. 683 was not moved, amendment No. 52 ofList III is disallowed. Then comes amendment No. 684 in the name of the Maharaja of Parlakimedi. He is absent.
(Amendment No. 684 was not moved.)
Amendment No. 685 standing in the name of Shri Algu RaiShastri.
Shri Algu Rai Shastri (United Provinces: General): Sir,my amendment relates to the property clause, article 24, andI shall move it when that article is taken up. It does not belong to this article and it is by a misprint that it happens to be here.
Mr. Vice-President: Then shall I take it that you want it to stand over?
Shri Algu Rai Shastri: It can be taken up at the proper place.
Mr. Vice-President: No. 686 also in the name of Shri Algu Rai Shastri.
Shri Algu Rai Shastri: I am not moving it, but I wantto make a few observations on it.
Mr. Vice-President: You can do that during the general discussion. Then I come to amendment No. 687, standing in the names of Prof. N. G. Ranga and Shri AnanthasayanamAyyangar. And then there is the first part of No. 688 of Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor, and No. 705 also in the name of ShriJaspat Roy Kapoor. These are to be considered together as they are of similar import. I can allow No. 687 to be moved.
Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar (Madras: General): Sir,I beg to move:--
That in clause (2) of article 23 for the words "Nominor ity" the words "No citizen or minor ity" be substituted.
I want that all citizens should have the right to enterany public educational institution. This ought not to be confined to minor ities. That is the object with which I have moved this amendment.
Mr. Vice-President: As regards the first part of amendment No. 680, I want to know whether Mr. Kapoor wants it to be voted.
Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava (East Punjab: General): But Sir, there is my amendment No. 26 to
amendment No. 687.
Mr. Vice-President: Yes, I stand corrected. There are certain amendments to these amendments which I shall take up one after the other. One is No. 26 in List I in the names of Shri T. T. Krishnamachari and Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava.Do you move it Mr. Bhargava?
Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava: Sir, I beg to move.
That for amendment No. 687 of the List of amendments,the following be substituted:--
"That for clause (2) of article 23, the following be substituted:--
"(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." and sub-clauses (a) and (b) of clause (3) of article 23 be renumbered as new article 23-A".
Sir, I find there are three points of difference between this amendment and the provisions of the section which it seeks to amend. The first is to put in the words`no citizen' for the words `no minor ity'. Secondly that not only the institutions which are maintained by the State will be included in it, but also such institutions as are receiving aid out of state funds. Thirdly, we have, instead of the words "religion, community or language", the words,"religion, race, caste, language or any of them".
Now, Sir, it so happens that the words "no minor ity"seek to differentiate the minor ity from the major ity,whereas you would be pleased to see that in the Chapter the words of the heading are "cultural and educational rights",so that the minor ity rights as such should not find anyplace under this section. Now if we read Clause (2) it would appear as if the minor ity had been given certain definite rights in this clause, where as the national interests require that no major ity also should be discriminated against in this matter. Unfortunately, there is in some matters a tendency that the minor ities as such possess and are given certain special rights which are denied to the major ity. It was the habit of our English masters that they wanted to create discriminations of this sort between the minor ity and the major ity. Sometimes the minor ity said they were discriminated against and on other occasions the major ity felt the same thing. This amendment brings the major ity and the minor ity on an equal status.
In educational matters, I cannot understand, from the national point of view, how any discrimination can be justified in favour of a minor ity or a major ity. Therefore,what this amendment seeks to do is that the major ity and the minor ity are brought on the same level. There will be nodiscrimination between any member of the minor ity ormajor ity in so far as admission to educational institutions are concerned. So I should say that this is a charter of the liberties for the student-world of the minor ity and the major ity communities equally.
The second change which this amendment seeks to make is in regard to the institutions which will be governed by this provision of law. Previously only the educational institutions maintained by the State were included. This amendment seeks to include such other institutions as are aided by State funds. There are a very large number of such institutions, and in future, by this amendment the rights of the minor ity have been broadened and the rights of the major ity have been secured. So this is a very healthy amendment and it is a kind of nation-building amendment.
Now, Sir, the word "community" is sought to be removed from this provision because "community" has no meaning. If it is a fact that the existence of a community is determined by some common characteristic and all communities are covered by the words religion or language, then "community"as such has no basis. So the word "community" is meaningless and the words substituted are "race or caste". So this provision is so broadened that on the score of caste, race,language, or religion no discrimination can be allowed.
My submission is that considering the matter from all these stand points, this amendment is one which should be
accepted unanimously by this House.
Mr. Vice-President: There are two other amendments standing in the name of the honourable Member, namely, Nos.27 and 28.
Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: I do not propose to move either of them. I want to move No. 31.
Mr. Vice-President: That comes in another category. So the honourable Member is not moving Nos. 27 and 28.
[Amendments Nos. 705, 691 and 688 (second part) were not moved.]
Maulana Hasrat Mohani (United Provinces: Muslim): I had an amendment to this amendment of the Honourable Dr. B. R.Ambedkar because I thought he was sure to move it. Now that he has withdrawn it, where am I to go?
Mr. Vice-President: You can only take your seat. Such things happen in political life.
So all the amendments to amendment 691 fall through.
We now come to No. 692.
Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: What happens to amendment No. 690?
Mr. Vice-President: That will come later on. These are being taken together as being of similar import. I am trying to ascertain whether these are to be put to vote or not.
I am afraid I cannot allow amendment 692 to be moved because it is covered by the amendment to amendment No. 687.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 689: this is a verbal amendment and therefore it is disallowed.
Amendments Nos. 693, 694, 696, 697 (first part) and 698were not moved.)
We now come to Amendment No. 690 which is in the name of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava.
Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava: I propose to move an amendment to this. Sir, I move:
"That for amendment 690 of the list of amendments, the following be substituted:
"That in clause (3) of article 23, the word `community' wherever it occurs be deleted."
This is an amendment to amendment No. 690. There is not much to be said. The word "community" as I said before has no meaning. No common characteristic can differentiate one community from another which is not covered by the words"religion or language". These words sufficiently cover the field that is sought to be covered by the word "community".Therefore the word "community" has no meaning in that provision and therefore it should be deleted.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 695: this is a verbal amendment and therefore it is disallowed.
[Amendments Nos. 697 (second part) and 699 were not moved.]
Amendment No. 700 is disallowed as it is covered by another amendment regarding the Directive Principles.
Amendments Nos. 701 and 702 are to be considered together as they are of similar import.
(Amendments Nos. 701, 702 and 703 were not moved.)
Amendment No. 704 is more comprehensive and may be moved.
Shri Damodar Swarup Seth (United Provinces: General):Sir, I beg to move:
That for sub-clause (a) of clause (3) of article 23 the following the substituted:--
"(a) Linguistic minor ities shall have the right to establish, manage and control educational institutions for the promotion of the study and knowledge of their languageand literature, as well as for imparting general educationto their children at primary and pre-primary stage throughthe medium of their own languages."
While in sub-clause (a) of clause (3) of article 23,obviously minor ities based on religion and community havebeen recognised, my amendment recognises only minor itiesbased on language. I feel, Sir, that in a secular stateminor ities based on religion or community should not berecognised. If they are given recognition then I submit thatwe cannot claim that curs is a secular state. Recognition ofminor ities based on religion or community is the verynegation of secularism. Besides Sir, if these minor ities arerecognised and granted the right to establish and administereducational institutions of their own, it will not onlyblock the way of national unity, so essential for a countryof different faiths, as India is, but will also promotecommunalism, and narrow antinational outlook as was the casehitherto, with disastrous results. I therefore submit thatonly minor ities based on language should be recognised andbe granted the right to establish and
administer educationalinstitutions and that too for the purpose of promotion of their language and literature and for imparting primary andpre-primary education in their own language. Higher studiesare to be conducted in the national language of the state. I therefore submit, Sir, that this amendment is mostharmless and innocent and hope that it will be accepted bythe House quite unreservedly.
(Amendment No. 706 was not moved.)
Prof. K. T. Shah: Sir, I beg to move:
That the following proviso be added to sub-clause (a)of clause (3) of article 23:--
"Provided that no part of the expenditure in connectionwith such institutions shall fall upon or be defrayed fromthe public purse; and provided further that no suchinstitution, nor the education and training given thereinshall be recognised, unless it complies with the courses ofinstruction, standards of attainment, methods of educationand training, equipment and other conditions laid down in the national system of education."
Substantially speaking, it seems to be the sameamendment or similar to the one I moved yesterday or the daybefore, viz., amendment No. 664. Only, there it was in amore positive form and here it is in a negative form, makingit more clear that whatever be the foundation or endowment,in the first instance, of any such national institutions, nopart of the expenditure should fall upon the public purse--neither partly nor wholly.--This I consider is necessary toprovide specifically in view of the possibility of any partytaking advantage of the positive provision made above. Ishould not like to waste the time of the House beyond justpointing out that this in reality is not identical, but that in substance it is the same. I am afraid I have not muchhope of making the House change its viewpoint within 48hours, and therefore I do not wish to take any more time of the House by speaking on it.
(Amendment No. 713 was not moved.)
Mr. Z. H. Lari (United Provinces: Muslim): Sir, I begto move:
That after clause (3) of article 23, the following newclause be inserted:--
"(4) Any section of the citizens residing in theterritory of India or any part thereof having a distinctlanguage and script shall be entitled to have primaryeducation imparted to its children through the medium of that language and script."
A notice of an amendment to this amendment has beengiven by Mr. Karimuddin. I would gladly accept it when it ismoved. That amendment is for the addition of the words `incase of substantial number of such students beingavailable.'
The first question that arises in this connection iswhether it is necessary, either in the interests of aminor ity or of society, that primary education should beimparted through the medium of one's mother tongue. It is avery legitimate question to ask and I propose to give ananswer to it. Only recently, the Government of Indiaaccepted a Resolution and published it in the Gazette ofAugust 14, 1948. In the course of that Resolution they say:
"The principle that a child should be instructed in theearly stages of its education through the medium of themother tongue has been accepted by the Government. Alleducationists agree that any departure from the principle isbound to be harmful to the child and therefore to theinterests of society."
That resolution further goes on to say, `Conditionslike these make it impossible for any State or Province toadopt any single language as the medium of instruction. Anattempt to adopt one language in a province where groups ofpeople speaking different languages reside and to impose iton all is bound to lead to discontentment and bitterness. Itwill affect inter-provincial relations and set up viciouscircles of retaliation.'
And, towards the end they say:
"The Government of India is of opinion that in thelarger interests of the country, it is desirable that thepolicy enunciated above should be followed by all provincialand State Governments".
Therefore, according to this very Resolution it isaccepted that it is essential in the interests of society aswell as of the minor ity
that its children should be impartedprimary education through the medium of the mother tongue.
I would refer this House, at this stage, to a replygiven by the Honourable Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, theEducation Minister in the Dominion Parliament at its sessionheld in September last.
The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam (Madras: General): MayI point out to the honourable Member that his amendmentimplies that every child has got the right to primary education immediately? Without that right this right cannotbe sought. Therefore we have given a Directive....
Mr. Z. H. Lari: That is a different question. I willdeal with it afterwards. I am here drawing the attention of the House to a reply given by the Education Minister to aquestion put in the Dominion Parliament.
Mr. Vice-President: I suggest that Mr. Lari keeps inmind the point of view put forward by Mr. Santhanam.
Mr. Z. H. Lari: I would. But here is the report of theinterpellation. Replying to Shri S. V. Krishnamurti Rao,Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Education Minister said thatthe mother tongue of the child would be the medium ofinstruction in primary schools, i.e., up to junior basicstage from the age of six to eleven as stated in theResolution of the Government on the subject and added: "TheCentral Advisory Board of Education in their report onpostwar educational development in India, published in 1944,recommended that the medium of instruction in the secondarystage should be the mother tongue of the pupils."
Therefore, so far as the necessity of such a provisionis concerned, it cannot be denied.
The next question is, does this right partake of a fundamental character so as to find a place in this Chapter.The first Constitution of a Free India that was framed wasthe Nehru Report under the able guidance of that princeamong patriots, Pandit Motilal Nehru. One of the Fundamental rights suggested therein ran as follows:
"Adequate provision shall be made by the State forimparting public instruction in primary schools to thechildren of members of minor ities through the medium of their own language and in such script as is in vogue amongthem. The nature and the fundamental character of this righthas been accepted by that very Resolution of the Governmentof India to which I referred earlier. Therein they say:
"All provincial languages are Indian languages and there is little reason why any province in India should seekto deprive the children inhabiting that province of theirfundamental right to receive education through the medium of the mother tongue."
Therefore even the nature and character of this righthas been fully accepted by the present Government of Indiaas well as by those seven leaders who framed the NehruReport.
Now the third question arises. It is also veryrelevant. Is it necessary to put in this Chapter, after theclear acceptance of such a policy by the Government of Indiafor the time being? I have personal experience of myprovince, which shows that it is absolutely necessary. I would give an instance in this regard. The House will notethat the United Provinces is a bilingual province. Thereintwo languages, namely, Hindi and Urdu have been used andwidely read by members belonging to different communities.If I only give you the figures of students appearing at thetwo examinations, viz., high school and middle school, youwill find that at least one third of the students offered Urdu as their language. In 1944 thestudents who took Hindi numbered 11,617 while those whooffered Urdu numbered 7,167;
In 1945 do. 12,423 do. 7,426;
1946 do. 14,222 do. 8,244;
1947 do. 18,302 do. 13,080.
Therefore you will see that two-thirds of the students whoappeared at the high school examinations offered Hindi andone-third offered Urdu.
But, now what happens? All of a sudden in May last, acurriculum was published the result of which, according tomy reading, was absolute elimination of Urdu. I was assuredthat was a misapprehension. But when the classes opened inJuly 1948, I find that my reading was correct. My child ofsix, came and said: "Today my
master asked me that I shoulddo all the sums in Hindi and Hindi only." He was furthertold not to bring Urdu Book. I was surprised. On enquiry Ifound the same condition in all schools. I wrote letters toall concerned and I was assured again that a G. O. was beingissued to the effect that wherever there was a demand bystudents for being taught in Urdu, this should be done.Subsequently I wrote a letter to the Principal of theCollege to make arrangements for teaching Urdu. I received areply in the negative. He said no such arrangement can bemade. Ultimately, when I forwarded that letter to theMinister for Education, the reply came in Octo ber to theeffect that arrangements can be made only when the major ityof the guardians want that education in Urdu should also beimparted. The Resolution of the Government of India and allthe answers given were intended for the facility of aminor ity which is less than 50 percent, but that facilitywas denied and made dependent on will of the major ity. Theresult is that in a Province wherein to use the words of that noble soul, our own Prime Minister, `began the processwhich was to continue for several centuries for thedevelopment of a mixed culture in North India; Delhi andwhat are known now as the United Provinces became the Centreof this just as they had been and still continue to be theCentre of Old Aryan culture. They are the seat of the oldHindu culture as well as of the "Persian culture", teachingof Urdu, the moinspring of Muslim culture has been banned.In Lucknow and in Allahabad, where Urdunowing public is ofsufficient strength in fact in most places, so far as primary education is concerned, no arrangement has been madefor teaching through the medium of one's own mother tongue.I know of Allahabad positively and of Lucknow too which isconsidered to be the centre of Urdu, so far as primaryeducation is concerned, in those two places no arrangementexists whatsoever for teaching the children of theminor ities through their mother tongue. Therefore thisexperience of mine in my own province shows that there isnecessity for such a provision, and that such a provisionshould find a place in the Constitution. But I am consciousof one difficulty, rather two difficulties. One difficultyis, supposing the numbers of students who want to have aparticular language as the medium of instruction were few innumber. That difficulty has been obviated by the amendmentwhich has been given notice of by Kazi Syed Karimuddin.
There is another difficulty which has been pointed out.I have said here, "any section of the citizens". It may bethat people of one province, very few in number, residing inanother province may claim that their children should begiven instruction through the medium of their own language.But that objection can be met by substituting the word`minor ity' for the words "section of the citizens". I thinkBegum Aizaz Rasul has given notice of that amendment.
After these two amendments, the clause will read--
"Any minor ity residing in the territory of India or anypart thereof having a distinct language and script shall beentitled to have primary education imparted to its childrenthrough the medium of that language and script in case ofsubstantial number of such students being available."
Now to take up the objection of Mr. Santhanam. In theDirective Principles we say that the State shall endeavourto provide education up to the age of fourteen and so on andso forth. You remember, Sir, that clause as it originallystood was--
"Every citizen is entitled to free primary educationand the State shall endeavour to provide......" etc.
The words "Every citizen is entitled to free primaryeducation" were deleted and the speaker, when moving thatdeletion, said that this was of a fundamental character and therefore such a clause could hardly find a place in thatchapter. That is why I have given notice of anotheramendment which says that there should be an article in thefundamental rights that every citizen is entitled to receiveprimary education. So far as the clause in the
DirectivePrinciples is concerned, it does not relate to primaryeducation only but relates to secondary education as well.Anyhow, we are dealing with the cultural and educationalrights of the minor ities here, (and the educational rightthat I want to have inserted here is that primary educationshould be imparted through the medium of the mother tongue.It does not say that they must be given primary educationbut if there is any arrangement for primary education, thenthat primary education should be imparted through the mediumof one's mother tongue. There is thus no legal obstacle.)With these words, Sir, I move my amendment.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 53 of List IIIstanding in the name of Kazi Syed Karimuddin.
Kazi Syed Karimuddin (C. P. & Berar: Muslim): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, it is unnecessary for me to explain thescope of the amendment moved by Mr. Lari. I have anamendment to move to the amendment of Mr. Lari which runslike this:
"That in amendment No. 714 of the List of Amendments,in the proposed clause (4) of article 23, the followingwords be added at the end:--
in case of substantial number of such students beingavailable.'"
Sir, according to the fundamental rights, freedom ofmovement and freedom of trade and commerce have been grantedand it is just possible that people may be moving freelyfrom one part of the country to another and settling inother provinces. Moreover, there would always be Governmentservants who would be transferred from one province toanother. Take for example the case of the city of Delhi.There are Madrasis; there are Bengalees; there are Muslims;there are Telugu people also in Delhi. If no provision ismade for their education in the primary schools, it would bevery difficult for their children to be educated in theirown mother tongue at least in the primary stage ofschooling. Therefore my submission is that Mr. Lari'samendment is not only important from the Muslim point ofview, from the minor ities' point of view, but also from thepoint of view of those who come from Bengal and Madras orother provinces. Therefore the amendment of Mr. Lari with myamendment should be accepted.
Mr. Vice-President: There is a short notice amendmentstanding in the name of Begum Aizaz Rasul.
Begum Aizaz Rasul: (United Provinces: Muslim): Sir, Ibeg to move--
"That in the amendment moved by Mr. Lari for the words`section of the citizens' the word `minor ity' be substituted."
The clause will then read--
"Any minor ity residing in the territory of India or anypart thereof having a distinct language and script shall beentitled to have primary education imposted to its childrenthrough the medium of that language and script."
Sir, my amendment speaks for itself, and after hearingMr. Lari, I do not think it is very necessary for me to gointo details about this. The word "minor ity" has beendefined in the Draft Constitution. I think that it isnecessary that minor ities who have a distinct language andscript should have this right guaranteed to them by theState, that the children of these minor ities will have allfacilities provided to them to have primary educationimparted to them in their mother tongue. Sir, It is anaccepted principle all over the world that a child in theprimary stages of education should have that educationimparted to it in its mother tongue. I do not think thatthere can be any difference of opinion regarding thismatter. It is impossible for a child who belongs to asection of the people whose language and script is differentto that of the State to receive education in anotherlanguage, because that militates against the very principleof learning. You cannot burden the mind of the child byforcing him to receive his primary education in an alientongue and script. Sir, the object of this amendment is inno way meant to debar the children of minor ities fromlearning the language of the State. It is in the interestsof the children of the minor ities themselves that theyshould learn the language of the State, whatever thatlanguage may be, as their economic future as well as entryin
services, etc., depends that they should be wellconversant with the language of the State. Therefore itshould not be taken that I am in any way opposing the ideaof the children of minor ities learning the language of theState--but mine is a fundamental point because on goodfoundations of learning can education be effective. Sir, I do not think that it would have been necessary to have movedthis amendment at this stage, but there are practicaldifficulties which we have experienced and therefore it isnecessary that in the fundamental rights some provisionshould be made which would make the position clear and whichwould guarantee to the children of the minor ities living in the territory of India the right to be given instruction in their own mother tongue in the primary stages. With thesewords, Sir, I move this amendment and hope that it will be accepted.
(Amendment No. 715 was not moved)
Mr. Vice-President: The article is open for generaldiscussion.
Shri Mihir Lal Chattopadhyay (West Bengal: General):Mr. Vice-President, Sir, this particular article 23 of theDraft Constitution is a definite guarantee to the minor ities that their language, culture and script will be protected in every way. There are different kinds of minor ities in thiscountry and all these minor ities based on language, scriptand culture will really find a great protection in thisarticle. It is true that in different provinces of thiscountry there are minor ities living who have languagesdifferent from the language of the major ity and it is a factthat in many provinces in India the minor ities based onlanguage are subjected to various types of disabilities andas a result, for some time past, there is a subdued voice in the country about the tyranny and imperialism of language.The other day, Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari made a referenceabout the Imperialism of language. I have no quarrel withhim on this matter but I do not know how long it will takefor a citizen of this country to accept joyfully a nationallanguage that is the language of this country, but it mustbe acknowledged that a minor ity having a definite anddistinct language of its own, but residing in a province,where the provincial language is different, ardently seeksto maintain its language and its culture without beinginterfered in any way. It is true that this country isdivided into different provinces and each and every province has got a provincial language of its own, butunfortunately, in the matter of demarcating the provinces,the Brit ish Government did not take much care aboutdemarcating on the basis of language and for that matter inalmost every province there are minor ities and there hasreally arisen some danger of the language and culture of theminor ities in the different provinces being put undernumerous disabilities.
This article 23 gives an assurance to the minor itiesthat their languages will be guarded, the minor ities will beable to conserve their own languages and not only conserve,but a definite development also can be made by them. Theminor ities also will find no discrimination made in thematter of Government aid for the protection and developmentof their languages. This article 23, is, therefore in everyway a great charter of right for the different linguisticminor ities in the different provinces of India. It isnecessary that the minor ities living in a province shouldnot all the time feel themselves isolated and considerthemselves as something definite and distinct from thenationals of that province in civic life. The minor itieshave also to adopt themselves to the language and theculture of the provinces they live in to a large extent. Nominor ity should live in a province as a foreigner as theBrit ish people or their half-brothers in India have livedall these years; but the major ity also should have maximumconsideration for the minor ities in the provinces so far astheir language and culture are concerned. In fact a newexample has been set by the Congress the other day when theCongress directed some of the Provincial Congress Committeesthat the minor ity having
a language different from thelanguage of the province, will be allowed to carry oncorrespondence with the provincial Congress Committees in the language of that minor ity.
The demand which is being heard from various quartersabout realignment of provinces or rather redistribution ofprovinces on linguistic basis, will be satisfied to a largeextent by the provisions of this article in the Draft Constitution. The minor ities are mightily afraid of theirlanguages being put out of existence by the aggression of the major ities, who might be very unsympathetic towards theminor ities in these matters. The minor ities are zealousabout guarding their own language and culture, and quitenaturally they should be so. The major ity must have somesympathetic understanding about the feeling and outlook of the minor ities. By that alone, in the different provinces,the cry that has arisen about the redistribution ofterritories on a linguistic basis will stop to a largeextent. We all know that soon after the partition of Indiainto two parts, the question of redistribution of provinceson linguistic basis is beset with many difficulties. It is aproblem that will take a long time to settle. But, it is to be remembered that if minor ities are subjected to tyrannyand oppression and aggression by the major ity in the matterof language and culture, there will be trouble in thiscountry and the Governments in the provinces will be facedwith difficulties. Therefore, this article 23 is a cleardirection to the major ity in the different provinces to lookafter the interests of the minor ities so far as language andculture are concerned. If the major ity in dealing with theminor ities tries to understand their view point and tries tosafeguard their interests so far as language and culture isconcerned. I think the voice that has risen in India aboutthe immediate re-distribution of provinces on linguisticbasis will be consoled to a large extent.
I wholeheartedly support this article.
Shri R. K. Sidhwa: (C. P. & Berar: General): Sir,regarding this article on education based on religion orotherwise, I would have certainly preferred a very clear andunambiguous provision. Sir, some of the provisions of this article are contradictory. While the Constitution hasrecognised that all communities have a right to giveeducation on religion, article 22 states that where Stateaid is given, there shall be no religious educationprovided. Again, there is a proviso that communities whichdo not expect any State aid shall have a right to giveeducation on religion according to their choice and custom.Personally, Sir, I feel that as far as religious educationis concerned, it should have been mentioned in unambiguousterms that wherever an educational institution receivesState aid, there shall be no religious education taught inthose institutions. My objection is not because I am averseto religion. I believe in religion, Sir, I believe in theexistence of God. But, I do feel today that the religiousbooks of the various communities are translated by variousauthors in a manner which has really brought disgrace toseveral religions. The authors have translated some of thevery beautiful original phrases in their own language tosuit their own political ends, with the result that today onreligious grounds we know the country has broken intovarious pieces. I therefore desire, Sir, that in the matterof education, which is the fundamental basis of our future,it should have been clearly stated that under the existingcircumstances, there shall be no religious educationprovided in any institution which receives State aid.
As I have stated, Sir, while the State has notrecognised any religion, they have allowed thoseinstitutions which do not receive State aid to impartreligious education in their institutions. I do not want togo into the various phases of the religious scriptures which are being taught in the various schools. I know of instanceswhere in the name of religion communal hatred has beentaught. I do not know whether in this new era when we willbe functioning under this
Constitution, the same type ofreligious education would be taught. There is no restrictionregarding that kind of religious instructions that are beinggiven in various schools. I can quote them; but I do notwant to create any kind of ill-feeling between community andcommunity. I only wish that in this matter the Constitutionshould have made it clear as to what education means as faras religious education is concerned. On that matter, thischapter is silent; not only silent, but I apprehend that in the name of religion, there will be the same type ofreligious education taught in the institutions. I have beenreading and re-reading these two chapters and I feel thatthere is no kind of control over such kind of schools andcolleges. On the contrary, it will be stated that the Constitution has given them freedom to teach religion in anymanner they like. Knowing fully well, as we do, whatreligion in this country means to various communities, thischapter, I feel, Sir, should have been more clear.
As far as the suggestions and amendments that wherevarious communities and minor ities reside, education shouldbe in their language. I find clause (b) is clear, although I would certainly have preferred the amendment of DamodarSwarup Seth, which is very clear. I do not think the Statedenies this even in this Constitution. Here, the minor itiesmust not be misunderstood to mean religious minor ities;minor ities mean various classes of people. For instance, inBombay, there are eighteen classes of people. Just now fourlakhs of Sindhis are in Bombay. The Corporation haverecognised the Sindhi language. Although they have notrecognised the Sindhi language, they have opened schools for them. I do feel there is provision in this Constitutionwherever there are such classes or linguistic communities orsub-communities, the State shall provide all facilities to them. If the State were to deny that, that State will not bedischarging their duty. I am quite clear that the Constitution has made provision to that effect. In theDirective principles also we have stated that every child,no matter to whatever class he belongs, shall be impartededucation compulsorily by the State.
There is no fear as far as this is concerned, that allchildren, whether they belong to any small minor ity orlinguistic minor ity, would be provided education in theirown mother tongue. Mr. Lari's amendment therefore is out ofplace. I am clear that the Constitution has provided forthis and if such education is not provided, I would statethat the State and the provinces and the provincialGovernments would be failing in their duty and notdischarging their duty by providing that kind of educationwhich it is their duty to provide.
Shri Jaipal Singh (Bihar: General): Mr. Vice-President,Sir, I have great pleasure in welcoming this article, moreso as it has been suitably amended by Dr. Ambedkar, and Ihope his amendment will be accepted by the House. Sir, to methis article seems to open a new era for India. Recentlythere has been such a lot heard about linguistic provinces,and, my friend from West Bengal has already hinted that thisparticular article opened a way for a realignment ofprovincial boundaries, for the creation of fresh provinces.Sir, I do not look upon this article in that light. I do notbelieve that provinces should be carved out purely on alinguistic basis. There are other factors also that must beconsidered. There is the administrative convenience; theremay be the geographical argument; there may be the economicdemand and various other factors which must be taken intoaccount before the linguistic argument can be given theemphasis that is demanded of people who feel aggrieved thatthey are a linguistic minor ity in any particular province. I do hope that once this article is passed by this Assembly,all the Governments of the provinces will see to it that itsspirit is implemented immediately. They need not wait tillthe Constitution as a whole is brought into existence.Already in my part of the world there is a tremendous--avery unhealthy--linguistic warfare going on. It is
assumingdangerous proportions, in my own case, in Chota-Nagpurhitherto--on the ground of language, attempts are being madeto snatch a bit to the east, snatch a bit to the south,snatch a bit to the west. No consideration whatever is givento the fact that there are other grounds also which have to be taken into consideration, e.g., the question whetheradministratively this or that portion should be taken out ofa particular area. I urge, and I have urged this beforeelsewhere also, that language by itself is no argument for the creation of new provinces or for realignment ofboundaries. I do hope in my part of the world--particularlythe Provinces of Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal will now seea new way of approaching this linguistic problem. In Bihar,for example, the Bengali-speaking people have always madethe grievance that they were being victimised by the Hindi-speaking major ity of the province. Sir, much has happened in the past--it is an ugly chapter--but I do hope now that thisparticular article will be in the Constitution that even thelinguistic minor ities may look forward to a confident futurewhere they will have opportunities of conserving anddeveloping their own particular languages. Sir, when we talkof languages, we generally think of languages that have ahighly developed literature, that have a script and soforth. I would like to urge that languages that have not ascript also deserve to be conserved and, to use Prof. Shah'samendment,--`developed'. I have been trying to look throughthe figures in the language census that has been provided usand I find that the languages of this country have beendivided into five main divisions and in this division I findthat the aboriginal languages have been classifiedseparately. Now take the language which is known as theMundari group of languages. According to the census I findthere are very nearly 5 million people who speak the Mund