Udupi, Nov 07, 2014: Delivering the key-note address at the round-table conference on constitutional rights of Konkani linguistic minorities, Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services T.V. Mohandas Pai on November 6, Thursday urged the linguistic minorities to fight for their rights. They have been discriminated against, he lamented.
Article 30(1) of the Constitution guaranteed the right to establish and administer educational institutions to linguistic minorities. The Supreme Court had ruled ( in the case of ’T.M.A. Pai vs State of Karnataka’) that this section of society could not be expected to run institutions without government grants. Yet the community was given no benefits. The case of law was that the State should be empowered to decide linguistic minorities (if the group is under 50 per cent of the population), but notifications sought to use the taluk as the unit, thereby denying the benefits to the community. The term ‘linguistic minorities’ had not been clearly defined and Konkani speakers were not identified as a minority community in many notifications.
Mr. Pai said the State had given a grant of Rs. 500 crore and the Centre, of Rs. 5,000 crore, for the welfare of minorities. Though Minorities Development Corporation should be supervising the projects for welfare of minorities, the government departments were interfering.
He said letters should be sent to the Chief Minister, Minister for Minorities Affairs, Prime Minister and President of India highlighting how different notifications on minorities were nullifying the provisions.