NCERT Solutions for Political Science
Chapter 6 – Democratic Rights
Question 1 If you were a Serb, would you support what Milosevic did in Kosovo? Do you think this project of establishing Serb Dominance was good for the Serbs?
Answer If I were a Serb, I would not support what Milosevic did in Kosovo because what he did was very narrow minded and discriminatory towards the Albanians. No, this method of establishing Serb dominance was not good for the Serbs because this action of Milosevic led to conflict and hostility between the Serbs and the Albanians.
The Albanians were massacred by the army of their own country. Ultimately, Milosevic lost power and was tried by the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.
Question 1 For each of the three cases of life without rights mention an example from India. These could include the following
• Newspaper reports on custodial violence.
• Newspaper reports on force-feeding of prisoners who go on hunger strikes.
• Ethnic massacre in any part of our country.
• Reports regarding unequal treatment of women.
List the similarities and differences between the earlier case and the Indian example. It is not necessary that for each of these cases you must find an exact Indian parallel.
(i) Indian example compared to ‘Prison in Guantanamo Bay’: A news report in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper dated 20th October, 2006:
CBI to Probe Custodial Violence Case
According to the petitioner, there was a petty quarrel between her children and her neighbour’s children on 5th February, 2004, for which the latter preferred a complaint with the police.
Due to coercion from the complainant’s relative, who worked at the Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi, the police summoned the petitioner and her husband, S Annakodi, to the police station on the next day. Mr Annakodi was brutally beaten up by a sub-inspector there. He was produced before the Judicial Magistrate and let out on bail the same day.
Immediately, his wife took him to a private clinic where the doctor advised her to admit him in the General Hospital. As Ms Muniyammal did not have enough money she took her husband back home where he died at 2 am on 8th February.
There is custodial violence in both cases.
(a) The violence in the Indian case is in the Police Station, whereas in the first case it was in prison.
(b) In the Indian case, the person was visiting the police station on a summons, whereas in the earlier case the prisoners had been illegally detained in prison.
(ii) Indian example compared to ‘Citizens’ Rights in Saudi Arabia’:
A news report in ‘The Times of India’ newspaper dated 6th August, 2012. Gender discrimination, say women candidates.
Bhopal The number of women candidates who were not called for interview despite scoring higher marks than male candidates was 109; the CM added and also tabled in the assembly the list of all such women candidates along with details of scores, ranks and addresses. “It’s a typical case where men have benefitted from reservation meant for women”, says one of the candidates Sunita Jain, who hails from Ratlam.
She had complained to the national women’s commission, state women’s commission and made representation at all levels, pointing out that keeping higher cut-off marks for women candidates and lower cut-off marks for men amounted to gender discrimination.
Difference In the Saudi Arabia case, women are subject to restrictions and also their testimony has half the value of men’s testimony. In the Indian case, women were discriminated against by keeping higher cut-off marks for them compared to the men.
(iii) Indian example compared to ‘Ethnic massacre in Kosovo’: A news report from Reuters dated 29th August, 2012:
Indian politician found guilty of murder for her role in bloody massacre.
A former Indian state minister was found guilty on Wednesday of murder in one of the country’s worst religious riots, the highest-profile conviction in a case that casts a shadow over the country 10 years on.
Human-rights groups say about 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death in Gujarat state after a suspected Muslim mob burned alive 59 Hindu activists and pilgrims inside a train in February, 2002.
Similarity In both cases, the minority people were massacred.
Difference In the case of Kosovo, it was organised by the government and executed by their soldiers. In the Indian case, it was done by a mob, which was instigated by some people who were in the government.
Question 1 What are the examples of elected governments not protecting or even attacking the rights of their own citizens? Why do they do that?
Answer Examples of elected governments not protecting or even attacking the rights of their own citizens are.
1) Ethnic massacre of Albanians in Kosovo.
2) Policy of apartheid in South Africa.
3) Rule of PRI party in Mexico.
4) Rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
These rulers wanted to hold power and keep the people under their control so that they would not oppose them and they could rule without problems.
Question 1 Everyone knows that the rich can have better lawyers in the courts. What is the point in talking about equality before law?
Answer It is true that the rich can have better lawyers in the courts but the law is same for everyone. Being rich or having good lawyers does not mean that equality of law also changes, Whether a person is rich or poor, the law remains the same for all citizens The judiciary follows the rule of law for all without discrimination.
Question 1 Go to the playground of the school or any stadium and watch a 400 metre race on any track. Why are the competitors in the outer lane placed ahead of those in the inner lane at the starting point of the race? What would happen if all the competitors start the race form the same line? Which of these two would be an equal and fair race? Apply this example to a competition for jobs.
Observe any big public building. Is there a ramp for physically handicapped? Are there any other facilities that make it possible for physically handicapped to use the building in the same way as any one else? Should these special facilities be provided, if it leads to extra expenditure on the building? Do these special provisions go against the principle of equality?
(i) Since the outer lane has a bigger circumference than the inner lane, more than 400 metre distance will be covered in one round of the track. So competitors in the outer lane are placed ahead, so that they are given an equal opportunity compared to the person in the inner lane. If all the competitors start at the same line, the outer track competitors will have to run a longer distance, which will not be fair.So in the first case, it will be a fair race. Similarly, in a competition for jobs, if the Scheduled Castes are given reservations, they can compete on an equal basis, because they are educationally and culturally backward, although they may be fit for the job for which they have applied.
(ii) In many public buildings like hospitals and big offices, there are such ramps. Some airports have special toilets for the physically handicapped. These special provisions do not go against the right to equality, as handicapped persons also have the same rights as normal citizens and the government must provide for them accordingly.
Question 1 Should the freedom of expression be extended to those who are spreading wrong and narrow minded ideas? Should they be allowed to confuse the public?
Answer No, the freedom of expression should not be extended to those who are spreading wrong and narrow minded ideas, since it is harmful for society and democracy.
No they should not be allowed to confuse the public because it would be wrong to do so. Spreading wrong information for personal gains is wrong.
Question 1 Are these cases instances of violation of the right to freedom? If yes, which constitutional provision does each violate?
(i) The Government of India banned Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses on the ground that it was disrespectful to Prophet Mohammed and was likely to hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.
(ii) Every film has to be approved by the Censor Board of the Government before it can be shown to the public. But there is no such restriction if the same story is published in a book or a magazine.
(iii) The government is considering a proposal that there will be industrial zones or sectors of the economy where workers will not be allowed to form unions or go on strike.
(iv) City administration has imposed a ban on use of public microphones after 10 PM in view of the approaching secondary school examinations.
(i) Yes, this violates the right to freedom of thought and expression.
(ii) Yes, this violates the right to freedom of thought and expression.
(iii) Yes, this violates the right to freedom to form associations and unions.
(iv) No, this is not a violation of the right to freedom because the Constitution guarantees freedom to a group of people as long as that freedom does not affect or hamper any other freedom of anyone else. Also the ban is imposed in the larger interests of the people.
Question 2 On the basis of these news reports write a letter to the editor or a petition to a court highlighting the violation of the against exploitation.
|A petition was filed in the Madras High Court. The petitioner said a large number children aged between seven and 12 were taken from villages in Saleem district sold at auctions at Olur Nagar in Kerala’s Thrissur district. The petitioner requested the courts to order the government to check these facts. (March 2005)|
|Children, from the age of five were employed in the iron or mines in the Hospet, Sand and the Ikal areas in Karnataka. Children were forced to carry out digging, breaking stones, loading, dumping, transporting and processing of iron ore with no safe equipment, fixed wages and working hours. They handled a high-level of toxic waste and were exposed to mine dust, which was above the permissible level. The school dropout rate in the region was very high. (May 2005)|
|The latest annual survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation found that the number of female child labourers was growing both in rural and urban areas.The survey revealed there were 41 female child labourers per thousand worker population in rural areas as against the previous figure of 34 per thousand. The figure for male child had remained at 31. (April 2005)|
Letter to the Editor
This is to bring to the notice of all concerned that many children are being exploited and forced to work for food and shelter. Instances which have come to my knowledge are
(i) A large number of village children between the ages of 7 to 12 years of Salem district in Tamil Nadu have been sold in Kerala to work as child labour.
(ii) Many children in Karnataka, even down to the age of 5 years, have been employed in digging, breaking stones, loading and processing iron ore in the mines there. The work is very hazardous and they are not using any safety measures.
(iii) Female child labour is also being utilized in many places. In fact, the number of female child labourers has increased in recent times, both in urban as well as rural areas.
By this letter, I wish to bring these facts to the notice of the Government, so that they can take suitable action against the people who are violating the Right against Exploitation of these children. I hope that my plea will create a proper response from the government to bring these malpractices to an end.
Question 1 The Constitution does not give people their religion. Then how can it give people the right to practice their religion?
Answer It is true that the Constitution does not give the people their religion. However, it does not prevent the Constitution from giving the people the right to practice their religion, because the Constitution contains principles that are meant for the welfare of the citizens. The Constitution therefore provides conditions to the citizens under which they can follow
and practice their religion with freedom.
Question 1 Read these news reports and identify the right that is being debated in each of these cases
(i) An emergency session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) rejected the proposal to form a separate body to manage the affairs of Sikh shrines in Haryana. It warned the government that the Sikh community would not tolerate any interference in their religious affairs (June 2005).
(ii) The Allahabad High Court quashed the Central law which gave Aligarh Muslim University its minority status, and held illegal the reservation of seats for Muslims in its postgraduate medical courses (January 2006).
(iii) The Rajasthan Government has decided to enact an anti-conversion law. Christian leaders have said that the Bill would aggravate the sense of insecurity and fear in the minds of minorities (March 2005).
(i) Here it is the Right to Freedom of Religion.
(ii) Here it is the Right to Equality.
(iii) Here it is the Right to Freedom of Religion.
Question 2 Can the President of India stop you from approaching the Supreme Court to secure your Fundamental Rights?
Answer No, the President of India cannot stop me from approaching the Supreme Court to secure my Fundamental Rights because the Fundamental Rights have been enshrined in our Constitution. This means that our Constitution provides and protects these rights and they cannot be taken away or violated by any person or government action or law, which also includes the President of India.
The Right to Constitutional Remedies is a Fundamental Right, according to which we have the right to approach the Supreme Court in case of violation of rights by any person or government law. So, nobody can stop us from going to court to secure our Fundamental Rights.
|National Human Rights Commission|
Do you notice references to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the news collage on this page? These references reflect the growing awareness of human rights and struggles for human dignity. Many cases of human rights violations in diverse fields, for instance, Gujarat riots, are being brought to the public notice from across India. Human rights organisations and the media often criticise government agencies for not seriously pursuing these cases or catching the culprits.Someone had to intervene on behalf of the victims. This is where the National Human Rights Commission stepped in. This is an independent commission set up by law in 1993. Like judiciary, the Commission is independent of the government. The Commission is appointed by the President and includes retired judges, officers and eminent citizens. Yet it does not have the burden of deciding court cases. So, it can focus on helping the victims secure their human rights. These include all the rights granted to the citizens by the Constitution. For NHRC human rights also include the rights mentioned in the UN sponsored international treaties that India has signed.The NHRC cannot by itself punish the guilty. That is the responsibility of courts. The NHRC is there to make independent and credible inquiry into any case of violation of human rights. It also inquires into any case of abetment of such violation or negligence in controlling it by any government officer and takes other general steps to promote human rights in the country. The commission presents its findings and recommendations to the government or intervene in the court on behalf of the victims. It has wide ranging powers to carry out its inquiry. Like any court it can summon witnesses, question any government official, demand any official paper, visit any prison for inspection or send its own team for on-the spot inquiry.Any citizen of India can write a letter to this address to complain against the violation of human rights : National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110001. There is no fee or any formal procedure to approach the NHRC. Like NHRC, there are State Human Rights Commissions in 16 states of the country.
Are these rights only for adults? Which of these rights are available to children?
Answer No, these (Fundamental Rights) are not only for the adults, they are available to all the citizens of the country without any discrimination. Right against exploitation is specially devoted to children because it protects the children from exploitation.
1) This right prohibits child labour.
2) No one can employ a child below the age of fourteen to work in any factory or mine or in any other hazardous work such as railways and ports.
3) Using this right as a basis, many laws have been made to prohibit children from working in industries such as beedi making firecrackers, matches, printing and dyeing.
Question 1 Which of the following is not an instance of an exercise of a Fundamental Right?
a) Workers from Bihar go to the Punjab to work on the farms
b) Christian missions set up a chain of missionary schools
c) Men and women government employees get the same salary
d) Parents’ property is inherited by their children
Answer (d) Parents’ property is inherited by their children
Question 2 Which of the following freedoms is not available to an Indian citizen?
(a) Freedom to criticise the government
(b) Freedom to participate in armed revolution
(c) Freedom to start a movement to change the government
(d) Freedom to oppose the central values of the Constitution
Answer (b) Freedom to participate in armed revolution
Question 3. Which of the following rights is available under the Indian Constitution?
(a) Right to work
(b) Right to adequate livelihood
(c) Right to protect one’s culture
(d) Right to privacy
Answer (c) Right to protect one’s culture
Question 4 Name the Fundamental Right under which each of the following rights falls
(a) Freedom to propagate one’s religion
(b) Right to life
(c) Abolition of untouchability
(d) Ban on bonded labour
(a) Right to Freedom of Religion
(b) Right to Personal Liberty
(c) Right to Equality
(d) Right against Exploitation
Question 5 Which of these statements about the relationship between democracy and rights is more valid? Give reasons for preference.
(a) Every country that is a democracy gives rights to its citizens.
(b) Every country that gives rights to its citizens is a democracy.
(c) Giving rights is good, but it is not necessary for a democracy.
Answer Statement ‘a’ is most valid. Democracy is a system of government elected by the people which works for the people and so a democracy must provide rights to the citizens.
Question 6 Are these restrictions on the right to freedom justified? Give reasons for your answer.
(a) Indian citizens need permission to visit some border areas of the country for reasons of security.
(b) Outsiders are not allowed to buy property in some areas to protect the interest of the local population.
(c) The government bans the publication of a book that can go against the ruling party in the next elections.
(a) Statement ‘a’ justified to protect the interests of the nation and its people.
(b) Statement ‘b’ is not justified because it infringes on the right to freedom of citizens from other parts of the country.
(c) Statement ‘c’ is not justified because it puts restrictions on the people and violates the right to freedom of speech and expression.
Question 7 Manoj went to a college to apply for admission into an MBA course. The clerk refused to take his application and said “You, the son of a sweeper, wish to be a manager! has anyone done this job in your community? Go to the municipality office and apply for a sweeper’s position”. Which of Manoj’s fundamental rights are being violated in this instance? Spell these out in a letter from Manoj to the district collector.
Answer ‘Right to Equality’ and ‘Right to Freedom’ are being violated in Manoj’s case.
The District Collector,
Sub: Redressal required of violation of my Right to Equality for admission to a College
I wish to inform you that my admission for pursuing a course leading to the MBA degree in ABC college in your district has been refused because the clerk of the college said, “You are the son of a sweeper. Nobody from your community has done such a course,” This is totally unjust and a violation of my right to Equality. I am fully qualified to apply for the course, having already completed my graduation.
You are requested to look into this problem and talk to the authorities of the concerned college to accept my application.
Question 8 When Madhurima went to the property registration office, the Registrar told her, “You can’t write your name as Madhurima Bannerjee d/o AK Bannerjee. You are married, so you must give your husband’s name. Your husband’s surname is Rao. So your name should be changed to Madhurima Rao.” She did not agree. She said “If my husband’s name has not changed after marriage, why should mine?” In your opinion who is right in this dispute? And why?
Answer Madhurima is right. She has the right to use her Maiden surname or her husbands surname. She cannot be forced to change her name. She enjoys the right to equality.
Question 9 Thousands of tribals and other forest dwellers gathered at Piparia in Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh to protest against their proposed displacement from the Satpura Mational Park, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary. They argue that such a displacement is an attack on their livelihood and beliefs. Government claims that their displacement is essential for the development of the area and for protection of wildlife. Write a petition on behalf of the forest dwellers to the NHRC, a response from the government and a report of the NHRC on this matter.
(a) The petition should be as follows
• We the tribal and the forest people have been living in and near the forests for hundreds of years and have earned our livelihood from forests. The forests are our home and place of work.
• It is wrong to displace us from our traditional homes. By doing so you are taking away our livelihood and traditions because we know no other work.
• We request the NHRC to take up our cause and prevent our displacement from the forest due to the setting up of the wildlife sanctuaries.
(b) The Response of the Government
• The government, in order to protect the wildlife which is nearing extinction, has decided to set up wildlife parks and wildlife sanctuaries and provide natural habitats to the endangered species and other animals.
• For doing this, human interference has to be stopped and so the tribals and the forest dwellers are to be displaced from these areas.
• However, keeping in mind the welfare of the tribals and ensuring a future for the tribals will be rehabilitated in some other suitable place.
(c) NHRC Report
• The National Human Rights Commission gave its report on the proposed displacement of the tribals and the forest dwellers from the wildlife parks and sanctuaries like the Satpura National Park, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and Panchmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
• NHRC said that the tribals and the forest dwellers have since ages lived in the forests and also earned their livelihood from the forests.
• However, realising the importance of the forests in their lives they have taken care not to harm it or damage it in any manner.
•They have co-existed in the forests with all the flora and fauna and they have many beliefs and traditions which infact protect the forests and the animals.
•Finally, they are not a threat to the flora and the fauna and they can help to protect, preserve and conserve the forest flora and fauna so they should be allowed to live in the forests as a part of the forest.
Question 10 Draw a web interconnecting different rights discussed in this chapter. e.g., right to freedom of movement is connected to the freedom of occupation. One reason for this is that freedom of movement enables a person to go to place of work within one’s village or city or to another village, city or state. Similarly, this right can be used for pilgrimage, connected with freedom to follow one’s religion. Draw a circle for each right and mark arrows that show connection between or among different rights. For each arrow, give an example that shows the linkage.
The arrow labels details are given below
1. In case somebody is not allowed to work in a particular job even though selected, he can approach the court for restoring this right.
2. If somebody is not allowed access to a public place because of his caste, he can approach the court for restoring this right.
3. If a person is accused for a crime, he can engage a lawyer to defend him.
4. Freedom to work anywhere in the country.
5. Establishing an educational institution for a minority community.
6. Somebody going for a pilgrimage.
7. We can conduct a peaceful demonstration in a group against some government policies which affect us adversely.