Mention different aspects of life in which women are discriminated or disadvantaged in India.
Family laws of all religions discriminate against women.
There are reports of various kinds of harassment, exploitation and violence against women. Urban areas have become particularly unsafe for women.
In India, the proportion of women in legislature has been very low. For example, the percentage of elected women members in Lok Sabha has never reached even 10 per cent of its total strength. Their share in the state assemblies is less than 5 per cent. In this respect, India is among the bottom group of nations in the world.
State different forms of communal politics with one example each.
Different forms of communal politics are as given below:
- Everyday beliefs: Religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities, and belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions are so common that we often fail to notice them even when we believe in it. For example even today the members of lower classes are not allowed to enter the temples in many regions.
- Majoritarian dominance: A majority community tries to dominate other communities in politics. This may compel the minority community to form a separate political unit. For example, in Sri Lanka, majoritarianism has been followed which has resulted in conflict in the country.
- Political mobilization on religious lines: Religious appeals are made to voters to attract their votes. Sometimes sacred symbols and religious leaders are used to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena. Religious leaders are asked to propagate in favour of a political party. Emotional appeals are made on the basis of religion.
- Communal violence: Sometimes communalism takes the ugliest form of communal violence, riots, and massacre. India and Pakistan suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of the partition. Even after independence, riots on communal lines have taken place in India.
State how caste inequalities are still continuing in India.
Caste inequalities are still continuing in India in the following ways:
- Most people still marry within their own caste or tribe. The upper caste people or sometimes other caste people too do not allow inter-caste marriages.
- Untouchability has been prohibited by the Constitution but in practice, it still exists in different parts of the country, particularly in rural areas.
- In the field of education too the position is far from satisfactory. The caste groups that had access to education under the old system have done very well in acquiring modern I education as well. But those groups who did not have access to education or were prohibited from acquiring it have naturally lagged behind.
- Caste is still an important source of economic inequality because it regulates access to
resources of various kinds while the upper classes are best off, the Dalits and Adivasis are worst off, and the backward classes are in between.
- Although every caste has some poor members, the proportion of living in extreme poverty is much higher for the lowest castes.
- Lower caste people like rural landless labourers, are generally poor and are exploited even today. Caste still continues to be closely linked to economic status. The percentage of the population living below the poverty line between 1999-2000 was 45.8 (STs), 35.9% (SCs), and 27% (OBCs) in rural areas.
State two reasons to say that caste alone cannot determine election results in India.
When parties choose candidates in elections, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate and nominate candidates from different castes so as to muster necessary support to win elections. When governments are formed, political parties usually take care that representatives of different castes and tribes find a place in it.
Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one-vote compelled political leaders to gear up to the task of mobilising and securing political support. It also brought new consciousness among the people of castes that were hitherto treated as inferior and low.
What is the status of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies?
The status of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies is very less as mentioned
- In Lok Sabha, the percentage of elected women members has never reached even 10 percent of its total strength.
- Their share in the state assemblies is less than 5 percent. India is among the bottom group of nations in the world in this respect. Women in national parliaments in different regions are as given below :
- Nordic Countries – 40%
- America – 20.2%
- Europe – 19.6%
- Asia – 16.3%
- India – 8.3%
- Arab States – 8.2% 1
Thus, India is ahead of Arab states only.
- Cabinets are also male-dominated even when a woman becomes a Chief Minister or the Prime Minister.
- Thus the proportion of women in legislative bodies has been very low. Women’s organizations and activists have been demanding reservation of at least one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for women. A bill with this proposal has been pending before the parliament for more than a decade but due to lack of consensus among the political parties, it has not been passed.
Mention any two constitutional provisions that make India a secular state.
There is no official religion for the Indian state. Unlike the status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, that of Islam in Pakistan and that of Christianity in England, our Constitution does not give a special status to any religion.
The Constitution provides to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
Multiple Choice Questions
Previous Years’ Questions
1. In local self-government institutions atleast one-third of all positions are reserved for: [CBSE (CCE) 2011]
(d) scheduled tribes
2. ‘Feminist movements’ are aimed at: [CBSE (CCE) 2011]
3. According to 2001 census what was the sex ratio in India? [CBSE (CCE) 2011]
(a) 1000 males 950 females
(b) 1000 males 850 Females
(c) 1000 males 927 females
(d) 1000 males 922 females
4. Which one of the following is not a cause of communalism? [CBSE (CCE) 2011]
(a) Religion is taken as the basis of the nation.
(b) When one religion is discriminated against other
(c) State has no official religion
(d) Demands of one religious group are formed in opposition to another.
5. Which of the following divisions is unique to India? [CBSE (CCE) 2011]
(a) Gender division
(b) Caste division
(c) Economic division
(d) Religious division
6. When we speak of gender divisions, we usually refer to:
(a) Biological difference between men and women
(b) Unequal roles assigned by the society to men and women
(c) Unequal child sex ratio
(d) Absence of voting rights for women in democracies
7. In India seats are reserved for women in
(b) State legislative assemblies
(d) Panchayati Raj bodies
8. Consider the following statements on the meaning of communal politics. Communal politics is based on the belief that:
(i) One religion is superior to that of others.
(ii) People belonging to different religions can live together happily as equal citizens.
(iii) Followers of a particular religion constitute one community.
(iv) State power cannot be used to establish the domination of one religious group over others.
Which of the statements are correct?
(a) (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv)
(b) (i), (ii) and (iv)
(c) (i) and (iii) only
(d) (ii) and (iv) only.
9. Which among the following statements about India’s Constitution is wrong? It
(a) prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion
(b) gives official status to one religion
(c) provides to all individuals freedom to profess any religion
(d) ensures the equality of citizens within religious communities.
10. Match List I with List-II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the Lists:
|List I||List II|
|(i) A person who believes||A. Communalist in equal rights and opportunities for women and men.|
|(ii) A person who says that||B. Feminist religion is the principal basis of the community.|
|(iii) A person who thinks||C. Secularist that caste is the principal basis of community.|
|(iv) A person who does not||D. Castiest discriminate against others on the basis of religious beliefs.|
(a) (i) – B; (ii) – C; (iii) – A; (iv) – D
(b) (i) – B; (ii) – A; (iii) – D (iv) – C
(c) (i) – D; (ii) – C; (iii) – A (iv) – B
(d) (i) – C; (ii) – A; (iii) – B (iv) – D
11. Sexual Division of labour signifies, that
(i) Gender division emphasises division on the basis of nature of work.
(ii) Division between men and women.
(iii) Caste is the basis of Gender Division.
(iv) Work decides the division between men and women.
(a) (i), (iii) and (iv) (b) (i), (ii) and (iv)
(c) (i) and (iii) (d) (iv) and (i)
12. Which statement is true for secularism/secular state?
(a) Recognises every religion and gives due importance to every religion.
(b) It is based on the idea that religion is the sole basis of the social community.
(c) Secular state has its official religion.
(d) No official religion for the secular state.
13. Caste hierarchy means :
(a) Shift from one occupation to another.
(b) A ladder-like formation in which all the caste groups are placed from the highest to the lowest castes.
(c) Religious equality.
(d) Communal harmony and peace on the basis of caste.
14. “A woman or a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for men and women.” Select the correct option for the definition.
(c) Caste hierarchy
(d) Social change
15. “Process to shift from one occupation to another, usually it is being practiced by the new generation.” It is significant to :
(a) Social change
(b) Secular state
(c) Occupational mobility
(d) Communal representation
16. ‘Equal Wages Act’ signifies;
(a) Law that deals with family-related matters.
(b) Law provides that equal wages should be paid for an equal job for both men and women.
(c) An Act which signifies that all work inside the home is done by the women of the family.
(d) A radical law against the discriminatory attitude and sexual division of labour.
17. Do you think that women could have made the gains if their unequal treatment was not raised in the political domain?
(a) Yes, because some form of gender division or sexual division needs to be expressed in politics.
(b) No, gender division should not be expressed in politics.
(c) No, because unequal treatment requires moral obligation, not the legal one.
(d) All the above.
18. Select the laws enacted by the Parliament for the welfare of women.
(a) Special Marriage Act of 1955
(b) Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961
(c) Equal Remuneration Act of 1976
(d) All the above
19. Why did our constitution framers choose the model of a secular state?
(a) Constitution framers wanted to check religious differences.
(b) To check casteism
(c) To check the challenges of communalism
(d) To check communal politics.
20. Which leaders worked for the elimination of the caste system in India?
(a) Jotiba Phule, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Periyar Ramaswami Naicker.
(b) Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi.
(c) Jotiba Phule, Periyar Ramaswami Naicker, and Mahatma Gandhi.
(d) Swami Vivekanand, Jotiba Phule, and Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
21. In which countries women are given high profile?
(a) Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Norway
(b) Sweden, Norway and Finland
(c) France, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia
(d) Norway, Finland and Saudi Arabia
22. What is the exact ratic^of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in 2001?
(a) Scheduled castes constitute 17.8% and scheduled tribes 9.2%.
(b) Scheduled castes constitute 20.4% and scheduled tribes 8.2%.
(c) Scheduled castes constitute 15.6% and scheduled tribes 7.8%.
(d) Scheduled castes constitute 16.2% and scheduled tribes 8.2%.
23. Indicate ‘True’ and ‘False’ for the given statements:
(a) Feminist means a woman or a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men.
(b) Communalism signifies an ideology which stands for regional harmony and economic prosperity.
(c) Inequality of women states equal treatment to women as compared to men.
(d) The concept of Patriarchy refers to a system that values men more and gives them power over women.
24. “India is a country of religious differences.” Justify the statement by selecting a suitable option.
(a) of different social groups.
(b) India is the land of different religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.
(c) of different community people.
(d) of different caste people.
25. Participation of women in public life is relatively low in countries like;
26. Women in India are discriminated in;
(a) Political life
(b) Social life
(c) Economic life
(d) All the above
27. Over the past few decades, the sex ratio in India;
(a) has not changed
(b) has gone down
(c) has increased
(d) has shown a fluctuating trend
28. The peculiarity of social division in India, unlike many other countries, is that it is based on;
(d) Income levels
29. State True and False :
(a) Indian Constitution advocates an official language for India.
(b) Gandhiji used to say that religion can never be separated from politics.
(c) Communalism signifies an ideology which stands for regional harmony and economic.
(d) Inequality of women states equal treatment to women as compared to men.
30. Fill in the blanks :
(a) The concept of …………. refers to a system that values men more and gives them power over women.
(b) …………… means a woman or man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men.
(c) Shift from …………….. areas to urban areas is known as occupational mobility.
(d) ………….. was based on the exclusion of and discrimination against the ‘outcaste’ group.
(i) Patriarchy / Feminist
(ii) Feminist / Patriarchy
(iii) Rural / Urban
(iv) Caste hierarchy / Caste system
Multiple Choice Questions