Gender Religion And Caste Class 10 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 4

What are Gender, Religion and Caste?

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    Women are supposed to raise children and take care of the home. They do the household chores like cleaning, washing and cooking. These activities are not venerated. Men do not take part in household activities. They do cooking and tailoring in return for money.


    The protest and agitations are aimed at enhancing legal and political status of women and to provide women with better work opportunities. This involves radical women’s movements to improve the condition of women in personal and family life as well. All these protests and movements together constitute the Feminist movements. Political mobilisation has helped in improving the condition of women. In countries like Sweden, Finland and Norway, women’s participation in public life is extraordinary.


    Political representation of women

    • In Lok Sabha, women’s representation has never touched 10 per cent of its total strength and in State Assemblies, it is less than 5 per cent.
    • Most of the Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers are male. In this regard, India is behind several developing nations of Africa and Latin America.
    • To empower women, one-third of the total seats are now reserved for women in all rural and urban local bodies.

    Religious differences

    • India is home to Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. Gandhiji believed that politics can never be separated from religion. By religion, he meant moral values that bind all religions.
    • The victims of communal riots, as claimed by Human Rights Groups belong to religious minorities.
    • The movement of women aimed to change all family laws as they foster the seeds of discrimination.


    • Communalism can be defined as the situation where one community promotes its interest at the cost of another.
    • The central idea behind communal politics is that religion is the basis of a social community.
    • One community tries to surpass another community in terms of military or political prowess.


    • In order to deal with Communalism, which is supposed to be a major threat, India chooses to adopt Secularism.
    • There is no state religion in India and no religion has been accorded special status.
    • The Constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion.

    Caste and politics

    • The hereditary occupational divisions sanctioned by rituals form the basis of caste system.
    • The inequalities born out of castes are special to India.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, Periyar Ramaswamy, Jyotiba Phule, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar advocated a casteless society.
    • Increase in literacy rate and economic development is slowly breaking the caste hierarchy.

    Caste in politics

    Parties consider caste as one of the most important criteria while choosing candidates for elections. They consider the caste composition of a constituency before declaring their candidates. People vote for their religion and caste in elections and sometimes fail in choosing the right candidate. Political parties and candidates in elections make appeals to caste sentiment to muster support. Some political parties are known to favour some castes and are seen as theirrepresentatives.

    Politics in caste

    During elections, each caste tries to widen their reach by including other sub-castes and neighbouring castes. New castes like backward and forward caste groups have come up in the political arena. Caste politics have helped the Dalits and Other Backward Castes as now they hold an important place in the political realm.

    1. Sexual division of labour: It is the system under which all the household work is either done by women or organised by them. 6. Secularism: Secularism is the principle of separation of the government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries (the attainment of such is termed secularity). One’s manifestation of secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by the government of religion or religious practices upon its people.
    2. Feminist: One who believes that men and women should be given equal rights and opportunities. 7. Urbanisation: Urbanisation refers to the population shift from rural to urban areas, “the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas”, and the ways in which each society adapts to the change.
    3. Patriarchy: It is a system that values men more and gives them more power. 8. Occupational Mobility: Occupational mobility is the ability of labour to switch between different occupations. Occupational mobility is affected by the level of transferable skills and educational requirements of jobs.
    4. Family Laws: The laws that deal with family related matters. 9. Caste Hierarchy: The caste hierarchy means the system of social stratification in our society. Broadly speaking, caste system is a process of placing people in occupational groups. It has pervaded several aspects of Indian society for centuries. It dictates the types of occupations a person can pursue and the social interactions that he/she may have. Castes are ranked in hierarchical order, which determines the behaviour of one member of society over another.
    5. Communalism: Communalism can be defined as the situation where one community promotes its interest at the cost of other.