Equality Class 11 Notes Political Science Chapter 13 - CBSE

Chapter : 13

What Are Equality ?

  • Equality is a moral as well as a political idea that emphasises on the fact that all human beings are the creation of the same God and should be given equitable treatment in the society.
  • All the religious philosophies laid emphasis on this fact and support the idea of equality on the consideration that God is the creator of all human beings.
  • In the political arena equality establishes the idea that the worth of human beings are equal irrespective of their caste, colour, gender and nationality. All human beings are entitled to equal respect and consideration on the grounds of their common humanity.
  • Some of the laws that established this idea are the universal human rights or the ‘crimes against humanity’.
  • There are wide differences among the status of urban and rural families in India as per the census of 2011.
    Some of the statistics to prove this are:
    • In the urban areas 93% of the people possessed electricity connections whereas in the rural areas it was 55%. 71% of the urban houses have the access to the tap water and on the other hand it was accessible to only 35% of the rural families. There was presence of bathroom in the house in 87% of the urban families and only 45% of the rural families have that.
    • 77% of the urban families had television in their house while only 33% of the rural families had that. Car was possessed by only 10% of the urban population and only 2% of the rural population had access to it.
  • There are several parameters that need to be taken under consideration for ensuring the principle of equality in the society. All the human beings should receive an equitable treatment irrespective of their caste, gender and religion.
  • All human beings with no political bias and irrespective of gender, caste and releigon should get the same rights and opportunities for developing their skills and realising their potential to fulfil their goals. The access to basic goods like education, health, safe drinking water and sanitation are also important for establishing the idea of equality.
  • There are some pre-conceived notions against the certain classes of the society. Same was the case with the women and the black people. From the ancient times the women were projected as the weaker sex having the responsibility to manage the households. The intellectual abilities of the women were not realised due to which they were unable to make a significant mark in the professional world. This led to the rise of social and economic disparity between men and women.
  • Women were denied equal political as well as economic rights in many parts of the world and they had to fight long battles for their uprightness.
  • On the other hand the black people in Africa were considered as intellectually inferior by their colonial masters. They were projected as capable enough to do manual works and engaged in sports or music. Such beliefs were used to provide justification to the institution of slavery. However, the long drawn Civil Rights
    Movements led to the end of this practice.
  • Natural inequalities are those inequalities that are produced among the people due to their varying capabilities and the dedication towards their work.
  • Such inequalities take place due to the higher aptitude and commitment of a person towards his career in which he outshines his competitors.
  • Such inequalities were not deemed irrational as they are based on the merit of the person. It is generally assumed that the natural differences between the individuals cannot be changed.
  • It was a common belief that the physically challenged people were less capable of the healthy people in
    achieving their goals, however people like Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller have proved a vast array of people wrong.
  • Different parameters that are taken into consideration under political equality are: In a democratic setting political equality will be to grant equal citizenship to all the people of the nation. The right to vote, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of movement and freedom of religion are all granted under this form of equality. The state should formulate proper laws for securing all these kinds of equalities to the people in the society.
  • The Constitution of almost every democratic nation has granted citizenship rights, rights to freedom of speech and expression and other political rights. These rights are protected by the state and if the state violates such rights then the courts implement the protection of such rights.
  • The social equality generally gives emphasis on the idea of granting equality of opportunity to the people of all sections of the society.
  • All the communities should receive a fair and equitable rights to realise their potential and pursue their dreams. They should have access to decent education and healthcare facilities which are basic necessities to make a progress in life.
  • The absence of proper opportunity leads to the wastage of wide pool of talent in the society. People from humble backgrounds have reached the top positions of the country and put a full stop to taboos. Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Azad is among a few examples of this.
  • It is the primary responsibility of the government to ensure that all sections of the people get fair opportunity and their talent reaches the maximum potential.
  • Feminism is a kind of political doctrine that believes in the idea of equality between men and women. Feminists are those individuals who had the strong belief that the differences that exist between men and women in the society are not natural and in fact they are totally unnecessary.
  • The prevalent laws and social patterns can be amended to bring equality between men and women in terms of jobs, education and other fields. The feminists held that the root cause of differences between men and women in the society is patriarchy which values men more than the women and establishes the authority of men over women.
  • Liberal philosophers give emphasis to the fair completion and merit of the individual for the distribution of the resources. They support the idea of the private property and hold them as the result for one’s intellectual abilities and hard work.
  • However, they support the intervention of the state to ensure equality of opportunities and basic necessities of the people like sanitation, health and education. They emphasise on the fact that competition between people in the society should be free and fair and it is the best method for evaluating the merit of the person and the distribution of the resources.
  • They believe that talented people get their dues of hard work and perseverance even if they have the humble backgrounds. Jobs and admissions to the educational institutions should be based on the merit of the individual.
  • The elimination of inequalities can begin with the formal ending of the granting of privileges and power to certain sections on the basis of their race, heredity and other things which is generally not based on the merit.
  • People belonging from certain descent class and race were kept deprived due to the stringent laws of some of the nations. These practices got ended gradually generally through the medium of Constitution.
  • Government of every state should ensure that the constitutional provisions for the deprived classes are being implemented properly so that they did have to face the deprivation and discrimination in the society.
  • Certain basic rights and necessities should be given to every citizen which is essential for their growth and development. In India Article 14 of the Constitution talks about Right to Equality. This rights grants equality before law to every citizen of the country and equal protection of rights no matter what their caste and religion is.