Rights Class 11 Notes Political Science Chapter 15 - CBSE

Chapter : 15

What Are Rights ?

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    • Rights are the entitlement to the citizens that are backed by the laws. These are the justified claims by an individual in the society. We can say they are the necessary dues to every individual.
    • It must be recognised by the society as well as the government as it is a legitimate claim of a citizen. These
      are claims that are considered important by the individuals for leading a life of dignity and respect.
    • One of the essential parameters while the evaluation of the rights is the idea of granting self-respect and dignity to every individual. For example right to education, employment and several other things are important for providing a life of dignity to the individual.
    • Rights are the general entitlement that are due to every individual and are important for his dignity and self-respect. For example, the right to education is one of the essential rights as education is very important to lead a life of dignity and respect.
    • On the other hand right to vote, right to free speech and right to information are several other rights which make an individual an important part of the society.
    • The Constitution of India granted several political rights to the people. All the citizens above the age of 18
      years have the right to vote in the general elections.
    • People have the right to form the political parties and can contest elections. However, there are some criteria which have to be fulfilled by them. People have the right to criticise the government policies and can
      peacefully protest against them.
    • The idea that we are born with certain basic rights is important for several reasons. It is believed that Right
      to Life, Liberty and Property are natural rights given by the nature. These rights cannot be infringed by the state as they are granted by the nature.
    • These rights have served as the foundational basis of the democratic government and has acted as a
      deterrent against the arbitrary powers of the authoritarian governments.
    • Immanuel Kant was a famous German philosopher who has given numerous theories on the subjects of rights, justice, equality and many more. Kant said that there is no equivalent of dignity and it is irreplaceable and does not possess a price. He said that human beings possess dignity unlike the other species. Due to this fact they have self- worth and also have the capacity of self-analysis.
    • He said that as every human has dignity so he has to be treated in a humane manner which does not harm his dignity. Whether a man is poor, uneducated or powerless he has to be given some amount of respect as
      ultimately he is a human. He said that treating people with dignity shows the morality of the society. The way
      we should treat the other people is the way we ourselves want to be treated.
    • The rights that are important for maintaining the dignity of an individual in the society and which are essential for establishing an atmosphere of mutual respect in the society are human rights. These rights are mutually accepted by the individuals to improve their quality of life in the society and establishes an atmosphere of peace in the society. The idea of human beings serves the idea that all humans are born equal and deserve certain amount of respect and freedom in the society.
    • According to the political theorists of seventeenth and eighteenth century, rights were conferred to men by
      God. Men were born with some basic rights and they were not conferred by the ruler or a society. These rights
      were said to be inalienable and no one has the right to take them away from the individuals.
    • The process of industrialisation has affected the environment in a negative manner which has led to drastic
      increase in the pollution. There has been an increase in the demands of rights to clean water, air and natural surroundings by the people in different countries which are bearing the burden of environmental destruction.
    • There has been the rising demand for the implementation of the idea of sustainable development so that there
      are less harm to the society and resources remain preserved for the future generations as well.
    • Legal Rights are those rights which are secured to the people by the government and are protected by the law. These rights are backed and protected by formal laws and their violation can lead to legal actions against the violator. Due to the backing of the government and the protection by the courts such rights are considered important for the maintenance of the principle of dignity for the individuals.
    • The claimed rights act as the foundation for the people to make demands from the state for their fulfillment.
      There are several examples for this. The Constitution of India has made the provision of Right to education for
      all the children between the age of 6-14 years. It enables the people to demand from the state to make provisions for fulfillment of this obligation.
    • Similarly the directive principles provide for safe drinking water and sanitation based on which people can ask the state for making relevant provisions for it.
    • In a democratic government political rights are supplemented by the civil liberties. Some of its examples are:
      The citizens have the right to free and fair trial in the court if they are held for some violation of laws. In a democracy people have the right to express their views freely in the society. People have the rights to show their dissent against the decisions of the government and government cannot forcefully shut their opinions.
    • Some of the important aspects of the political rights are: Political rights make the government
      accountable for their actions which is very essential for securing an atmosphere of justice in the society.
    • It gives opportunity to the people to play an important role in the selection of the people who will formulate the policies of the nation. It increases the participation of the people in political sphere.
    • In the twenty first century along with the political and economic rights, cultural rights are also seeing a rise
      in its demand. Some of the cultural rights are: The imparting of education in one’s mother tongue so that they
      effectively get educated without much problems.
    • Establishment of institutions that impart the teachings of one’s culture, language and customs. It promotes the idea of generation of respect for one’s own culture.