Democratic Rights Class 9 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 5

Chapter: 5

What are Democratic Rights ?

What Are Rights?

Rights are claims of a person over other fellow beings, over the society and over the government.

Why Do We Need Rights In A Democracy?

  • Rights are necessary for the very sustenance of a democracy.
  • For democratic elections to take place, it is necessary that citizens should have the right to express their opinion, form political parties and take part in political activities.
  • Rights protect minorities from the oppression of majority.
  • Rights are guarantees which can be used when things go wrong. Things may go wrong when some citizens may wish to take away the rights of others.

Rights In The Indian Constitution

Indian Constitution provides for six Fundamental Rights.

  • Right to Equality: The Constitution says that the government shall not deny to any person in India  equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws. Prevent the discrimination on various grounds treats everybody equal, in matter of public employments, abolishes untouchability and titles.
  • Right to Freedom: Freedom means absence of constraints. In practical life it means absence of interference in our affairs by others – be it other individuals or the government.

Under the Indian Constitution all citizens have the right to

(a) Freedom of speech and expression

(b) Assembly in a peaceful manner

(c) Form associations and unions

(d) Move freely throughout the country

(e) Reside in any part of the country, and

(f) Practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

  • Right against Exploitation: Once the right to liberty and equality is granted, it follows that every citizen has a right not to be exploited. Yet the Constitution makers thought it was necessary to write down certain clear provisions to prevent exploitation of the weaker sections of the society.
  • Right to Freedom of Religion: Every person has a right to profess, practice and propagate the religion he or she believes in.
  • Cultural and Educational Rights:

(a) Any section of citizens with a distinct language or culture has a right to conserve it.

(b) Admission to any educational institution maintained by government or receiving government aid cannot be denied to any citizen on the ground of religion or language.

(c) All minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

  • Right to Constitutional Remedies: Article 32 of the Indian Constitution mentions the right of an aggrieved individual to resource for the enforcement of his or her basic rights. It is also known as the right to have one’s Fundamental Rights preserved, which is a fundamental right in and of itself. Article 32 establishes
    fundamnetal rights.

How Can We Secure These Rights?

  • The right to seek the enforcement of the fundamental rights is called the Right to Constitutional Remedies. This itself is a Fundamental Right which makes other rights effective.
  • Fundamental Rights are guaranteed against the actions of the Legislatures, the Executive, and any other authorities instituted by the government. There can be no law or action that violates the Fundamental Rights.

Expanding Scope Of Rights

  • Fundamental Rights are the source of all rights, our Constitution and law offers a wider range of rights.
  • Over the years the scope of rights has expanded.

Various other rights are:

(a) Right to freedom of press

(b) Right to information

(c) Right to education: Now school education has become a right for Indian citizens. The governments are responsible for providing free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14 years.

(d) Right to life: Supreme Court has expanded the meaning of the right to life which include the right to food, shelter, clean water, livelihood, etc.

(e) Constitution provides many more rights, which may not be Fundamental Rights. For example, the Right to property is not a Fundamental Right but it is a constitutional right.