Question 1. Mention different aspects of life in which women are discriminated or disadvantaged in India.
- Literacy Rate The literacy rate among women is only 54 % as compared to 76 % among men. Similarly, a smaller proportion of girl students go for higher studies because parents prefer to spend their resources for their boys’ education than spend equally on their daughters.
- Unpaid Work The proportion of women among the highly paid and valued jobs is still very small. Though on an average, Indian women work one hour more than men everyday, most of them are not paid equally and therefore, their work is often not valued.
- Sex Ratio In many parts of India, parents prefer to have sons, and find ways to have the girl child aborted before she is born. This has led to a decline in the child sex ratio (the number of girl children per thousand boys) in the country to merely 927.
- Domestic Violence There are reports of various kinds of harassment, exploitation and violence against women. Both urban as well as rural areas have become unsafe for women. They are not safe even within their own homes from beating and other forms of domestic violence.
Question 2. State different forms of communal politics with one example each.
Answer: Communalism can take several forms in politics as –
- The most common expression of communalism is of communal superiority in our everyday beliefs. Militant religious groups are an example.
- Sometimes communalism takes its most ugly form in riots. India and Pakistan suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of partition.
- A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community, it can take the form of a desire to form a separate political unit. An example are the separatist leaders in Kashmir.
- Political mobilization based on religion is another form of communalism. This involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, and emotional appeal to bring the followers of one religion together in the political areas. Examples in India are politicians trying to influence voters from the two largest religious communities in the country.
Question 3. State how caste inequalities are still continuing in India.
Answer: Even now, most people marry within their own caste or tribe. Untouchability has not ended completely, despite its constitutional prohibition. Education is not easily available to the low castes. Even today most of the poor belong to the low castes, while most of the rich are the ‘high castes’.
Question 4. State two reasons to say that caste alone cannot determine election results in India.
- No party wins the votes of all the voters of a caste or community. When people say the caste is a ‘vote bank’ of one party, it usually means that a large proportion of voters from that caste vote for that party.
- No Parliamentary Constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste. So, every candidate and party needs to win the confidence of more than one caste and community to win elections.
Question 5. What is the status of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies?
Answer: In India, the women’s participation in the political area is very low. The women’s strength in the Lok Sabha is not even 10%. Their share in state assemblies is as low as 5%. The share of women legislators in India is behind those of several developing countries in Latin America and Africa. In the panchayats and municipalities, it is legally binding to fill one-third of the seats with women candidates. This has resulted in 10 lakh elected women representatives in the local government bodies.
Question 6. Mention any two constitutional provisions that make India a secular state.
- Fundamental Rights Under the Right to Freedom of Religion, our Constitution provides to all citizens freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
- Under Cultural and Educational Rights, our Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
Question 7. When we speak of gender divisions, we usually refer to –
- biological difference between men and women
- unequal roles assigned by society to men and women.
- unequal child sex ratio.
- absence of voting rights for women in democracies.
Question 8. In India, seats are reserved for women in the –
- Lok Sabha
- State Legislative Assemblies
- Panchayati Raj Bodies
Question 9. Consider the following statements on the meaning of communal politics. Communal politics is based on the belief that –
- One religion is superior to that of others.
- People belonging to different religions can happily live together as equal citizens.
- Followers of a particular religion constitute one community.
- State power cannot be used to establish the domination of one religious group over others.
Which of the statements given above is correct?
(a) 2 and 3 ; (b) 1,2, and 4 ; (c) 1 and 3 ; (d) All of these.
Answer : (c)
Question 10. Which among the following statements about India’s Constitution is wrong? It
- prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion
- gives official status to one religion.
- provides to all individuals the freedom to profess any religion.
- ensures equality of citizens within different religious communities
Question 11. Social divisions based on …… are peculiar to India.
Question 12. Match List I with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists –