Equality in Indian Democracy

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Introduction to Equality in Indian Democracy

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Equality is so crucial as it preserves the individual's "dignity." Dignity mainly means and the respect an individual deserves from everyone else for being a fellow human being. It is a fundamental and essential human right. This ideal case, nevertheless, does not exist. There are many forms of inequality in India even today. This is an article on equality in India or better yet this article highlights the issues of achieving equality in India and worldwide.

Equal Right to Vote

In a democratic country such as India, all adults, regardless of their religion, education, caste, or whether they are rich or poor, are allowed to vote. This is called the universal adult franchise and is a key aspect of all democracies. The idea of a universal adult franchise is built on the notion of equality.

Other Kinds of Equality

Besides being poor, many types of inequality in India. One of the most common forms of inequality in India is the caste system. If a person lives in rural India, their caste identity is something they have probably learned or faced very young. If you live in urban India, some of you might think that people don't believe in caste anymore.

Omprakash Valmiki (1950–2013) is a popular Dalit writer who wrote about equality in India through his eyes. In his autobiography, Joothan, he writes, “I had to sit away from the others in the class, and that too on the floor. The mat ran out before reaching the spot I sat on. Sometimes I would have to sit way behind everybody, right near the door…sometimes they would beat me without any reason.”

The second story is also about equality in India centred on an incident that occurred in one of the largest cities in India. It's a story about Mr Ansari and Mrs Ansari who were searching for an apartment in the city on rent. They came to a property dealer to help them find a place for themselves. In the end, it took a month to look at the apartments before they found a landlady who was willing to give them a rental place. Omprakash Valmiki and Ansaris were really treated unequally on the basis of differences of caste and religion. This shows two types of inequality in India.

Recognizing Dignity

The dignity of both Omprakash Valmiki and Ansaris had been violated due to the obvious way they were treated. When people are treated unfairly, their dignity will be violated. Omprakash and the Ansaris don't really warrant to be treated like this. They deserve the same respect and dignity as everyone else.

Equality in Indian Democracy

The Constitution of India acknowledges every individual as equal and understands the importance of equality in India. This means that each individual in the state, including the male and female, is a regular citizen. All castes, religions, tribes, educational and economic backgrounds are identified as similar. This is not to say that inequality has vanished. It has not. But, at the very least, the importance of equality in India of every individual is recognized in democratic India.

The recognition of equality in the Constitution includes the following provisions:

  • Every citizen before the law is equal.

  • No individual can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, race, caste, place of birth or whether they are male or female.

  • Everyone has access to all public places.

  • Untouchability has been outlawed.

The two different ways in which the state has decided to achieve the equality guaranteed by the Constitution are, first, through legislation and, secondly, through public programs or schemes to help vulnerable communities. In addition to legislation, the government has also established a number of schemes to improve the conditions of communities and individuals who have been treated unfairly for several centuries. These schemes are designed to provide greater opportunities for people who have not had this in the past.

Although government programs play a significant role in expanding equality of opportunity, much remains to be done yet. One of the primary reasons for this is that society is changing very slowly. Although people know what is equality in Indian democracy and that discrimination is against the law, they continue to treat people unfairly. It's only when people start believing that no one is unequal, and that every person deserves respect and dignity, that present behaviours may change. Understanding of what is equality in Indian democracy is very necessary for this to happen. Establishing equality in a democratic society is a continuous struggle of individuals and the various communities in India, that they contribute to. This article on equality in India briefly has covered issues attached to achieving this ideal case scenario in our democracy.

Issues of Equality in Other Democracies

In many democratic nations around the world, equality remains a critical issue in the struggle of societies. In the United States, African-Americans whose forefathers were slaves brought from Africa still describe their lives today as chiefly unfair. They have been treated pretty unfairly in the US and denied equality by law.

Rosa Park had been an African-American lady. Exhausted after a long day at work, she refused to surrender her seat on the bus to a white man on 1 December 1955. Her refusal that day triggered a massive upheaval against the racial discrimination of African-Americans that emerged as the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discriminatory practices on the basis of race, religion or national origin. It also mentioned that all schools would be accessible to African-American children and that they'd no longer have to attend segregated schools mainly set up for them.

Did You Know?

  • The Right to Equality is not absolute and is subjective to certain limits.

  • Untouchability although has been outlawed long ago, its definition is not given in the Indian Constitution.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Describe How the Varna System has Played a Role in Promoting Inequality in India.

Ans. The caste system is an archaic, age-old belief system that has plagued India to this day. It is a system that segregates Hindus into restrictive, hierarchical occupational categories called "varna." It perceives some groups to be "pure" and the other to be "impure." This Varna service consists of four Varnas - Bhramin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra - in decreasing order of purity. Prejudice against people of many lower caste groups is also common in rural areas today, but strangely, including among educated city dwellers. Owing to the Varna system mentioned above, one of India's most derogatory yet unique characteristics is the untouchability system. This system falsely assesses an individual from the lower castes as "impure". Other members of the upper castes used to steer away from touching them, calling them "untouchables".

2. Explain the Article that Gives the Indian Citizens Right to Equality.

Ans. The right to equality means that every individual is always equal before the law. There will now be no discrimination between persons. This article says that the laws of this country shall equally protect all the citizens of the nation. The State shall treat citizens in the same situations similarly within the territory of India. It also indicates that the law treats individuals differently under different circumstances. Article 15 states that the State may not discriminate against any citizen on basis of religion, sex, caste, race or place of birth, but there are exceptional cases to that provision. The Government may give any special provision for women and children. The government has made special provisions for certain socially and educationally backward classes. The government has also provided for economically weaker sections of citizens.