Struggles for Equality : Ncert / Cbse Solutions & Revision Notes
Struggle for Equality
According to the Indian Constitution all Indians are equal in terms of law and that no one can be discriminated on the basis of religion, caste, sex and economic background. In spite of all this, a large number of population in India still lacks the basic necessary resources and continues to live in poverty and people are still discriminated on the basis of religion, sex and caste. The worst affected people are the marginalized groups like the Dalits and Adivasis.
India has witnessed many struggles to fight against inequality and discrimination through organizations and individuals. The Tawa Matsya Sangh (TMS) is an organization which is fighting for the rights of the forest dwellers, who were displaced from the forests of Satpura, Madhya Pradesh.
The TMS has organized various rallies and demanded the government to grant them fishing rights. It was in 1996 that the government agreed to grant the local people rights to fish in the reservoir. The TMS has also set up a cooperative society that offers the fishermen a fair price for their catch. TMS also offers loans to the fishermen for both repairing and purchasing nets and boats.
It is important that people fight against discrimination and stand up for their rights. It is also important to provide individuals and the community with adequate resources to help them live with self-respect and dignity.
CBSE NCERT Class VII (7th) | Social Studies | Social and Political Life
Chapter : Struggles for Equality
CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer
Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before the law and states that no person can be discriminated against because of their religion, sex, caste or whether they are rich or poor.
Q2 What do you understand by the term ‘Ballot Box Equality’?
All adults in India have the equal right to vote during elections and this ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used by people to elect or replace their representatives.
Q3 Give some reasons for the displacement of people from one place to another.
· When dams are built or forest areas declared sanctuaries for animals, thousands of people are displaced. Whole villages are uprooted and people are forced to go and build new homes, start new lives elsewhere.
· In urban areas too, bastis in which poor people live are often uprooted and some of them are relocated to areas even outside the city.
Q4 With examples state how people in India live highly unequal lives.
Even though there is equality among people in India yet poverty and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason why so many people’s lives in India are highly unequal.
· The increasing privatisation of health services and the neglect of government hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people to get good quality health care. These people do not have the resources to afford expensive private health services.
· The man who sells juice does not have the resources to compete with all of the major companies who sell branded drinks through expensive advertising.
Discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion, caste and sex is another significant factor for why people are treated unequally in India.
Q5 What issue was TMS fighting for and why did the villagers set up this organisation?
The Tawa Matsya Sangh is a federation of Fisher worker’s cooperatives – an organisation fighting for the rights of the displaced forest dwellers of the Satpura forest in Madhya Pradesh.
· The government decided to build dam on river Tawa which began to be built in 1958 and was completed in 1978 which submerged large areas of forest and agricultural land. The forest dwellers were left with nothing.
· In 1994, the government gave the rights for fishing in the Tawa reservoir to private contractors. These contractors drove the local people away and got
cheap labour from outside. The contractors began to threaten the villagers, who did not want to leave, by bringing in hoodlums. The villagers stood united and decided that it was time to set up an organisation and do something to protect their rights.
· The newly formed Tawa Matsya Sangh (TMS) organised rallies and a chakka jam (road blockade), demanding their right to continue fishing for their livelihood.
· In response to their protests, the government created a committee to assess the issue. The committee recommended that fishing rights be granted to the villagers for their livelihood. In 1996, the Madhya Pradesh government decided to give to the people displaced by the Tawa dam the fishing rights for the reservoir.
Q6 How did TMS helped people after the struggle?
With the TMS taking over the fish workers were able to increase their earnings substantially. This was because
· They set up the cooperative which would buy the catch from them at a fair price. The cooperative would then arrange to transport and sell this in markets where they would get a good price. They have now begun to earn three times more than they earned earlier.
· The TMS has also begun giving the fish workers loans for repair and the buying of new nets.
By managing to earn a higher wage as well as preserving the fish in the reservoir, the TMS has shown that when people’s organisations get their rights to livelihood, they can be good managers.
Q7 How can you say Indian constitution is a living document?
Referring to the Constitution as a living document means something that has real meaning in our lives. In a democracy, there are always communities and individuals’ trying to expand the idea of democracy and push for a greater recognition of equality on existing as well as new issues and their struggle is inspired by the recognition of equality for all by the Indian constitution.
For Eg. The constitution of India gives an opportunity to amend its existing laws to changing times.