You learnt in the last chapter that the political manifestation of social divisions is conceivable and, in some cases, beneficial in a democratic society. Chapter 4 of Class 10 Political Science will cover three types of social distinctions based on gender, religion, and caste that may manifest as social divides and inequities. Each instance examines the nature of India’s split and how it manifests itself in politics. Therefore, read through “CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 4 – Gender, Religion, and Caste” to have a thorough understanding of all the themes.
CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes will assist students in studying the topic thoroughly and clearly.
These CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes were written by subject experts who made the study material very basic, both in terms of language and format.
Gender and Politics
Gender is a hierarchical social distinction that exists worldwide but receives less attention in political study. Gender is not determined by biological characteristics. It is based on societal norms and preconceptions.
Public/Private Division of Labour
Gender division is a social division in which society assigns uneven duties to men and women. In maximum households, sexual division of labour is observed.
For instance, women do all domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothing, tailoring, and child care, while males perform all domestic tasks. It is not that males are incapable of doing housekeeping; it is their thinking that women must perform these tasks.
When these tasks are compensated, men are willing to take them on as a vocation.
Men fall in the category of making up the majority of skilled cooks at hotels and tailor shops.
Women also do work outdoors. Women labour in fields and offices across the world. They do compensated jobs in contrast to unrecognised home labour.
Result of Public/Private Division of Labour
Division of labour results in women’s participation in public life (particularly in politics) is modest in the majority of civilizations. Previously, only males were permitted to participate in politics. Gradually, the gender question became a political issue.
Women around the globe have organised and protested for equal rights. Feminist movements are radical women’s movements that advocate for gender equality in family and personal life.
This was done to ensure women had equal voting rights and educational and employment prospects.
Women’s societal roles have improved as a result of newly acquired political awareness.
Many women are now employed as scientists, physicians, engineers, attorneys, managers, and college and university professors.
Previously, these vocations were deemed unsuitable for women. Women are very active in public life in Scandinavian nations such as Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Women’s Status in India
Women unfortunately continue to fall behind males in India, notwithstanding considerable progress achieved since independence. India remains a patriarchal nation ruled by men. Women in India face a variety of forms of discrimination.
The following points illustrate this concept.
- Rate of literacy Women have a lower literacy rate than males. According to Census 2011, the overall literacy rate is 74.04 percent, with males reading at 82.14 percent and females reading at 65.46 percent. In schools and universities, the dropout rate for female students is quite high, owing to parents’ preference to spend money on their male children.
- Uncompensated Work On average, an Indian woman works an additional hour per week than an average male, but is not compensated for labour performed at home.
- Wage Disparity Equal pay for equal labour is a requirement of the Equal Remuneration Act 1976. Despite this deed, women employees are paid less than males, even when doing the same tasks.
- Child-to-Female Ratio In many regions of India, parents prefer boys and arrange for the female child to be terminated before birth. This sex-selective abortion has resulted in a decrease in the child-to-mother ratio. The nation has a low female-to-male ratio of 940 females for every 1000 men. (2011 Census).
Violence Against Women
In India, women are often subjected to different forms of harassment, exploitation, and violence. Violence has escalated in recent years in metropolitan places. Women are not protected from domestic abuse even in their households.
Women’s Political Representation
According to the Feminist Movement, women will be unable to get appropriate attention to their concerns until they gain control of power. To do this, more women must be elected as lawmakers. In India, women make up a minuscule percentage of the legislature.
For the first time in 2009, the proportion of elected women MPs in the Lok Sabha exceeded 10% of its total strength. Their State Assembly representation is less than 5%. India lags below the averages for numerous developing nations in Latin America and Africa in this regard.
Even when women are appointed Chief Minister or Prime Minister, their cabinets are overwhelmingly male-dominated. India has addressed this issue by allocating one-third of seats in local government entities, such as municipalities and panchayats to women. As a consequence, more than ten lakh women are currently elected to rural and urban local government organisations.
Women’s organisations and activists have long argued for a comparable reservation of at least one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies
The Rajya Sabha approved the Women Reservation Bill (WRB) on 9th March 2010, however the Lower House, Lok Sabha, has yet to do so due to a lack of unanimity among all political parties.
Gender separation as a means of dividing society becomes a political issue.
Religion, Communalism and Politics
While religious divisions are not as ubiquitous as gender divisions, religious diversity is rather prevalent in today’s world. Numerous nations, like India, have a diverse religious populace.
In contrast to gender disparities, religious differences often manifest themselves in the realm of politics.
Numerous situations exist in which religion and politics interact. These are
- Gandhiji thought that politics should be governed by religious principles. He was not referring to any one religion, but to the moral qualities shared by all faiths.
- Human rights organisations are urging the government to take specific measures to safeguard religious minorities, since the maximum number of victims of communal disturbances in our nation are members of religious minorities.
- The Women’s Movement urged the government to amend all faiths’ family rules that discriminate against women.
- As members of a religious community, everyone should be allowed to voice their needs, interests, and expectations. This is possible if ideas, beliefs, and values drawn from many faiths play a significant role in politics.
- These political actions are acceptable as long as they respect all religions equally.
It is a scenario in which one community attempts to advance its own interests at the expense of the interests of other communities. This issue gets more serious when Religion is portrayed in politics as restricted and political.
Religions and their adherents are set against one another. One religion’s beliefs are exalted over those of other religions. One religious group’s demands are developed in contrast to those of another.
State power is utilised to establish one religious group’s dominance over the others.
This method of incorporating religion into politics is known as community politics.
Communal politics is predicated on the premise that religion serves as the primary foundation for a social group.
Communalism entails the following thought processes:
- The followers of a specific religion form a single community.
- Their primary objectives are the same.
- Any distinctions between them are irrelevant or inconsequential in terms of communal life.
- Individuals of various faiths cannot be members of the same social society.
- If there are any similarities between adherents of various religions, they are superficial and irrelevant.
- At its most extreme, communalism fosters the conviction that individuals of various faiths cannot coexist peacefully as equal citizens inside a same country.
- Either one of them must establish dominance over the other factions, or they must become separate states.
- Each community contains several voices. Each and every one of them has a right to be heard.
Forms of Communalism in Politics
Communalism is most often seen in daily beliefs. This includes religious preconceptions, stereotypes about religious groups, and beliefs in one’s religion’s superiority to other faiths.
A communal mentality is often motivated by the desire to control one’s own religious group. They accept majoritarian domination in the majority group, while the minority community wishes to create its own political body.
Another common kind of communalism is political mobilisation along religious lines. This entails the use of holy symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal, and simple terror to unite the adherents of a single faith in the political arena.
Occasionally, communalism manifests itself in the most heinous manner possible via community violence, riots, and massacres. At the period of partition, India and Pakistan had some of the worst sectarian riots. Additionally, large-scale community violence occurred throughout the post-independence era.
State without an official religion. All faiths have spiritual equality and fair status under the secular state. Our Constitution’s framers were well aware of communalism’s dangers.
For this reason, the framers of our Constitution embraced the secular state paradigm. This entails
- Different than Sri Lanka (Buddhism), Pakistan (Islam), and England, India has no official religion (Christianity).
- All groups and persons have the right to profess, practise, and promote any religion or to be religiously indifferent.
- It forbids discrimination based on religious beliefs.
- It empowers the state to interfere in religious affairs in order to maintain equality within religious groups, i.e., it prohibits untouchability. Prejudice and propaganda against minorities must be combated on a daily basis.
Caste and Politics
India’s social structure is built on the caste system. Rituals sanctioned inherited vocational divisions within the system.
The system is hierarchical as well as divided. Throughout this system, people of the same caste group coexisted as a single social society. Nobody was permitted to practise any other rites or ceremonies. Individuals were required to choose comparable vocations and marry within their caste group.
Additionally, they were not permitted to have lunch or dinner with other caste members. The system was founded on exclusion and discrimination against the so-called ‘outcast people.’
Untouchability is a condition in which certain members of the lower and backward castes are viewed as outcasts or untouchables. They are not permitted to associate with members of the so-called higher castes. Untouchability is the most defining feature of caste inequality.
Thus, social reformers like Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, and Ramaswami Naicker championed and campaigned for the abolition of caste inequalities in society.
Castes and the caste system in contemporary India have experienced dramatic changes as a result of social reformers’ efforts and other socioeconomic shifts.
Breaking the Old Notions of Casteism
Economic progress, widespread urbanisation, increased education and literacy, job mobility, and the waning influence of landowners in communities are eroding traditional concepts of caste hierarchy.
The Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste and lays the groundwork for programmes aimed at reversing the caste system’s inequity.
Nonetheless, some of the older elements of caste exist in contemporary India. Even now, the majority of individuals marry inside their caste or community. Untouchability has not been eradicated entirely.
Caste in Politics
The concept of Casteism defines that social community is founded only on caste. In politics, caste may take on both bad and good manifestations.
When selecting candidates, parties take into account the electorate’s caste makeup.
When governments are created, political parties often ensure that members of various tribes and castes are represented.
When political leaders campaign for parties, they seek support from their own communities.
Certain political parties have a reputation for favouring certain castes and are seen as their representatives.
The Universal Adult Franchise and the one-person-one-vote premise obliged political leaders to garner support. There is no parliamentary seat in the nation where a single caste has a clear majority. To win an election, a party must gain the trust of several communities and castes.
No party ever garners the votes of an entire caste or group.
Numerous political parties can field candidates who are members of the same caste.
The governing party and the incumbent Member of Legislative Assembly or Member of the Parliament. In our nation, we routinely lose elections. This would be impossible if every caste and community were rigid in their political choices.
Politics in Caste
Between politics and caste, there is more than a one-way street. Politics, by putting the caste identities and caste system into the political arena, has an effect on them.
Thus, politics does not become caste-ridden; rather, the caste becomes politicised. It comes in different types of forms.
- Each caste strives to expand by absorbing other sub castes.
- It is necessary for certain caste groupings to form alliances with other communities and castes.
In the political arena, new caste groupings such as ‘backward’ and ‘advanced’ caste groups are also present.
NCERT Question Answer Class 10 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 4 -Gender, Religion and Caste
Question 1. Mention different aspects of life in which women are discriminated or disadvantaged in India.
Answer: Sexual differences are caused by biology, but gender differences are caused by society. Women have always been treated unfairly because of their gender in almost every society in the world, including India. Ours is a patriarchal society led by men. In the ways listed below, women face disadvantage, discrimination, and oppression:
(1) Different aspects of life in which women are discriminated or disadvantaged in India are as given below :
- Education :
- Women do not have the same access to education as men. So, only 54 percent of women can read and write, while 76 percent of men can.
- Even though girls do better in school than boys, they drop out because their parents would rather spend their money on their son’s education. They don’t want to spend the same amount on both their sons and daughters.
- Discrimination in job opportunities and remuneration or salary :
- Compared to men, fewer women have high-paying jobs.
- Women are treated unfairly when it comes to getting jobs and being given high-paying, important jobs. The Equal Wages Act says that people should get the same pay for the same work. In practise, women are paid less than men almost everywhere, even when they do the same work. The average Indian woman works one hour more per day than the average Indian man. But she doesn’t get paid for much of what she does, so it’s often not appreciated.
- Preference for sons: Even now, parents in many parts of India still prefer to have boys. In some cases, a girl child is killed before she is born. Because of selective abortion based on a person’s gender, the sex ratio has gone down from 927 in 2001 to 850 or 800 in some places.
- Cases of harassment, exploitation, and violence: Employers take advantage of the women they hire. At home, they are sexually assaulted. It is not safe for them to travel at night. They have to deal with different kinds of domestic violence, like being hit and being bothered.
Question 2. State different forms of communal politics with one example each.
Answer: Most often, communalism shows up in everyday beliefs. There are often religious biases, stereotypes about religious groups, and beliefs that one’s own religion is better than other religions. This happens so often that we don’t always notice it, even if we believe it.
When people think of themselves as part of a group, they often want to be in charge of their own religious community politically. This is what majoritarian dominance looks like for people who are part of the majority group. For people from the minority group, it can look like a desire to form their own political group.
Question 3. State how caste inequalities are still continuing in India.
Answer: Caste is still alive and well in modern India. Some of the old rules about caste are still in place. People still tend to marry within their own caste or tribe. Even though the Constitution says it can’t happen anymore, untouchability is still going on. The effects of advantages and disadvantages that happened hundreds of years ago are still being felt today. The caste groups that could get an education under the old system have done very well in getting an education under the new system as well. Groups that did not have access to education or were not allowed to get it have fallen behind. Because of this, there are a lot of “upper caste” people in the urban middle classes in our country. Caste and economic status are still closely linked.
Question 4. State reasons to say that caste alone cannot determine election results in India.
Answer: The caste alone cannot determine election results in India due to the reasons as mentioned below :
- No majority of one caste in a constituency: No single caste makes up a clear majority in any of the country’s parliamentary constituencies. So, in order to win elections, a candidate or party needs to win the support of more than one caste or community.
- No votes of one cast/community: No party gets all of the votes from a caste or community. When people say that a caste is a vote bank for one party, they usually mean that a lot of people from that caste vote for that party.
- Candidates from the same caste :
- Many political parties may put up candidates from the same caste if that caste is thought to make up most of the voters in a particular constituency.
- Also, some voters have more than one candidate from their caste, while others have none. All of these things make the voters choose between two or more candidates.
- Our country’s ruling party and its members often lose elections. This could not have happened if all castes and communities were set in their political preferences.
- Some voters feel a strong connection to their political parties, which is often stronger than their connection to their caste or community.
- People from the same caste or community may have different interests depending on their income. Rich and poor people or men and women from the same caste often vote very differently.
- Lastly, people have their own opinions about how well their leaders are doing, and these opinions can vary.
- So, it’s clear that caste alone can’t decide election results in India
Question 5. What is the status of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies?
Answer: In India, there haven’t been many women in the government. For example, the number of women elected to Lok Sabha has never even reached 10% of the total number of members. Less than 5 percent of the state legislatures are made up of them. In this way, India is one of the worst places in the world. India’s averages are lower than those of many developing countries in Africa and Latin America. Cabinets in the government are mostly made up of men, even when a woman is Chief Minister or Prime Minister.
Question 6. Mention any two constitutional provisions that make India a secular state.
Two constitutional provisions that make India a secular state are given below:
- India has no official religion. Our Constitution does not give special rights to any religion, like Islam in Pakistan, Buddhism in Sri Lanka, or Christianity in England. State acts neutrally and fairly toward all religions.
- The Constitution gives all people and groups the freedom to believe, practise, and spread any religion or none at all.
Question 7. When we speak of gender divisions, we usually refer to :
(a) Biological difference between men and women.
(b) Unequal roles assigned by society to men and women.
(c) Unequal child sex ratio. .
(d) Absence of voting rights for women in democracies.
Answer: (b) Unequal roles assigned by society to men and women.
In India, seats are reserved for women in
(a) Lok sabha
(b) State legislative assemblies
(d) Panchayati Raj bodies
Answer: (d) 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 live together happily 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 is/are correct?
(a) A, B, C and D
(b) A, B and D
(c) A and C
(d) B and D
Answer: (c) A and C
Question 10. Which among the following statements about India’s Constitution is wrong?
(a) prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
(b) gives official status to one religion.
(c) provides to all individuals the freedom to profess any religion.
(d) ensures the equality of citizens within religious communities.
(b) gives official status to one religion.
Answer: (b) gives official status to one religion.
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:
|List I||List II|
|1.||A person who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men||A. Communalist|
|2.||A person who says that religion is the principal basis of community||B. Feminist|
|3.||A person who thinks that caste is the principal basis of community||C. Secularist|
|4.||A person who does not discriminate others on the basis of religious beliefs||D. Castiest|
(b) B, A, D, C is the correct answer.