These comprehensive RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 4 Gender Religion and Caste will give a brief overview of all the concepts.
RBSE Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 4 Gender Religion and Caste
(1) Gender Based Inequality – The gender division tends to be understood as natural and unchangeable. However it is not based on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes.
• Sexual division of labour is very’ common in the world. In most families woman do all work inside the home and men do all the work outside the home. In fact the majority of women do some sort of paid work in addition to domestic labour. But their work is not valued and does not get recognition.
• The result of this division of labour is that although women constitute half of the humanity, their role in public life, especially politics, is minimal in most societies.
• Women in different parts of the world organised and agitated for equal rights. More radical women’s movements aimed at equality in personal and family life as well. These movements are called Feminist movements.
• Political expression of gender division and political mobilisation on this question helped to improve women’s role in public life.
• In our country, women still lag much behind men despite some improvement since independence. Ours is still a male dominated patriarchal society.
Women’s Political Representation – Many feminists insisted on women’s role in representative institutes to stop gender inequality.
In India, the proportion of women in legislature has been very low. For example, the percentage of elected Women members in Lok Sabha has never reached even 10 percent of its total strength. Their share in the state assemblies is less than 5 percent. To solve this problem one-third of seats in local government bodies in panchayats and municipalities are now reserved for women. Women’s organisations and activists have been demanding a similar reservation of at least one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women.
A bill with this proposal has been pending before the Parliament for more than a decade. The bill has not been passed yet.
(2) Religion Based Inequality – Many countries including India have in their population, followers of different religions. Religious division is often expressed in political field. But if government treats all the religions equally that does not create communal riots.
Communalism – The problem begins when religion is seen as the basis of the nation. The problem becomes more acute when religion is expressed in politics in exclusive and partisan terms, when one religion and its followers are pitted against another. This happens when beliefs of one religion are presented as superior to those of other religions. This manner of using religion in politics is communal politics.
Communal politics can take various forms in politics –
- religious prejudices,
- stereotypes of religious communities,
- belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions.
Secular State – The makers of our constitution chose the secular state model for India. For this –
- There is no official religion for the Indian states.
- The constitution provides to all citizens freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion.
- The constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
- The constitution allows the state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities.
(3) Caste Inequalities – Unlike gender and religion, caste division is special to India. Caste system is an extreme form of this. What makes it different from other societies is that in this system. A social community practiced the same or similar occupation, married within the caste group and did not eat with members from other caste groups.
Changes in Caste System – Due to social reformers’ efforts and socio-economic changes, castes and caste system in modem India have undergone great changes. With economic development, large scale urbanisation, growth of literacy and education, occupational mobility and the weakening of the position of landlords in the villages, the old notions of caste hierarchy are breaking down. Some of the older aspects of caste have persisted. Even now most people marry within their own caste or tribe.
Caste in Politics – Caste can take various forms in politics :
- When parties choose candidates in election, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate and nominate candidates from different castes so as to muster necessary support to win elections.
- Political parties and candidates in elections make appeals to caste sentiment to muster support.
- 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.
- The voters have strong attachment to political parties which is often stronger than their attachment to their caste or community.
Politics in Caste –
Politics too influences the caste system and caste identities by bringing them into the political arena –
- Each caste group tries to become bigger.
- Various caste groups are required to enter into a coalition with other castes or communities and thus enter into a dialogue and negotiation.
- New kinds of caste groups, have come up in the political arena like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ caste groups.
Thus caste plays different kinds of roles in politics. In some situations, expression of caste differences in politics gives many disadvantages of communities and the space to demand their share of power. At the same time exclusive attention to caste can produce negative results as well.
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