Chapter Notes (Part - 1) - Democratic Rights Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: Chapter Notes (Part - 1) - Democratic Rights Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

The document Chapter Notes (Part - 1) - Democratic Rights Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

Democratic Rights


a) Prison in Guantanamo Bay:

  1. Guantanamo Bay is a naval base near Cuba, controlled by the American Navy.
  2. The U.S.Forces secretly abducted about 600 people who they felt were responsible for the terrorist attack on New York which occurred on 11th September 2001 and imprisoned them here.
  3. In lost cases, the governments of their countries were not asked or even informed about their imprisonment.

Families of the prisoners, media or even UN representatives have not been allowed to meet them. There has been no trial before any magistrate in the USA nor have the prisoners been allowed to approach the courts in their own country.
Amnesty international reported that the prisoners were being tortured in ways that violated the US laws. They were being denied the treatment that even prisoners of war must get as per international treaties. Prisoners were not released even after they were officially declared not guilty. The UN Secretary General said the prison in Guantanamo Bay should be closed down. The US government refused to accept these pleas.

b) Citizens’ Rights in Saudi Arabia:

  1.  The country is ruled by a hereditary king and the people have no role in electing or changing their rulers.
  2.  The king selects the legislature as well as the executive. he appoints the judges and can  change any of their decisions.
  3. Citizens cannot form political parties of any political organizations. Media cannot   report anything that the monarch does not like.
  4. There is no freedom of religion. Every citizen is required to be Muslim. Non-Muslim residents can follow their own religion in private, but not in public.
  5. Women are subjected to many public restrictions. The testimony of one man is concerned equal to that of two women.

c) Ethnic Massacre in Kosovo:

  1. Albanians formed the majority of the population in Kosovo but the Serbs were in majority in other parts of Yugoslavia.
  2. Milosevic who became the Prime Minister wanted Serbs to dominate the country and to get rid of the Albanians.
  3. Thousands of Albanians were massacred. Finally, several other countries intervened to stop this massacre.
  4. Milosevic was captured and tried by an international Court of justice for crimes against humanity.

a) What are Rights?

  1. Rights are claims of a person over other fellow beings, over the society and over the government. A right possible when you make a claim that is equally possible for others. You cannot have a right that harms or hurts others. The claims we make should be reasonable. They should be such that can be made available to others in an equal measure. Thus, a right comes with an obligation to respect other rights.
  2. Just because we claim some thing it does not become out right. It has to be recognised by the society we live in. rights acquire meaning only in society. Every society makes certain rules to regulate our conduct. They tell us what is right or what is wrong. What is recognized by the society as rightful becomes the basis of rights.
  3. When the socially recognised claims are written into law they acquired real force. Otherwise they remain merely as natural or moral rights. When law recognises some claims they become enforceable. We can demand their application. When fellow citizens or the government do not respect these rights we call it violation or infringement of our rights. In such circumstances citizens can approach courts to protect their rights.

b) Rights are reasonable claims of persons, recognised by society and sanctioned by law. Why do we need Rights in a Democracy?

  1. Fundamental Rights provide the conditions which are essential for the development of the inherent qualities in man and to secure his all round growth.
  2. These are necessary to preserve human dignity and promote social progress in an atmosphere of freedom.
  3. These provide civil liberties, without which democracy cannot be even conceived.
  4. These are a significant check on the arbitrary use of the government.
  5. Rights protect minorities from the oppression of majority.

In India, like most other democracies in the world, these rights are mentioned in the Constitution. Some rights which are fundamental to our life are given a special status. They are called Fundamental Rights. The preamble of our Constitution talks about Chapter Notes (Part - 1) - Democratic Rights Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9securing for all its citizens equality, and justice. Fundamental Rights put this promise into effect. They are an important basic feature of India’s Constitution.

a) ‘Right of Equality’:
The various aspects of ‘Right of Equality’ are as follows:

  1. Equality before Law: The constitution guarantees that all citizens are equal, before law. These is no discrimination on the basis of race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  2. Abolition of all titles like khan Bahadur, etc.
  3. People should be given equal opportunity to show their skill.
  4. The State cannot discriminate against anyone in the matter of employment. All citizens can apply and become employees of the State.
  5. Protection of Weaker Sections: the right of equality gives special provisions for women and children.
  6. Reservation: In legislature, educational institutions, government offices, etc, some seats are reserved for the weaker sections.
  7. Ban on Untouchability: Untouchability has made an offence. Anyone who practices untouchability is liable to punishment.
  8. No citizen can be denied access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment.

Two exceptions to the Right of Equality.
The Right to Equality contains two exceptions as follows:

  1. The state can made special provisions for women and children, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and backward classes. these classes need special protection because often they have been victims of unequal treatment.
  2. The state can reserve some posts for SCs, STs and OBCs.

Right to Freedom is actually a cluster of rights:
The Right to Freedom is a Fundamental Right given to us by the Constitution and safeguarded by the government . It consists of the following rights:

  1. Freedom of speech and expression.
  2. Freedom to assemble peacefully.
  3. Freedom to form unions and associations.
  4. Freedom to move within the country.
  5. Freedom to live in any part of India.
  6. Freedom to practice any profession.

In addition, the Parliament has enacted a law giving the right to information to the citizens.

Restriction to the Right to Freedom:
The restrictions are as follows: 

  1. The government can restrict these rights in the interest of national integration. it implies that if these laws are used against the unity and integrity of India, the government can pass laws to restrict them.
  2. Similar restrictions can be imposed if they are disturbing public order or morality.
  3. We have the right to speech, but we should not use abusive language.
  4. We have the right to use public property but it is not a right to destroy it. it is our duty to protect public property.

“No citizen can be denied his life and liberty.”
The Right to Freedom guarantees that no citizen can be denied his life and liberty.

  1. These can be denied only by law, i.e., only if a citizen has violated a law or committed a crime.
  2. No one can be arrested without being told why he/she is being arrested.
  3. And, if arrested, every citizen has the right to defend himself/herself through a lawyer of his/her own choice.
  4. Also, if a citizen is arrested, he/she must be brought before a magistrate within 24 hours.

Recently, the Supreme Court has expanded the meaning of the right to life to include the right to food. All these rights are given to the citizens to ensure that the government cannot oppress them unjustly or take away their liberty.

Preventive Detention:
if a person is seen to be a threat to law or unity and integrity of the country, the government can detain such person to prevent any damage. this is called Preventive Detention. But preventive detention can extend only for three months. The period can be extended by an advisory board. At the end of this period, the person should either be brought for trial before a Court or released.

‘ Right against Expiation’:
Right against Expiation provides for the following:

  1. Prohibition of traffic in human beings.
  2. Prohibition of forced labor or begar.
  3. Prohibition of employment of children in factories.

Constitutional provisions to protect the rights of children.
The provisions to protect rights of children are as follows:

  1. The Constitution bans trading in children, i.e., buying and selling of children.
  2. Children under the age of 14 cannot be employed to do dangerous jobs.
  3. All children should be provided free and compulsory education till the age of 14.
  4. Right against exploitation protects them from bonded labor.
  5. The Constitution protects them from moral and material degradation.

Right to Freedom of Religion:
Our Constitution gives the right to practice any religion to all citizens. Accordingly,

  1. there is no discrimination against any religion;
  2. Laws are not passed on the basis of religion;
  3. A citizen can proactive any religion which he/she wishes to;
  4. Religion Constitutional sects can setup charitable institutions.

Cultural and educational rights:
India is a country many religion, languages and cultures. The Constitution helps them in preserving and developing their own identity.
(i) All sections of people having their distinct culture, language and script have full freedom to protect the same.
(ii) All minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

How can we secure these Rights?
The Constitution provides that the Courts have a duty to protect citizens ‘tights.

  1. Every citizen has a right to go to a Court to enforce his rights.
  2. He can challenge any act of the government against his rights.
  3. Courts can issue orders to the government.
  4. These Court orders are known as Writs.
  5. Some of the important forms of writ are: Habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto and certiorari.

Different types of writs.
An order issued by a court to the government is called a writ. some of the important types of writs are as follows:
(i) Habeas Corpus: The Court can order the government to produce before it a detained person, so that it can know the reason for detention and set him free if there is no legal justification for the detention.
(ii) Mandamus: The court may issue a command to any public or quasi- public legal body which has refused to perform its legal duty.
(iii) Quo Warranto: It is issued by a Court to a public servant to inquire into the legality of his holding a public office and to remove him if his claim is not well-founded.
(iv) Prohibition: It is issued by a Higher Court to stop the proceedings in a lower Court on the ground that the Lower Court does not have the jurisdiction to deal with  the case.
(v) Certiorari: It is issued by the Supreme court to a Lower Court in order to quash its order or decision.

Nature of Fundamental Rights in the Constitution:
The nature of Fundamental Rights is as under:
(i)  The government cannot make a law which violates the Fundamental Rights.
(ii) Some right are available to all, while some other rights are available only to citizens.
(iii) These rights are not absolute. These are subject to certain restrictions imposed in the interest of public order, decency or morality.
(iv) These rights are justiciable.
(v) Some of these rights can be suspended in times of emergency.

While fundamental rights are the source of all rights, OUR Constitution and offers a wider range of rights. Over the years the scope of rights has expanded.
(a) Expansion in the Legal Rights:
(i) Now school educational has become a right for Indian citizens. The governments are responsible for providing free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14 years.
(ii) Parliament has enacted a law giving the right to information to the citizens. This Act was made under the Fundamental Rights to freedom of thought and expression.
(iii) Recently the Supreme Court has expanded the meaning of the right to life to include the right to food.
(iv) Constitution provides many more rights, which may not be Fundamental Rights. For example the right to property is not a Fundamental Right but it is a constitutional right. right to vote in elections is an important constitutional right.

(b)  Expansion in the Human Rights:
International Covenant recognises many rights that are not directly a part of the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution. this has not yet become an international treaty. but human right  activists all over the world see this as a standard of human rights. These include:
(i) Right to work, an opportunity to everyone to earn livelihood by working.
(ii) Right to safe and healthy working conditions, fair wages that can provide decent standard of living for the workers and their families.
(iii) Right to adequate standard of living including adequate food, clothing and housing.
(iv) Right to social security and insurance.
(v) Right to health which provides medical care during illness, special care for women during childbirth and prevention of epidemics.
(vi) Right to education provides which provides free and compulsory primary education and equal access to higher education.

(c) Constitution of South Africa guarantees its citizens several kinds of new rights:
(i) Right to privacy, so that citizens or their homes cannot be searched, their phones cannot be tapped, their communication cannot be opened.
(ii) Right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.
(iii) Right to have access to adequate housing.
(iv) Right to have access to health care services, sufficient food and water; no one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

Fundamental Duties were incorporated due to the following reasons:
(i) Fundamental Duties have been added to balance the Fundamental Rights and keep them in the right perspective.
(ii) These have been added to make the citizens realize that if they are given some Fundamental Rights they have also to perform certain duties. Every right has a duty attached to it.
(iii) These have been added to develop patriotism among the citizens and to make them realize the importance of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country and to promote harmony and to strengthen the nation.

Our Constitution states the following as Fundamental Duties of citizens:

(i) Right to work
(ii) Right to free and compulsory education
(iii) Right to equal wages
(iv) Right to an adequate livelihood
(v)  Promote and develop Panchayati Raj
(vi) Promotion of SC/ST
(vii)  Public health, protection of animals, ban on drinking
(viii) Promote cottage industries
(ix)  Protect environment
(x)  Maintain world peace.

The Directive Principles of State Policy are the directions given by the Constitution to government to establish a just society. The aim of these directions is to create proper economic and social conditions to create a good life.
The Directive Principles of State Policy can be classified as follows:

(i)   Right to work
(ii)  Right to free and compulsory education
(iii)  Right to equal wages
(iv)  Right to an adequate livelihood
(v)   Promote and develop Panchayati Raj
(vi)   Promotion of SC/ST
(vii)  Public health, protection of animals, ban on drinking
(viii) Promote cottage industries
(ix)   Protect environment
(x)    Maintain world peace.

Fundamental Rights

Directive Principles

1. These are right of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution.

1. These are directions given by the Constitution to The government.

2. The government must grant these right to the citizens

2. It is for the government of follow these principles or not.

3. A citizen can go to a Court to get his rights enforced.

3. These cannot be enforced by Courts.

4. These are more political in nature.

4. These are socio-economic in nature.

In the case of conflict between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles the former enjoy precedence.

National Human Right Commission (NHRC) IS an independent commission. It was setup in 1993. The NHRC performs the following functions:
(i) It can make an independent and credible inquiry into any case of violation of human rights.
(ii) It can inquiry into any case of abetment of such violation or negligence in controlling it by any government officer.
(iii) It can take any step of promote human rights in the country. The Commission has ranging powers to carry out it’s inquiry:
(iv) It can summon witnesses.
(v) It can  question any government official.
(vi) It can  demand any official paper.
(vii) It can visit any prison for send its own team for on-the spot inquiry.

The Commission presents its findings and recommendations to the government. it cannot by itself punish the guilty. Hon’ble justice Shri S. Rajendra Babu assumed the office of Chairperson of National Human Right Commission April 2,2007. National Commission of Women is headed by Smt. Girija Vyas. National Commission of Minorities is headed by Mohd. Hamid Ansari.

The document Chapter Notes (Part - 1) - Democratic Rights Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

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