Humanities/Arts  >  Sociology Class 12  >  Important Questions & Answers: Pattern of Social Inequality & Exclusion - 3

Important Questions & Answers: Pattern of Social Inequality & Exclusion - 3 - Notes | Study Sociology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

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Long Answer Type Question

Q.80. What are Scheduled Castes? Give their definitions.

Meaning of Scheduled Caste. Scheduled Castes are known by different names. According to the last census based on castes in 1931, these untouchable castes were called exterior castes. They were given the name of ‘Harijans’ by Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was of the view that they were known as ‘external castes’ in ancient times. Actually, this group of lower castes is the changed form of ‘Shudra Varna’ of the Vedic age. Different scholars have explained this word in their own way and their description is given below:

  • According to D.N. Majumdar, “The untouchable castes were those who suffered from various social and political disabilities, many of which were traditionally prescribed and socially enforced by the higher castes.”
  • According to Dr. K.N. Sharma, “Untouchable castes were those by whose touch a person could become impure and he needed to perform some rituals to become pure.”
  • According to G.S. Ghurye, “I define scheduled castes in the form of those groups which are included in the order of scheduled castes.”

On the basis of the given description, we can say that scheduled castes were the group of those untouchable castes whose names are written in the Constitution to give them specific facilities. They were the groups of lower castes that existed in every district and every state of the country. Their language, culture, gods-goddesses, occupations were also different like their place of living. They also had many social and religious disabilities. Their population according to the 1991 census, was 13.80 crores which were 16.7% of the total population of the country. Uttar Pradesh has the most number of Scheduled Castes.


Q.81. What is the present status of Scheduled Castes in today’s society? Explain.
Or
Which types of changes have taken place in the status of Scheduled Castes? Explain.
Or
Describe some of the State initiatives addressing caste discrimination.

  • Provisions made in the Constitution-India got independence in 1947 but the process of formation of the Consitution was started even before independence in December 1946. The major hand in preparing the Constitution was of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who himself belongs to the scheduled caste. Certain provisions were kept in the Constitution to uplift the Scheduled Castes. These provisions are given below-
    • First of all, all the citizens of India are given some Fundamental Rights. According to these Fundamental Rights, every citizen of the country is free to do any work, to adopt any occupation, and is free to go anywhere in the country. There is no such restriction on anyone. They can go to any shop, public place, hotel, restaurant, places of entertainment, well, pond, bathing place, cremation ground, etc. There is no such restriction on them.
    • According to Article 16 of, the Constitution, there will be no discrimination against any citizen of the country on the basis of religion, caste, color, race, etc. The government shall not discriminate against anyone on any base and it shall try to appoint lower castes’ people in the government institutions.
    • According to Article 17 of the Constitution, untouchability is a criminal offense. Everyone is prohibited to practise untouchability. No one is allowed to call anyone untouchable. If anyone practices untouchability then he will be given punishment according to the judicial system of the country.
    • Some Directive Principles of State Policy are given in the Constitution which state that the state will try for economic progress of lower castes and weaker sections from the economic point of view and will save them from any type of exploitation.
    • Article 29 of the Constitution states that any educational institution, which gets economic aid from the government, will not stop anyone to get admission on the basis of their color, caste, race, religion, etc.
    • Article 338 of the Constitution states that the President will direct the Governors of the States to appoint special officers for the development of Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Those special officers will research the problems related to Scheduled Castes and Tribes and will give their report to the governors and the President. Yet this provision is no more operational now.
    • Provision is also made in the Constitution to keep seats reserved in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
  • Untouchability Offence Act, 1955-The custom of untouchability was coming from the ages. Under this custom, people of lower castes were considered untouchables, and if they touched any person of higher caste then that higher caste person was considered impure. He had to take bath again with Gangajal to become pure again. That is why these lower caste people were suppressed for ages. Even many provisions were kept in Constitution against this custom but this custom was still prevailing in the Indian Society.
    That is why the Indian Government passed an Act called the Untouchability Offence Act 1955, which stated that if any person practices untouchability then he will be given three months of imprisonment or Rs. 500 fine or both. Every type of public place and enterprise are opened for Scheduled Castes. Now they are free to go to any place especially public places, can get admission to any educational institution. They will not be discriminated against on any basis.
  • Reservation in Governmental Jobs-One provision in the Constitution has been made that some seats should be reserved in Governmental jobs for the Scheduled Caste according to their ratio in the total population. Many commissions were made from time to time who gave their reports to the government. In 1978, the government-appointed the Mandal Commission under the Chairmanship of B.P. Mandal whose aim was to give its advice related to reservation.
    • On the basis of the report of this Commission, in 1990, the government of V.P. Singh reserved 27% of the total seats in government jobs for them. Yet this provision faced much opposition. Even many students committed suicide but nothing happened. Even the Supreme Court gave its approval for it. In this way, 27% of the total seats in government jobs started to be kept reserved for them.
  • Reservation in Educational Institutions-Some seats also started to be kept reserved in educational institutions with their reservation in government jobs. Its reason is that if they will not get the minimum qualification after getting an education then how could they be able to get jobs. That is why seats were kept reserved for them to give education. Now the government is trying to keep reserved seats for them in institutions of higher education like I.I.M.S., I.I.T.’s, AIIMS, etc. In this way, the advantage for them of keeping reserve seats is that they have started to get an education. They got minimum qualification for any job and started to get jobs. In this way, many people raised their standard of living after getting an education and jobs.
  • Various Movements-Many movements in India were started to uplift the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and there was one similarity in almost all the movements and that was denouncing the caste system. First of all caste system was denounced by Gautam Buddha. In the medieval period, Guru Nanak Dev Ji opened the doors of the Sikh religion for them because of which many of them became Sikhs. In the modern age, Raja Ram Mohan Roy started Brahmo Samaj which strongly opposed the caste system.
    • In 1873, Jyotiba Phoole started the ‘Satya Shodan Samaj’ to uplift the social status of Scheduled Castes and women in Maharashtra. Later on Dayanand Saraswati, Vivekanand, etc., also raised their voice against the caste system. Arya Samaj motivated them to do progress in every aspect of life. In this way due to these movements, the condition of Scheduled Castes started to improve.
  • Representation in Legislative Bodies-Seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies were also kept reserved for the Scheduled Caste to give them representation in the process of formation of laws. Out of 545 seats of Lok Saba, 78 seats are reserved for them and 540 seats are kept reserved for them in all State Legislative Assemblies.


Q.82. What are the different characteristics of Tribe?

A tribe has many characteristics which are given below:

  • Collection of Families-Any tribe is a group of many families that has common produce. They produce things to fulfill the needs of the tribe. They never accumulate things because of which they do not have any sense of property. That is why these families have a sense of unity among themselves.
  • Common Geographical Territory-People of a tribe living in a common and definite geographical territory. They are very much different and live away from other parts of society due to this common and definite geographical territory. That is why they are out of reach from the rest of society. As they have their own different culture and is never like the interference of anyone in their tribe, they never like to keep any type of relation with the rest of the society. They have their own different world. They have the community feeling because they live in common territory.
  • Common Language and Common name-Every tribe has its own different language because of which they are different from each other. A number of tribal languages, in our country, exist according to the number of tribes. Each tribe also has its different name and it is known by that name.
  • Segmental Society-Every tribal society is different from other societies on many bases like eating habits, languages, geographical area, etc. They are different from each other on many bases and never like to interfere in each other’s matters. They do not have any type of discrimination against anyone and that is why they are known as segmental societies.
  • Common Culture-Every tribe has its own ways of living, religion, language, taboo, etc. But these are the same in one tribe. In the same way, because of these differences, all the humans in one tribe have the same culture.
  • Economic Structure-Every tribe has its own land which practices shifting agriculture on it. They just want to fulfill their needs which is why their production is also limited. They never accumulate the things because of which they do not have any sense of property. Due to this, there is no class in tribal society. Every member of a tribe has equal rights on all things and no one is inferior or superior in these societies.


Q.83. Give your suggestions to solve tribal problems.

  • The agriculture-related problems of the tribal people should be solved. Land should be allotted to them and they should be motivated to do permanent agriculture instead of shifting agriculture.
  • Problem of transport should be solved in their areas. Roads and railway systems should be formed in their areas so that they can move freely anywhere and can associate themselves with the mainstream of the country.
  • These people should be motivated to plant trees and gas should be supplied to their areas for cooking food.
  • Their problem of drinking alcohol should be discouraged and instead usage of any other better drink should be encouraged. Drug de-addiction centers should be opened in their areas so that they can leave this addiction of drugs.
  • Literacy rate should be increased to eradicate the problem of prostitution so that they could become educated and could find other sources of employment. They should be provided loans so that they could open their own independent work.
  • The main reason for all their problem is illiteracy. More and more education should be spread and occupational training centers should be opened in their areas. Students should be provided with free and compulsory education and free books.
  • More and more hospitals and dispensaries should be opened in their areas to solve their health-related problems. Free medicines and treatment should be provided to them. They should be trained about primary health services so that they can avail themselves of them if any need arises.
  • To solve their linguistic problem, they should be given education in the local language up to the primary or middle level.
  • Conversion of religion should be stopped among them to solve their religious problems. Science should be encouraged in their areas to reduce their dependency on magic.
  • Their necessary demands should be met to solve their political problems and violation of human rights should be stopped in their areas so that they can be uplifted in society.
  • Respect should be given to them like higher classes. They should be treated in such a way that a sense of patriotism should occur among them. Their beliefs should not have interfered so that they can live a happy and better life.


Q.84. Give recommendations of Kaka Kalelkar Commission.

Kaka Kalelkar Commission and Mandal Commission both were established by the Central Government. They were established to know about backward classes and to give suggestions for their welfare. Their recommendations are given below:
Kaka Kalelkar Commission. On 29 January 1953, a commission was established by the Central Government under the chairmanship of Kaka Kalelkar. This was the first commission that was established at an All India level to know about different backward classes. The Chairman of this commission was Kaka Kalelkar and that is why it is known as Kaka Kalelkar Commission.

Functions and objectives of Commission. This commission was established to collect information related to backward classes and to give recommendations about them. Their main functions were:

  • To determine measurement related to the backwardness of backward classes.
  • To prepare a list of backward classes.
  • To give suggestions to remove problems of backward classes.

Criteria of Backwardness. This commission had prepared a list of backward classes on the basis of the following four measurements:

  • Lower level in the caste hierarchy.
  • Lack of education.
  • Less representation in government jobs.
  • Less representation in business and industries.

Recommendations of Commission. This commission had accepted caste as the base of backwardness instead of individual or family and gave the following suggestions for the solution of their problems:

  • To make a policy of national unity and encouragement to develop and to implement that policy.
  • To make laws to remove social and religious disabilities.
  • To restrict functions encouraging casteism through governmental works.
  • To spread education quickly among backward classes.
  • To use a communication system to remove social evils.
  • To make laws for marriage and determination of inheritance.-
  • To give special assistance for the welfare of women of backward classes.


Q.85. What are the reasons behind the lower status of women?
Or
Why atrocities were committed on females?

  • Joint Family System. One system of joint family prevails in Indian society. This custom has played a very important role in the pitiable condition of females. Under this system, the female has no right to keep the property and has no other social right. She is confined only to the four walls of the house. Child marriage and Sati Pratha systems were also given importance in the ancient family system because of which her position was lower in the family.
  • Patriarchal Family. We can see most of the families in Indian society are patriarchal families. In this type of family, every function of the family is being done with the wish of the male. The nomenclature of the father is given to the child. A Female has to go to her husband’s house after marriage. Right over the property, and right over family matters belong to the father. In this type of family, the status of the woman is very much lower because males of the family hardly take the advice of the females in any of the matters.
  • Ideal of Kanyadan. The ideal of Kanyadan is prevailing in Hindu marriage right from ancient times. Father finds a suitable match for his girl and gives her hand in the boy’s hand as Dan. The custom of Kanyadan performed by the father is the symbol of one thing that the husband has full right over his wife. In this way, due to the ideal of Kanyadan, her position in the society remains lower.
  • Child Marriage. The custom of child marriage is also responsible for the lower position of women. Due to this custom, girls were married at a very young age because of which they were neither able to get an education nor came to know about their rights. Husbands had control over their wives because of which females had to five under the control of their husband.
  • Hypergamy. In the custom of Hypergamy or Kuhn Vivaha, the girl is to be married either in a family of equal status or in a family of higher status but boys are free to marry even in the family of lower status. That is why parents were used to marrying their daughters at their young age so that they should not face any problems regarding marriage. In this way, the girl was forced to live without education and her position remained lower in the society.
  • Illiteracy of Women. The condition of Hindu women was pitiable due to the unavailability of education. She was unable to get an education due to child marriage and was the main reason for ignorance towards her rights. She was strangely led in the cycle of superstitions, social traditions, evils due to ignorance and she was unable to come out of it. She was given the teaching, right from childhood, that the order of husband for her is just like an order from the god and she had to five her whole life serving her husband. Due to all these factors, she was unaware of her rights and her status remained lower in society.


Q.86. What are the social and economic problems of scheduled castes?

  • Lower social status: The Scheduled Caste people have a low status in the social stratification. Except this, they had many social, economic, political, and religious disabilities as well because of which a sense of inferiority had come in their minds. Many restrictions were also there in the way of improvement of their status.
  • Restrictions on the use of public places: Members of this class in society were not allowed to enter public places in ancient times. They were not allowed to take water from wells, were restricted to go to public parks and other places. If they tried to do so, they were found guilty of breaking the social traditions and were punished by the upper castes.
  • Restrictions on social contact: These castes were restricted to interact with the other classes of society. It was made necessary for them to keep some distance from the higher classes of society. They were not invited on any occasions like birthday, Hob, Diwali, and many other occasions, and nor they were allowed to take part in the festivals of the upper classes. In this way, they were always kept at some distance.
  • Untouchability: Scheduled Castes were generally known as untouchable castes which meant that people of lower castes were not allowed even to touch the members of upper castes. It was believed that with their touch, people of upper castes will become impure. In South India, the distance was also determined, i.e., there should be a definite distance between members of both the castes. If they were touched by lower castes, they had to perform any rituals to become pure again. Even the shadow of lower castes was not allowed to come near the people of higher castes.
  • Habitational disabilities: People of Scheduled Castes were not allowed to live in villages with the people of other castes. Generally, they were living out of the village and maintained some distance from upper castes.
  • Restrictions related to marriage: Members of Scheduled Castes were not allowed to keep marital relations with members of higher castes because, according to the rules of the caste system, a caste is an endogamous group. In this way, restrictions were there in keeping marital relations in different castes.
  • Religious disabilities: Members of Scheduled Castes were restricted to go to religious places. They were restricted even to enter the temple and worship God. They were also restricted to read religious books, worship God and perform religious rituals even in their homes.


Q.87. What is a Tribe? Give its definitions.

There is one civilization in our country which lives very much away from our civilization in mountains, forests, valleys, etc., and lives in an undeveloped state. This civilization is known as a Tribe. They have been given the name of Scheduled Tribes in the Indian Constitution. A tribal society is a classless society. There is no existence of any type of stratification in these societies. The tribe is considered a very important social group in ancient societies. Most of the population of tribal society lives either on mountains or in forests. They exist almost in every part of our country.

Definitions of a tribe

  • According to Imperial Gazetteer of India, “A Tribe is a collection of families bearing a common name, speaking a common dialect, occupying or professing to occupy a common territory and is not usually endogamous, though originally it might have been so.”
  • According to D. N. Majuro, “A tribe is a collection of families or group of families bearing a common name, members of which occupy the same territory, speak the same language and observe certain taboos regarding marriage, profession or occupation and have developed a well-assessed system of reciprocity and mutuality of obligation.”
  • According to Gillian and Gillian, “Any collection of a preliterate local group which occupies a common general territory, speaks a common language and practices a common culture is a tribe.”

In this way, on the basis of the given definitions, we can say that the tribes exist in a limited geographical area and live in the form of small groups. Different tribes are very much different and independent from each other on the basis of some of their certain aspects like social structure, language, culture, etc. Every tribe has its own language, culture, traditions, eating habits, etc. They have a sense of unity among themselves because they live with each other in a definite geographical area.


Q.88. What are the main economic and social problems of Tribal societies?

Economic Problems: Tribal people have to face many economic problems which are given ahead:

  • Problem of indebtedness: Tribal people are very simple and have certain ignorance regarding many issues. The moneylenders are taking advantage of their ignorance, poverty, and illiteracy. Moneylenders give loans to these people during their crisis time and are forcing them to pay interest which at times exceeded the principal amount. The actual amount remains there as it is. Due to the continuous exploitation by the moneylenders, they remain poor.
  • Problem of agriculture: Tribal people used to do shifting agriculture and their method of agriculture is very old. Due to this, their production is also very low. First of all, they cleared the forests and start agriculture in them. But due to low productivity, it became difficult for them to meet their daily needs. This forced them to do labor on a different piece of land.
  • Land related problems: Tribal people used to do shifting agriculture. They cleared forests by cutting trees and prepared the land for agriculture. They thought that forest land was their land. But now laws related to land have been made by the government and their right has been taken away from them. Except this, they mortgage their land to the moneylenders and are unable to take advantage of that land.
  • Problems related to forests: Tribes generally live in forests and away from the population. They think that forests are their property. They collect things from forests to eat, are cutting wood to sell, or are cutting trees to do shifting agriculture. But now laws related to forests have been made and the government is giving land to contractors. Contractors of forests do not allow them to cut the wood, collect anything, and even clear the land for agriculture. In this way, they are unable to meet their daily needs.
  • If they do the labor they are generally given very low wages which is a very big problem for them.

Social problems: Tribal people have to face many social problems which are given below:

  • Prostitution: Tribal people are generally poor. Moneylenders, contractors, etc., take advantage of their poverty. They give them money and establish illicit relations with their females. Slowly and slowly with this, their females are moving towards prostitution.
  • Bride price: According to ancient types of marriage, many Hindu castes were paying the bride price. Now tribes are also coming under the influence of the Hindu religion because of which they are also demanding bride prices. With the passage of time, this bride price is increasing. People are unable to pay this heavy price and now it is very difficult for them to marry their children.
  • Child marriage: Slowly, the tribes are coming under the influence of the Hindu religion. Child marriages very much existed among Hindus yet these days it is decreasing. But under the effect of the Hindu religion, tribal people now marry their children at an early age because of which many problems are faced by their society.


Q.89. What are cultural and educational problems faced by the tribal society?

Tribal people are coming in contact with other cultures and civilizations because of which they are facing many problems. These problems are given below:

  • Language problems: Now tribes are coming in contact with external cultures. Due to their contact and interaction with other cultures, they have learned the languages of other cultures. Their younger generation hardly speaks their native language and in some tribes, they have completely forgotten their native language. With the passage of time, their own ideals, traditions are decreasing.
  • Cultural differences: All the tribal people do not follow the Hindu religion. Many of them are adopting Christianity or even Buddhism. Different religions are culturally very much distinct from each other. Its result comes in the form of many cultural problems. With this, they even are adopting the caste system. Due to this they are unable to adopt other cultures and have left their own culture which has resulted in many cultural problems.

Educational problems: Generally, tribal people are poor and the main reason for their poverty is their illiteracy. Yet either the effect of governmental education or under the effect of Christian missionaries they are getting an education and even are getting English education. But with this many problems are coming to them. Firstly, they are leaving their basic occupations and are moving away from their cultural values. Secondly, they are unable to get any job even after getting an education and are becoming unemployed. In this way, education is also creating problems for them.


Q.90. Which efforts have been made to remove tribal problems?
Or
Describe some of the State initiatives addressing tribe discrimination.

To maintain the balance and organization of Indian society, it is necessary to eradicate tribal problems. That is why many official and non-official steps were taken after independence which is given below:

  • The Constitutional Provisions: Many provisions were made in the Constitution after independence, to uplift the lower classes. Fundamental rights are given to tribal people. Many provisions for them are made in the Constitution which is given below:
    • According to Articles 244 and 324, the Governors of states are given special rights related to tribes.
    • Article 275 says that the Central government will provide finance to the state governments for tribal welfare.
    • Article 325 says that no one will be deprived of giving a vote on any basis.
    • According to Articles 330 and 332, some seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.
    • There is a provision of reservation of seats for them in government jobs according to Article 335.
  • Representation in Legislative Bodies. Some seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies to give them participation in the formation of laws. Out of 545 seats of Lok Sabha, 41 seats are reserved for them, and out of 4,047 seats of state legislative assemblies, 527 seats are also reserved for them. This reservation is extended generally after every 5 years. Now it is up to 2020.
  • Representation in Government Services. Tribal people are given reservation in government jobs to make them economically capable. 7.5% of the total seats of central jobs are reserved for them but in states, these seats are reserved according to their population in the state.
  • Educational Facilities. To eradicate illiteracy from different tribes, schools and training centers are opened in different tribal areas. They are given free education and books. They are also given scholarships. Some seats are also reserved for them in various educational institutions. The government makes educational plans for them from time to time to increase the literacy rate among them.
  • Welfare programmer. Many welfare programmers are running to uplift the tribal people and the provision of money for this programmer is being kept generally in the Five Year Plans. Around 20 crores in the First Five Year Plan, 43 crores in the second Five Year Plan, 51 crores in the Third Five Year Plan, and 75 crores were spent in the fourth Five Year Plan on tribal welfare. This amount was increased up to 1,102 crores, 5,535 crores, and 7,073 crores in fifth, sixth, and seventh five-year plans respectively. Provision of spending 15,965 crores was being kept in the Ninth Five Year Plan for tribal welfare.
    • Students of tribal areas are being given scholarships to get an education. Tribal hostels are being opened. Cooperative Societies, Research Centres and Ashrams were also opened for them. From this, it is clear that government is worried about their welfare.
  • Welfare and Advisory organization. Many committees were organized from time to time for the solution of their problems. Different states have opened independent departments to run programmer of tribal welfare. Indian Government had made Parliamentary Committees in 1968 and 1971 so that the programmer of tribal welfare could be evaluated. These days there is a permanent parliamentary committee of 30 members that evaluates this programmer from time to time.


Q.91. Explain different causes that have brought changes in the status of women and also explain the present status of women.

  • Improvement in the literacy rate of women. No one was taking care of the education of women before independence but the Indian Government has taken many steps to uplift the level of education among women after independence. That is why the level of education among women has been increased to a great extent. The government has arranged free education for girls, given them scholarships, arranged for free books so that the people could send their girl child to schools to get an education. In this way, education has slowly spread among women and their level and standard of education have started to increase. Now, girls are getting higher education in every sector.
  • Industrialization. Industries started to develop very quickly after independence. Females came out of the four walls of the house, due to education, and started to go out for work which has resulted in lifting the restrictions upon her. Females have started to work in offices with males with which the restrictions of the caste system have come to an end. Love marriages started to increase due to her interaction with others. Their economic dependence upon males decreased due to her own earning capability which has resulted in the improvement in her condition.
  • Western culture. India has come in direct contact with western countries after independence because of which their cultures and ideas also came to our country. Females came to know about their rights and freedom because of which their ideology started to change. That is why females now are standing with males in every sector. Now, working women have become economically self-dependent and a sense of equality, with males, has developed in them. Many women’s movements were also started because of which consciousness came among them and changes have come in their status.
  • Inter-caste marriages. Hindu Marriage Act was passed in 1955 which has given legal sanction to inter-caste marriages. Females have started to work in offices due to the spread of education. She has come in contact with other castes due to her job. Love marriages and inter-caste marriages increased very quickly which has resulted in the change in the ideology of the people. That is why her status rose in the eyes of the general public and she started to get more respect due to her economic self-dependence. In this way, the custom of dowry decreased due to inter-caste marriages and her position started to change in society.
  • Development in the means of communication and transport. Means of transport and communication started to develop after independence. People started to come in contact with each other castes and moved too far off cities, by leaving their villages, with which they came in contact with other castes. With this, many women’s movements were also started and many laws were made to stop the exploitation of women. Women began to get an education and have come out for jobs due to the development in means of transport and changed the ideology of the people.


Q.92. What is meant by other backward classes? What are its problems?

Except for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, there is one large class in Indian society that has been neglected for ages. This is a very large class that remains lower than the higher class and above the scheduled classes in Indian stratification. This has remained neglected for ages due to a number of reasons in the development cycle of Indian Society. This class is known as other backward class.
Meaning of Other Backward Class. Backward class is that class of the majority of Indian Society that became weak due to social, religious, economic, and geographical factors. After independence, the word ‘Other Backward Classes’ was used for them. It is a group of castes between Dwijas and Harijans of the Hindu religion. Except this, other lower classes are also included in this except non-Hindus, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes.
The use of this term was first done in 1917-1918. This word has not been defined in Constitution earlier. Subhash and B.P. Gupta has given its definition. According to them, “Backward classes are those classes of society which are at a lower level as compared to other classes of society due to social, economic and educational disabilities.”
Different states have different concepts of backwardness. According to Article 340 of the constitution, the President and according to Articles 15 and 16, state governments can establish commissions to get economic, social, and educational information of backward classes.

Problems of Other Backward Classes
Some of the problems of other backward classes are given below:

  • Problem of landless farmers: Most of the parts of India are under the control of higher castes. OBC people of villages are farmers without land and they will have to work on the land of other people. They are being exploited by their owners and mainly depend upon the curiosity of their owners.
  • Problem of a selection of occupation: Members of these groups are generally backward from social, educational, and economic points of view. That is why the problem of selection of occupation remains there in front of them. They are basically backward economically and educationally because of which they are unable to choose the occupation of their choice.
  • Problem of salary: One of the main problems of these people is that they hardly get enough salary at an exact time. These people generally work in the fields of people of higher castes and hardly get any cash payment for their work. Their owners give them grains in lieu of salary which hardly fulfills their needs. Washermen, barbers, iron men, etc., also work in the villages and it becomes very difficult for them to run their family because of their low income.
  • Problem of education: One of the other problems of these people is that they are illiterate. Their children are unable to get an education due to poverty. Higher education is very expensive these days because of which their children remain illiterate and remain economically backward.
  • Problem of indebtedness: One of the main problems of these people is the problem of indebtedness. Generally, these people are very poor because of which they will have to take loans at the time of birth, death, marriage, etc., Moneylenders charge a lot of interest from them. They pay this interest for the whole life but are unable to pay the actual amount. After that, their children have to repay that debt. In this way, their whole generation remains indebted. ‘


Q.93. Which constitutional provisions are made for the uplifter of minorities of India?

Many constitutional provisions were made to join minorities of the country with the mainstream of the country and many governmental steps were also taken. Their description is given below:

  • All the Indians have been given basic fundamental rights without any discrimination of caste, color, race, gender, etc. All Indians have a right to equality according to Articles 14-18 of the Constitution. No discrimination can be done with anyone on the basis of caste, color, race, gender, language, etc.
  • Under Articles 25 to 28, all the citizens of India are given the right to religious freedom. Article 25 of the Constitution states that a person can adopt any religion of the country and can propagate that religion.
  • All Indian citizens have the right against exploitation which is given by Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution. Article 29 states that anyone can get admission in any educational institution without any discrimination on the basis of religion and can maintain his language, script, and culture.
  • Article 30 states that religious and linguistic minorities of the country have the right to establish their own educational institutions. Except for this, India has been declared as a secular state. That is why the state does not have its own religion and no religious group is secured by the state.
  • Article 300 of the Constitution states that states will not discriminate against any educational institution while giving them financial aid.
  • Article 350 of the Constitution states that children of minority groups of the country should be given primary education in their mother tongue.

Except these, one minority commission was established in 1978 which has one chairman and one member. Both of these will belong to minority groups. Commission listens to the grievances of the minorities and evaluates their position from time to time. It also gives suggestions to the government to remove their problems. There is another commission for lingual minorities that studies the related problems, grievances, and issues related to it.


Q.94. Explain in brief the working of the Mandal Commission.

Mandal Commission. Janta Party had made a promise to the people in 1977 that it will give reservation to the backward classes. That is why it established a commission on 20th December 1978 and the chairman of this commission was B.P. Mandal.
Functions and Objectives of Commission. Mandal Commission was established to collect the following data related to backward classes and to give their recommendations:

  • To determine a measurement of backwardness of backward classes.
  • To give suggestions for the uplifter of backward classes.
  • To know about possibilities to give reservation to backward classes in central and state services.
  • To give recommendations on the basis of collected facts.

Criteria for Backwardness. Mandal Commission had selected three criteria to determine backward classes and these were social, educational, and economic. They were divided into many parts and every criterion was given different importance.

Recommendations of the Commission. Recommendations given by the Mandal Commission for the welfare of backward classes are given below:

  • Representation for less representative other backward classes in public services.
  • 27% reservation for other backward classes because according to the Constitution this reservation for S.C.’s S.T.’s cannot exceed more than 50%.
  • To increase the technical, occupational, and educational ability of other backward classes.
  • To give the highest priority to land reforms.

Many shortcomings were also there in the report of the Mandal Commission. The social base was given more importance to determine other backward classes. Commission took a 1% sample of the total population to determine other backward classes. Census of 1931 was made the basis to get information related to castes but many changes have taken place in the caste system during the last 50 years.
But these shortcomings were overlooked by the Government of Janta Dal in 1989 and Prime Minister V.P. Singh announced to apply this report on 7th August 1990. These recommendations were made applicable in 1992 after the decision of the Supreme Court. After this, 27% reservation was started for other backward classes.


Q.95. Which disabilities women had to face in life?

  • Religious disabilities: The status of a woman was very good in the Vedic Age and she hardly faced any disabilities at that age. A woman was considered very important for religious functions because it was believed that she is very much necessary to complete Yagyas and other rituals. With this, females were also getting an education that was based upon religion. That is why she had complete knowledge of religious books.
    But with the passage of time, her status changed and her social status became lower. Her religious knowledge came to an end due to child marriage which is why she was kept away from Yagyas. Since she was unable to get an education, her religious education and knowledge also came to an end. Now, she was not allowed to perform Yagyas and religious rituals. Her religious functions came to an end due to the dominance of males. Her religion and duty remained confined only to serve her husband and the family. In this way, religious disabilities were imposed on her.
  • Social disabilities: Social disabilities were also started for women with religious disabilities. She hardly got an education due to child marriage. She was unable to get any job due to the non-availability of education. At the time of getting an education, she was married in childhood due to which she was unable to get an education.
    Many social evils related to women were also prevailing in our society. The first evil was child marriage. She had to marry in her childhood because of which she was not getting any education and was not doing any function out of the house. She was limited only to the four walls of the house.
    The Purdah system also prevailed in our society with child marriage. She was not allowed to come in front of everyone. If she was to come before anyone then she had to take one long purdah (Ghoonghat). Sari Pratt was also there in Indian society. If the husband of any female died then living life alone was considered hell for her. That is why she had to Sati and was forced to sit alive on the funeral pyre of her husband. In the Medic age, widow remarriages were there but later on, they also came to an end. Sari Pratt prevailed in Indian society till the 19th century. When Muslims established their empire in India, they started to marry Hindu females. So to save females from the clutches of Muslims, many restrictions were imposed on them by Brahmin. In this way, many social disabilities were imposed on them.
  • Familial disabilities: Women also had to face many disabilities related to the family. . Yet the status of women of rich families was very good but the status of women of poor families was very bad. The condition of a widow was very pitiable. The wife was considered a servant. She was beaten up by her husband even on petty things. Her duty was to serve the husband and the family. Father-in-law and mother-in-law also used to commit many atrocities against her. She was always dependent upon males. She was dependent upon her father before marriage, on her husband after marriage, and on children in her old age. Patriarchal families were there because of which no advice of women was taken in any decisions of the family. Even the decision of her marriage was taken by her father. In this way, she was considered a servant of the family.
  • Economic disabilities: Females also had to face many economic disabilities. She had the right to keep a property in the Vedic age but later on, this right came to an end. In the medieval period, she was not allowed to keep any property. She was not given any share in her father’s property. The property, in a joint family, was in the names of males of the family. It was not given to her at the time of the division of property. Her work was only to serve the family and her husband. She had no freedom related to money. Economically she was dependent upon her father, husband, and sons.


Q.96. Which legal efforts were being made after independence for the improvement of the status of women?

The Constitutional Provisions: Many provisions were kept in the Constitution to improve the status of women:

  • Article 14 of the Constitution states that everyone is equal before the law.
  • According to Article 15 (1) of the Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against Indian citizens on the basis of religion, caste, sex, or living place.
  • Article 15 (3) states that the state shall do special efforts for the welfare of women and children.
  • Article 16 states that the state shall give equal opportunities to all Indian citizens in the matters of employment and appointments.
  • Article 39 (D) of the Constitution states that males and females will get the same pay for the same work.
  • Article 42 of the Constitution states that the state shall produce judicial conditions of functions and shall provide more and more maternity help.
  • Article 51 (A) (E) states that the customs disgracing women’s respect shall be removed.
  • Article 243 of the Constitution states that one-third of seats in local governments, panchayats, and municipalities shall be kept reserved for women.

Legislations: Many laws have been made for the security of interests of women and to improve their social status which is given below:

  • The Sati Prohibition Act 1829, 1987.
  • The Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, 1856.
  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.
  • The Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, 1937.
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • The Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act 1955 and 1967.
  • The Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, 1986.
  • The Maternity Relief Act, 1961, 1976.
  • The Muslim Women Protection of Right of Divorce, 1986.

Yet many of these laws were made even before independence but they were also amended after independence. Many problems of women came to an end due to these laws like Dowry System, Sati Pratha, Child Marriage, No Right to keep the property, etc. These laws have greatly helped in the improvement of the status of women.


Q.97. Which women welfare programmer were started after independence to improve the condition of women?

Women Welfare programmer. Many programmers were started after independence to uplift the status of women whose description is given below:

  • International Women Day was celebrated in 1975 and many programmers were started for their welfare.
  • DWARKA program was started in 1982-83 to strengthen rural women from an economic point of view.
  • Women Development Corporation was established in 1986-87 so that the women could get opportunities of employment.
  • National Women Commission was reorganized in 1922 so that the atrocities committed on women could be stopped.
  • Women cells were established in the country. These are those organizations of women who arrange for the welfare programmer for women in rural areas. 75% of the total money spending on this programmer is given by the central social welfare board.
  •  Many houses have been established for the working women in cities. Central Social Welfare Board has established hostels in many cities so that the working women could be able to live in cities.
  • Central Social Welfare Board has started many socio-economic programmers after 1958 in the country so that the needy women could be provided with employment. The dairy programmer is also included in this.
    In this way, many programmers were started after independence so that the social status of women could be uplifted. In this way, we can see a very good future for women in the coming days.


Q.98. Explain the minority groups of Indian Society.

If any country has more minority groups than the others that is India. 18% of the total Indian population belongs to minority groups which is a lot as compared to the whole of the population. Their description is given below:
Minorities at National Level. Indian society has about six religious minority groups and hundreds of lingual minority groups. Description of both is given below:
Religious Minorities: Hindu religion is in majority in India and the rest of the other religious groups are minorities because the Hindu population is much more than other religious groups.
(a) Except for Hindus, all other religious groups are in minority in India.
(b) Largest minority group in India is Muslims.
(c) Christians come at second place and Sikhs come at third place.
(d) Buddhists, Paris, and Janis are those minority groups whose population is less than one corer each.
(e) Muslims, Paris, and Christians are the minority groups of foreign origin, and Sikhs, Buddhists, and Janis are minorities of Indian origin.
(f) From the earlier data, we have come to know that the Christian population is decreasing continuously.
(g) Hindus are in majority which makes 82% of the total population.
(h) Population of Hindus is decreasing every decade.
Linguistic Minorities: Hundreds of lingual minority groups exist in Indian society. It has been said that language changes every 12 km. The Hindi language is the most commonly spoken language.
In the same way, some other languages are also mentioned in our Constitution. These are Assamese, Bangle, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmir, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Nepali, Manipuri, Nikon, Dori, Samantha, Dodo, Matilde, Sindhi.
The data collected states that:

  • Hindi is the language that is spoken by most people.
  • 30% of people speak the Hindi language.
  • Telugu, Bangle, Marathi, and Tamil are the largest lingual minority groups.
  • 826 languages are spoken in India.
  • 22 languages are sanctioned by the Indian Constitution.
  • More than 700 minority groups in India are there which belong to languages of Indian origin.
  • More than 100 minority groups in India are there which belong to language$ of foreign origin.

In this way, we can say that the Hindu community is the majority group of India and the Hindi language is spoken by most people. The rest of the other religious and linguistic groups are in minority.

The document Important Questions & Answers: Pattern of Social Inequality & Exclusion - 3 - Notes | Study Sociology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts is a part of the Humanities/Arts Course Sociology Class 12.
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