Q.1. Explain the sexual division of labour.
Ans. In India, women are supposed to bring up children and look after the home. They do all the cleaning, washing, cooking, even tailoring. There is no value attached to this work. In rural areas, women work in the fields, fetch water and fuel but are hardly paid anything. In urban areas, middle-class women work in offices, factories etc. Poor women work as domestic help, but none of them get the same wages as men. Their status is lower than that of men. Men do not do any housework. They are excellent cooks or tailors but they take up these jobs only when paid in hotels, etc.
Q.2. What forms can caste take in politics?
Ans. The caste can take following forms in politics :
(i) Sometimes candidates are chosen on the basis of their caste. When political parties choose candidates, they keep in mind the caste composition of their voters.
(ii) In many places voters vote on the basis of caste and fail to choose suitable candidates.
(iii) When a government is formed after elections, political parties take care that different castes are represented in the government.
(iv) Political parties appeal to caste sentiments during elections.
(v) To gain support political parties raise caste-based issues during elections. This they do to get political support, as ‘one man one vote’ system or adult franchise has made the voter very powerful.
(vi) The castes considered inferior or low until now have been made conscious of their rights by the political parties.
Q.3. Explain the major factors responsible for the rigid caste system disappearing from India. Give two suggestions of your own.
(i) Social reformers like Gandhi, Jyotiba Phule, B.R. Ambedkar and Ramaswami Naickar have worked hard for a society free of caste inequalities.
(ii) Literacy, education, occupational mobility and economic development have been other factors. The position of the landlords has been weakened.
(iii) The Constitution of India prohibits any kind of discrimination based on caste.
(iv) The fundamental rights have also played a major role because they are provided to every citizen without any discrimination.
(v) The caste system can be further reduced if education is spread in every group to every caste.
(vi) Inter-caste marriages can also remove caste barriers.
Q.4. Describe the influence of politics on caste system.
Ans. It is not only that caste influences politics but politics also affects the caste system. This takes the following forms :
(i) Each caste group tries to become bigger by incorporating within it's neighbouring castes or sub-castes which were earlier excluded from it.
(ii) Various caste groups are required to enter into a coalition with other castes and thus enter into a dialogue.
(iii) New kinds of caste groups have come up in the political arena like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ caste groups.
Q.5. Is the ideological basis of communalism flawed? Substantiate your views. [HOTS]
Ans. Communal politics is based on the idea that religion is the principal basis of social community. This ideology is itself full of flaws for the following reasons :
(i) It believes that the followers of a particular religion must belong to one community.
(ii) Their fundamental interests are the same.
(iii) It believes that people who follow different religions cannot belong to same social community.
(iv) Their interests are bound to be different and involve a conflict.
(v) In its extreme form, communalism leads to the belief that people belonging to different religions cannot live as equal citizens within one nations. Either, one of them has to dominate the other, or they have to form different nations, e.g., Pakistan was formed as a result of communal beliefs.
Q.6. Discuss the socio-economic conditions of women in our society. Has the political expression of gender division really helped? [HOTS]
Ans. Socio-economic conditions of women :
(i) The literacy rate among women is only 54 per cent compared with 76 per cent among men.
(ii) The proportion of women among the highly paid and valued jobs is still very small.
(iii) In almost all areas of work, women are paid less than men, even when both do exactly the same work.
(iv) In many parts of India, parents prefer to have sons and find ways to have the girl-child aborted before she is born.
Political expression of gender division has helped to some extent but not as much as is required. Due to reservation of seats for women in the local government bodies, now there are more than 10 lakh elected women representatives in rural and urban local bodies. But a lot needs to be actually done in the society to end the gender divisions.