Short Answer Questions
Q.1. Define a feminist movement. What is their objective? [2010, 2011 (T-1)]
Ans. A woman or a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men. More radical women’s movements aimed at equality in personal and family life as well. These movements are called feminist movements. The objectives of the feminist movements are enhancing the political and legal status of women, in proving their educational, health and career opportunities.
Q.2. What are the factors other than the caste which play a decisive role at the time of the election? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Other than caste some more are there which play a decisive role at the time of the election –
(i) Money (ii) Power (iii) Prestige.
(i) Money – During election some candidates purchase the vote by giving money.
(ii) Power – Power also attracts the voter. Sometimes willingly and sometimes by force.
(iii) Prestige – Suppose any party or candidate having good prestige, then also voters are attracted.
Q.3. Unless women are empowered, their problems will never get adequate attention. Suggest any 3 ways to empower them. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Women can be empowered by –
(i) Enhancing the political and legal status
(ii) Enhancing their educational status
(iii) By giving them equal rights and career opportunities.
Q.4. How are religious differences expressed in politics? [2011 (T-1)]
Ans. Sometimes 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, when the demands of one religious group are formed in opposition to another and when state power is used to establish domination of one religious group over the rest. This manner of using religion in politics is communal politics.
Q.5. How does the Constitution of India ensure secularism? [2011 (T-1)]
(i) There is no official religion for the Indian state. Our Constitution does not give a special status to any religion.
(ii) The Constitution provided to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion or not to follow any.
(iii) The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
(iv) The Constitution also allows the state to intervene in matters of religion to ensure equality within religious community.
Q.6. “In our country women still lag much behind men despite some improvements since independence.” Support the statement by giving three reasons. [2011 (T-1)]
(i) The literacy rate (as per 2001 census) among women is only 54 per cent compared with 76 per cent among men. Similarly, only a smaller proportion of girls go for higher studies.
(ii) The proportion of women among the highly paid and valued job is still very small. On an average, an Indian woman works one hour more than an average man every day. Yet much of her work is not paid and therefore often not valued.
(iii) As per the Equal Wages Act, equal wages should be paid to equal work. But, in almost all areas of work, from sports and cinema, to factories and fields, women are paid less than men, even when both do exactly the same work.
Long Answer Questions
Q.1. Write a note on the status of women in India.
How women in India still face discrimination and oppression in various ways? Explain with four examples. 
Ans. India has a patriarchal society, a society that gives more power to men, values them more and gives them power over women. Even after so many years of independence, the status of women is very low. The literacy rate of women is 54% as compared to 76% among men. There are more women dropouts from school than among men. Parents want to spend more on boys’ education than on girls’. Even today, in many states of India, a girl-child is aborted before birth. The sex ratio has fallen in many states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. In 2001, according to the census, the average male-female ratio was 1000 : 933.
Though the government has passed Equal Wages Act, yet women are paid much less. There are still no equal wages for equal work in the field of sports, movies, factories and fields, the household work a woman does is given no importance or value. Women have hardly any role in decision-making process. We can see this by the low percentage of women in the Parliament, State assemblies, managerial posts, senior officials and among professionals and technical workers.
India has celebrated “Year of the Child,” and “Year of the Women”. We had a woman Prime Minister, but still the status of women is low. There have been some changes in recent years, yet nothing much has been done. Reservation alone cannot solve this problem. More power has to be given to women to find their rightful place at home and in public affairs also.
Q.2. How does communalism take various forms in politics? Explain four forms. 
Ans. Communalism can take various forms in politics :
(i) The most common expression of communalism is in everyday beliefs. It involves religious, prejudices, belief in the superiority of one’s religion over others.
(ii) When it tries to have political dominance of one's own religious community, especially by the majority community, it leads to the desire in minority community to form a separate political unit.
(iii) Political mobilisation on religious lines is another form of communalism. It involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal and plain fear in order to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena. In electoral politics, it leads to emotional appeals to the voters of one religion in preference to others.
(iv) Sometimes communalism takes its ugliest form — communal violence, riots and massacres. This we have seen in the case of India and Pakistan at the time of partition of the country.
Q.3. How do women in our country still lag much behind men despite some improvement since Independence? Explain with four examples. 
Describe any four aspects of life in which women are discriminated in Indian society.
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.4. How does casteism affect politics? 
Explain any four forms of casteism in Indian politics. 
Caste can take various forms in politics. Describe any four forms. 
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.