Short Answer Questions
Q. 1. Women still lag much behind men in India despite some improvements since independence. Analyse the statement. [CBSE 2019, 32/1/1]
Women in India still face discrimination in various ways. Explain with examples. [CBSE 2019, 32/2/3]
Ans. In our country, women still lag much behind men despite some improvements since Independence. Women face disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways : (a) The literacy rate among women is only 54 percent as compared with 76 percent among men.
(b) Similarly, a smaller proportion of girl students go for higher studies. Girls are performing as well as boys in school. But they drop out because parents prefer to spend their resources for their boys education rather than spending equally on their sons and daughters.
(c) The proportion of women among the highly paid and valued jobs is still very small. On an average an Indian women works one hour more than an average man everyday.
(d) The Equal Wages Act provides that equal wages should be paid to equal work. However 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.
(e) In many parts of India, parents prefer to have sons and find ways to have the girl child aborted before she is born. Such sex selective abortion led to a decline in child sex ratio.
(f) Women face harassment, exploitation and violence on the domestic front.
Long Answer Questions
Q.1. Women face disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways even today. Assess the statement by giving five suitable arguments. [CBSE 2018]
Ans. (i) Education :
(a) Women are deprived of an equal access to education. Thus, the literacy rate among women is only 54 per cent as compared to 76 per cent among men.
(b) A smaller proportion of girl students go for higher education because in spite of their better performance parents prefer to spend their resources on son’s higher education.
(ii) The number of women on highly paid jobs is less than men.
(iii) In spite of the Equal Remuneration Act 1976, women are paid less than men even when both do exactly the same work.
(iv) Parents prefer sons and get girl child aborted before she is born. This has led to decline in child sex ratio to merely 919 (2011 census).
(v) Women are exploited by their employers. They are sexually assaulted do not. They feel safe during journey at night. They are subjected to various forms of domestic-violence such as beating and harassment.
Q.2. What is a secular state ? Explain factors which make India a secular state. [CBSE 2016-17]
“Secularism is not an ideology of some political parties or persons, but it is one of the foundations of our country.” Examine the statement. [CBSE 2018]
Ans. (a) A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. It grants equal status to all religions.
(b) (i) There is no official religion in India like Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
(ii) The Constitution grants every individual freedom to profess, preach and practice their own religion.
(iii) The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion.
(iv) The Constitution allows the state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities. For example it bans untouchability.
Thus our Constitution makers choose the model of a secular state. It is one of the foundations of our country.
Q.3. ‘Gender division is' not based on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes.’ Support the statement. [CBSE 2016-17]
What is Gender division ? How is it practised ? What are its consequences ?
Ans. (a) Gender division and how is it practised ? : It is a form of hierarchial social division. Generally, it is considered as natural and unchangeable. Actually it is based not on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes as mentioned below :
(i) Women do the iyork inside the house such as cooking.
(ii) Men do all the work outside the home.
(iii) Men do the work such as cooking if these are paid for.
(iv) In urban area women work in offices in addition to their domestic work. But their work do not get recognition.
(b) Consequences :
(i) The role of women has been minimal in politics.
(ii) Thus women began organising themselves, leading to the rise of feminist movements.
(iii) These movements demanded enhancing the political and legal status of women and improving their educational and career opportunities.
Q.4. How can communalism take various forms in politics ? Explain. [CBSE 2016-17]
Ans. (i) Majoritarian dominance: A majority community tries to dominate other communities in politics. This may compel the minority community to form a separate political unit. The example in Sri Lanka and Yugoslavia or India and Pakistan.
(ii) Religious appeals are made to voters to attract their votes. Sometimes sacred symbols and religious leaders are used to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena.
(iii) Sometimes communalism takes most ugly form of communal violence, riots and massacre. India and Pakistan suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of the partition. Even after independence, riots on communal lines have taken place in India.
Q.5. Explain reasons for the declining of caste system in India. [CBSE 2016-17]
Assess the circumstances prevalent in contemporary India which are responsible for bringing about a change in the caste system.
Ans. (i) In urban areas people do not bother about castes and travel in the bus, metro along with others.
(ii) The economic condition of lower castes has improved. They live in areas where people of upper castes live in the cities.
(iii) Now people of lower class shift/change their profession according to their qualifications and experience. They do not follow the occupations of their ancestors.
(iv) The Constitution too prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste etc. Untouchability has been abolished.
(v) The political leaders and social reformers like Jyotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar played an important role in this direction. Gandhiji called untouchables ‘Harijana’
Q. 6. Discuss various forms of caste in polictics. [CBSE 2016-17]
Ans. (i) At the time of election, parties select their candidates on the basis of caste of the voters in a constituency to muster support to win election.
(ii) At the time of formation of government or Council of Ministers, effort is made to have representatives from all castes and communities.
(iii) During election campaign, appeals are made to voters to caste their vote in favour of the candidate of their own caste.
(iv) Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one vote compelled political leaders to gear up to the task of mobilising and securing political support.
(v) Political parties are also formed on the basis of caste to attract the voters in the elections. The BSP in UP, DMK and AIDMK are examples o f such political parties.