Q1. What are the main aspects of Kanta’s story?
- The story tells us about two different aspects of status of people in our country.
- On the election day Kanta and Sujata along stood in the queue for voting.
- All others including Kanta’s sahib also stood in the same queue.
- This made them feel like an equal citizen.
- Kanta’s daughter was not well but she had to finish her daily work and take advance before she could take her to the doctor.
- Even there she had to stand in queue in government hospital to wait for her turn.
- She realized that, line had only poor people like her. If her employer had to go to doctor they can afford a private doctor.
Q2. With the advancing of the day Kanta becomes less certain about what equality really means. What is it that makes Kanta unsure?
- Kanta lives in a slum and has a drain behind her house.
- Her daughter is sick but she cannot skip day’s work because she needs to borrow money from her employers to take her child to the doctor.
- Her job as a domestic help tires her out.
- She ends her day by again standing in a long line. This line is in front of the government hospital.
- It is unlike the one in the morning because most of the people standing in it are poor.
Q3. Briefly write about the unequal treatment that Omprakash Valmiki had to face in his early years.
- Omprakash Valmiki in his autobiography, Joothan, wrote about his experience.
- During his schooling days he had to sit on the floor outside the class.
- In class IV he had to sweep the school and a huge playground.
- He became a spectacle for everyone was watching him. He was covered with dust and was not even allowed to drink water.
- He was made to do this for few days until one day his father by chance saw him. His father confronted the teacher and told them that one day Omprakash would study right there and many more would follow him.
Q4. What kind of discrimination was faced by the Ansari family?
- It is an incident that took place in a large city in India. Ansari family wanted to rent an apartment. They approached a property dealer for help. The property dealer knew about quite a few places. Ansaris liked the first apartment shown to them.
- After knowing their names landlady made an excuse that she could rent the apartment to a non-vegetarian since all the other residents are vegetarian. This surprised the Ansaris as well as the property dealer because they could smell fish being cooked in next house.
- This happened with them at other places as well. They were given the suggestion that they should change their name to get an apartment. The Ansaris were not willing to do this. It took them a month to find an apartment on rent.
Q5. When persons are treated unequally, their dignity is violated. How?
- When persons are treated unequally their dignity is violated because they feel humiliated.
- The dignity of both Omprakash Valmiki and the Ansaris was violated because of the way in which they were treated.
- By picking on him and making him sweep the school, because of his caste, Omprakash Valmiki’s schoolmates and teachers badly hurt his dignity and made him feel as if he was less than equal to all other students in the school.
- Being a child Omprakash Valmiki could do very little about the situation that he was in. It was his father who felt angry by this unequal treatment. He confronted the teachers.
- The Ansaris’ dignity was also hurt when persons refused to lease their apartments to them.
- The suggestion of the property dealer to change their name also violated their dignity or self-respect. Hence, they refused this suggestion.
- Omprakash and the Ansaris do not deserve to be treated like this. They deserve the same respect and dignity as others.
Q6. What is the position of equality in India, a democratic country?
- The Indian Constitution recognises every person as equal.
- This means that every person in the country, both male and female from all castes, religions, tribes, educational and economic backgrounds is equal.
- Inequality still exists. But at least, in democratic India, the principle of the equality of all. persons is recognised.
- Earlier no law existed to protect people from discrimination and, ill-treatment.
- Now there are several laws that work to see that people are treated with dignity and as equals. !
Q7. What are the provisions in the Constitution of India in respect of recognition of equality?
The recognition of equality includes some of the following provisions in the constitution:
- Every person is equal before the law. This means that every person from the
- President of the country to a domestic worker has to obey the same laws.
- No person can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, race, caste, place of birth, or gender.
- Every person has access to all public places including playgrounds, hotels, shops and markets. All persons can use wells, roads and bathing ghats.
- Untouchability has been abolished.
Q8. Describe the two ways in which government has tried to implement the equality.
- The two ways in which the government has tried to implement the equality that is guaranteed in the constitution are:
- Through laws.
- Through government programmes or schemes to help disadvantaged communities.
- There are several laws in India that protect every person’s right to be treated equally.
- The government has also set up several schemes to improve the lives of immunities and individuals who have been treated unequally for several centuries.
- The schemes ensure greater opportunity for people who have not had this in the past.
Q9. What is the most important step the government has taken to end inequality?
One of the steps taken by the government is the midday meal scheme.
- This refers to the programme introduced in all government elementary schools. It provides children with cooked lunch.
- Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to introduce this scheme.
- In 2001, the Supreme Court asked all state governments to begin this programme in their schools within six months.
- This programme has many positive effects which include the fact that more poor children have begun enrolling and regularly attending school.
- This programme has also helped reduce caste prejudices because both lower and upper caste children in the school eat this meal together.
- In a few places, Dalit women have been employed to cook the meal.
- The mid-day meal programme also helps reduce the hunger of poor students who often come to school and cannot concentrate because their stomachs are empty.
Q10. What is one of the main reasons which is responsible for continuance of discrimination?
One of the main reasons for continuance of discrimination is that attitudes change very slowly.
- Persons are aware that discrimination is against the law. Still they continue to treat people unequally on the basis of their caste, religion, disability, economic status and sex.
- It is only when people begin to believe that no one is inferior and that every person deserves to be treated with dignity, that attitudes change.
- Establishing equality in a democratic society is a continuous struggle.
- Persons 12321s well as various communities in India contribute to remove inequalities.
Q11. Account for issues of equality in other democracies.
Issues of Equality in Other Democracies:
India is not the only democratic country in which there is inequality and in which the struggle for equality continues to exist.
In most democratic countries around the world the issue of equality continues to be the key issue around which communities struggle.
- In USA the Africo-Americans brought as slaves from Africa continue to be largely unequal.
- This is despite a movement in the late 1950s to push for equal rights for Africo- Americans.
- Prior to this, Africo-Americans were treated extremely unequally in the United States. They were denied equality through law.
Q12. Describe the incident of a day with Rosa Parks. What did the incident lead to?
- Rosa Parks was an Africo-American woman.
- Tired from a long day at work she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955.
- Her refusal started a huge agitation against the unequal ways in which Africo- Americans were treated. This came, later on, to be known as the Civil Rights Movement.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion or national origin.
- It also stated that all schools would be open to Africo-American children and that they would no longer have to attend separate schools specially set up for them.
- Despite this, a majority of Africo-Americans continue to be among the poorest in the country.
- Most Africo-American children can only afford to attend government schools that have fewer facilities and poorly qualified teachers in comparison to white students who either go to private schools or live in areas where the government schools are highly rated compared to private schools.