Chapter 5 Rights
Textbook Questions Solved
What are rights and why are they important? What are the bases on which claims to rights can be made?
- An entitlement to do as a citizen, individual or human being.
- Something that the society must recognise as being a legitimate claim to be uphold.
- There is a distinction between what I desire to do and think that I am entitled to and what can be designated as rights.
Rights are important because:
- To lead a life of respect and dignity, i.e. economic independence gives the right to fulfil the basic needs of a person by one’s talents and interests.
- Citizens enjoy the rights to express themselves freely in different ways to be creative and original.
- The rights let the government be aware of its success and failures and feedback of people.
- Rights are necessary for the entire world, he. right to livelihood, freedom of expression, etc.
- Rights help one to develop one’s own potential and skills.
The claims to rights can be made if:
- Rights are necessary to earn a livelihood.
- Rights are helpful to develop talent and skills.
- Rights are important to lead a ‘respectful and dignified life’.
- Rights are given to human being by nature of God to be born with, i.e. right to life, liberty and property, etc. as inalienable rights.
- If an activity is harmful to our health and well being, it cannot be claimed as a right, i.e. the use of prohibited drugs and smoking to be injurious to health cannot be claimed as a right.
On what grounds are some rights considered to be universal in nature? Identify three rights which you consider universal. Give reasons.
Some rights are considered to be universal in nature on the ground to be equally important for all human beings who live in a society. The following three rights can be identified as universal:
- The right to livelihood.
- Right to freedom of expression
- Right to education Because:
- Economic independence is the most important dignity in one’s life and considered necessary for leading a life of respect and dignity across the world.
- Right to freedom of expression provides an opportunity to be creative and original in any field of one’s choice. And government also comes to know of its failures and success.
- Right to education develops capacity to improve useful skills and to enable citizens to make choices in life, hence it can be designated as a universal right.
Discuss briefly some of the new rights claims which are being put forward in our country today for example the rights of tribal people to protect their habitat and way of life, or the rights of children against bonded labour.
1. Rights of tribal people:
- The tribal people had been living in forest areas since ancient times which are associated with their culture, way of life and livelihood.
- These people urge to state that no state in the name of development should take away what had been enjoyed by them since beginning of settled life.
- They consider all these demands to be justified and use the term human rights for all tribal people across the country.
2. Right of children against bonded labour:
- The children must be free from bonded labour and child labour.
- The children must be made free from wrong practices of child labour.
- The children must have equal opportunities to be free and realise their full potential.
3. Right to sustainable development:
- The human rights which people claim has been expanded over the years due to new threats and challenges in the society.
- A need has been arisen to protect the natural environment, hence the demand has been generated for rights to clean air, water, sustainable development and alike.
Differentiate between political, economic and cultural rights. Give examples of each kind of right.
(a)Political rights: Political rights are supplemented by several types of civil liberties, i.e. right to express one’s views freely, right to protest, free and fair trial, etc. These rights make the government accountable and ensure an opportunity to each and every individual to influence the decisions of government:
- Political rights provide equality to all citizens.
- Every citizen has the right to participate in political process.
- Political rights provide the right to vote and elect representatives.
- Every citizen enjoys the right to contest elections and right to form political parties.
(b) Economic rights:
- It includes the basic needs to live and to enjoy the right to get food, shelter, clothing, health, etc.
- An adequate wage to meet their basic needs.
- Democratic societies provide reasonable condition of work.
- Citizens with low incomes, receive housing, medical facilities and unemployed persons receive a certain minimum wage to meet their basic needs.
- In India, the government has introduced a rural employment guarantee scheme to assist the poor. .
(c) Cultural rights:
- The right to have primary education.
- Culture has been recognized as being necessary for leading good life.
- The people have the right to enjoy one’s own language, one’s way of living, literature, style of painting, construction, religion, etc.
- Right to establish institutions for teaching one’s own language.
Rights place some limits on the authority of the state. Explain with examples.
- The support of governments and law, direct the claimed rights towards the state, i. e. if someone asserts one’s right to education, the state is called upon to make provisions for basic education.
- Right to life obliges the state to make laws to protect from being injured by others. A society can expect the state to pursue policies to provide clean environment to be essential for good quality of life.
- Rights not only indicate what the state must do, they also suggest what the state must refrain from doing, i.e. the state cannot simply arrest any person as per its own will, the state is supposed to give proper reasons for curtailing one’s liberty before a judicial court.
- Rights ensure that the authority of state is exercised without violating the sanctity of individual life and liberty.Hence, it can be concluded that the sovereign authority, the laws it makes, may be enforced with force, but the sovereign state exists not for its own sake but for the sake of individual. The people always matter a lot and their well-being must be persuaded by the government in power.
Extra Questions Solved
Very Short Answer Type Questions
What are three natural rights?
- The right to life
- Right to liberty
- Right to property
Which can represent the common good of human beings?
- To minimize air and water pollution in the environment
- To maintain ecological balance
- To protect ozone layer
- To present the cutting of forests.
Mention some rights which have not been granted to people by democratic states.
- The right for unborn foetus
- The right to safe drinking water
- The right to information
- The right to get clean air.
Mention two activities that cannot be claimed as a right by people.
- taking banned drugs
Because medical research has prohibited drugs injurious to health, hence affect the relations with others.
What is right to life?
It is a right to live life without fear, injury and any external danger as well as the right not to possess the right to take away one’s own life (suicide has been declared a crime)
What is right to education?
It is a right to widen our horizons and to know the world around us. Educational facilities should be provided to everyone by the state.
What is right to freedom?
It refers the freedom of speech, expression, assembly or association of arms but to be exercised within the framework of public order, morality, decency and unity of country.
Mention any two fundamental duties of the citizens of India.
- It is the duty of every citizen to promote harmony and common brotherhood together
- It is the duty of every citizen to abide by the law and respect the national flag, anthem and institutions, etc.
What is the historical background of rights?
- Rights have the sanction of long unbroken customs of society.
- State confirms rights to be sanctioned by customs.
- In due course of time, a custom due to practical utility becomes a right.
It is important because mostly rights are the result of long-established customs.
How can we say that rights imply one’s own duty?
Rights correspond duties if a person has the right to work, it is also his duty to perform the work in a proper manner.
What is the right to property?
- It provides comfortable living in which men can perform the assigned work.
- Property provides citizens with incentives to work to achieve the desired goals.
- Property can be classified as movable and immovable, i.e. house, farms and cash, furniture, jewellary, etc.
What is the right to work?
It is the duty of state to provide every citizen with work, reasonable hours of work and adequate means of livelihood.
What does the right to govern oneself imply?
It implies enjoying the political rights by citizens, i.e. right to vote, contest elections, hold public offices, etc.
Why the right to freedom of religion is important?
Citizens are given the freedom to adopt any religion, to manage the religious affairs in one’s own way to be related to their conscience.
Explain the right to equality.
Article 14 to 18 of the Constitution of India guarantees right to equality:
- Right to equality before law.
- No discrimination on any ground among citizens.
- Equal opportunities for employment to citizens.
- To abolish untouchability.
Short Answer Type Questions
What are the limitations on the “Right to freedom of speech and expression”?
Article 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees six freedoms to the citizens of India. Freedom of speech and expression is one of them. This freedom can be enjoyed by speaking and writing alongwith the following limitations:
- Friendly relations with other countries.
- Contempt of court
- Morality and decency
- Security of the state.
What are the differences between rights and claims?
- Rights are claims backed by disinterested desire whereas claims are demands backed by personal coercive of the individual.
- Rights involve the goodness of one and all while claims focus on personal welfare only.
- Rights receive recognition but claims depend on its nature to be accepted or not.
What is the difference between constitutional rights and natural rights?
- Natural rights have been given to individuals by nature or God whereas constitutional rights are the facilities, opportunities and liberties provided by the state to one and all.
- Natural rights are basic, natural and essential for human beings whereas constitutional rights are definite and enforceable by law.
- The examples of natural rights are right to life, liberty and property whereas constitutional rights are right to vote, to contest elections and to equality.
Mention any two important social-economic rights.
- Every citizen is entitled to enjoy the right to work to earn one’s own livelihood and the state provides opportunities to earn the resources.
- A welfare state guarantees right to its citizens to adopt the profession of whatever one likes and no one can be compelled to do the work which is not as per his choice.
Why the rights are necessary for the development of individuals?
- Rights create supportive conditions for the development of one’s potential as they create necessary conditions to fulfill this requirement.
- The fundamental rights fulfill the requirements of expression and speech so that ideas could be emerged through intelligence.
- Fundamental rights grants an opportunity to every individual to possess any profession as per one’s own choice.
What safeguards are available for rights?
- Rights to constitutional remedies is provided in fundamental rights against grievances of people in the Constitution of India.
- Rule of law has been established, i.e. equality before law and equal protection by law through constitution.
- Media (Press) is free and honest to safeguard against despotic government.
- People enjoy the safeguard to fight against in genuine arrangements.
- Distribution of power is also a safeguard against violation of rights.
How can we say that rights imply duties?
Rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin. Without one, the existence of other is not possible. Duties come first and rights later:
- Duties are our obligations towards others, but rights are the others’ obligation towards us.
- Rights help develop ourselves while duties help others to develop their personalities.
- We own rights but we owe duties.
- Rights of one person are the duties of another.
Can it be stated that rights are absolute? Give reasons.
Though rights are enjoyed by all individuals equally and state also cannot interfere in the matter but even though these are not absolute because:
- In a democratic countries like USA and India rights of people are absolute and can never be suspended.
- The Constitution of India provides provisions that even the fundamental right to freedom can also be suspended if emergency is declared under Article 352 War or armed rebellion inside the territory of country.
- During the periods of emergency, citizens do not enjoy any protection against the state.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, page 69) given below carefully and answer the questions that follow:
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, political theorists argued that rights are given to us by nature or God. The rights of men were derived from natural law. This meant that rights were not conferred by a ruler or a society, rather we are born with them. As such these rights are inalienable and no one can take these away from us. They identified three natural rights of man: the right to life, liberty and property. All other rights were said to be derived from these basic rights. The idea that we are born with certain rights, is a very powerful notion because it implies that no state or organisation should take away what has been given by the law of nature. This conception of natural rights has been used widely to oppose the exercise of arbitrary power by states and governments and to safeguard individual freedom.
1. What do you mean by natural rights?
2. Mention some natural rights.
3. How has the conception of natural rights been used?
1. Natural rights refer to be born with certain rights where no state or organization can take away these rights.
2. Right to life, liberty and property.
3. The conception of natural rights has been used widely to oppose the exercise of arbitrary power by states and governments and to safeguard individual freedom.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, page 68) given below carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Rights are primarily those claims that I along with others regard to be necessary for leading a life of respect and dignity. In fact, one of the grounds on which rights have been claimed is that they represent conditions that we collectively see as a source of self respect and dignity. For example, the right to livelihood may be considered necessary for leading a life of dignity. Being gainfully employed gives a person economic independence and thus is central for his/her dignity. Having our basic needs met gives us freedom to pursue our talents and interests. Or, take the right to express ourselves freely. This right gives us the opportunity to be creative and original, whether it be in writing, or dance, or music, or any other creative activity. But freedom of expression is also important for democratic government since it allows for the free expression of beliefs and opinions. Rights such as the right to a livelihood, or freedom of expression, would be important for all human beings who live in society and they are described as universal in nature.
1. What are rights?
2. Why is the freedom of expression important?
3. How can we express ourselves?
1. Rights are those claims which can be regarded to be necessary for leading a life of respect and dignity.
2. Because it allows for the free expression of beliefs and opinion.
3. We can express ourselves by writing, speaking, dance, music or any other activity.
Long Answer Type Questions
How can we classify rights?
Rights can be classified into the following two types:
(a) Moral rights are our moral senses which cannot be demanded or cannot be forced. Even if moral rights are violated, no legal action can be taken, i.e. to make children educated to look after parents, etc.
(b) Legal rights are recognized by the state which are enforceable and can be classified as:
- Civil rights help to lead a secured social life, i.e. right to life and education.
- Political rights are given to the citizens by the state, i.e. right to contest election, right to vote, right to hold any public office, etc.
- Economic rights include right to work, to rest, to housing, to buy own property in any part of country and to possess any job or profession in the country.
Explain some political rights of the citizens.
Political rights are given to the citizens to participate in the affairs of the state:
- Right to vote is the most important political right to participate in the formation of government without any discrimination, i.e. every citizen in the age of 18 years and above enjoys the right to vote.
- Every voter enjoys the right to contest elections, i.e. right to be elected as a representatives on the attainment of 25 years of age.
- All the citizens are eligible to hold public offices equally, i.e. on one can be discriminated on the ground of colour, language, religion, caste, etc.
- Every citizen enjoys the right to address petitions of complaints to the competent authorities, i.e. people’s grievance can be redressed by the government.
- Citizens can enjoy the right to form political parties also at their own.
- The citizens are provided the right to equality before law, i.e. equal opportunities are available to one and all without any discrimination on any ground.
Explain some civil rights of its citizens.
Civil rights are as follows:
- The life of an individual is considered the property of state also as its human resource. Hence, it protects the life of individual also by providing the right to life. To commit suicide or to murder has been declared punishable offence.
- The citizens are allowed to enjoy the right to personal liberty. Hence, no individual can be arrested arbitrarily and cannot be deprived of his life, liberty and property without a breach of law established in an ordinary court of law.
- The citizens enjoy the right to equality in all spheres in a democratic state, i.e. all individuals should enjoy equal opportunities and nobody should be discriminated on any ground.
- Every individual enjoys the right to move freely in any part of country and to reside also in any part of the territory. No one can be compelled to leave one place without one’s own will.
- Every citizen in a state exercises the right to freedom of thought and expression, i.e. writing, speaking, free expression of opinion and even to criticise the governmental policies, etc.
- The citizens are provided with the freedom to form social, economic, political and cultural association. The state cannot interfere in the functioning of these associations, i.e. trade unions, commercial associations, etc.