CBSE Class 8 Social Science Marginalised Groups and Social Justice Notes. Learning the important concepts is very important for every student to get better marks in examinations. The concepts should be clear which will help in faster learning. The attached concepts made as per NCERT and CBSE pattern will help the student to understand the chapter and score better marks in the examinations.
MARGINALISED GROUPS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Who are Marginalised?
Marginalised groups are those sections of the society which have remained ignored in the past due to several social and economic causes. The chief groups among these include the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes, other backward classes and the minorities.
*Scheduled Castes: They are the castes which are treated as untouchables in the caste hierarchy of India. The constitution of India defines the scheduled castes as the ones who were called as untouchable in the society.
*Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) : The people or castes which resided in the forest and hilly areas and were socially discarded and were economically backward are called scheduled tribes.
* Backward Classes : The term ‘Backward Classes’ does not mean the classes which are backward. Rather, it is a name given to the weaker sections of the society other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
* Minorities : The communities whether religious or lingual who have less number of people of their own sect and religion in a particular region or regions.
The marginalised are those groups of people or communities who speak a different language, follow different customs or belong to a different religious group from the majority community.
The marginalised groups have the sense of difference and exclusion and have no access to the resources and the opportunities to assert their rights. They are the groups who are powerless and disadvantaged than the powerful and dominant group
The ‘original inhabitants’, is the actual meaning of Adivasis. They are the communities who live in the forest and their generations also live in the forests without any touch of modernisation. There are many areas where Adivasis are prominently found in India such as Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bokaro and Bhilai. There is not a single Adivasi group but a number of different Adivasi groups. Adivasis are found in large number in the areas like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and in North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Adivasis do not practice religions like Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, etc. They practice tribal religion in which they worship their ancestors, village, natural spirits, mountain spirits, river spirits, animal spirits, etc. The Adivasi groups are also influenced with the other religions such as Buddhism, Vaishnavism, Bhaktism, etc. They have their own languages and their own music and folk system in which they carry themselves. Adivasis are mainly seen as very different as compared to other people living in towns, villages and they are in large numbers. People believe that Adivasis are very rigid in following their own culture. They are perceived as people who only dance in the colourful costumes and get their livelihood from the forests. People believe that Adivasis
are exotic, primitive and backward. Adivasis today are the marginal and powerless communities.
Adivasis Demands and the 1989 Act
The 1989 Act is still important as it defends their right to occupy land which was theirs traditionally. Under this Act, activists who have forcibly encroached upon tribal land should be punished under this law. It promises that land belonging to tribal people cannot be sold to or bought by non-tribal people. The constitution guarantees the right of tribal people to re-possess their land.
C. K. Janu, an Adivasi activist from Kerala points out that it is the state government which allows non-tribal encroachers to encroach on tribal land. She also says that, the government must draw up plans and policies for them to live and work elsewhere.
SOME FORMS OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY
Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, language, sex, age, and so on, gives rise to social inequalities.
In our country, the main cause of social inequalities is the caste system. Way back, in ancient times, this system divided the society into high and low castes, mainly on the basis of profession. The higher castes enjoyed many privileges that were denied to the lower castes. People were not allowed to mix with members of other castes or to eat with them or marry them. Members of the higher caste even and ven humiliated and exploited lower-caste people.
The lower castes still feel deprived and marginalised. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, has been passed to protect the interests of the SCs and STs)
One of the evils that arose out of the caste system was the practice of untouchability. Under the caste system, people doing certain types of jobs were treated as outcastes. These people usually did jobs such as removing dead bodies, carrying away human waste and sweeping roads. Such jobs were considered unclean, and the people who did them were considered impure and untouchable. Members of the other castes would not touch them for fear of losing purity. The untouchables were not allowed to live inside villages and towns. They were not allowed to draw water from public wells. They were not even allowed to enter temples and schools.
A law called the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955, has made the practice of untouchability illegal and punishable. Since 1976, this act is known as the Protection of Civil Rights Act. To give speedy justice to victims of untouchability, special mobile courts are set up in some areas. The term 'untouchable' has now been replaced by the term Dalit, meaning suppressed or crushed. Many Dalits have now changed their occupations and improved their conditions of living. Dalits also take part in elections at all levels and hold important posts. And, in some places, people still refuse to eat food cooked by Dalits.
The Schedule Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
This law was framed in 1989 to prevent ill-treatment and humiliation of Dalits and tribal groups. A number of assertive Dalit groups in South India have started fighting for their rights. Dalits demanded that acts of violence against Dalits should be reported and prescribe stringent punishment against them. In 1970 and 1980 even Adivasis demanded equal rights and resources to be returned to them.
How Social Status Affects Economic Status
Economic inequality means the inequality between the rich and the poor. It is often closely related to social status are inequalities. In a society, those who have low social status are looked down upon. Hence, they are not expected to do important jobs, which bring higher earnings. This makes them poor. They are also not encouraged to receive education and improve their skills. So, they are often poorly educated and find it hard to get good jobs
In our country, people were earlier not allowed to change their traditional professions. They had to continue doing the work traditionally done by their castes. Thus, lower-caste people could not take up more respectable jobs even if they had the ability to do such jobs. Hence, they had no hope of making economic progress.
Women also suffered because they were expected to remain economically dependent on others. They were often denied formal education. Besides, there were many restrictions on the types of work they could do and the property they could own.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
The Preamble states that one of the aims of India’s constitution is to give social and economic justice to all the citizens. This can be done only by reducing inequalities of wealth and social status. The constitution has made some provisions to achieve this. Many of the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles laid down in the constitution seek to ensure social and economic justice for Indian citizens. Some examples are given below.
• The right to equality gives all citizens the right to get equal opportunities. It discourages discrimination of all kinds.
• The right to freedom gives all citizens the right to do any work of their choice.
• The right against exploitation protects citizens from being forced to do any work or being forced to work without pay.
• The right to freedom of religion and the cultural and educational rights allow minority groups to follow their own beliefs and promote their own languages and traditions.
• Early childhood care and education up to the age of 6 and free primary education after that must not be denied to any child aged below 14.
• For the fair distribution of wealth among the people, the constitution has directed governments to ensure adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, fair wages for workers and equal pay for men and women doing equal work.
• The constitution has also directed governments to help the weaker sections of the society, including the women, the sick, the aged and the unemployed, to give free legal aid to the poor and to improve public health.
The constitution does not allow discrimination, but it does allow the government to give some special facilities to the weaker sections of society. This is to ensure that these sections do not lag behind the rest of the society.
• The government helps the weaker sections by reservd some jobs for them in government offices.
• The government also reserves some seats for the weaker sections in certain types of educational institutions.
Under its present reservation policy the central government reserves a total of 49.5 per cent of the posts in its offices for the SCs, STs and OBCs. In this matter, the Supreme Court has stated that the total reservation should be less than 50 per cent. In some institutions, the government reserves seats for women. For example, in local self-government bodies, one-third of the seats are reserved for women. The seats reserved for women comprise one-third of the seats meant for the weaker sections and one-third of the seats meant for the other sections of the society.
Manual scavenging refers to the practice of removing human and animal waste using brooms, tin plates and baskets from any latrines and carrying it on the head to disposal grounds some distance away. A manual scavenger is a person who does the job of carrying this filth. This job is mainly done by dalit women and young girls. There are over 13 lakh persons from dalit communities working as scavengers. To protect them, in 1993, the government passed the Employment of Manual scavengers and construction of dry latrines (Prohibition) Act. This law prohibits the employment of manual scavengers as well as the construction of Dry Latrines. On a PIL, in 2003, the Supreme Court has asked various government departments to count number of manual scavengers and ensure their liberalisation and rehabilitation
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