Q 1. In a democracy why is universal adult franchise important?
ANS- Universal adult franchise is a very important aspect of democratic societies as:
- It is promotes the idea of equality.
- It means that all adult (those who are 18 and above) citizens have the right to vote irrespective of their caste, religion, gender, and social and economic backgrounds.
- It makes the government more accountable towards people.
Q 2. Re-read the box on Article 15 and state two ways in which this Article Addresses inequality?
- It states all citizens can go to public places like shops, public restaurants, hotels and
places of public entertainment, etc.
- It specifically mentions that any citizen irrespective of his or her background can use wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort .
Q 3. In what ways was Omprakash Valmiki’s experience similar to that of the Ansaris?
ANS- The experiences of Omprakash Valmiki and the Ansaris were similar.
- Both of them suffered from unequal treatment.
- Both of them discriminated because they belonged to different castes or religions.
- In both cases, the dignity of the persons was not respected.
Q 4. What do you understand by the term “all persons are equal before the law”? Why do you think it is important in a democracy?
- It means that every person from the President of the country to a common person cannot be discriminated on the basis of their religion, race, caste and gender etc.
- it is important because democracy cannot flourish due to inequality.
Q 5. The Government of India passed the Disabilities Act in 1995. This law states that persons with disabilities have equal rights, and that the government should make possible their full participation in society. The government has to provide free education and integrate children with disabilities into mainstream schools. This law also states that all public places including buildings, schools, etc., should be accessible and provided with ramps. Look at the photograph and think about the boy who is being carried down the stairs. Do you think the above law is being implemented in his case? What needs to be done to make the building more accessible for him? How would his being carried down the stairs affect his dignity as well as his safety?
- No, the Disabilities Act is not being followed here.
This is also a violation of Article 15 because physically disabled persons should be able to access public places. Buildings must have proper ramps.
- The way the boy is being carried down the stairs affects his dignity. This “charity based” approach has a negative impact on boy’s mind and reduces his sense of independence.
- It is important such needs be addressed through ‘rights-based’ approach.
- The government should ensure that disabled people are able to access public resources with ease.