[Summary] Chapter 3 : Equality | Political Theory – Class 11 – NCERT

Chapter 3 : Equality

  1. Equality maintains that human beings deserve equal consideration and respect because of their common humanity.
  2. French revolutionaries used the slogan ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ to revolt against the landed feudal aristocracy and the monarchy.
  3. It is inequality rather than equality which is most visible around us in the world as well as within our own society
  4. almost everyone accepts the ideal of equality, yet almost everywhere we encounter inequality
  5. No society treats all its members in exactly the same way under all conditions.
  6. The smooth functioning of society requires division of work and functions and people often enjoy different status and rewards on account of it.
  7. At times these differences of treatment may appear acceptable or even necessary
  8. g- president , PM, army generals etc
  9. Concept of equality implies that all people, as human beings, are entitled to the same rights and opportunities to develop their skills and talents, and to pursue their goals and ambitions.
  10. Natural inequalities are those that emerge between people as a result of their different capabilities and talents
  11. Natural inequalities are considered to be the result of the different characteristics and abilities with which people are born.
  12. It is generally assumed that natural differences cannot be altered
  13. Social inequalities are those created by society.
  14. They may treat differently people of different race, or colour, or gender, or caste.
  15. 3 dimensions of equality : Social, political, economical
  16. Political Equality : Political equality or equality before the law is an important first step in the pursuit of equality.
  17. It normally include granting equal citizenship to all the members of the state.
  18. equal citizenship brings with it certain basic rights such as the right to vote, freedom of expression, movement and association and freedom of belief.
  19. These are rights which are considered necessary to enable citizens to develop themselves and participate in the affairs of the state
  20. But they are legal rights, guaranteed by the constitution and laws.
  21. we should remember that although political and legal equality by itself may not be sufficient to build a just and egalitarian society, it is certainly an important component of it
  22. Social Equality : pursuit of equality requires that people belonging to different groups and communities also have a fair and equal chance to compete for those goods and opportunities..
  23. it is necessary to minimise the effects of social and economic inequalities and guarantee certain minimum conditions of life to all the members of the society
  24. Where equality of opportunity does not exist a huge pool of potential talent tends to be wasted in society.
  25. State should make policies to prevent discrimination or harassment
  26. Economic Equality : economic inequality exists in a society if there are significant differences in wealth, property or income between individuals or classes
  27. Ways to measure economic inequality in society :-
  28. relative difference between the richest and poorest groups
  29. estimate the number of people who live below the poverty line
  30. absolute equality of wealth or income has probably never existed in a society.
  31. To tackle inequality in society we need to go beyond providing equal opportunities and try and ensure public control over essential resources and forms of property
  32. states have to intervene to try and ensure a minimum standard of living and equal opportunities for all
  33. Liberals uphold the principle of competition as the most efficient and fair way of distributing resources and rewards in society
  34. Competition between people in free and fair conditions is the most just and efficient way of distributing rewards in a society.
  35. We need to consider the use of affirmative action is justified for purposes of bringing about equality
  36. first step towards bringing about equality is, ending the formal system of inequality and privileges
  37. Social, economic and political inequalities all over the world have been protected by customs and legal systems that prohibited some sections of society from enjoying certain kinds of opportunities and rewards
  38. Attainment of equality requires that all such restrictions or privileges should be brought to an end
  39. Equality requires that the government and the law of the land should stop protecting these systems of inequality.
  40. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  41. Our Constitution also abolishes the practice of untouchability.
  42. Equality before law is necessary but not sufficient to realise the principle of equality.
  43. Sometimes it is necessary to treat people differently in order to ensure that they can enjoy equal rights (e.g.- disable, women etc)
  44. Some countries have used policies of affirmative action to enhance equality of opportunity
  45. In our country we have relied on the policy of reservations
  46. Affirmative action is based on the idea that it is not sufficient to establish formal equality by law.
  47. When we wish to eliminate inequalities that are deeply rooted, it is necessary to take some more positive measures to minimise and eliminate entrenched forms of social inequalities
  48. State must devise social policies which would help to make such people equal and give them a fair chance to compete with others
  49. Social and economic inequalities of this kind hinder the pursuit of equal opportunities
  50. Differential or special treatment may be considered to realise the goal of equality but it requires justification and careful reflection. In the nineteenth century women struggled for equal rights.
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