Topic outline

    • Confronting Marginalisation

      Q1. Which article of Indian constitution abolishes untouchability?

      Ans. Article 17 of the Constitution abolishes untouchability.


      Q2. 'The force is put on Ratham to perform the ritual of washing the feet of the priest and then bathing in that water'. Which fundamental right is being violated in the case?

      Ans. Right to Freedom


      Q3. What is the ‘Reservation Policy’?

      Ans. Reservation Policy is the policy which reserve seats in education and government employment for Dalits and Adivasis.

      Q4. By what names are the manual scavengers known in different parts of our country?

      Ans. Manual scavengers are known as Bhangis in Gujarat, Pakhis in Andhra Pradesh and the Sikkaliars in Tamil Nadu.


      Q5. What is Article 15?

      Ans. Article 15 of the Constitution notes that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.


      Q6. What did the marginal groups rely on to protect themselves from continued exploitation by other groups?

      Ans. Marginal groups relied on Constitution to protect themselves from continued exploitation by other groups.


      Q7. List two different provisions in the 1989 Act.

      Ans. Two different provisions in the 1989 Act are:

                              i.        to occupy land that was traditionally theirs

                             ii.        no force displacement

      Q8. What is Article 17 of Indian constitution?

      Ans. Article 17 of the Constitution states that untouchability has been abolished – what this means is that no one can henceforth prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities etc.


      Q9. What do you understand by the term ‘Dalit’?

      Ans. The term Dalit, which means ‘broken’ is used deliberately and actively by groups to highlight the centuries of discrimination they have experienced within the caste system.


      Q10. What are the ways in which marginalized communities tried to overcome the discriminations they faced?

      Ans. They have attempted to overcome their situation by adopting a range of strategies in their long history such as religious solace, armed struggle, self-improvement and education, economic uplift.


      Q11. How have the marginalised communities drawn on the fundamental rights?

      Ans. They have drawn on these rights in two ways: first, by insisting on their

      Fundamental Rights, they have forced the government to recognise the injustice done to them. Second, they have insisted that the government enforce these laws.

      Q12. List two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals.

      Ans. Two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals are:

                              i.        Right to freedom

                             ii.        Right to Equality


      Q13. What are the efforts made by government to eradicate manual scavenging?

      Ans. 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.


      Q14. Describe the 1989 Act made in context to adivasi demands.

      Ans. The 1989 Act confirms what has already been promised to tribal people in the Constitution – that land belonging to tribal people cannot be sold to or bought by non-tribal people. In cases where this has happened, the Constitution guarantees the right of tribal people to re-possess their land.

      Q15. What is manual scavenging? How is it harmful for people who practice it?

      Ans. Manual scavenging refers to the practice of removing human and animal waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from dry latrines and carrying it on the head to disposal grounds some distance away.

      Manual scavengers are exposed to subhuman conditions of work and face serious health hazards. They are constantly exposed to infections that affect their eyes, skin, respiratory and gastro-intestinal systems.


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