Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste Class 10 Civics NCERT Notes

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Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste Class 10 Civics NCERT Notes are prepared by experts of Gkrankers who have a clear understanding of the subject matter. They are designed in such a way that it is easy for students to understand and remember the concepts. These notes help the students to revise the topics quickly and effectively.

Chapter 4 Class 10 Political Science NCERT notes are a compilation of the key points from the textbooks, which can be extremely helpful for students in understanding complex topics.

Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste Class 10 Civics NCERT Notes

Gender Division

Sexual Division of Labour

It is a system in which all work inside the home is either done by the women of the family while men are expected to work outside to earn money.

This belief is not based on biology but on social and expectations and stereotypes. Boys and girls are brought up to believe that the main responsibility of women is housework and bringing up children. Women do all work inside the home such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring, looking after children, etc., and men do all the work outside the home.

Feminist movements

More radical women’s movements aimed at equality in personal and family life as well. These movements are called Feminist movements.

These political mobilisation improved the lives of women in public life and now women are working and competing with their men counterparts. In Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, the participation of women in public life is very high.

Women’s Oppression in various ways

Indian society which is male-dominated, patriarchal society where women face disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways:

  • The literacy rate among women is only 54% compared with 76% among men. There is high drop out of girl students because parents prefer to spend on boys’ education rather than girls’ education.
  • There is very low percentage of women in the high paid and high value jobs as just a few girls are encouraged to take up higher education.
  • Despite the Equal Wages Act, women in all areas are paid lesser than men, be it sports, cinema, agriculture or construction works.
  • Most parents prefer boy children to girl children. Female infanticide and feticide are common in our country. This has resulted in unfavourable sex ratio.
  • Society in general and urban centres in particular, is not safe for women. Dowry harassment, physical abuse, sexual harassment are routine tales.

Women’s political representation

According to many feminists and women’s movements to solve their oppression and get equality they need to control power. To ensure this, we need to have more women as elected representatives.

In India, the proportion of women in legislature has been very low. For example, the percentage of elected women members in Lok Sabha has touched 14.36 per cent of its total strength for the first time in 2019. Their share in the state assemblies is less than 5 per cent.

Steps taken to improve Political Representation of Women

  • 1/3 seats are reserved for women in Local Self Governments.
  • Women’s bill was introduced in the Parliament long ago. It has been passed by the Rajya Sabha. Loka Sabha is yet to pass it.

Religion, Communalism and Politics

Though, social division based on religion is not as universal as gender but it is fairly widespread. There are people following different religion in our country. There can be serious differences in the way one religion is practiced, as in the case of Northern Ireland, between the Protestants and Catholics

Communalism is a system in which beliefs of one religion are presented assuperior to those of other religions.

Communal Politics

When the demands of one religious group are formed in opposition to another and when state power is used to establish domination of one religious group over the rest. This manner of using religion in politics is communal politics.

Relationship between Religion and Politics

Gandhiji used to say that religion can never be separated from politics. He believed that politics must be guided by ethics drawn from religion.

Human rights groups in our country have argued that most of the victims of communal riots in our country are people from religious minorities.

Women’s movement has argued that family Laws of all religions discriminate against women.

Communalism can take various form in Politics

The most common expression of communalism is in religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities and belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions.

A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community. For those belonging to majority community, this takes the form of majoritarian dominance.

Political mobilisation on religious lines is another frequent form of communalism. This involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal and plain fear in order to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena.

In electoral politics this often involves special appeal to the interests or emotions of voters of one religion in preference to others.

Sometimes communalism takes its most ugly form of communal violence, riots and massacre. India and Pakistan suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of the Partition.

Steps taken to combat communalism

  • India is a secular state. There is no official religion or state religion in India.
  • Everyone is free to practice, profess and propagate any religion.
  • The constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
  • The constitution allows the state to intervene in the religious matters to ensure equality within religious communities. For example, it bans untouchability.

Caste System

Caste system is a social division based on occupation but later turned into based on birth. Those who had taken over low paid jobs were termed as low castes. The so called lower castes face exclusionand discrimination in the hands of other caste groups.

Changes in the caste system of India

The efforts of great social reformers like Jotiba Phule, Gandhiji, B.R. Ambedkar and Periyar Ramaswamy Naicker have contributed a lot in this regard.

Socio-economic changes: Urbanisation, occupational mobility, growth of literacy and education and breaking down of caste hierarchy have played a major role in the eroding caste system from the Indian Society.

Yet caste has not disappeared from present India. Some of the older aspects of caste have persisted such as:

  • Most people marry within their own caste or tribe.
  • Untouchability has not ended completely.
  • The caste groups that had access to education have continue to do well.
  • The caste groups that are denied of education are naturally lagging.
  • There is direct relationship between a person’s caste and his economic status.
  • There is high percentage of SCs, STs and OBCs in the BPL category.

How Caste Influences Politics?

When parties choose candidates in elections, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate and nominate candidates from different castes so as to muster necessary support to win elections.

When governments are formed, political parties usually take care that representatives of different castes and tribes find a place in it.

Political parties and candidates in elections make appeals to caste sentiment to muster support. Some political parties are known to favour some castes and are seen as their representatives.

Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one-vote compelled political leaders to gear upto the task of mobilising and securing political support by forming Political Parties.

Caste alone cannot determine Indian Elections

  • No parliamentary constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste.
  • Every candidate needs the votes of people of different caste groups to win elections.
  • No party wins the votes of all the voters of a caste our community.
  • Many political parties may give tickets to the persons belonging the majority caste group. If that caste group has many to choose from, the other caste groups have none, if they were to vote only on the basis of caste.
  • The ruling party MLAs and MPs frequently lose elections. This shows that the people of India are not frozen in their political choice.
  • The voter’s attachment to his party and the party ideology can be stronger than his attachment to his caste group.
  • People’s assessment of the performance of the government and the popularity rating of the leaders matter and are often decisive in elections.

How Politics Influences Caste?

It is not politics that gets caste ridden, it is the caste that gets politicised. This takes several forms:

  • Each caste group tries to become bigger by incorporating nearby castes that were excluded earlier.
  • Various caste groups form coalition with other caste groups to maximise the benefits extended by the government.
  • New kinds of caste groups have come up in the political arena like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ castes.

The Outcome of Political Expression of Caste

It has provided space and opportunity for the disadvantaged groups to demand their share in power. Thus, it has helped Dalits and OBCs to gain better access to decision making.
It also has helped them to fight for social justice.

Exclusive attention to caste can produce negative results also:

  • Caste based politics is certainly not healthy in democracy as it can divert attention from other important issues like poverty, development and corruption.
  • It can also lead to tensions, conflicts and violence.
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