Institutions need to
be combined with a
enjoyment of rights
- to make a
Life Without Rights
Rights provide the foundation upon which civilized human
Without rights, a society will be reduced a situation where
the mighty and the strong gain precedence and those power
would have course of redressal in case of personal injury,
threat or harm to their life and liberty.
What are rights?
Rights are claims of a person over other follow beings, over the society
and over the government. So a right is possible when you make a claim
that is equally possible for others. Right acquire meaning only in society.
Every society makes certain rules to regulate our conduct, they tell us
what is right and what is wrong. What is recognized by the society as
rightful become the bases of rights.
Why do we need rights in a democracy?
Rights are necessary for the very existence of democracy. Every
citizen has the right to participate in the democratic process.
Additionally, every citizen has the right to become the part of the
democratic government. part of the democratic government.
Rights protect the rights of the minorities against the majority. Things
can go wrong when some citizens try to take away the rights of
Rights In The Indian Constitution
Certain rights are fundamental to our life and hence they are given special status
in the Constitution. Such rights are called Fundamental Rights.
Right to Equality
The government shall not deny the right to equality before the law to any
person in India. Every Indian citizen; right from a poor landless labourer to
the Prime Minister; is equal in the eyes of the law of the land. The law of the
land does not discriminate between two persons on the basis of socio-
economic status or power.
Every citizen has equal access to public places and public facilities; like
temples, bathing ghats, road, public toilets, community well, etc.
Every person gets the equal opportunity to compete for public jobs; like Civil
Services, defense services, etc. However, some provisions have been made to
give special preference to people from the SCs, STs, Women and OBCs.
Similarly, physically disabled are also given reservation in government jobs.
Untouchability; in any form has been banned and has been made a punishable
Right to Freedom
The Right to Freedom means, we can do whatever we want to do; without
interference from others; especially the government.
in any part
Right Against Exploitation
This right mainly focuses on three
issues which are as follows:
Traffic in human beings: This
means the human beings
cannot be traded to be used
as slaves or to be used for
Bonded Labour: The
constitution has banned the
forced labour or beggar. If a
person is forced to work
without pay or at nominal pay,
this is termed as beggar. If the
beggar continues for a long
period then it is known as
Child Labour: Child labour has
been banned in the country. A
child below 14 years of age
cannot be employed in
hazardous works; like
factories, railway stations,
highway eateries, etc. Due to
constant efforts by the
government, there are now
very few instances of children
working in hazardous
factory, bangle factory, etc.
Right to Freedom of Religion
The constitution gives the right to freedom of religion. As per this right, a person
is free to follow a religion of his or her choice. The government does not
interfere in the religious matter of its citizens. Every person has the right to
profess, practice and propagate his religion. Every religious group or sect is free
to manage its religious affairs. But a person cannot compel another person to
agree to a particular religion by any means. However, a person is free to convert
to any religion of his choice. Freedom of religion does not mean doing anything in
the name of religion.
Cultural and Educational Rights
Every minority group has the right to protect its unique culture and to propagate
its unique culture. If a minority group wants to impart education in its own
language, it is free to do so; in order to preserve the uniqueness of that language
and the related culture. The government run institutions cannot deny admission
to anybody on the grounds of religion or language.
How can we secure these rights?
Right to Constitutional Remedies:
When any of the fundamental rights is violated, the affected person has
the right to seek constitutional remedies. The person can go to the court
where his grievances could be addressed. No government organ; like the
executive, legislature or any government functionary; cannot violate the
fundamental rights of the citizens. In case of any violation of the
fundamental rights, a person can file Public Interest Litigation (PIL). PIL
is an instrument which allows anybody to knock at the doors of the
Expanding Scope of Rights
Times have changed drastically since the days when our Constitution was
written. Demands for many new fundamental rights have been coming up
time and again. Some of these demands have been included under the
scope of fundamental rights. For example; the Right to Education has
been included in the list recently. As per this right, every child has the
right to get elementary education. Similarly, RTI (Right to Information)
was enacted recently. Under RTI, anybody can demand information
regarding the functions of a government department or official. The RTI
has helped in bringing transparency in working of government