CBSE Class 7 Social Science Political Science Revision Notes Chapter 9

CBSE Class 7 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 9 Notes -Struggles For Equality

Throughout history, it is evident that whenever people were oppressed, they joined their hands and stood up against the oppressors. But why are people oppressed in India when the Constitution protects us against discrimination? Class 7 Political Science Chapter 9 Notes comprises the different forms of inequality, and how the marginalised class fights together to demand equality, with special reference to the incident of Tawa Matsya Sangh, and explains the Constitution as a living document.

These notes are written in crisp and lucid language so that the students can easily understand them. Students can go through these notes before exams to grasp all the major points of the chapter.

Struggles For Equality Class 7 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 9 Notes

Access Class 7 Social Science Chapter 9 Struggles For Equality Notes

NCERT Class 7 Civics Chapter 9 Notes – Struggles For Equality Notes

  • Financial Inequality
    • One of the major reasons for the prevailing inequality in society is the unequal distribution of wealth.
    • Everyone in society enjoys equal voting rights, but that does not mean that all of them enjoy the same facilities.
    • Rich people always get better healthcare, study at the best universities in the country, and grow their businesses with the help of expensive advertisements.
    • As we have read in the story of Kanta previously, she enjoys equal suffrage as her employer. But she cannot take her child to a private hospital for better medical care. She has no other option but to depend on government hospitals for treatment. Kanta and countless people like her do not get proper medical care. Neither can they afford to live in prime locations nor can they afford to send their children to reputed schools. Despite enjoying equal rights to vote, financial status creates a barrier between the rich and the poor.
    • Poor students, despite their merit, frequently drop out and settle for mid-level or, in the worst-case scenario, low-wage jobs. Children from well-off families do not have to worry about money and receive a better education, allowing them to access a wider pool of opportunities in the job market later in life that poor students do not have. So, merit alone does not decide a student’s destiny but his/her financial strength also plays a major role.
    • A poor juice seller cannot reach many people at once because he does not have enough money to advertise his product. Neither can he employ workers in his business, nor can he afford modern technology. As a result, he cannot compete with the big businessmen who use financial power to establish their own brands. Despite working hard, he manages his business within a limited scope. 
  • Gender-based Inequality
    • Gender-based inequality is a disease that jeopardises not only the poor but also the rich. It does not matter whether they belong to a poor family or a rich family. Female workers are always paid less than their male counterparts. Bollywood is a classic example of where such discrimination takes place. Female actors are paid less than male actors. This wage gap is visible in other professions also. Female workers are paid less than their male counterparts in offices though they perform the same amount of work.
    • The victimisation of women in the professional sphere does not end there. Some jobs are normally considered male-oriented, though there is no logic behind such an assumption. Most of the time, jobs like bus driver, mason, etc., are reserved for males.
  • Caste and Religion based Inequality
    • Caste and religious prejudices are other significant reasons why people are treated unequally in society.
    • The Ansaris have enough money to pay the rent. Still, they could not find an apartment for over a month because they belonged to a different religious community than the rest of the apartment owners.
    • Similarly, Omprakash Valmiki was not allowed to sit in front of his class because he did not belong to an upper caste. He had to sweep the schoolyard while his batchmates watched him. He had to face humiliation every day because he was a Dalit.
  • When all the factors merge together
    • It is observed that poverty and a lack of respect for certain groups or communities cause discrimination in society. But what if they come together? Think what would happen to the Ansaris if they were poor. They had to face two levels of discrimination. They would be discriminated against because of their religion as well as their lower social status.
    • Even to this date, the Dalits perform the role of manual scavenging in urban areas. They are the ones who clean the liquid wastes in drains. They are employed for such risky tasks and they are discriminated against for doing that.
    • Think what would happen to a Dalit girl if she also belonged to a poor family. She had to face threefold discrimination because of her caste, class, and sex. Adivasi, Dalit, and Muslim girls often drop out of school for this reason.
    • It is difficult to identify where one aspect of inequality ends and another begins when different types of inequality accumulate against certain sections of society in such a powerful way.

Struggles For Equality

  • As we have seen in the stories above, the rights of the marginalised people are hardly cared for. They have to fight for their rights. So, in every place and community, there are people who always stood up to question the authority of the oppressed class. Either someone fought alone or people resisted the oppressors collectively. These people are well-respected for their indomitable spirit and their kindness to others.
  • Rashsundari Devi, Ramabai, and Begum Rokeya all fought for women’s education in India. Rashsundari Devi wrote a book titled Amar Jiban, which is considered the first autobiography is written by an Indian woman. Ramabai had such mastery over Sanskrit that she is called “Pandita”. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain dreamt of a Ladyland where all the pilots were women. All of them are leading figures of the women’s movement in India and advocated for women’s education when educated women were considered unlucky in society.
  • Viji Penkuttoo is another woman activist in modern India. She fought for the rights of women workers in the textile industry. When the trade unions did not care for her demands she formed a trade union for women. She went to the extent of organising campaigns and forcing the government to pass laws to protect women from being subjected to abuse in factories.

Tawa Matsya Sangh

  • The establishment of Tawa Matsya Sangh is another instance of the collective struggle for the demand for equal rights.
  • The river Tawa was a source of livelihood for the local people. In 1958, the government decided to build a dam around the river in the Chhindwara district, Madhya Pradesh. All the villagers and forest dwellers were displaced as the land was submerged after the dam became functional.
  • The villagers contented themselves by catching fish in the nearby reservoir. But the situation started to change when the private contractors drove the local people away and prohibited fishing in the reservoir. The government took the side of the contractors and restricted the movement of the people in the village near the fishing area.
  • The people thus lost their lands as well as the means of their livelihood. So, they started a movement against the contractors and the government. It was during this time that they formed a cooperative to unite the local people and to protest. This organisation was known as Tawa Matsya Sangh.
  • Finally, in 1996, the Madhya Pradesh government decided to give the aggrieved people the fishing rights for the reservoir. A five-year lease agreement was also signed, which became effective the next year in January.
  • The cooperative did not dissolve after their demand was fulfilled. Rather, the organisation became strong and shouldered the responsibility of ensuring that the fishermen got a fair price in the market. Later, the organisation started granting loans to the fishermen to repair and buy new fishing equipment. It also managed and preserved the fish well in the reservoir. The cooperative showed that the villagers can also be skilful managers when the means of livelihood are secured.

The Indian Constitution As A Living Document

  • The Constitution of India recognises the equality of all people. It ensures that everyone is equal before the law. Every citizen must get fair treatment irrespective of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. This is the core idea of Indian democracy.
  • So, whenever any social movement takes place, the oppressed people referred to the Constitution to strengthen their demand for their fundamental rights. The basis of all the movements we have read about so far is to demand the recognition that all people are equal which is the central idea of every democracy.
  • It is unfortunate that even after the Independence, some people in India still do not enjoy freedom. They have to fight for their rights. But the stories and accounts proved that nobody is going to give them rights if they do not fight back. The Constitution of India protects these people from injustice and puts forward their demands before the authority. That is why the Constitution is considered a “living document” that has real meaning in the lives of the people.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the reasons for inequality?

There are multiple reasons for inequality. Poverty, lack of resources, prejudice against any minority, and religious diversity are the main reasons why people face discrimination.

2. What is poverty?

Poverty refers to a state or condition in which people fail to secure the financial resources required for basic their needs..

3. What do you mean by the expression "power of the ballot box"?

The expression “power of the ballot box” means that all the people in India have equal voting rights. All citizens enjoy equal rights to elect a representative of their own in the government machinery.

4. What is discrimination?

Discrimination is the act of segregating and treating some people in an unfair manner because of their cultural, communal, racial, or sexual differences. Discrimination is the beginning of the marginalisation of certain people or communities.

5. When was the Tawa dam built?

The construction of the Tawa dam started in 1958 and was completed in 1978.

6. Where was the dam built?

The dam was built in the Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh.

7. Why was Tawa Matsya Sangh formed?

The Tawa Matsya Sangh is a cooperative of poor fishermen and villagers who organised a joint front against private contractors and the government to get their fishing rights back. When a dam around the river Tawa became functional, the entire village was submerged in the water. The people lost their lands. Still, they did not protest and earned their livelihood by catching fish there. But the contractor snatched their livelihood rights by prohibiting them from fishing there with the help of the local authorities. So, the marginalised people joined hands and started a mass protest to get their fishing rights back. Tawa Matsya Sangh was then formed to unite people. Later, the organisation assumed responsibility for assisting the villagers in obtaining a fair price for fish in the market.

8. In which year did the fishermen get their right to fish in the reservoir?

In 1996, the Madhya Pradesh government granted the fishermen’s right to fish in the reservoir and signed an agreement for a lease. This agreement came into effect on the second day of January the following year.

9. Why is the Indian Constitution regarded as a "living document"?

Inequality resulting from poverty, lack of respect for others’ religion and caste, and stereotypical ideas against women have jeopardised Indian society for ages. Even after the Independence, the oppressed class was unable to fully enjoy freedom. So, they organised movements to demand their rights to equality and justice. The people referred to the Constitution to organise these movements and voice their protests. That is why our Constitution is considered a “living document”, something that has real value in our lives.