NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 5 RIGHTS


NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 5 RIGHTS, (Political Science) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of the state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students to prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.

Sometimes, students get stuck with the exercises and are not able to clear up all of the questions.  To assist students, solve all of the questions, and maintain their studies without a doubt, we have provided step-by-step NCERT Notes for the students for all classes. These answers will similarly help students in scoring better marks with the assistance of properly illustrated Notes as a way to similarly assist the students and answering the questions right.

NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 5 RIGHTS




  • Rights are essential to lead a better life. They are necessary for our well-being.
  • It is aimed at the welfare of individuals and society.
  • Rights help to improve a person’s talent.
  • Rights are claimed that are recognized and if necessary enforced by the state.


  • A right is essentially an entitlement or a justified claim. I denote what we are entitled to as citizens, as individuals, and as human beings.
  • There is a distinction between what I want and think I am entitled to, and what can be designated as rights.
  • In fact, one of the grounds on which rights have been claimed is that they represent conditions that we collectively see as a source of self-respect and dignity.
  • For example, the right to livelihood may be considered necessary for leading a life of dignity.
  • Rights such as the right right to livelihood, or freedom of expression, would be important for all human beings who live in society and they are described as universal in nature.
  • Another ground on which rights have been claimed is that they are necessary for our well-being. They help individuals to develop their talents and skills.


  • In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, political theorists argued that rights are given us to by nature or God. The rights of man men were derived from natural law. This meant that rights were not conferred by a ruler or a society, rather we are born with them.


  • As such these rights are inalienable and no one can take these away from us. They identified three natural rights of man: the right to life, liberty, and property. All other rights were said to be derived from these basic rights.

  •  No state or organization should take away what has been given by the law of nature.

  • In recent years, the term human rights is being used more than the term natural rights. This is because the idea of there being a natural law, or a set of norms that are laid down for us by nature, or God, appears unacceptable today.

  • Rights are increasingly seen as guarantees that human beings themselves seek or arrive at in order to lead a minimally good life.

  • We must have equal opportunities to be free and realize our full potential.

  • The conception of a free and equal self is increasingly being used used to challenge existing inequalities based on race, caste, religion, and gender.

  • The notion of universal human rights has been used by oppressed people all over the world to challenge laws that segregate them and deny them equal opportunities and rights.
  • The list of human rights which people have claimed has expanded over the years as societies face new threats and challenges. For instance, we are very conscious today of the need to protect the natural environment and this has generated demands for rights to clean air, water, sustainable development, and the like.


Legal Right

  • The state enforces the law which is accepted by society is called legal rights, we can classify legal rights into three:
  • E.g. Civil rights, political rights, economic rights
  • A Bill of Rights is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries.
  • In our country, we call them fundamental rights. The rights mentioned in the constitution would be those which are considered to be of basic importance.
  • The rights mentioned in the Constitution would be those which are considered to be of basic importance. In some cases, these may be supplemented by claims which gain importance because of the particular history and customs of a country.
  • In India, for instance, we have a provision to ban untouchability which draws attention to traditional social practices in the country.
  • The legal and constitutional recognition of our claims that several theorists define rights as claims that are recognized by the state.
  • Rights have steadily been expanded and reinterpreted to include previously excluded groups and to reflect our contemporary understanding of what it means to lead a life of dignity and respect.
  • Rights place an obligation upon the state to act in certain kinds of ways. Each right indicates what the state must do as well as what it must not do.
  • Rights not only indicate what the state must do, but they also suggest what the state must refrain from doing.

  • Our rights ensure that the authority of the state is exercised without violating the sanctity of individual life and liberty.



Political Right

  • Political rights give to citizens the right to equality before the law and the right to participate the in the political process.
  • They include such rights as the right to vote and elect representatives, the right to contest elections, and the right to form political parties or join them.
  • Political rights are supplemented by civil liberties.
  • The latter refers to the right to a free and fair trial, the right to express one’s views freely, and the right to protest and express dissent.
  • Collectively, civil liberties and political rights form the basis of a democratic system of government
  • Political rights contribute to it by making the government accountable to the people, by giving greater importance to the concern of the individual over that of the rulers, and by ensuring that all persons have an opportunity to influence the decisions of the government.

Economic Right

  • The right that is enjoyed by a citizen by consuming his livelihood.
  • E.g. Right to work, equal wages for equal work, and the abolition of poverty and unemployment.
  • However, our rights of political participation can only be exercised fully when our basic needs, of food, shelter, clothing, and health, are met
  • Democratic societies are beginning to recognize these obligations and provide economic rights.
  • In some countries, citizens, particularly those with low incomes, receive housing and medical facilities from the state; in others, unemployed persons receive a certain minimum wage so that they can meet their basic needs.
  • In India, the government has recently introduced a rural employment guarantee scheme, among other measures to help the poor.

Cultural Right

  • In addition to political and economic rights more and more democracies are recognizing the cultural claims of their citizens.
  • The right to have primary education in one’s mother tongue, the right are today recognized as being necessary for leading a good life.
  • The list of rights has thus steadily increased in democracies.
  • Some rights, primarily the right to life, liberty, equal treatment, and the right to political participation are seen as basic rights that must receive priority, and other conditions that are necessary for leading a decent life, are recognized as justified claims or rights. 

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Every citizen should be bothered by their responsibilities.
  • Rights not only place obligations upon the state to act in a certain way, for instance, to ensure sustainable development – but they also place obligations upon each of us.
  • Firstly, they compel us to think not just of our own personal needs and interests but to defend some things as being good for all of us.
  • They represent the ‘common good’ that we must act to protect for ourselves as well as for the future generations who are entitled to inherit a safe and clean world without which they cannot lead a reasonably good life.


  • Secondly, they require that I respect the rights of others. If I say that I must be given the right to express my views I must also grant the same right to others.

  • In exercising my rights, I cannot deprive others of their rights. My rights are, in other words, limited by the principle of equal and same rights for all.

  • Thirdly, we must balance our rights when they come into conflict. For instance, my right to freedom of expression allows me to take pictures; however, if I take pictures of a person bathing in his house without his consent and post them on the internet, that would be a violation of his right to privacy.

  • Fourthly, citizens must be vigilant about limitations that may be placed on their rights.

  • A currently debated topic concerns the increased restrictions which many governments are imposing on the civil liberties of citizens on the grounds of national security.

  • Protecting national security may be defended as necessary for safeguarding the rights and well-being of citizens.

  • Arrested persons should be allowed legal counsel and the opportunity to present their case before a magistrate or a court of law.

  • Even though rights can never be absolute, we need to be vigilant in protecting our rights and those of others for they form the basis of a democratic society.

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