Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 6 CITIZENSHIP
NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 6 CITIZENSHIP, (Political Science) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.
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NCERT Notes for Class 11 POLITICAL THEORY Chapter 6 CITIZENSHIP
- Citizenship has been defined as full and equal membership of a political community.
- In the contemporary world, states provide a collective political identity to their members as well as certain rights. Therefore we think of ourselves as Indians, Japanese, or Germans, depending on the state to which we belong.
- Citizens expect certain rights from their state as well as help and protection wherever they may travel.
- The precise nature of the rights granted to citizens vary from state to state but in most democratic countries today they would include some political rights like the right to vote, civil rights like the freedom of speech or belief, and some socio-economic rights which could include the right to a minimum wage, or the right to education.
- Equality of rights and status is one of the basic rights of citizenship.
- Each of the rights now enjoyed by citizens has been won after a struggle.
- Some of the earliest struggles were fought by people to assert their independence and rights against powerful monarchies.
- Many European countries experienced such struggles, some of them violent, like the French Revolution in 1789.
- In the colonies of Asia and Africa, demands for equal citizenship formed part of their struggle for independence from colonial rulers.
- In South Africa, the black African population had to undertake a long struggle against the ruling white minority for equal citizenship.
- You may have read about the women’s movement and the Dalit movement in our country. Their purpose is to change public opinion by drawing attention to their needs as well as to influence government policy to ensure their equal rights and opportunities.
- However, citizenship is about more than the relationship between states and their members. It is also about citizen-citizen relations and involves certain obligations of citizens to each other and to society.
FULL AND EQUAL MEMBERSHIP
- One of the rights granted to citizens in our country, and in many others, is freedom of movement.
- This right is of particular importance for workers. Labour tends to migrate in search of jobs when opportunities are not available near their homes.
- Some people may even travel outside the country in search of jobs.
- Markets for skilled and unskilled workers have developed in different parts of our country. For instance, I.T. workers may flock to towns like Bangalore. Nurses from Kerala may be found all over the country.
- However, often resistance builds up among the local people against so many jobs going to people from outside the area, sometimes at lower wages.
- A demand may develop to restrict certain jobs to those who belong to the state, or those who know the local language.
- Resistance could even take the form of organised violence against ‘outsiders’. Almost every region of India has experienced such movements.
- Another factor that we need to consider is that there may sometimes be a difference between our response to poor migrants and to skilled migrants. We may not always be as welcoming to
poor migrants who move into our areas as we may be to skilled and affluent workers.
- This raises the question of whether poor and unskilled workers should have the same right to live and work anywhere in the country as do skilled workers?
- These are some of the issues which are being debated in our country today regarding ‘full and equal membership’ for all citizens of the country.
- However, disputes may sometimes arise even in democratic societies.
- The right to protest is an aspect of the freedom of expression guaranteed to citizens in our Constitution, provided protest does not harm the life or property of other people or the State.
- Citizens are free to try and influence public opinion and government policy by forming groups, holding demonstrations, using the media, appealing to political parties, or by approaching the courts.
- The courts may give a decision on the matter, or they may urge the government to address the issue.
- If the guiding principle of providing full and equal membership to all citizens is kept in mind, it should be possible to arrive at an acceptable solution to the problems that may arise
from time to time in a society.
- A basic principle of democracy is that such disputes should be settled by negotiation and discussion rather than force.
- There is a large population of slum-dwellers and squatters in every city in India. Although they may do necessary and useful work, often at low wages, they are often viewed as unwelcome visitors by the rest of the town population.
- They may be blamed for straining the resources of the city or for spreading crime and disease.
The conditions in slums are often shocking.
- Many people may be crammed into small rooms with no private toilets, running water,
or sanitation. Life and property are insecure in a slum. However slum dwellers make a significant contribution to the economy through their labour.
- They may be hawkers, petty traders, scavengers, or domestic workers, plumbers, or mechanics, among other professions.
- The city still probably spends relatively little on providing slum-dwellers with services such as
sanitation or water supply.
- Awareness about the condition of the urban poor is growing among governments, N.G.O’s and other agencies, and among the slum-dwellers themselves.
- For instance, a national policy on urban street vendors was framed in January 2004. The policy was intended to provide recognition and regulation for vendors to enable them to carry on
their profession without harassment so long as they obeyed government regulations.
- Slum-dwellers also are becoming aware of their rights and are beginning to organise to demand them.
- Among other groups of people who are becoming marginalized in our society are the tribal people and forest dwellers.
- These people are dependent on access to forests and other natural resources to maintain their way of life.
- Many of them face threats to their way of life and livelihood because of the pressure of increasing populations and the search for land and resources to maintain them.
- Pressures from commercial interests wanting to mine the resources which may exist in forests or coasts pose another threat to the way of life and livelihood of forest dwellers
and tribal peoples, as does the tourist industry.
- Governments are struggling with the problem of how to protect these people and their habitat without at the same time endangering the development of the country. This is an issue that affects all citizens, not just tribal people.
Complex Equal Rights
- To try and ensure equal rights and opportunities for all citizens cannot be a simple matter for any government.
- Different groups of people may have different needs and problems and the rights of one group may conflict with the rights of another.
- Equal rights for citizens need not mean that uniform policy have to be applied to all people since different groups of people may have different needs.
- If the purpose is not just to make policies that would apply in the same way to all people, but to make people more equal, the different needs and claims of people would have to be taken into account when framing policies.
- The formal laws regarding citizenship only form the starting point and the interpretation of laws is constantly evolving.
- The concept of equal citizenship would mean providing equal rights and protection to all citizens should be one of the guiding principles of government policies.
CITIZENSHIP AND NATION
- The concept of the nation-state evolved in the modern period.
- One of the earliest assertions regarding the sovereignty of the nation-state and the democratic rights of citizens was made by the revolutionaries in France in 1789.
- Nation states claim that their boundaries define not just a territory but also a unique culture and shared history.
- The national identity may be expressed through symbols like a flag, national anthem, national language, or certain ceremonial practices, among other things.
- Most modern states include people of different religions, languages, and cultural traditions. But the national identity of a democratic state is supposed to provide citizens with a political identity that can be shared by all the members of the state.
- Democratic states usually try to define their identity so that it is as inclusive as possible — that is, which allows all citizens to identify themselves as part of the nation. But in practice, most countries tend to define their identity in a way that makes it easier for some citizens to identify with the state than others.
- France, for instance, is a country that claims to be both secular and inclusive. It includes not only people of European origin but also citizens who originally came from other areas such as North Africa.
- Culture and language are important features of its national identity and all citizens are expected to assimilate into it in the public aspects of their lives.
- They may, however, retain their personal beliefs and practices in their private lives.
- This may seem like a reasonable policy but it is not always simple to define what is public
and what is private and this has given rise to some controversies.
- Religious belief is supposed to belong to the private sphere of citizens but sometimes religious symbols and practices may enter into their public lives.
- The criteria for granting citizenship to new applicants varies from country to country. In countries such as Israel or Germany, factors like religion, or ethnic origin, may be given priority when granting citizenship.
- India defines itself as a secular, democratic, nation-state. The movement for independence was a broad-based one and deliberate attempts were made to bind together people of different religions, regions, and cultures.
- The Indian Constitution attempted to accommodate a very diverse society.
- To mention just a few of these diversities, our Constitution attempted to provide full and equal citizenship to groups as different as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, many women who had not previously enjoyed equal rights, and many others.
- It also attempted to find a place for the different languages, religions and practices found in different parts of the country.
- It was therefore a unique experiment that was undertaken through the Constitution.
- The Republic Day parade in Delhi symbolizes the attempt of the state to include people of different regions, cultures, and religions.
- The provisions about citizenship in the Constitution can be found in Part Two and in subsequent laws passed by Parliament.
- In India, citizenship can be acquired by birth, descent, registration, naturalization, or inclusion of territory.
- The rights and obligations of citizens are listed in the Constitution. There is also a provision that the state should not discriminate against citizens on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.
- The rights of religious and linguistic minorities are also protected.
- However, even such inclusive provisions have given rise to struggles and controversies. Like the women’s movement, the Dalit movement, or struggles of people displaced by development projects, represent only a few of the struggles being waged by people who
feel that they are being denied full rights of citizenship.
- New issues are constantly being raised as societies change and new demands are made by groups who feel they are being marginalized. In a democratic state, these demands have to be negotiated.
- We often assume that full membership of a state should be available to all those who ordinarily live and work in the country as well as to those who apply for citizenship.
- Although many states may support the idea of universal and inclusive citizenship, each of them also fixes criteria for the grant of citizenship.
- These would generally, be written into the Constitution and laws of the country. States use their power to keep unwanted visitors out.
- However, in spite of restrictions, even the building of walls or fences, considerable migration of people still takes place in the world.
- People may be displaced by wars, persecution, famine, or other reasons. If no state is willing to accept them and they cannot return home, they become stateless people or refugees. They may be forced to live in camps or as illegal migrants.
- Often they cannot legally work, educate their children, or acquire property.
- The problem is so great that the U.N. has appointed a High Commissioner for Refugees to try to help them.
- Many countries have a policy of accepting that fleeing persecution or war. But they may not want to accept an unmanageable number of people or expose the country to security risks.
- India prides itself on providing refuge to persecuted peoples, as it did with the Dalai Lama and his followers in 1959.
- Many of these people remain stateless people for many years or generations, living in camps, or as illegal migrants. Only a relatively few of them are eventually granted citizenship.
- Such problems pose a challenge to the promise of democratic citizenship.
- Although many people cannot achieve citizenship in a state of their choice, no alternative identity exists for them.
- The problem of stateless people is an important one confronting the world today.
- Today we are living in a world, where communication has made a revolution. Now we, have interconnectivity the world over, which is made possible through the internet, TV, Cell phone, and other communications.
- We can watch the live telecasts of disasters and be on our TV sets.
- This has helped me to sympathize and sometimes hated the people who are involved in them.
- A new modes of communication has put us into immediate contact with development in a different parts of the globe.
- Supporters of global citizenship argue that although a world community and global society do not yet exist, people already feel linked to each other across national boundaries. They would say that the outpouring of help from all parts of the world for victims of the Asian tsunami and other major calamities is a sign of the emergence of a global society.
- They feel that we should try to strengthen this feeling and work towards a concept of global citizenship.
- The concept of national citizenship assumes that our state can provide us with the protection and rights which we need to live with dignity in the world today.
- One of the attractions of the notion of global citizenship is that it might make it easier to deal with problems that extend across national boundaries and which therefore need cooperative action by the people and governments of many states.
- Full and equal members of a state remains important for people today.
- The concept of global citizenship reminds us that national citizenship might need to be supplemented by an awareness that we live in an interconnected world and that there is also a need for us to strengthen our links with people in different parts of the world and be ready to work with people and governments across national boundaries.