Confronting marginalisation sample paper

Q1. When is the term ‘Dalit’ used?


The term Dalit is used to deliberately and actively highlight the centuries of discrimination Dalits have experienced within the caste system.

Q2. State the levels of crime mentioned in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act.


The levels of crimes mentioned in the Act are

  1. Modes of humiliation
  2. Actions that dispossess Dalits and Adivasis
  3. Crimes against Dalit and tribal women

Q3. What is reservation policy?


Reservation policy is a law which reserves seats in education and government employment for Dalits and Adivasis.

Q4. Why was the ‘The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act’ framed?


The Act was framed in 1989 in response to demands made by Dalits and other tribal groups. According to this Act, the government must take serious consideration for the ill treatment and humiliation which Dalits and tribal groups face in an everyday sense.

Q5. How does the Constitution of India promote social justice to tribal people or Dalits?


The Constitution of India promotes social justice to tribal people or Dalits in the following manner:

  • Both state and central governments create specific schemes for implementation in tribal areas or in areas that have a high Dalit population. Example: Providing free or subsidised hostels for students of Dalit and Adivasis.
  • The government also provides certain facilities that include operating through laws to ensure that concrete steps are taken to end inequity in the system.

Q6. State the various ways used to stop discrimination and inequality.


The various ways are

  • Religious solace
  • Armed struggle
  • Self-improvement and education
  • Economic uplift

Q7. What do you understand by manual scavenging? Who does the work of manual scavenging?


Manual scavenging refers to the practice of removing human and animal waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from dry latrines and carrying it on the head to disposal grounds some distance away. A manual scavenger is the person who does the job of carrying this filth. This job is mainly done by Dalit women and young girls.

Q8. What is the basis of the laws which reserve seats in education and government employment for Dalits and Adivasis?


The laws which reserve seats in education and government employment for Dalits and Adivasis are based on an important argument that a democratic government needs to step in and assist those sections of the population which have been denied opportunities to learn and to work in order to develop new skills or vocations.

Q9. In what conditions can Dalits invoke or draw on a Fundamental Right?


Dalits can invoke or draw on a Fundamental Right in situations where they feel that they have been treated badly by some individual or community, or even by the government.

Q10. Define ‘policy’.


A policy can be defined as a stated course of action that provides direction for the future, sets goals to be achieved or lays out principles or guidelines to be followed and acted upon.

Q11. What is Forest Rights Act? Explain the details of the Act


The following image is related to the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

The Act

  • Is meant to undo the historical injustices meted out to forest dwelling populations in not recognising their rights to land and resources.
  • Recognises their right to homestead, cultivable and grazing land and to non-timber forest produce.
  • Points out that the rights of forest dwellers include conservation of forests and bio-diversity.

Q12. What does Article 17 of the Constitution state?


Article 17 of the Constitution states that untouchability has been abolished. This means that no one can henceforth prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities etc.

Q13. How does the Constitution try to ensure cultural justice to minority groups?


The Constitution, in the case of cultural and educational rights, has provided rights to distinct cultural and religious groups such as Muslims and Parsis to be the guardians of the content of their culture. They have been given the right to make decisions on how best their religious or cultural content is to be preserved. Thus, by granting different forms of cultural rights, the Constitution tries to ensure cultural justice to such groups.

Q14. What does Article 15 of the Constitution state?


Article 15 of the Constitution states that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. This article has been used by Dalits to seek equality where it has been denied to them.

Q15. What was the effect after Rathnam filed a case in the police station?


Rathnam filed a case in the police station under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

  • Other Dalit families did not come out to support him as they were scared that a similar fate might be in store for them if they spoke out. 
  • The case was picked up by the local media which had led to many journalists visiting the village.
  • Rathnam was written about as a symbol of Dalit action.
  • The ritual was called off, but his family was forced to move out as they continued to be ostracised by the powerful castes in the village.

Q16. How does Kabir explain what untouchability means?


Kabir takes the word untouchable and gives it a very different meaning. He claims that untouchability is the highest state of knowledge—it means not to be touched by narrow limiting ideas. Therefore, Kabir finally turns the idea of untouchability on its head, from the lowest to the highest state that a human being can achieve.

Q17. What are the drawbacks of working conditions of manual scavengers?


Manual scavengers are exposed to sub-human conditions of work and face serious health hazards. They are constantly exposed to infections that affect their eyes, skin, respiratory and gastro-intestinal systems. They get very low wages for the work they perform.

Q18. How does the reservation policy work?


The reservation policy works in the following manner:

  • Governments across India have their own list of Scheduled Castes or Dalits, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes.
  • The central government also has its list.
  • Students who are applying to educational institutions and for posts in the government are expected to furnish proof of their caste or tribe status in the form of caste and tribe certificates.
  • Many government and educational institutions also ask candidates to mention their caste/tribe status.
  • If a particular Dalit caste or a certain tribe is on the government list, then a candidate from that caste or tribe can avail of the benefit of reservation.

Q19. What ideals did Kabir express through his poems?


Kabir’s poetry spoke about

  • His love for the Supreme One, being free of ritual and priests.
  • It expressed his sharp and pointed criticism of those he saw as powerful.
  • He attacked those who attempted to define individuals on the basis of their religious and caste identities.
  • It also brought out the powerful idea of the equality of all human beings and their labour.
  • It spoke about valuing the work of the ordinary potter, the weaver and the woman carrying the water pot.

Q20. How have the marginalised drawn on the rights?


The marginalised have drawn on the rights in the following manner:

  • By insisting on their Fundamental Rights, they have forced the government to recognise the injustice done to them.
  • They have insisted that the government enforce these laws.