NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste

NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Political Science Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste

Chapter 4 Gender, Religion and Caste NCERT Notes

Chapter Name

Gender, Religion and Caste Notes


CBSE Class 10

Textbook Name

Democratic Politics- II Class 10

Related Readings

  • Notes for Class 10
  • Notes for Class 10 Political Science
  • NCERT Solutions for Gender, Religion and Caste 


We were having read about how social diversity does not threaten democracy, but politicians’ social differences may be possible in a democracy. So in this chapter, we will learn about three kinds of differences that happen in social divisions and inequalities, which are based on Gender, Religion, and Caste. Furthermore, we will also see the nature of this division in India and how it is expressed in politics in each case to know whether it is healthy for our democracy or otherwise.

Gender and Politics

Case of Gender Division

  • Gender division is a form of hierarchical social division that is rarely seen in politics. It tends to be seen as natural and unchangeable, which is based on stereotypes and social expectations.

Case of Public/Private division

  • In most families, it is said that primary responsibilities are different between men and women as men tend to work outside and women are told to do household work. This kind of division reflects the sexual division of labor.
  • Women do all kinds of work at home, and men tend to do outside as men think the household work is for Women.
  • If these kinds of work are paid outside, men are ready to work. In urban cities, most women tend to do some paid work, but their work is not recognized and valued.
  • Women constitute half of their human’s role in public life, which causes division in labor compared to their minimal role in politics.

What is the feminist movement?

Earlier, only men were allowed to vote and participate in public affairs, which raised the gender issue in politics as women gradually agitated for their equal rights in different countries.

Women agitated for their equal rights from political to legal status for improving their career and educational opportunities. As more radical women supported the campaigns and movements, which led to the feminism movement.

The rise of political expression for Gender division and political mobilization helped and improved women’s role in public roles as earlier it was not considerate for Women.

For example, women’s participation in public life is high in Scandinavian countries than in India’s. Women are still behind men even though improvement since independence as our country is dominated by the patriarchal society. Our women face various discrimination and oppression in many ways.

Discrimination against women in a different way

  • The literacy rate is lower for women than men as a small proportion of girls go to high school, and they perform better than boys still drop out due to parents’ preference for boys’ education rather than girls.
  • The average woman works double the shift, yet her highly paid and valuable work is less than men.
  • The Equal Remuneration Act 1976 has been said to provide equal pay to both Gender in almost all types of work from business, sports, fields, cinema, but women are still not paid enough compared to men when they both do the same work.
  • Parents still prefer to have sons and find a way to abort girl children in many parts of India due to wish the sex ratio is declined for girl child As the map shows the ratio has fallen below 800 in some countries.
  • Women are not safe even in their home, whether it is a village or urban area, as they are victims of domestic violence, harassment, and exploitation.

Women’s Political Representation

  • With all of the issues, women’s struggle has been shown to the world, which led to many movements for Women’s well being still, their problems do not get much attention. So in order to make the world hear about it, women are elected as representatives.
  • Compared to other countries, India still has low numbers of legislature. For the first time, the Lok Sabha members percentage raised to 14.36% in 2019.
  • Nevertheless, this share is less than state assemblies in India.
  • Among all the other countries, India lacks behind the developing countries of Africa and Latin America.
  • Mostly all are male-dominated in a government when a woman becomes a chief minister or prime minister.
  • One way to solve this problem is to bind the fair proportion of women in elected bodies legally.

What has Panchayati Raj done in India?

The Panchayati Raj has reserved one-third of the seats of local government for Women in India. Now more than 10 lakh representatives are elected in urban and rural bodies.

Due to this, women’s activists and organizations are demanding similar reservations in state Assemblies for women. A bill proposed to this law has been pending for over a decade, and no political parties are still looking after it.

This is why Gender division is an example form of social division to be expressed in politics. It also shows how disadvantaged groups benefited from this issue when it became a political issue.

Religion, Communalism, Politics

Case of Religion

  • Here we learn about the religious side of social division as it is widely spread globally. As many countries have populations of different religious races, even one of the Northern Ireland people belongs to the same religion but has differences in their practice.
  • Unlike Gender division, Religion differences are expressed in the field of politics.

Consider the following practices in Politics

  • Gandhiji never separated religion from politics. He meant that any religion particularly has more values and ethics to inform all the religions, which is why he believed politics should be guided from religion.
  • Human rights have demanded the government about the safety of minority religions as they are the victims of most of the communal riots in our country.
  • Women’s movements have demanded the government to change family laws for Women to make them equitable.
  • All these practices involve the relationship between religion and politics.
  • As people should express their needs and demands in politics as ideas, values can perhaps play an important role in politics.
  • Those who hold political power should regulate laws and prevent discrimination.
  • These political acts are not wrong as long they treat every religion equally.

Case of Communalism

What is Communalism?

  • We have learned in chapter 3 how northern Ireland’s approach to nationalism has caused danger as the religion is expressed in partisan and exclusive terms in politics.
  • This happens when one religion’s belief clashes with another over their superiority and demand, which leads to a formation of opposition when state power is used to establish the domination of one religion over the rest.
  • Communal politics is based on the idea of one’s religious, social community.

Involvement of the following in Communalism

  • The followers of a particular religion must follow one community.
  • Their fundamentals should be the same, and any differences that arise can cause travail in the community.
  • People who follow different religions cannot belong to the same social community.
  • If a follower of a different religion has some ordinary thing, then it is termed as irrational, and their interests are bound to be different, which can involve conflict.
  • This extreme form of Communalism leads to the belief that people belonging to different religions cannot live as equal communities within a nation, which leads to dominating the rest.
  • This belief is fundamentally flawed as people of one religion do not share the same interests and aspirations as everyone has several roles, positions and the voices need to be heard within the community as every voice has a right to be heard.
  • If any attempt to bring all religious followers together for a context other than religion might suppress their voice within the community.

Various form of Communalism in Politics

  • The most common expression of Communalism is that we often overlook the routine involvement of religious prejudice, stereotypes in believing one’s religious superiority over the other religion.
  • If belonging to a majority community, a quest starts for one’s religious community’s political dominance to form a Majoritarian. While for the minority the Communalism desire to form a separate political unit.
  • Another frequent form of Communalism is political mobilization on religion. It involves using sacred symbols and leaders to make an emotional appeal to bring one’s religion’s followers to come together.
  • Sometimes Communalism takes form in ugly riots, and massacres such as India and Pakistan suffered during partition for independence.
  • The post-independence also have seen a tremendous communal massacre.

Case of Secular State

So we have read about the constitution provinces select the secular system in many countries last year. Communalism continues to be a significant challenge for democracy in our country. So that is why our constitution chose the model of a secular state.

  • Unlike Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Islam in Pakistan, and Christianity in England, our constitution does not give special status to any religion.
  • The constitution allows to propagate, practice any religion to all the communities freedom.
  • The constitution prohibits any discrimination of religion on any ground.
  • In matters of religion, the constitution allows the state to intervene to ensure equalities between communities.
  • Secularism is an idea that constitutes the foundation of the country.
  • Communalism should not be a threat to India as it needs to combat as we encounter communal prejudices, propaganda in everyday life, and religious mobilization needs to be countered in politics.

Case of Caste and Politics

So as we have seen, the two types of social division in politics are positive feedback, and the other leads to negative feedback. Here we learn about the last case, Caste, and politics, as both have positive and negative aspects.

Caste Inequalities

Unlike Gender and religion, Caste division is remarkable in India as all the societies have some social inequality and some form of labor.

As the caste system is based on the generations formed to pass from one to another, it is an extreme form. This system is different from other societies as a ritual form. They are hereditary occupational.

Members of the same Caste should form a community, work together, get married within the Caste, and not mingle or eat with any other Caste group.

The caste system was based on discrimination against outcast groups as they were subject to the barbaric practice of untouchability. This is why reformers like Gandhiji, Jyotiba Phule, B.R.Ambedkar, Periyar Ramaswami, Naicker advocated and worked to establish a socket is no Caste discrimination.

India has undergone social-economic changes; the Caste system has undergone significant changes due to these reformers’ partly effort.

The old notions of Caste hierarchy are breaking down due to occupational mobility, urbanization, literacy growth, and education. As mostly in urban areas, it does not matter whom you are walking alongside.

India’s constitution has prohibited Caste-based discrimination and laid foundations or policies to reverse the injustice in the Caste system.

Still, caste is the main glitch found in contemporary India. Some old still follow Caste’s aspects, and untouchability has not ended as most people marry within the tribe. As the effects of advantages and disadvantages can be felt even today.

Some of the Caste system under the old system are doing well in education while those who did not acquire are lagging, which is why the discrimination between urban as the upper Caste and village people as Lower Caste still follows, which can be closely linked to economic status.

Caste in Politics

In the case of Communalism above the same, it follows casteism as there is a belief that it is the sole of the social community that leads people to follow and be communicative within the Caste group rather than the other Caste.

Caste is an essential aspect as it is borne out of the experience, not like Communalism, which is not borne out of the experience.

Various form of Caste in Politics

  • To win an election, the party selects the person based on their Caste composition to help them win elections. However, after the government is formed, the parties take care of the Caste and representatives within it.
  • Political parties favor some Caste to appeal their vote to their party.
  • With universal franchise and the principle of one to one vote, it formed consciousness among the caste as the party is getting up for their support, which heathered them to feel inferior.
  • The main point of politics gives the impression that elections are all about Caste, which is genuine.

Consider the facts

  • No parliamentary constituency in the country knows the majority of every single Caste, which is why every party and candidate has to win one or more Caste’s confidence.
  • No party ever win from one caste.
  • Many political parties may put up a candidate from the same Caste or wale they do not understand Caste from the same community.
  • A ruling party and sitting MP or MLA often lose if they could not have frozen all the caste and communities in their party preference.
  • Caste matters in electoral politics as other factors.
  • People within the same caste have different preferences over the one-party, so whether a poor or rich people, they often vote differently.
  • People’s assessment of the government and the popularity of a leader decides the elections.

Politics in Caste

We have learned so far in this chapter that how Caste does to politics. However, it is not a one-way relationship as politics to influence the caste system and their identities, bringing them to the political arena.

Thus, Caste gets politized, not politics, by Caste, which takes form in many ways.

  • Each Caste group tries to dominate over the sub-caste by either incorporating it or neighboring caste, which was excluded before.
  • Various Caste groups enter a coalition with other communities, thus enter into negotiation.
  • Many new groups are formed over backward and forward Caste groups.

Thus Caste plays different roles in politics where it gives expression on Caste differences, which gives many disadvantages to demand their share of power.

Several political and non-political organizations are demanding to end this discrimination, which will give rise to more access to education and land opportunities and resources.

At the same time, it produces negative feedback on a particular Caste group. In a democracy, it is not healthy based on Caste, Religion, and politics. It will result in communal violence, and it will divert the attention from the main issues such as development, poverty, and corruption.

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