NCERT Class 8 Political Science Chapter 8: Confronting Marginalisation YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 8 Political Science / Polity / Civics Chapter 8: Confronting Marginalization

Confronting Marginalization

  • Religious solace, armed struggle, self-improvement and education, economic uplift
  • Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, women, and other marginal groups argue that simply by being citizens of a democratic country, they possess equal rights that must be respected
  • Fundamental Rights - Available to all citizens equally
  • Marginalized have drawn the rights
    • Insisting on their Fundamental Rights, they have forced the government to recognize the injustice done to them
    • Insisted that the government enforce these laws
  • Article 17: Untouchability has been abolished - no one can prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities. Untouchability is punishable crime
  • Article 15: No citizen of India shall be discriminated against based on religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth
  • Muslims and Parsis have the right to be guardians of the content of their culture – grant cultural rights


  • Soyrabai, the wife of Bhakti poet Chokhamela (Mahar Caste) from fourteenth century Maharashtra – idea of purity & all human is born in same manner – idea of separation based on caste occurs from within and not naturally
  • Kabir - Ability to reach the highest level of spiritual salvation and deep knowledge within themselves through their own experience
  • Every human body is made of blood and air and has spent nine months in the mother՚s womb. And that everything in the world is created by touching something whether it be a pot, a human being, or a painting
  • Untouchability is highest state of knowledge: it means not be touched by narrow limiting ideas, i.e.. , from the lowest to the highest state that a human being can achieve!

Laws & Policies for Marginalized

  • Set up committee
  • Take a survey
  • Promote policies
  • Promote social justice - free or subsidized hostels for students of Dalit and Adivasi communities so that they can avail of education facilities
  • Steps to end inequity – Reservation Policy – education & employment – opportunity to learn, work and assist others
  • Govt. has list of ST, SC & OBC (creamy layer) – furnish proof of caste/tribe certificate
  • Cut-off marks – not all Dalits will be admitted
Laws & Policies for Marginalized

Protecting the Rights

  • Villagers of Jakmalgur – once in 5 years local deity is offered – Dalits wash feet of priests and bath with same water - from Rathnam՚s family (now literate – says NO!)
  • His community was ordered to ostracise him and his family, and everyone was told that no one should speak or do any work for them or with them
  • Filed case under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
  • Take seriously humiliation and ill treatment Dalits faced
  • Check violence by powerful caste against them – punishment to those who are involved in violence
    • Refused to perform caste duties and insisted on being treated equally
    • Organized themselves
    • Demanded equal rights

Levels of Crime

  • Lists modes of humiliation that are both physically horrific & morally reprehensible – force them to drink or eat inedible things, paint face, or commit act derogatory to dignity
  • Dispossess Dalits of meager resources & force them to perform slave labor – wrongfully occupy or cultivate land owned by ST/SC or gets the land transferred
  • Crimes or assault against Dalit & tribal women to dishonor

Manual Scavenging

  • Practice of removing human & animal waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from dry latrines and carrying it on the head to disposal grounds some distance away
  • Andhra Pradesh-based Safai Karamchari Andolan, organisation working with manual scavengers, there are 13 lakh persons from Dalit communities who continue to be employed in India and who work in the 96-lakh private and community dry latrines managed by municipalities
  • Infections of eye, skin, respiratory system & gastro-intestinal systems
  • Low wages of ₹ 30 - 40 per day
  • Bhangis in Gujarat, Pakhis in Andhra Pradesh & Sikkaliars in Tamil Nadu
  • Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 – prohibit employment of manual scavengers
  • PIL Filed in 2003: Safai Karamchari Andolan and 13 other organizations and individuals & 7 scavengers – existed in Govt. Undertakings and railways & number of scavengers have increased since 1993 – verify facts in next 6 months - time-bound program for liberation and rehabilitation
  • As per census 2011 data, 86 % manual scavengers are in UP. There are 11 states in all where this is practiced.
A Timeline of Legislation

‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013’ - India wide except Jammu & Kashmir. The act intends to

  • Eliminate the insanitary latrines.
  • Prohibit
    • Employment as Manual Scavengers
    • Hazardous manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • Survey of Manual Scavengers and their rehabilitation

Adivasis Demand & 1989 Act

  • Defend their right to occupy land that was traditionally theirs
  • Unwilling to move from land & are forcibly displaced
  • Those who forcibly encroached tribal lands must be punished, if that happens Constitution guarantees the right of tribal people to re-possess their land
  • Govt. violates Constitutional Rights (remarked by activist C. K. Janu) – as they allow non-tribal encroachers in the form of timber merchants, paper mills etc. to exploit tribal land, and to forcibly evict tribal people from their traditional forests in the process of declaring forests as reserved or as sanctuaries
  • Govt. must have plans & policies for them to live & work elsewhere – if Govt. spends on projects, it should spend on building industries as well

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

  • Undo the historical injustices meted out to forest dwelling populations in not recognizing their rights to land and resources.
  • Recognizes their right to homestead, cultivable and grazing land and to non-timber forest produce
  • Rights of forest dwellers includes conservation of forests and bio-diversity

Notes to be Taken!

  • Existence of a right or a law or even a policy on paper does not mean that it exists in reality.
  • Translate principles into actions
  • Desire for equality, dignity, and respect

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