‘Gender Religion and Caste’ Class 10 Civics (Pol. Sc.) Chapter Important questions from Previous Years’ CBSE Board Questions. These questions are given with proper sequence and headings to help the students understand prepare properly.
Objective Questions and MCQs
- Suggest any one way to protect women from domestic oppression. (2020)
Ans. Ask help from NGO or Mahila Aayog
- What percentage of reservation is given to women in local administration in India? (2020)
- Suggest any one way to create communal harmony among various communities of India. (2020)
Ans. Spread awareness about unity and integrity.
- Fill in the blank: The Indian Constitution provides to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practise and propagate any religion because ______ (2020)
Ans. India is a secular state
- Which one of the following laws was enacted by the Government of India in October 2005? (AI 2014)
(a) The Right to Property Act
(b) The Right to Education Act
(c) The Consumer Protection Act
(d) The Right to Information Act
- In which regions of the world, the representation of women in the national parliaments is the lowest? (2012)
(c) Sub Saharan Africa
(d) North America
- Suggest any one way to protect women from domestic oppression. (2020)
- What percentage of reservation is given to women in local administration in India? (2020)
- How much representation do local governments provide for women in India? (2016)
- State any one provision in the Indian constitution which makes India a secular state. (Term-I 2016) Ans.
- What do you mean by a patriarchal society? (2015)
- By what term is now the person known who believes in equal right and opportunities for women? (2015)
- At which level of government in India 1/3rd of seats are reserved for women? (2015)
- In which constitutional institution have seats been reserved for women? (2014)
- (a) The Right to Property Act
- (a) India
- Ask help from NGO or Mahila Aayog
- One third
- There is no official religion for the Indian states. Unlike the status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, that of Islam in Pakistan and that of Christianity in England, our Constitution does not give a special status to any religion.
- A male dominated society
- A feminist
- Local self-government bodies.
- Local self-government bodies
Gender and Politics
1. What are feminist movements? What were Their demands. (2014, 12, 10)
OR. What was the feminist movements? Explain the political demands of the feminist movements in India. (2013)
Ans. Feminist Movement was a radical movement which demanded equality for women in personal and family life and also in politics, society and education field.
The political demands of the Feminist Movements in India were:
- (i) More women representatives in local government.
- (ii) More political representatives for women by having elected women representatives.
- (iii) Reserving at least one-third of the seats in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies for women.
- (iv) They demanded equal pay as men for same work done.
- (v) They demanded same inheritance rights for daughters as given to sons.
Gender Division of labour
1. “Gender division is not based on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes.” Support the statement. (2015)
OR. How is gender division understood in Indian society? To what extent does political mobilisation on gender basis help to improve women’s role in public life? A [Board Term-I, 2016-17]
Ans. Gender Division of Labour – It is a kind of hierarchical social division. It is not based on biology. It is based on social expectations and stereotypes. It appears to be natural and unchangeable.
- (i) Boys and girls are brought up to believe that the main responsibilities of women is house work and bringing up children.
- (ii) There is a sexual division of labour in most families where women do all the household chores and men work outside the home.
- (iii) The result of this division of labour is that though the women constitute almost half the population, their role in public life is minimal.
- (iv) Majority of women may do some paid work in addition of domestic labour both in rural and Urban areas but their work is not valued and does not get recognition.
- (v) Political expression and political mobilisation on this question helped to improve women’s role in public life. We now find women working as scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, etc. Now, with a lot of efforts, 33% seats are reserved for women in local government bodies
Discrimination Against Women
2. “Women still lag much behind men in India, despite some improvements since Independence.” Analyse the statement. [Delhi, 2019, 2010]
OR. “Our society is still a male dominated society.” Explain the statement with the help of examples. (2019)
OR. Describe the different ways in which the women are discriminated in the Indian society. (2017)
- (a) The literacy rate among women is only 64.60 percent as compared with 80.90 percent among men (2011 data).
- (b) Similarly, a smaller proportion of girl students go for higher studies. Girls are performing as well as boys in school. But they drop out because parents prefer to spend their resources for their boy’s education rather than spending equally on their sons and daughters.
- (c) The proportion of women among the highly paid and valued jobs is still very small. On an average an Indian woman works one hour more than an average man every day.
- (d) The Equal Wages Act provides that equal wages should be paid for equal work. However, in almost all areas of work, from sports and cinema, to factories and fields, women are paid less than men, even when both do exactly the same work.
- (e) In some parts of India, parents prefer to have sons and find ways to have the girl child aborted before she is born. Such sex selective abortion has led to a decline in child sex ratio.
- (f) Women often face harassment, exploitation and violence on the domestic front.
Ours is a patriarchal society (ruled by father) where women face disadvantages, discrimination and oppression in many ways
Low female literacy rate – (2011 census) 65.46% for women and 82.14 % for men. Parents prefer boys over girls in sending schools. Girls drop out before going for higher studies.
Low proportion of women in paid jobs – There is very small share of women of women in highly paid and valued jobs
Unpaid work of women is not valued – An Indian woman works one hour more than an average man yet her unpaid work is generally not given importance
Disparity in salaries and wages for the same job – The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for equal wages for the same work yet women are paid less than men in almost all areas of work – from sports and cinema to factories and fields
Preference for son and sex-selective abortions – The abortions- have led to decline in child sex ratio which is at 940 per thousand boys (2011 census)
Crime against women – Urban areas are becoming unsafe for women. Women face domestic violence, exploited and harassed at work places.
Women and Political Representation
1. Examine the standard of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies. (2014)
Ans. The status of women’s representation in India’s legislative bodies is as follows:
- (i) Central Legislature: Less than 10% of its total strength are women.
- (ii) State Legislature: Less than 5% of its total strength are women.
- (iii) Panchayati Raj: One-third of the seats are reserved for women.
- (iv) India is among the bottom group of nations in the world, in this aspect.
- (v) Women’s organizations and activists have been demanding a reservation of at least one third of seats in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. But the bill to this effect has not been passed.
2. Explain any five methods to raise the political representation of women in India. (AI 2019, 15)
Ans. Solution to the women’s low political Representation
- Legal provisions for a fair proportion of women in the elected bodies.
- Reservation of at least one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha. The bill regarding this provision is pending because of lack of consensus among parties over the issue.
- The gender division should get Expression in politics as it helps the disadvantaged groups
The political representation of women in India can be improved by adopting a holistic approach. This would include:
- (a) By improving the literacy rate. Presently the literacy amongst women is only 65.46% as compared to over 82% in men. This would improve the political awareness amongst women.
- (b) The percentage of women in highly paid jobs is still very small. At many workplaces, women are paid less than men for the same job. When equal pay comes the voice of women will get strengthened.
- (c) The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 removes discriminatory gender practices. The daughters now have equal right of inheritance to their father’s estate as sons. This definitely has increased the political power of females.
- (d) The political representation of women had been very poor in the Indian legislatures. Even in the cabinet, the number of women ministers is very low. The political parties must give more representation to female candidates in union and state elections. The Supreme court of India must intervene in this matter.
- (e) One-third of seats in local government bodies have been reserved for women candidates. This has helped in increasing women’s representation in panchayats and municipalities. There is a need to enhance this to 50%. A bill for providing one-third reservation in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies has been pending in the Parliament for more than a decade.
Religion, Communalism and Politics
Religion & Politics
1. How are religious differences expressed in politics? (2011)
(i) Gandhiji’s views on religion and politics-
- Religion can never be separated from politics. He was not referring to any particular Religion.
- Religion is a moral force’ that can unite different segments of society
- Politics must be guided by the moral and ethical values of all religions.
(ii) Human Right’s view of religion?
Human right groups in our country have argued that most of the victims of communal riots in our country are people from religious minorities. They have demanded that the government take special steps to protect religious minorities
(iii) Women’s Movement View
Family Laws of all religions are not equitable and discriminate against women. Family Laws are laws that deal with family-related matters such as marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, etc.
2. How can the relationship between politics and religion be beneficial and problematic at the same time? Explain. (2015, 12)
- (i) Influence of religion can make politics value based.
- (ii) Religious communities can politically express their needs and interests.
- (iii) Political authorities can monitor and control religious discrimination and oppression.
- (i) Religion can become the base for the development of nationalist sentiments which can lead to conflicts between religious groups.
- (ii) Political parties can try to make political gains by pitting one religious group against the other.
- (iii) State power may be used to establish the domination of one religion or religious group over another
3. How does religion influence the political set up in our country? Explain. [2016-17]
Ans. The religion in politics is not as dangerous as it seems to us. Ethical values of each religion can play a major role in politics. As a member of any religious community, people should express their political needs. The political leaders regulate the practice of religion so that there should be no discrimination and oppression. If all religions are treated equally then these political acts are correct in any way.
Communalism & Politics
1. What is communalism? How does it affect the political life of the people? (Term-I 2016)
Communalism: When beliefs of one religion are presented as superior to those of other religions, when the demands of one religious group are formed in opposition to another and when state power is used to establish domination of one religious group over the rest, we call it as communalism.
Communalism is a hindrance in the functioning of our democracy because:
- (i) Communalism leads to the belief that people belonging to different religions cannot live as equal citizens within one nation. Either, one of them has to dominate the rest or they have to form different nation.
- (ii) Any attempt to bring all followers of one religion together is bound to suppress the voices of others.
2. Mention any three forms in which communalism is expressed in politics. Describe the solution provided by the Constitution framers of India to meet this challenge. 2018-19)
OR. Define communalism. Explain any three forms of communalism in the Indian politics. [2016-17]
OR. What form does communalism take in politics? [ 2015, 13, 12, 11]
Ans. The modern-day politics in India is making use of religion in communal form. Problem begins when people start considering religion as the sole basis of society.
- Communalism in every day beliefs- It so common that people fail to notice that they have developed a routine thinking on communal lines- superiority of their religion, prejudices and stereotypes of religious communities.
- Urge to form a separate political unit- Quest for political dominance results in the belief in majority-dominance for those in majority and the minority start to desire for a separate political unit based on their identity.
- Political mobilization on religious lines- It refers to attempts made to bring the target religious community together It involves the use of sacred symbols, use of religious leaders, emotional appeals and plain fear from other religions. During elections special appeals are issued to woo the voters of one religion in preference to others.
- The ugly form of communalism- It involves Communal violence, riots, and massacre. India suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of partition.
Communalism can take various forms in politics:
- (i) The routine beliefs involve religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities and belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions.
- (ii) A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community.
- (iii) For those belonging to the majority community, this takes the form of majoritarian dominance. For those belonging to the minority community, it can take the form of a desire to form a separate political unit.
- (iv) Political mobilisation on religious lines is another frequent form of communalism. This involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal and plain fear in order to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena.
- (v) Sometimes communalism takes its most ugly form of communal violence, riots and massacre.
Solutions provided by the Constitution:
The makers of our Constitution were aware of this challenge. That is why they chose the model of a secular state. This choice was reflected in several constitutional provisions like
- (i) There is no official religion for the Indian state.
- (ii) The Constitution provides to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
- (iii) The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
- (iv) At the same time, the Constitution allows the state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities.
3. How can communalism pose a great threat to Indian democracy? (2014)
Ans. Communalism can pose a great threat to Indian democracy as:
- (i) It leads to the dangerous belief that people belonging to different religion cannot live as equal citizens within one nation. Either group has to dominate the rest or they have to form a different nation.
- (ii) Any attempt to bring followers of one religion together in the context of politics bound to suppress many voices within that society.
4. Suggest any two measures to check communalism in India. (Term-I 2014)
Ans. (i) Communal prejudices and propaganda need to be countered in everyday life.
(ii) Religion based mobilisation to meet political must be needs countered.
1. “Secularism is not an ideology of some political parties or persons, but it is one of the foundations of our country.” Examine the statement. (2018)
OR. Why did the framers of the constitution choose the ideals of secularism for India? How is this choice reflected in the constitutional provisions? Explain. (2017)
OR. Indian is a secular country. Justify the statement. (2014)
OR. Mention constitutional provisions that make India a secular state. (2010, 11, 12, 13)
Meaning of Secularism
Secularism means no special status is given to any religion. The state with no any official religion is called a secular state. It is just not an ideology of some parties or persons. The ideology of Secularism is one of the basic and foundational structure of the Indian Constitution.
Secular Provisions of the Constitution
- (i) There is no official religion for the Indian states, unlike the status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, or that of Islam in Pakistan.
- (ii) The Constitution provides freedom to all to protest, practice and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
- (iii) The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
- (iv) The Constitution allows state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities. For example, it bans untouchability.
- There is no official religion for the Indian state. •
- The preamble contains the word ‘Secular’ (added by 42nd constitutional amendment, 1976)
- Article 25-28 – right to practice, profess, propagate any religion
- Article 15 and 16 prohibit discrimination on ground of religion, caste etc.
- Constitution also allows state power to intervene in matters of religion to ensure equality within religious communities. Example- ban on untouchability (Art 17).
Caste and Politics
Features of casteism
1. What is meant by caste hierarchy? (2015)
OR. Describe any 5 features of the caste system in India. (2016, 12)
Ans. Caste hierarchy: A ladder like formation in which all the caste groups are placed from the ‘highest’ to the ‘lowest’ castes.
Caste system is an extreme form of social division based on hereditary occupational division.
- The hereditary occupational division was sanctioned by rituals
- It was based on exclusion of and discrimination against the ‘out caste’ group of untouchables
- Members of same caste group practiced the same or similar occupation.
- Marriages were organised within the caste groups
Problem of casteism
2. Mention the problem of ‘Casteism’ in Indian politics. (2020)
Ans. Problems of casteism in India:
- (i) There is discrimination between upper and lower castes. Still there is wide gap and difference between different castes.
- (ii) Upper castes still enjoy respectable position in the society.
- (iii) Political leaders contest election on the name of castes, for the vote bank.
Different forms of casteism
3. Explain any four forms of Casteism in Indian politics. (2014, 10)
OR. Analyse the role of caste in Indian politics. [2016, 2015]
Ans. Casteism is rooted in the belief that Caste is the only basis of social community. Political parties and
candidates use caste difference to win elections.
Cast takes different forms in Indian politics that cane understood in the way it influences politics.
Influence & role of caste on politics:
- (i) While choosing candidates for election, political parties consider the caste composition of the voters to win support.
- (ii) When the government is formed, political parties take care that representative from different castes find a place in the government.
- (iii) Political parties make an appeal to the caste sentiments to win votes.
- (iv) Some political parties are known to favour some particular caste.
- (v) Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one-vote have compelled the political leaders to bring caste sentiments into politics to muster support
4. Besides Caste which other factors do matter in electoral politics. (2013)
Ans. Caste is not the only factor that influence politics. Some other factors also decide the voting preference.
- Voters having strong attachment with any political party votes for the party discarding the Caste aspect
- Rich and poor or men and women from the same Caste vote very differently.
- People from the same Caste or community may have different interests that decides voting preferences.
- Assessment of the performance of the government and popular rating of the leaders are often decisive in elections
Advantages & Disadvantages
5. Describe three advantages of the political expression of caste differences. 
OR. Describe the positive and negative aspects of relationship between caste and politics. 
OR. Describe the positive and negative aspects of relationship between caste and politics. (2012)
OR. Describe the adverse effects of caste in politics in India. (2011)
Positive Effects (Advantages)
- Many disadvantaged communities get attention and space to demand their share in politics.
- Measures for uplifting the status of the backward castes can be undertaken seriously as Dalits and OBC Castes play feature prominently during campaign and political manifesto.
- Many political parties take up the issue of ending caste discrimination
- Political and non-political agitations have demanded an end to discrimination more dignity and better access to land resources and opportunities.
Negative Effects (Disadvantages)
- Too much attention to Caste is not healthy for democracy
- It can divert attention from pressing issues like -poverty, development, and corruption.
- Caste based division can lead to tension, conflict and even violence
Weakening of casteism
6. Why are caste barriers breaking down in India? Explain with three reasons. (Compt. 2018)
OR. Explain any five socio-economic changes responsible for breaking down the old notion of caste hierarchy in India. [2016-17]
OR. Literacy and urbanisation combined with economic growth have changed the value system of Indian society. Explain with reference to India’s social problems. (2015)
OR. Discuss the reasons for the decline of the Caste System. (2010, 12)
Ans. Economic development, education, occupational mobility etc have been weakening the Caste -hierarchy
- i. Leaders like Jyotiba Phule, Gandhiji, B R Ambedkar and Periyar Ramaswami Naicker worked to establish society which is not based on Caste inequalities
- ii. Urbanisation and growth of literacy and education has helped in the weakening of Caste institutions
- iii. Occupational mobility (choice of occupation) is breaking the old notion of Caste hierarchy
- iv. Weakening of the position of land lords in villages has also contributed to the decline Caste hierarchy
- v. The Indian Constitution also prohibits Caste based discrimination.
- vi. Policy of reservation of seats in local self-government bodies and legislatures as well in educational institutes have helped to uplift the political, social and economic position of lower castes.
Factors for breaking down of Caste System:
(i) Social and economic development.
(iii) Occupational mobility.
(iv) Growth of literacy and education.
(v) The Constitution of India prohibited any caste based discrimination.
(vi) Constitutional prohibition of untouchability.
- (i) Efforts of social reformers like Phule, Gandhiji, Ambedkar against caste system have helped to promote a casteless society.
- (ii) Economic development has reduced the emphasis on caste.
- (iii) Large scale urbanisation has diminished the awareness of caste, as people rub shoulders in buses, trains and offices.
- (iv) Growth of literacy and education has helped to decrease the belief in caste.
- (v) Occupational mobility is possible now and children are not compelled to continue the profession of the family or father.
- (vi) Weakening of the position of landlords in the villages has led to decline of the rigid caste barriers in villages.
- (vii) Constitutional provisions such as Right to Equality of all before law have helped to prevent discrimination legally.
- (viii) Policy of reservation of seats in local self-government bodies and legislatures as well in educational institutes have helped to uplift the political, social and economic position of lower castes.
Cate has not disappeared
7. Caste has not still disappeared from contemporary India. Justify the statement. (2016, 2014, 12, 10)
Ans. It is true the caste factor has still not disappeared from our society:
- Most people still prefer marriage within their own caste or tribe
- Untouchability has not ended completely despite constitutional prohibition
- The effect of centuries of advantages and disadvantages continue to be felt today
- Those Caste groups still lag behind which were denied access to education
- Caste continues to be closely linked to economic status.
- Example – Larger presence of upper caste among the urban middle class.
Elections are not all about caste
8. The focus on caste in politics can sometimes give an impression that elections are all about caste and nothing else. Do you agree? Explain. (2015)
The focus on caste in politics can sometimes give an impression that elections are all about caste and nothing else is not correct because–
- (i) No parliamentary constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste. So, every candidate and party needs to win the confidence of more than one caste and community to win elections.
- (ii) No party wins the votes of all voters of a caste or community. When people say that a cast is a ‘vote bank’ of one party, it usually means that a large proportion of the voters from the caste vote for the party, not all.
- (iii) Many political parties may put up candidates from the same caste (if that caste is believed to dominate the electorate in a particular constituency). Some voters may have more than one candidate from their caste while many voters may have no candidate from their caste.
- (iv) The ruling party or the sitting M.P. or M.L.A. frequently lose elections in our country. That could not have happened if all castes or communities were frozen in their political preferences
- No parliamentary constituency has a clear majority of one single Caste. Vote of other castes also matter
- No party wins the votes of all the bits of a Caste or community (sometimes called ‘vote bank’s)
- Many candidates from the same Caste divides the votes while many voters have no candidate from their castes.
- Sitting MP or MLAs also lose elections from the same constituency as the same voters vote against them.
Politics in caste
9. How far is it correct to say that it is not Politics that gets Caste ridden but it is the Caste that gets politicised. Explain. (2013)
OR. In what way does Politics influence Caste system. (2010)
Ans. Influence of politics on Caste :
- (i) Each caste group tries to become bigger by incorporating within its sub-castes.
- (ii) Various caste groups are required to enter into a coalition with other castes or communities.
- (iii) New kinds of caste groups have entered politics like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ castes.
- (iv) Politics in caste has allowed many disadvantaged caste groups to demand their share of power.
- (v) Caste politics has helped the Dalits and OBCs to gain better access to decision-making
Politics also influences Caste or we can say that Castes also get politicised. Politicisation of Castes can take following forms.
- Each Caste group tries to become bigger by incorporating within it neighbouring Castes or sub-castes.
- Castes or community’s coalition to have dialogue and negotiation.
- New Caste groups like backward and forward have come up in political arena.
Q. “Politics and social divisions should not be allowed to mix.” Justify the statement. (AI 2019)
Ans. It is absolutely correct to say that politics and social divisions should not be allowed to mix. This is because:
(i) It can make social divisions into political division and lead to conflict, violence or even disintegration of a country.
(ii) In Northern Ireland, there has been a violent and bitter ethno-political conflict for many years.
(iii) It caused disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries. In Sri Lanka, when the ethno-social difference between Sinhala and Tamils were politicized, the result was the Civil War in the country.