Diversity and Discrimination

NCERT Exercise Solution:

How can the stereotype that girls are a burden on their parents affect the life of a daughter? Imagine this situation and list at least five different effects that this stereotype can have on the way daughters get treated in the house.

Answer: This is a belief in many parts of India that girls are a burden on their parents. This can affect the life of a girl in negative ways. A girl continuously hears all sorts of comments from her parents and relatives. Following are the some effects that this stereotype can have on the way daughters get treated in the house:


Match the following statements in a way that challenges stereotypes.

Column IColumn II
(a) Two surgeons were sitting down to lunch when one of them made a call on the mobile phone (1) suffers from chronic asthma
(b) The boy who won the drawing competition went to the dias(2) to become an astronaut which she did
(c) One of the fastest athletes in the world(3) to speak with her daughter who had just returned from school
(d) She was not that well-off but had a dream (4) on a wheelchair to collect his prize.

Answer:

  1. Two surgeons were sitting down to lunch when one of them made a call on the mobile phone to speak with her daughter who had just returned from school.
    Explanation: The surgeon is a female and her daughter is going to school. These facts challenge gender-based stereotypes.
  2. The boy who won the drawing competition went to the dias on a wheelchair to collect his prize.
    Explanation: A physically handicapped person is supposed to be a person without any talent. So, a wheelchair bound person winning a painting competition is breaking the stereotype.
  3. One of the fastest athletes in the world suffers from chronic asthma.
    Explanation: A person who suffers from asthma cannot do vigorous physical activities. But many sportspersons have proven this wrong by winning competitions against the best.
  4. She was not that well-off but had a dream to become an astronaut which she did.
    Explanation: Pursuing the dream of becoming an astronaut involves lot of expenses in higher education and in going abroad. Very few from middle-class or lower class families would even dare to dream to become an astronaut.

What does the Constitution say with regard to equality? Why do you think it is important for all people to be equal?

Answer: The Constitution says that all citizens of India are equal irrespective of religion, caste, gender or economic status. This is very important for all people to be equal because all of us are born equal in the eyes of the god. Every person should get equal opportunities in terms of education and career options. Nobody should get preferential treatment at public facilities. Equal treatment helps develop a sense of confidence among the people.

Sometimes people make prejudiced comments in our presence. We are often not in a position to do anything about this because it is difficult to say something right then and there. Divide the class into groups and each group discuss what they could do in one of the following situations:

  1. A friend begins to tease a classmate because he is poor.

    Answer: We should try to educate the tormentor against this practice. If one to one talk fail then we should take the help of teachers.
  2. You are watching TV with your family and one of them makes a prejudicial comment about a particular religious community.

    Answer: I will request the family member to develop respect for others’ religion. I will try to increase his awareness that all religions teach the path of love with fellow human beings.
  3. Children in your class refuse to share their food with a particular person because they think she is dirty.

    Answer: I will lead by setting an example. I shall be the first person to share food with the child who is being seen as dirty. This will help in changing the mindset of others.
  4. Someone tells you a joke that makes fun of a community because of their accent.

    Answer: I will educate that person about harms of making jokes at someone’s place of origin. I will try to show him the futility of prejudices and stereotypes.
  5. Some boys make remarks about girls not being able to play games as well as them.

    Answer: I will make a scrapbook which would be full of pictures of female sports stars. I will tell about the glories which Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal have brought for the country.

EXTRA QUESTIONS

What is prejudice?

Answer: When someone judges another person in a negative way it is called prejudice. People often have certain prejudices about other people who may appear different. This difference can be in terms of facial features, accent, eating habit or costumes.

What is stereotype?

Answer: When we tend to see some persons into a pre-defined image, this is called making of stereotypes.

What do you understand by discrimination?

Answer: Debarring someone from certain facilities only because of difference in religion, gender, caste or regional origins is called discrimination.

Give some examples of stereotypes about girls.

Answer: Girls are supposed to be soft spoken and submissive in nature. They are supposed to have keen interest in music and painting. They cry too often. They need to learn cooking, doing household chores and tidying up the house.

Give some examples of stereotypes about boys.

Answer: Boys are supposed to be aggressive and naughty. They are supposed to have keen interest in adventure sports and outdoor sports. Boys should not cry because crying is a sign of weakness. When a boy becomes adult, he is supposed to earn money to bring the bacon at home.

What provisions have been made in the Constitution to prevent discrimination?

Answer: Caste-based discrimination was made a crime as per the constitution. The constitution also made provisions for improving the conditions of the downtrodden. Constitution declared India as a secular country. This means that there is no official religion in India. All the religions are equal in the eyes of the law. One cannot discriminate against another person on the basis of religion or caste.



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