In a democracy why is universal adult franchise important?
Answer: A democratic government is the government of people. It should be fairly elected by the people. Every adult citizen should have the right to elect his/her representative through popular vote. Universal adult franchise gives equal voting rights to every adult citizen and does not discriminate on the basic of any social or economic factor. Hence, universal adult franchise is important for a true democracy.
Re-read the box on Article 15 and state two ways in which this Article addresses inequality?
Answer: The two ways in which Article 15 addresses inequality are as follows:
In what ways was Omprakash Valmiki’s experience similar to that of the Ansaris?
Answer: Both Ompraksh Valmiki and the Ansaris had to face discrimination because of a particular social section in which they were born. Both had to suffer an attack on their dignity.
What do you understand by the term “all persons are equal before the law”? Why do you think it is important in a democracy?
Answer: This means that nobody is above the law. The same law applies in the same sense to every individual. Since in a democracy where the leaders are the elected representatives of the people (as opposed to dictatorship or the practice where the legal heir rules), equality before law is very important.
The Government of India passed the Disabilities Act in 1995. This law states that persons with disabilities have equal rights, and that the government should make possible their full participation in society. The government has to provide free education and integrate children with disabilities into mainstream schools. This law also states that all public places including buildings, schools, etc., should be accessible and provided with ramps.
Fig Ref: NCERT textbook
Look at the photograph and think about the boy who is being carried down the stairs. Do you think the above law is being implemented in his case? What needs to be done to make the building more accessible for him? How would his being carried down the stairs affect his dignity as well as his safety?
Answer: In this case, the above law is not being implemented. There is no ramp in the building which can enable a wheelchair bound person to safely access the facilities in the building. There should be a proper ramp so that a disabled person can access the facilities without getting a helping hand from someone.
It may look appealing that the body is being carried down the stairs. The security personnel may appear like good human beings. But this must have hurt the dignity of the boy. Moreover, there is always a risk of the body getting injured in the process.
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