• To understand the meaning of Equality
• To know the importance of Equality
• To learn the different types of Equality
• To know the various Articles of our constitution that have guranteed Equality
Nature has made man inequal in colour, height, talent, physical strength etc., and the natural inequalities can never be rectified. Even the twins looking like the similar are not equal in their abilities. Man made inequalities on the basis of caste, money religion etc can be rectified. It is universally accepted that people are differed in their capacity, ability, attitude etc but at the same time, it is also accepted that they should be given equal opportunities for the development of their skills and talents.
What is Equality?
Equality is ensuring individuals or groups that are not treated differently or less favourably on the basic of specific protected characteristic, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.
According to Prof Laski “Equality does not mean identity of treatment, the sameness of reward. It means first of all absence of social privilege, on the second it means that adequate opportunities are laid upon to all”.
Importance of Equality
Equality is a powerful moral and political ideal that has inspired and guided human society for many centuries. The concept of equality invokes the idea that all human beings have equal worth regardless of their caste, colour, gender, race or nationality. The democratic ideals such as liberty, equality etc are meaningful and effective only when they are implemented with justice.
Kinds of Equality
Social equality means that all citizen are entitled to enjoy equal status in society. There should not be any discrimination of caste, creed, colour and race. All should have equal opportunity to develop their personality and to complete goals.
Civil equality is enjoyment of civil rights by all citizen. There should not be any discrimination of superior or inferior, the rich or the poor, caste or creed. Equal rights should be available to all the persons and nobody should be denied enjoyment of any rights. Rule of law is in force in England and in the eyes of law all are equal and equal treatment is given to all by the rule of law. In India the same rule of law is followed.
Rule of law was advocated by A.V.Dicey, the British legal luminary.
All the democratic countries including India have guaranteed the political rights to all citizens. It includes
• Right to vote
• Right to hold public Office
• Right to criticise the government
Citizens should have equal opportunity to actively participate in the political life. These rights can be enjoyed through the Universal Adult Franchise. In India the voting right is given to all the citizens who has attained 18years of age without any discriminations. India is the first country to give right to vote to women from the very first general election held in the year 1952. In Switzerland the right to vote is given to women in 1971. Any person who has completed the age of 25 years can contest in the election. Right to criticise the government is also very important right and the people can express their resentment through demonstrations. The value of the vote of the Prime Minister and value of vote of common man in general election is same which denotes political equality.
All human beings, both men and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without any limitations. woman were not given equal rights and they were considered as weak as compared to man and they were placed in a secondary position to men. They should be treated equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.Gender Equality is the equal right of both men and women to have access to opportunities and resources. They have right to participate in the economic sphere and make important decisions. Women with their talent and hard work have proved that their ability is not less than men in any aspect. Nowadays, women are successfully working in many fields like Border security force, Indian Air Force, etc. For the uplift of women 50% reservation has been given for women in local bodies.
UNICEF says Gender Equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and prolictions. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be same, or that they be treated exactly alike.”
As of 2017, gender equality is the fifth of seventeen sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Efforts were made by many social activists from the 19th century onwards. The noted champions of this cause were Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar chandra Vidyasagar Dayanand Saraswati, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Tarabai Shinde, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain. They worked hard to get equal status to the women.
Dignity means self – respect. Human dignity is the most important human right from which all other fondamental rights derive. Dignity is the quality of being honourable, noble and excellent. Every human being should be regarded as a very valuable member of the community.
Equality of Opportunity and Education
All the individuals should have similar chances to receive education. They should have similar opportunities to develop their personality.We need equality to get equal treatment in society. If we treat equality we can earn respet and dignity.
Equality in Indian constitution
Almost the constitution all the countries in the world have guaranteed equality. Likewise, the constitution of India has also guaranteed equality to all citizens by providing Articles form 14-18.
Article 14 – guarantees to all the people equality before law.
Article 15 – deals with the prohibition of discrimination.
Article 16 – provides equality of opportunity in matters relating to employment.
Article 17 – abolishes the practice of untouchability .
Article 18 - abolishes the titles conferred to citizen.
Equality before law and equal protection of law have been further strengthened in the Indian constitution under Article 21.
We can promote equality by
• Treating all fairly
• Creating an inclusive culture
• Ensuring equal access to opportunities
• Enabling to develop full potential
• Making laws and policies
India is a the largest democratic country in the world. Equality and justice are the pillars of democracy. Justice can be achieved when people are treated equality. Equality is so important because it preserves the dignity of an individual. Equality is an important principle for a society to function.
• Liberty and Equality are the two fundamental concepts of democracy.
• All people should be equal before law and everybody should be given equal chance and opportunity to participate in political life.
• Civil equality implies equality of all before law.
• Gender equality means both the men and women should be treated equally.
• The various laws programmes of the government aim at gender equality.
1. Equality: absence of any privilege to anybody சமத்துவம்
2. Rule of law: rule based on law சட்டத்தின் ஆட்சி
3. Monarchy: government by a single person முடியாட்சி
4. Privileges: special concessions சலுகைகள்
5. Discrimination: difference பாகுபாடு
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4. Johari, J.C, Contemporary Political Theory, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 2000.