Chapter: 11th Political Science : Chapter 4 : Basic Concepts of Political Science Part II


Property is considered as a natural right which is necessary for human dignity, freedom and dignity of life.


Property is considered as a natural right which is necessary for human dignity, freedom and dignity of life. Property refers to the legal relations between the persons with respect to specific things which may be material or abstract. Abstract can be the copyrights of a book or a film, etc. Property does not only refer to the private property. Private property is one of the various forms of the property. The notion of private property relies upon the following features:

·              Do you own a house? If so, it is called as your private property where you are the owner and no one can access your property or claim.

·              As an owner you can use your property but altering or destroying the same requires the necessary authorised permission.

·              The third feature is, if in case you wish to transfer, some forms of transfer may be forbidden or penalized by taxation, like gift tax or capital transfer tax.

Other forms of property include the public property, common property or the state property. Property rights grant the owner an exclusive power to decide what will happen to a particular thing or resource. Public properties include transport, railways, etc.


Locke and the Utilitarian Justification


According to Locke, the Government’s main function is to guarantee every citizen the protection of their individual rights and secure conditions to enjoy their properties peacefully. Humans need property which is also the necessary means of life. Humans do not plan their lives from moment to moment but rather plan with future material security.

Security is an important aspect which can provide peace and happiness in the minds of the people. Hence, the utilitarian’s state that the system of property rights is necessary if the individuals is to achieve a sense of happiness. If at all the governments want to promote the happiness of it people, productivity must be encouraged by protecting individual’s property rights. No government should take away the property from the people who are expected to possess and enjoy.


Twentieth Century Developments

Most of the developed and developing nations practised social welfare policies after World War II. The main components of these policies entailed taxation on property, transfer of basic industries, and basic public amenities like health and education to state control.


Feminist Perspectives

With the advent of women empowerment in the 20th century, women too claim equal status. Feminist scholars state that an important condition for the subjugation of women has been owing to denial of access of women to resources to income, such as land. This is owing to the prevailing patterns of male ownership and control of such resources. Owing to this, status of women has been one of the dependence on men. This dependent status has actually led to their rights to own and claim property.



The Indian Constitution does not recognize property right as a fundamental right. In the year 1977, the 44th amendment eliminated the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property as a fundamental right. However, Article 300 (A) was inserted in another part of the Constitution. This was to affirm that no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. Hence, this has become a statutory right now.


Hence, in a civilized society, the scope for coercion and forcible acquisitions needs to be minimal. Unless circumstances are compelling, no forcible acquiring of property must be initiated. The state should neither act as brokers nor as agents of big businesses but should be in according stronger property rights to the farmers too.


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11th Political Science : Chapter 4 : Basic Concepts of Political Science Part II : Property |

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