Invoking Fundamental Rights

Invoking Fundamental Rights

 

  • The Constitution lays down, the principles that make our society and polity democratic. They are defined in and through the list of Fundamental Rights that are an important part of the Constitution.
  • These rights are available to all Indians equally.
  • As far as the marginalised are concerned, they have drawn on these rights in two ways: first, by insisting on their Fundamental Rights, they have forced the government to recognise the injustice done to them.
  • Secondly, they have insisted that the government enforce these laws.
  • Article 17 of the Constitution states that untouchability has been abolished – what this means is that no one can henceforth prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities etc.
  • It also means that it is wrong to practise untouchability and that this practice will not be tolerated by a democratic government.
  • Article 15 of the Constitution notes that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • Therefore, Dalits can ‘invoke’ or ‘draw on’ a Fundamental Right (or Rights) in situations where they feel that they have been treated badly by some individual or community, or even by the government.
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