Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)
3. Democratic Rights
Right to Equality (Articles 14 to 18)
1. Right to Equality (Articles 14 to 18) : First through the feudal system and then by the British rule, a class of so-called high-ups was created in India. The age-old caste system had caused the cancer of untouchability in the Indian social life. Right to Equality seeks to undo these wrongs under the provisions of Articles 14 to 18 of the Constitution.
Article 14 establishes equality before law and equality in protection by law irrespective of status, caste, creed, religion, sect, sex or colour.
Article 15 prohibits any sort of discrimination among the citizens of the Republic on all or any of the grounds mentioned in the case of Article 14 as stated above. This provision does not prevent any State or Central Government from making provisions for the uplift of economically, socially or educationally backward sections of a particular state cannot be made a condition for appointment to a particular job under the Government.
Equality of opportunity in all fields of public life is guaranteed by Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of India. No individual can be discriminated against on grounds of caste, religion, sect, race, sex or place of birth in public appointments. However, this article does not restrict the reservation of posts for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Practising of untouchability in any form has been made an offence punishable by law. Thus Article 17 has virtually erased the age-long slur on the face of Indian social order.
Lastly, Article 18 puts an end to all titles like ‘Rai Sahib’, ‘Khan Bahadur’, ‘Sardar Bahadur’, etc. This article prohibits the State from awarding such titles. This has been done because conferring such titles goes against the spirit of social equality. Only military and academic degrees can be conferred.
However, no individual, according to the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, can move the court if his right to equality is abridged to implement the Directive Principles of State Policy.
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