Chapter  1- Democracy in the Contemporary World 

Democracy is a form of government which is chosen by the people to work for their welfare and can also be voted out by them.

Struggle for Democracy

  • The expansion of democracy has not been smooth . There have been several ups and downs in different countries. It still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.

Two Tales of Democracy

Democracy in Chile

  • Chile is a country in South America.
  • Salvador Allende was the founder leader of the Socialist Party of Chile who won the presidential election in 1970.
  • After becoming the President, he adopted several policies to help poor and the workers which included:
    → reform of the educational system
    → free milk for children and redistribution of land to the landless farmers
    → opposing foreign companies that are taking away natural resources like copper from the country.
  • But, these policies were opposed by landlords, the rich and the church and also by some other political parties.
  • His government was overthrown by the military on 11 September 1973.

Military Coup of 1973

  • On the morning of 11 September 1973, the military took over the seaport and arrested the Defence Minister when he arrived at his office.
  • The military commanders asked President Allende to resign but he refused to resign or leave the country.
    → Then the military surrounded the President’s house and started bombing it. President Allende died in the military attack.
  • The military coup was led by General Augusto Pinochet, an Army general.
    → The government of the United States of America was unhappy with Allende’s rule and is known to have supported and funded activities that led to the coup.
  • Pinochet became the President of the country and ruled it for the next 17 years.
  • From a democratic government, a military dictatorship was established in Chile.
    → Pinochet’s government tortured and killed several of those who supported Allende and those who wanted democracy to be restored.

Restoration of Democracy

  • Pinochet held a referendum in 1988 as he felt confident that in this referendum, the people would say ‘yes’ to his continuing in power.
    → But the people of Chile say ‘no’ to Pinochet and his military dictatorship ended.
    → Political freedom in Chile was restored.
  • Slowly, the army’s role in the country’s government was eliminated.
  • The elected government that came to power ordered inquiries that showed that his government was not only very brutal, but also very corrupt.
  • In January 2006, Michelle Bachelet, daughter of General Alberto Bachelet was elected President of Chile.
    → In the presidential elections, she defeated one of Chile’s richest men.

Democracy in Poland

  • In 1980, Poland was ruled by the Polish United Workers’ Party, a communist party.
    → In the country, no other political party was allowed to function.
    → The people could not freely choose the leaders and those who spoke against the leaders or the party or the government were put in prison.
  • The government in Poland was supported and controlled by the government of the Soviet Union (USSR), a vast and powerful communist state.


Strike of Lenin Shipyard Workers

  • On 14 August 1980, the workers of Lenin Shipyard, owned by the government in the city of Gdansk went on a strike.
    → The strike began with a demand to take back a crane operator, a woman worker, who was unjustly dismissed from service.
    → This strike was illegal because trade unions independent of the ruling party were not allowed in Poland.
  • Lech Walesa, a former electrician of the shipyard who was dismissed from service in 1976 for demanding higher pay joined the strikers.
    →  The strike began to spread across the whole city and they started raising larger demands.
    → They wanted the right to form independent trade unions.
    → They also demanded the release of political prisoners and an end to censorship in the press.
  • Finally, the government had to give in and the workers led by Walesa signed a 21-point agreement with the government that ended their strike.
    → The government agreed to recognise the workers’ right to form independent trade unions and their right to strike.
  • After the Gdansk agreement was signed, a new trade union called Solidarity(Solidarnosc in Polish) was formed.
    → It was the first time an independent trade union was formed in any of the communist states.
  • Revelations of widespread corruption  and mismanagement in the government made matters worse for the rulers.
  • The government, led by General Jaruzelski, grew anxious and imposed martial law in December 1981.
  • Thousands of Solidarity members were put in prison.
    → Freedom to organise, protest and express opinions were once again taken away.

Restoration of Democracy

  • In 1988. Solidarity again organised the strikes.
    → This time the Polish government was weaker, the support from Soviet Union uncertain and the economy was in decline.
  • In April 1989, another round of negotiations with Walesa resulted in an agreement for free elections.
  • Solidarity contested all the 100 seats of the Senate and won 99 of them.
  •  In October 1990, Poland had its first presidential elections in which more than one party could contest.
    → Walesa was elected President of Poland.

Two Features of Democracy

  • Democracy is a form of government that allows people to choose their rulers.
  • Two features of democracy are:

 → only leaders elected by people should rule the country, and

→ people have the freedom to express views, freedom to organise and freedom to protest.


The Changing Map of Democracy

  • In 1900, there were few democracies in the world. Countries like the USA, France, England, etc.


  • In 1950, Many Asian countries achieved independence from colonisation and opted for democracies. Countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc.


  • In 1975, more countries opted for democracies in the world. However, in many countries, democratic governments were overthrown by dictators.

  • By 2000, more than half of the countries of the world followed democracy. The disintegration of the USSR and support from other democratic countries paved the way for democracy.

Phases in the Expansion of Democracy

The Beginning

  • The French Revolution of 1789 did not establish a secure and stable democracy in France.
    → However, it inspired many struggles for democracy all over Europe.
  • Through the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, series of political events reduced the power of monarchy and feudal lords.
  • In 1776, the British colonies in North America declared themselves independent and came together to form the United States of America.
    → They adopted a democratic constitution in 1787 but the right to vote was limited to very few men.
  • The nation struggling for democracy wanted voting rights granted universally to all adults — men or women, rich or poor, white or black called ‘universal adult franchise’ or ‘universal suffrage’.
  • Early democracies were established in Europe, North America and Latin America.

End of Colonialism


  • Many countries became democracies immediately after the end of the Second World War in 1945.
  • However, many could not remain democracies for long.
  • Ghana, a country in western Africa used to be a British colony named Gold Coast.
    → It became independent in 1957.
    → It was among the first countries in Africa to gain independence and inspired other African countries to struggle for freedom.
    → Nkrumah who was active in the independence struggle of his country became the first prime minister and then the president of Ghana.
    → He got himself elected president for life but soon after, in 1966, he was overthrown by the military.
  • Like Ghana, most countries that became democracies after gaining independence had a mixed record.


Recent Phase

  • After 1980, democracy started spreading more quickly.

→ The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 accelerated this process.

→ The Soviet Union comprised 15 Republics which emerged as independent countries and most of them became democracies.

  • Democracy was revived in several countries of Latin America.
  • Pakistan and Bangladesh made a transition from army rule to democracy in the 1990s.
    → However, changes were not permanent in Pakistan as in 1999 General Musharraf brought back army rule there.
  • In Nepal, the king gave up many of his powers to become a constitutional monarch to be guided by elected leaders.

→ In 2005 the new king of Nepal dismissed the elected government and took back political freedoms that people had won in the previous decade.

  • Myanmar, a neighbouring country of India, gained freedom from colonial rule in 1948 and became a democracy.
    → But the democratic rule ended in 1962 with a military coup.
    → The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the election in 1990 elections.
    → But the military leaders of Myanmar refused to step down and did not recognise the election results. Instead, the military put the elected pro-democracy leaders, including Suu Kyi, under house arrest.
    → Anyone caught publicly airing views or issuing statements critical of the regime can be sentenced up to twenty years in prison.
    → Due to the coercive policies of the military-ruled government in Myanmar, about 6 to 10 lakh people in that country have been uprooted from their homes and have taken shelter elsewhere.
    → Despite being under house arrest, Suu Kyi continued to campaign for democracy. Her struggle has won international recognition. She has also been awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
    → Yet the people in Myanmar are still struggling to establish democratic government in their country.
  • By 2005, about 140 countries were holding multi-party elections, higher than ever before.

International Organisations

  • There is no government in the world that can pass any law that will apply to all the people of the world.
    → But there are many institutions in the world that perform partially the functions of such  a  government.
    → These organisations cannot command countries and citizens in a way a government can, but they do make rules that put limits on what governments can do.
  • Various International Organisations are:

 United Nations (UN): It is a global association of nations of the world to help cooperation in international law, security, economic development and social equity. The UN Secretary General is its chief administrative officer.


 UN Security Council: It is an organ of the UN, is responsible for maintaining peace and security among countries. It can put together an international army and take action against the wrongdoer.


→ International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank lend money to governments when they need it. Before lending they ask the concerned government to show all its accounts and direct it to make changes in its economic policy.

Are these decisions democratic?


  • The institutions functioning as world government do not hold democratic decisions.

→ Not every country has free and equal say in the decisions that affect them.


Case of UN


  • Every one of the 193 member states (as on 1 September 2012) of the UN has one vote in the UN General Assembly.

→ General Assembly is like the parliament where all the discussion takes place.

→ It meets in regular yearly sessions under a president elected from among the representatives of the member countries.

→ But the General Assembly cannot take any decision about what action should be taken in a conflict between different countries.

→ The fifteen-member Security Council of the UN takes such crucial decisions. The Council has

five permanent members – US, Russia, UK, France and China and ten other members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

→ The real power is with five permanent  members.

→ Each permanent member has veto power. It means that the Council cannot take a decision if any permanent member says no to that decision.

→ This system has led more and more people and countries to protest and demand that the UN becomes more democratic.

→ The permanent members, especially the US, contribute most of the money needed for the maintenance of the UN.


Case of IMF


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one of the biggest moneylenders for any country in the world.

→ Its 188 member states (as on 1 September 2012) do not have equal voting rights.

→ The vote of each country is weighed by how much money it has contributed to the IMF.

→ More than 52% of the voting power in the IMF is in the hands of only ten countries (US, Japan, Germany, France, UK, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Russia).

→ The remaining 178 countries have very little say in how these international organisations take decisions.


Case of World Bank


  • The World Bank also has similar system of voting. 

→ The President of the World Bank has always been a citizen of the US, conventionally nominated by the Treasury Secretary (Finance Minister) of the US government.

Democracy Promotion


  • Iraq is a country in Western Asia which became independent from British rule in 1932. 

→ Three decades later there were a series of coups by military officers. 

→ Since 1968, it was ruled by Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party whose leader, Saddam Hussein, a played a

key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to power. 

→ This government abolished traditional Islamic law and gave women the right to vote and several freedoms not granted in other west Asian countries. 

→ After becoming the president of Iraq in 1979, Saddam ran a dictatorial government and suppressed any dissent or opposition to his rule.


  • The US and its allies like Britain alleged that Iraq possessed secret nuclear weapons and other ‘weapons of mass destruction’ which posed a big threat to the world.

→ But when a UN team went to Iraq to search for such weapons, it did not find any.

→ Still the US and its allies invaded Iraq, occupied it and removed Saddam Hussein from power in 2003. 

→ The US installed an interim government of its preference.

→ It is argued that it was important to end the dictatorial rule and set up a democratic government in the country.


  • The war against Iraq was not authorised by the UN Security Council. 

Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, said that the US war on Iraq was illegal.

Chapter 2- What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

What is Democracy?


  • Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.

Features of Democracy

  • The rulers are elected by the people.
  • Free and competitive elections are held.
  • Each adult irrespective of religion, education, caste, colour, wealth have one vote, one value.
  • The elected rulers take decisions within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ rights.
  • Rule of Law
  • The rights of the citizens must be protected through the Constitution.
  • There must be an independent judiciary.

Major Decisions by Elected leaders

  • In Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup in October 1999 and overthrew the democratically elected government and became President of the country.

→ In 2002, he held a referendum in the country which was based on malpractices and fraud and granted him a five-year extension.

→ After passing a law, ‘Legal Framework Order’ which gave the president power to dismiss the national and provincial assemblies, elections were held to the national and provincial assemblies.


  • In this case, Pakistan has had elections, elected representatives have some powers. But the final power rests with military officers and General Musharraf himself. So,this should not be called a democracy.
  • In a democracy, the final decision-making power must rest with those elected by the people.


Free and fair electoral competition


  • In China, elections are regularly held after every five years for electing the country’s parliament called National People’s Congress.

→ Before contesting elections, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist Party.

→ The government is always formed by the Communist Party.

  • Mexico holds elections every six years to elect its President.

→ Until 2000 every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party).

 → Opposition parties did contest elections, but never managed to win as PRI was known to use many dirty tricks to win elections.


  • Both the cases should not be called a democracy.


  • A democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of losing.


One person, one vote, One value


  • There are many instances of denial of equal right to vote.


→In Saudi Arabia women do not have the right to vote.


→ Estonia has made its citizenship rules in such a way that people belonging to Russian minority find it difficult to get the right to vote.


→ In Fiji, the electoral system is such that the vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian-Fijian.


  • In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value.

Rule of Law and respect for rights


  • Since independence, Zimbabwe ruled by ZANU-PF.

→ Its leader, Robert Mugabe has been ruling the country. He is popular but also uses unfair practices in elections.

→ Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF.

→ Opposition party workers are harassed and their meetings disrupted.

→ Public protests and demonstrations against the government are declared illegal.

→ Television and radio are controlled by the government and give only the ruling party’s version.

→ Independent newspapers are there but the government harasses those journalists who go against it.

→ The government has ignored some court judgments that went against it and has pressured judges.


  • In this case, government is not democratic as there is no there is no citizen’ basic rights, no political opposition, no judiciary.


  • A democratic government rule within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ rights.

Why Democracy?


Arguments against democracy


  •  Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.


  • Democracy is all about political competition and power play. There is no scope for morality.


  • So many people have to be consulted in a democracy that it leads to delays.


  • Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions.


  • Democracy leads to corruption for it is based on electoral competition.


  • Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them; they should not decide anything.


Arguments for democracy


  • A democratic government is a better government because it is a more accountable form of government.
  • Democracy improves the quality of decision-making.


  • Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.


  • Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens.


  • Democracy allows us to correct our own mistakes.

Broader Meanings of Democracy


  • The most common form that democracy takes in our times is that of a representative democracy where the majority is allowed to take decisions on behalf of all the people.

→ The majority of people rule through their elected representatives.


  • A democratic decision involves consultation with and consent of all those who are affected by that decision.
  • Democracy is a principle that can be applied to any sphere of life.

→ Democracy can apply to a government or a family or any other organisation.

Chapter 3- Constitutional Design


Democratic Constitution in South Africa

Struggle against Apartheid

  • Apartheid was the name of a system of racial discrimination unique to South Africa.
  • This system was particularly oppressive for the blacks.
    → They were forbidden from living in white areas.
  • Since 1950, the blacks, coloured and Indians fought against the apartheid system.
  • The African National Congress (ANC) was the umbrella organisation that led the struggle against the policies of segregation.
  • In 1964, Nelson Mandela and seven other leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for daring to oppose the apartheid regime in his country.

Towards a New Constitution

  • As protests and struggles against apartheid had increased, the white regime changed its policies.
  • After 28 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela was released from jail.
  • At the midnight of 26 April 1994, democracy was adopted as a form of government in South Africa.
  • After two years, a constitution came out which gave to its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country.

Why do we need a Constitution?

  • A constitution is necessary because:
    → It generates a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kinds of people to live together.
    → It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have power to take which decisions.
    → It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tells us what the rights of the citizens are.
    → It expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.

Making of the Indian Constitution

  • In 1928, Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders drafted a constitution for India.


  • In 1931, the resolution at the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress dwelt on how independent India’s constitution should look like.
  • Factors contributed to the making of our Constitution.
    → Ideals of French Revolution
    → The practice of parliamentary democracy in Britain
    → The Bill of Rights in the US
    → The socialist revolution in Russia

The Constituent Assembly

  • In July 1946, Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held.
    → The drafting of the document called the constitution was done by the Constituent Assembly.
    → Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly.
    → In December 1946, the first meeting was held.
  • After the country was divided into India and Pakistan, the Constituent Assembly also got divided.
  • The Assembly adopted the Constitution on 26 November 1949 but it came into effect on 26 January 1950.
  • To mark this day we celebrate January 26 as Republic Day every year.
  • The Constituent Assembly worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner.
    → First some basic principles were decided and agreed upon.
    → Then a Drafting Committee chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution for discussion.
    → More than two thousand amendments were considered.


Philosophy of the Constitution

  • The Constitution begins with a short statement of its basic values which is called the Preamble to the constitution.

The preamble focuses on:
→ Justice, social, economic and political.
→ Liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship.
→ Equality of status and of opportunity.
→ Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.

Chapter 4- Electoral Politics

An election is a process through which people choose their representatives at regular intervals.

What makes an election democratic?

  • Everyone should have one vote and every vote should have equal value.
  • Parties and candidates should be free to contest elections and should offer some real choice to the voters.
  • Elections must be held regularly after every few years.
  • The candidate preferred by the people should get elected.
  • Elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner where people can choose as they really wish.

System of elections in India:

General Election

  • Elections are held in all constituencies at the same time, either on the same day or within a few days.


  • Sometimes elections are held only for one constituency or two to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member.

Electoral Constituencies

  • The country is divided into different areas based on population for the purpose of elections which are called electoral constituencies.
  • For Lok Sabha elections, the country is divided into 543 constituencies.
  • Similarly, each state is divided into a specific number of Assembly constituencies.

Reserved Constituencies 

  • Some constituencies are reserved for people who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Voter’s List

  • The list of people who are eligible for voting is prepared by the Election Commission of India before election.
  • In India, all the citizens aged 18 years and above have the right to vote, regardless of his or her caste, creed, colour, religion or gender.

Nomination of Candidates

  • Anyone who can be a voter can also become a candidate in elections.
  • However, the minimum age in order to be a candidate is 25 years.


Election Campaign

  • The campaigns take place for a two-week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling.

Polling and Counting of Votes

  • The final stage of an election is the day when the voters cast or ‘poll’ their vote.

What Makes Elections in India Democratic?

Independent Election Commission

  • In India, elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission (EC) which enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys. 
  • The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is appointed by the President of India.
    → But once appointed, CEC is not answerable to the President or the government.


Acceptance of election outcome

  • The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India both at the national and state level.
  • In India about half of the sitting MPs or MLAs lose elections.

Challenges to free and fair elections in India

  • Candidates and parties with a lot of money may not be sure of their victory but they do enjoy a big and unfair advantage over smaller parties and independents.
  • In some parts of the country, candidates with criminal connections have been able to push others out of the electoral race and to secure a ‘ticket’ from major parties.
  • Some families tend to dominate political parties; tickets are distributed to relatives from these families.
  • Very often elections offer little choice to ordinary citizens, for both the major parties are quite similar to each other both in policies and practice.
  • Smaller parties and independent candidates suffer a huge disadvantage compared to bigger parties.

Chapter 5- Working of Institutions


Need for Political Institutions

  • The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are institutions that take all important policy decisions.
  • The Civil Servants, working together, are responsible for taking steps to implement the ministers’ decisions.
  • The Supreme Court is an institution where disputes between citizens and the government are finally settled.


  • In democracies, an assembly of elected representatives exercises supreme political authority on behalf of the people.
    → In India such a national assembly of elected representatives is called Parliament.

Two Houses of Parliament

  • In our country, the Parliament consists of two Houses. The two Houses are known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha).
  • The total number of elected members of Lok Sabha is 543+2 Anglo Indian nominated members.
    → The total number of members of Rajya Sabha is 238+12 nominated members.


  • At different levels of any government there are various functionaries who take day-to-day decisions and implement those decisions on behalf of the people.

→ All those functionaries are collectively known as the executive.


Political and Permanent Executive

  • The one which is elected by the people for only a specific period of time is called the Political Executive.
    → It signifies the government of a country.
  • The one where people are appointed on a long-term basis is called the Permanent Executive or the Civil Services.
    → People working for the civil services are called the civil servants.

Prime Minister

  • The Prime Minister is the most important political institution in the country.

Powers of the Prime minister

  • He chairs Cabinet meetings.
  • He coordinates the work of different Departments.
  • His decisions are final in case disagreements arise between Departments.
  • He exercises general supervision of different ministries. All ministers work under his leadership.
  • The Prime Minister distributes and redistributes work to the ministers.
  • He also has the power to dismiss ministers.


  • When the Prime Minister quits, the entire ministry quits.

Council of Ministers

  • Council of Ministers is the official name for the body that includes all the Ministers.
  • It usually has 60 to 80 Ministers of different ranks.

Types of ministers

  • Cabinet Ministers are usually top-level leaders of the ruling party or parties who are in charge of the major ministries.
  • Ministers of State with independent charge are usually in-charge of smaller Ministries.
  • Ministers of State or Deputy ministers are attached to and required to assist Cabinet Ministers in their work.

Coalition Government

  • A government formed by an alliance of two or more political parties, usually when no single party enjoys majority support of the members in a legislature.

The President

  • The President is elected by all the Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of State Legislative Assemblies (MLAs).

Powers of the President

  • The President supervises the overall functioning of all the political institutions in the country.
  • All governmental activities take place in the name of the President.
  • All laws and major policy decisions of the government are issued in her name.
  • All major appointments such as the Chief Justice of India, the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the Governors, the Election Commissioners, ambassadors to other countries are made in the name of the President.
  • All international treaties and agreements are made in the name of the President.
  • The President is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India.
  • However, the President exercises all these powers only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.


  • All the courts at different levels in a country put together are called the judiciary.
  • The Indian judiciary consists of a Supreme Court for the entire nation, High Courts in the states, District Courts and the courts at local level.

Independence of the judiciary

  • Independence of the judiciary means that it is not under the control of the legislature or the executive.

Chapter 6- Democratic Rights


What are Rights?


  • Rights are reasonable claims of persons recognised by society and sanctioned by law.

Case Study where rights are denied

Prison in Guantanamo Bay

  • About 600 people were secretly picked up by the US forces from all over the world.
  • They were put in a prison in Guantanamo Bay, an area near Cuba controlled by American Navy.
  • They were linked to the attack on New York on 11 September 2001.
  • The US army arrested them, interrogated them and decided whether to keep them there or not.
  • There was no trial before any magistrate in the US.
  • Amnesty International, reported that the prisoners were being tortured in ways that violated the US laws.


  • The UN Secretary General said the prison in Guantanamo Bay should be closed down but the US government refused to accept these pleas.


Why do we need rights in a democracy?


  • For democratic elections to take place it is necessary that citizens should have the right to express their opinion, form political parties and take part in political activities.


  • Rights are guarantees which can be used when things go wrong.


  • The government should protect the citizens’ rights. 


  • In most democracies, the basic rights of the citizens are written down in the constitution.


Rights in the Indian Constitution


  • Indian Constitution provides for six Fundamental Rights.


Right to Equality


  • According to the constitution, the laws apply in the same manner to all, regardless of a person’s status. This is called the rule of law.


  • The government shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. 


Right to Freedom


  • Freedom means absence of interference in our affairs by others – be it other individuals or the government.


Indian Constitution gives all citizens the right to:

→ Freedom of speech and expression

→ Assembly in a peaceful manner

→ Form associations and unions

→ Move freely throughout the country

→ Reside in any part of the country

→ Practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

→ No person can be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

→ A government or police officer can arrest or detain any citizen unless he has proper legal justification.


Right against Exploitation


  • The Constitution prohibits ‘traffic in human beings’. 


  • The Constitution also forbids forced labour or beggar in any form.


  • The Constitution also prohibits child labour. 


Right to Freedom of Religion


  • India is a secular state which means it does not establish any one religion as an official religion.


  • Every person has a right to profess, practice and propagate the religion he or she believes in.


Cultural and Educational Rights


  • The working of democracy gives power to the majority therefore it is the language, culture and religion of minorities that needs special protection.


  • The Constitution specifies the cultural and educational rights of the minorities:


→ Any section of citizens with a distinct language or culture have a right to conserve it.

→ Admission to any educational institution maintained by the government or receiving government aid cannot be denied to any citizen on the ground of religion or language.

  • All minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.


How can we secure these rights?


  • The right to seek the enforcement of the fundamental rights is called the Right to Constitutional Remedies.


  • This itself is a Fundamental Right which makes other rights effective.


Expanding scope of Rights


  • Fundamental Rights are the source of all rights, our Constitution and law offers a wider range of rights.


  • Over the years the scope of rights has expanded.


  • Various other rights are:

→ Right to freedom of press

→ Right  to information

→ Right to education

→ School Education

→ Right to information

→ Right to life 


  • The Constitution provides many more rights, which may not be Fundamental Rights. 

→ Right to property and Right to vote in elections are important constitutional rights.