Q1. Fill in the blanks.
i. Indian Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before the law.
ii. All adults in India have the equal right to vote during elections.
iii. The TMS has also begun giving the fishworkers loans for repair and the buying of new nets.
i. The increasing privatization of health services and the neglect of government hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people. True
ii. Ansaris were not getting a flat on rent because of their religion. True
iii. In 2006, the Madhya Pradesh government decided to give to the people displaced by the Tawa dam the fishing rights for the reservoir. False
Q3. Name the state where Tawa Matsya Sang was started.
Ans. Madhya Pradesh
Q4. What was the demand of Tawa Matsya Sangh?
Ans. They were demanding their right to continue fishing for their livelihood.
Q5. Why so many people’s lives in India are highly unequal?
Ans. Poverty and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason why so many people’s lives in India are highly unequal.
Q6. Why teachers forced Omprakash Valmiki to sweep the school yard?
Ans. The main reason that the teachers forced Omprakash Valmiki to sweep the school yard was because he was Dalit.
Q7. Why people are treated unequally in India?
Ans. People are treated unequally mainly on the basis of person’s religion, caste and sex.
Q8. How Indian Constitution justify rights to equality?
Ans. The Indian Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before the law and states that no person can be discriminated against because of their religion, sex, caste or whether they are rich or poor.
Q9. What role does the Constitution play in people’s struggles for equality?
Ans. The Indian Constitution recognises the equality of all persons. Movements and struggles for equality in India continuously refer to the Indian Constitution to make their point about equality and justice for all.
Q10. Why the old Tehri town and many villages, some totally and some partially, were submerged?
Ans. The old Tehri town and many villages, some totally and some partially, were submerged because of construction of Tawa dam across the river.
Q11. How writers, singers, dancers and artists have also been very active in the fight against inequality?
Ans. Their poems, songs and stories can also inspire us and make us believe strongly in an issue and influence our efforts to correct the situation.
Q12. Why girls belonging to Dalit, Adivasis and Muslim community drop out of schools in large numbers?
Ans. Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim girls drop out of school in large numbers. This is a combined outcome of poverty, social discrimination and the lack of good quality school facilities for these communities.
Q13. What do you know about Tawa Matsya Sangh?
What issue is the Tawa Matsya Sangh (TMS) fighting for?
Ans. The Tawa Matsya Sangh is a federation of Fisherworker’s cooperatives. It is an organisation fighting for the rights of the displaced forest dwellers of the Satpura forest in Madhya Pradesh.
Q14. Do you think that the large-scale participation of villagers has contributed to the success of the TMS? Write two lines on why you think so.
Ans. Yes, large-scale participation of villagers has contributed to the success of the TMS. Villagers organised rallies and a chakka jam (road blockade), demanding their right to continue fishing for their livelihood. In response to their protests, the government created a committee to assess the issue.
Q15. Why did the villagers set up Tawa Matsya Sangh?
Ans. In 1994, the government gave the rights for fishing in the Tawa reservoir to private contractors. These contractors drove the local people away and got cheap labour from outside. The contractors began to threaten the villagers, who did not want to leave, by bringing in hoodlums. The villagers stood united and set up an organization to protect their rights.
Q16. What do you think is meant by the expression ‘power over the ballot box’? Discuss.
Ans. The expression ‘power over the ballot box’ means all adults in India have the equal right to vote during elections. This ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used by people to elect or replace their representatives. But this feeling of equality that the ballot box provides, because the vote of one person is as good as that of another, does not extend to most people’s lives. The increasing privatization of health services and the neglect of government hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people to get good quality health care. These people do not have the resources to afford expensive private health services. Similarly, the man who sells juice does not have the resources to compete with all of the major companies who sell branded drinks through expensive advertising.