NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science Chapter 8 - Confronting Marginalisation

Question 1:

List two Fundamental Rights in the Constitution that Dalits can draw upon to insist that they be treated with dignity and as equals?


The Indian Constitution provides six Fundamental Rights to all citizens equally. The Dalits have a Fundamental Right to be treated with dignity and as equals.
(i) Right to Equality: The Constitution of India declares all the citizens of India to be equal in the eyes of law and provides equal protection of law within the territory of India. There can be no discrimination between one citizen and another on the basis of religion, caste, colour, gender, sex etc. Article 17 abolishes untouchability and its practice in any form is forbidden.
(ii) Right against Exploitation: The Constitution of India recognises the dignity of the individual and protect him against any form of exploitation either by the state or by privileged classes in the society.

Question 2:

Re-read the story on Rathnam as well as the provisions of the 1989 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Now list one reason why you think he used this law to file a complaint.


Dalits and other weaker sections of the society were ill treated and humiliated. Ultimately, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 was passed.
The main aim of this Act was to keep an eye on the violence against the Dalits and to deliver severe punishment to those who still violate the law. Rathnam, a member of Dalit Community, was asked to perform the ritual in which he had to wash the feet of the priest and bath in the same water.
Rathnam refused to perform this ritual as he does not have faith in it. The powerful castes in the village where Rathnam lived, were greatly angered by this. In order to teach him a lesson, the villagers decided to expel him and his family. One night, although his hut was set on fire, he and his mother managed to escape. He went to the local police station and file a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The case was also supported by the media. Due to Rathnam's efforts, the ritual was called off.

Question 3:

Why do Adivasi activists, including C.K. Janu, believe that Adivasis can also use this 1989 Act to fight against dispossession? Is there anything specific in the provisions of the Act that allows her to believe this?


Adivasi activists, including C.K. Janu, rightly believe that Adivasis can also use Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 to fight against dispossession. Adivasi activists refer to the 1989 Act as an attempt to reclaim the forest lands, which were originally theirs.
Activists have asked that those who have forcibly occupied tribal land should be punished under 1989 Act. According to 1989 Act, non-tribal people can not buy or sell land which originally belonged to the tribal people. The Indian Constitution gives the freedom to the tribal people to re-claim their land. According to C.K. Janu, an Adivasi activist, governments of various states are also violators of this constitutional right.

Question 4:

State one reason why you think reservations play an important role in providing social justice to Dalits and Adivasis?


Reservation Policy has played an important role in providing social and economic justice to Dalits and Adivasis as it provides an equal opportunity to the SC and ST to compete with everyone.