Right to Equality
In a school, for a teacher, all children are equal.
They all have the same rights and treatment.
In the same way, people in India, have the right to equality.
Right to Equality ensures equal rights for all the citizens.
The Right to Equality does not allow inequality based on caste, religion, place of birth, race, or gender.
It also ensures equality of opportunity in matters of public employment ...
And prevents the State from discriminating against anyone in matters of employment on any basis.
This basic right of equality is granted in the following forms in the Indian Constitution.
1. Equality before Law.
The Constitution says that the government shall not deny to any person in India equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws.
It means that the laws apply in the same manner to all, regardless of a person’s status.
This is called the rule of law.It means that no person is above the law.
Rule of law is the foundation of any democracy.
There cannot be any distinction between a political leader, government official and an ordinary citizen.
Every citizen, from the Prime Minister to a small farmer in a faraway village, is treated by the same laws.
No person can legally claim any special treatment or privilege just because he or she happens to be an important person.
Thus, every person is equal before Law and must get equal access to the laws and rights.
A few years ago a former Prime Minister of the country faced a court case on charges of cheating.
The court finally declared that he was not guilty.
But as long as the case continued, he had to go to the court, give evidence and file papers, just like any other citizen.
2. Equality of opportunities in Public Employment.
All citizens have equal opportunity in matters relating to employment or appointment to any position in the government.
Citizens shall not be discriminated against or made ineligible for employment on any grounds.
Government of India has provided reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
Various governments have different schemes for giving preference to women, poor or physically handicapped in some kinds of jobs.
Equality does not mean equity. Equality is giving everyone the same treatment, no matter what they need.
Equity means giving everyone an opportunity according to what the person is capable of or what they need.
Sometimes it is necessary to give special treatment to someone in order to ensure equal opportunity.
This is what job reservations do.
3. Prohibition of Discrimination.
There are various basis of discrimination- gender, religion, class, caste, race etc.
The law prohibits discrimination on any and all basis. This is done to ensure and protect the equality of all individuals.
4. Abolition of Untouchability.
This is just another step taken towards preventing discrimination and protecting equality.
“Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.
Thus, these 4 rights under the Fundamental Right to Equality help in fair treatment of all citizens.