Rights: NBSE Class 11 (Arts) Political Science chapter 7 answers

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Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 7: Rights. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.


The concept of ‘rights’ is a cornerstone of citizenship, defining an individual’s position within a state. Historically, rights were referred to as ‘civil liberties,’ encompassing freedoms such as protection from arbitrary arrest, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Over time, the concept evolved into the ‘Rights of Man,’ which included both civil and political rights. Modern welfare states have further expanded this concept to include socio-economic rights.

Rights can be broadly categorized into political rights, civil rights and liberties, socio-economic rights, and cultural and educational rights. Political rights include the right to vote, the right to be elected, and the right to hold public office. Civil liberties encompass the right to personal liberty, freedom of speech, expression and assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to civil equality. Socio-economic rights include the right to work and the right to property, while cultural and educational rights protect the individual’s right to participate in cultural activities and receive education.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, recognizes these rights as universal, applicable to all individuals regardless of their location or circumstances. This declaration includes rights such as the right to life, education, and property ownership.

However, rights are not absolute and change with time and place. They also imply duties and responsibilities. For instance, the right to freedom of speech and expression comes with the responsibility not to infringe upon others’ rights or cause harm. Similarly, the right to a clean and healthy environment implies the duty to protect and improve our natural surroundings.

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Textual questions and answers

A. Long answer questions

1. What is meant by Rights? Do you agree with the view that rights change with time and place?

Answer: Rights are regarded as an essential characteristic of citizenship, defining the position of an individual within a state. In earlier times, rights were known as ‘Civil Liberties,’ which included such freedoms as freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Later, the concept evolved into the ‘Rights of Man,’ which included both civil and political rights.

Yes, rights change with time and place. They are not absolute and are subject to the socio-political and cultural context of a society. For instance, the rights recognized and upheld in one country may not be the same as those in another. Similarly, the rights that are considered important in the present time might not have been recognized in the past and vice versa. Therefore, it is accurate to say that rights are dynamic and evolve with time and place.

2. How Rights are different from Claims? (or) Comment on the statement that “Right is a Claim that is just and reasonable and society recognises it as a right.”

Answer: A right is a claim, but it is a claim that is just and reasonable. A claim cannot become a right unless it is recognized by society. According to Bentham, the State is the sole creator of rights. However, Laski views that there are two types of rights, those that have been recognized and others that demand recognition by the State.

Every person has many desires which they seek to satisfy, and therefore, they claim many things. Every right arises from a “claim to something of value”, such as land, job, facilities, services, etc. However, these claims should be reasonable and morally justifiable. There may be many such claims as are opposed to one’s true welfare or to the interests of society. Reason and morality alone would transform a ‘Claim’ into a ‘Right’.

Moreover, a claim cannot become a right unless it is recognized by society. This is for two reasons. Firstly, the idea of rights arises only in a society. Man has to live and work in cooperation with others. These others put forth the same claims as he does. Secondly, rights can only be sustained and supported by society. Society by its collective moral or physical force would do everything possible to make my right safe from assault or loss. Society’s recognition to a claim is essential before it can become a right.

However, it’s important to note that there are two types of rights, those that have been recognized and others that demand recognition by the State. Thus, even if a right has not been recognized in many states, it shall always be claimed as the genuine right of a person. Rights arise from the moral nature of man. Human consciousness presupposes liberty and liberty involves rights.

3. Explain:

(a) Any three political rights

Answer: Any three political rights are:

The Right to Vote: Normal practice in all democratic States is that all adults have the right to vote, except those who are of unsound mind or are disqualified under some law of the land. In India the 61st Amendment Act (1989) lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years.

The Right to be Elected: Right to participate in political process implies the right to contest an election, although that right may be subject to having attained a particular age. Members of the Lok Sabha in India should have attained the age of twenty-five years. Right to political process includes the right to form or join a political party also.

The Right to Public Office: In a democracy every citizen has the right to hold government office, provided that the necessary professional or technical qualifications are satisfied.

(b) Any three civil rights and liberties

Answer: Any three civil rights and liberties are:

Right to Personal Liberty: A person should not be imprisoned or detained, except according to procedure established by law. Personal liberty also means that privacy of homes and correspondence, etc., should be protected by law.

Freedom of Speech, Expression and Assembly: This means the right to say or write what one chooses and the right to attend any lawful public meeting. These freedoms enable us to participate in cultural and political activities.

Freedom of Religion: The right to practise one’s religion has come to be recognised as a basic right in all civilized societies. State should not be wedded to any Church or religious Creed. The right to freedom of religion is clearly recognised by the Constitution of India.

4. Explain the Socio-economic rights of the citizens.

Answer: Democratic societies insist on the following socio-economic rights of the citizens:

Right to Work: Every citizen has a right to be occupied in producing some goods or service. The two other aspects of this right are as follows: First, an individual has the right also to be paid an “adequate wage” for his work. He should have an access to clean water, housing, health care and educational opportunities. Second, everyone has “the right to security” in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood or old age. The Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 provides 100 days of guaranteed employment in every year to every rural household in India. The Act came into force in all the 619 districts of the country on April 2008.

Right to Property: Liberal-democratic societies recognise the right to property, subject to the provision that the property may be acquired for public purposes.

5. Rights and responsibilities are correlative. Mention the four principal duties of Citizens of a country. (Or) “Rights imply Duties.” Mention the duties which Citizens owe to natural surroundings, their fellow citizens and state and nation.

Answer: Duty to Protect and Improve the Natural Environment: Urbanisation, over population and industrialisation have made the problem of pollution very acute in modern times. It is the duty of every citizen “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life.” One should have compassion for living creatures.

Duty to respect Others’ Rights and to Observe Rules of Civic Behaviour: Everyone is expected to observe rules of civic behaviour. He should not cause any discomfort and inconvenience to his neighbours. Loud harsh sounds made by the car horn or the radio and the TV sets become unpleasant to hear. We must also avoid criticising others’ life-styles, the way one has dressed up or the food one liked.

 Restrictions on the Freedom of Speech and Expression: The right to freedom of expression does not include the right to say things that are obscene, seditious or defamatory of someone’s reputation. The privacy of one’s own home should never be disturbed. Moreover, full frontal nudity on stage and screen can never be treated as a natural thing. Therefore, in all civilized societies laws exist to prevent the misuse of freedom of speech and expression.

Duty towards State and the Nation: Citizens are obliged to observe the Constitution and laws of the land. They should preserve and protect public property. If someone has become a ‘security risk’, restrictions shall naturally be put on his possible movements or actions. Citizens may be called to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the country. All countries have laws pertaining to compulsory conscription in the event of a War. 

Attitude towards Values: Robert A. Dahl has spoken of “the democratic personality”. According to him, democracy flourishes best if there was a feeling of “Tolerance” and “Co-existence” amongst the people. Moreover, they should have “a disposition to share rather than to hoard or monopolize.” In the event of a war or during periods of scarcity the essential goods like foodgrains, oil or sugar are made available against ration cards. Citizens are required to avoid waste of public funds.

B. Short answer questions

6. Differentiate between Negative and Positive Rights. 

Answer:  Negative rights impose restrictions upon the behaviour of others, particularly the government. Civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and freedom of movement, are negative rights. They require that the government and fellow citizens do not encroach on such freedoms. 

On the other hand, socio-economic rights, such as the right to education or the right to work, are positive rights. They require that the government provides us with such services or such social support.

7. Why some rights are considered to be Universal in nature? Mention any four rights included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Answer: The UN charter declared its faith in “fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.” On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’. Human rights refer to those freedoms which should be available to all persons, irrespective of their religion, race, caste, sex, nationality or any one of them. These rights include:

  • the right to life,
  • right to education,
  • right to own property,
  • equality before the law and many other rights.
C. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct answer.

8. What do we mean when we say that the Right to Vote is not only a right but a duty as well?

Answer: (c) It means when we choose our representatives, we should not be swayed by considerations of caste, community or religion.

9. The Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 falls into the category of:

Answer: (c) Right to Work

10. The UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed Universal Declaration of Human Rights on:

Answer: (c) 10 December 1948

Value-based Question

According to the law, my right to freedom of expression does not allow me to express such views which hurt the feelings and beliefs of a particular religious community. The question is: should one be penalised for telling a ‘truth’ that goes against the beliefs of a community?

Answer: It’s important to note that laws and societal norms can vary greatly from one country or region to another. In many democratic societies, like India, freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but it is not absolute. It is often limited or regulated to protect other rights and to maintain public order. For example, laws against hate speech or defamation are common.

If the ‘truth’ being expressed is done so in a way that is intended to incite hatred or violence against a particular religious community, or is defamatory, then it may be subject to legal penalties. However, if the ‘truth’ is expressed in a respectful and non-inflammatory way, it may be protected under the right to freedom of expression.

It’s also important to consider the ethical implications. Even if expressing a ‘truth’ that goes against the beliefs of a community is not illegal, it may still be seen as disrespectful or harmful. It’s often important to consider not just what we say, but how we say it, and to strive for dialogue and understanding rather than conflict.

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