- As per the Indian Constitution all Indians are equal under the law to such an extent that no individual can be discriminated against religion, sex, station, or whether rich or poor.
- All adults in India have right to vote in electing government, and this 'control over the ballot' has been utilized by individuals to choose or change their representatives since independence.
- However, the feeling of equality on the basis of ‘one vote one person’ does not extend to all. Poor people are neglected, and these people do not get justice in matters of health, education, etc.
- Domestic helpers, small farmers and many others work in hardships due to poverty and lack of resources.
- People also face discrimination on grounds of religion, caste and gender in India.
Struggles for Equality:
- Throughout the world, people are fighting for their rights and equality, trying to end the discrimination which they face.
- Women's struggle and movements for equality was one such group fighting for their rights.
- The Tawa Matsya Sangh in Madhya Pradesh is also an example of people coming together to fight for an issue.
- There are many other struggles such as those of beedi workers, fish folk, agricultural labourers, slum dwellers, etc. who have been fighting for equality and justice.
Tawa Matsya Sangh (TMS):
- It is a federation of fisher worker’s cooperatives that fights for the rights of forest dwellers who have been displaced from Satpura forest located in Madhya Pradesh.
- With the beginning of the construction of Tawa Dam in 1958 till its completion in 1978, large parts of the forest and agricultural areas were submerged. Thus, the forest dwellers had to suffer a setback as they earned very little.
- To government gave rights for fishing in the Tawa reservoir but to only private contractors in 1994.
- When the contractors started exploiting the poor villagers, they came together to form a union and set up an organization to protect their rights, which was called Tawa Matsya Sangh.
- Rallies and Chakka jam were organized time and again. In response, the government granted fishing, rights to the villagers in 1996.
The Indian Constitution as a Living Document:
- The foundation of all movements for justice and the inspiration for all the poetry and songs on equality is the recognition that all people are equal.
- Movements and struggle for equality in India promote equality. Indian constitution is a living documents recognizing greater equality on existing and other issues.
- It guarantees dignity, self-respect and equality, all of which are required in a democracy.
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