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Rights In A Democracy

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Rights In A Democracy - Lesson Summary

Everyone expects a system that assures security and dignity, and is fair to all irrespective of race, caste, religion or gender. This desire for a system where a minimum is guaranteed to everyone - is the real spirit behind aspiring for rights.

Rights are legal and moral entitlements or claims of a person over other fellow beings, over society and over the government.

A claim cannot become a right unless it is recognised by society. Claims that are recognised by society as rightful form the basis of rights. With changing times, the scope and meaning of rights also changes. Claims need to be reasonable, recognised by society and sanctioned by law. Rights are the basic requirement to sustain a democracy.

Citizens must have the right to express their opinion, form political parties and take part in all sorts of political activities, for the elections to be called democratic.

Rights play a special role in a democracy to protect the minorities from being suppressed by the majorities. In most democracies, the basic rights of a citizen are documented in the Constitution.  

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