[Answered] “Fraternity in India is often overshadowed by social and caste inequalities, making it a neglected constitutional value.” Critically assess the statement, considering the role of political and social factors in promoting fraternity in India.

Introduction: Describe fraternity as a concept.

Body: What role do political & social factors play in promoting fraternity in India?

Conclusion: Way forward.

Fraternity along with liberty & equality remains the most significant tenet of liberal political philosophy. Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians. It is the principle that gives unity and solidarity to social life. Without fraternity, equality, and liberty will not be very useful. Fraternity has been most forgotten in our Constitution and our electoral process. B.R. Ambedkar is often credited as the person who gave primacy to ideas of Liberty, Equality, and fraternity in the Indian constitution.

What role do political & social factors play in promoting fraternity in India?

  • Historical factors: Liberty, Equality, and fraternity are core values enshrined in the preamble of the Indian constitution. India’s caste system, colonial rule, and various stages in the independence struggle had a lasting impact on the social system in India. For eg, the 1931 “Fundamental Rights” resolution, Objectives Resolution, Annihilation of Caste, & finally Constitution have played a role in promoting fraternity in India.
  • Caste system: The caste system in India is rife with historical marginalization and discrimination of some castes, as well as deep-seated inequality. Despite constitutional protections like reservation laws, caste-based prejudice continues to exist in many forms. When caste-based differences remain widespread, fraternity might be difficult to achieve.
  • Political factors: The political landscape in India has often been influenced by identity politics, where politicians use caste and religion as tools to garner votes. This can perpetuate divisions rather than promote fraternity. Moreover, the failure of some political parties to address social and economic inequalities exacerbates the problem.
  • Affirmative action: Reservation laws have been put in place to advance social justice and empower vulnerable communities, yet they occasionally cause animosity among other sections of society. When some persons believe their prospects are constrained by these regulations, this can impede the growth of brotherhood.
  • Social justice movements: The Dalit rights movement and women’s empowerment programs are just two examples of social movements in India that have sought to advance social justice and fraternity. Significant progress has been made by these movements in promoting change and increasing awareness.

Conclusion:

Although fraternity remains one of the chief goals of India’s parliamentary democracy and is the foundational political objective of its constitutional democracy, the current nature of India’s fraternity is different from the political fraternity espoused in its Constitution. Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach, including education, social awareness, and meaningful political reforms, to bridge the gaps and promote a stronger sense of fraternity among all citizens.

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