[PDF] Secular State: Purpose, Functions and Growth of Secular State

Purpose of the State:

According to John Locke, the purpose of the government is human welfare. According to Bluntschli and Holtzendorf, the purpose of the state is the welfare of the people.

According to Giddings, t he purpose of the state is to create such an atmosphere in which all the people should be able to lead a supreme and self-sufficient life. Ritche says, “The purpose of the state is the achievement of the best life by the individual”.

In modern times, Burgess, Willoughby and Garner have discussed the topic in detail. According to Garner, the purpose of the state is to look after the interest of the individual, nation’s interest and to develop human civilization.

According to Adam Smith, there are three main purposes of the state: First, protection from external aggression and maintenance of internal peace and security; secondly, protection of the individual against injustice and atrocities of other members of society; and thirdly, to establish different jobs and public institutions and to maintain them, which cannot be established by any individual or group of individuals.

Functions of the Welfare State:

What functions should be performed by the state and what should not be performed by it has been a controversial matter since ancient times. Individualist writers are of the view that the state should perform only three functions.

The following are the three functions of the state according to individualists:-

(1) Protection from foreign aggression;

(2) Maintenance of internal law and order; and

(3) To implement such mutual agreements which are legally valid?

Thus, it is clear that the individualists want to limit the functions of the state. They are not ready to make the state a welfare institution for the public welfare. Contrary to this, the socialists want to expand the state activities in every sphere.

The activities of the state have been extended very much in Russia, China and other communist countries and the state is controlling every sphere of the society. In the countries, where there is no socialism, efforts are being made to make the state a welfare organisation, as in India. In England and America, similar views are prevailing.

In modern welfare states, individualistic view, that the state should not interfere in the fundamental rights of the individuals, has been accepted. For example, people have been given some fundamental rights in India, France and the United States of America, and there is generally no undue interference of the state in these rights.

Today, the welfare state maintains law and order, defence and justice, but besides this, no other view of individualism has been accepted. Today, the state considers it as its duty to remove evils like illiteracy, poverty, illness, use of intoxicants, etc.

The state also makes rules and regulations for trade and commerce. It imposes taxes and controls the production and distribution of essential goods. The state also makes laws relating to marriage, untouchability, property, etc. Thus the sphere of state activity has extended to a great extent.

Functions of Modern States:

Bern’s says, “The state should give full help to make the national life complete and to develop the national health, welfare, morality and intellect of the society”.

The state activities can be divided into two parts:

(1) Compulsory or essential;

(2) Optional. American writer Wilson has divided the functions of the state into two parts-Compulsory and Optional.

According to Wilson, the following are Compulsory Functions of the state:-

(1) To maintain law and order and to protect life and property against theft and violence.

(2) To establish legal relations between husband and wife and between children and their parents.

(3) To make rules regarding property;

(4) To decide the rights which come out as a result of agreement between the individuals?

(5) To fix the crimes and to award punishment;

(6) To give justice in civil matters.

(7) To fix mutual relations between the citizens and their rights and duties; and

(8) Relations with foreign countries and protection against foreign Aggression.

It is clear from the compulsory functions of the state that according to individualists all functions have been adopted by the welfare states but in welfare states some functions of socialist countries have also been included and they have been made optional for the state.

Thus, the concept of individualism is midway between individualism and socialism. Today, all the politicians accept the above mentioned functions of the state irrespective of the form of the government. All wise people accept the view that the main function of the state is to guard its people against foreign aggression, and to maintain law and order, and justice.

For this purpose, every state has to keep a large army and police force and it has to establish courts. The state cannot function only on the basis of non-violence. There is no example in the world history where a country has functioned on the basis of non-violence. Many people quote the example of emperor Ashoka, but this is a mistake.

The reason for this is that though after the war of Kalinga, he stopped conquering more lands, yet he did not disband military and police organisations. He maintained up to the last military and police for the maintenance of peace, to suppress rebellions and to protect the frontiers of the country. This fact has been supported by Kalhan, a famous Kashmiri historian, who wrote that once during Ashoka’s regime, the Greek aggressors violated in the north-western frontiers of India and they entered Indian Territory.

Immediately, Emperor Ashoka sent a large army under the command of his son Jallock in order to turn the invaders out of India. Jallock defeated the Greeks and turned them out of India. The second example is that of the rebellion of the tribal people near Taxila.

King Ashoka warned them to stop the rebellious attitude and threatened to use force against them if they did not do so. The rebellions were immediately put to an end. Our government too has military and police forces for the protection of the country and for the maintenance of law and order, even though it believes in non-violence.

Our government had to use force in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Goa, Diu, Daman and against the Naga rebels. When on October 20, 1962, China invaded India; the Government of India had to face the aggression with military force.

The aggressor could not be defeated by employing non-violent or peaceful methods. After that, our government has increased its military powers. It is, therefore clear that for the protection of the country, adequate military power is essential.

During the Second World War, Russia, America and Britain protected their countries against the German invasion with force. Therefore, since the very beginning, it has been the duty of the state to protect the country and to maintain law and order.

According to Wilson, the following are the optional functions of the state:-

1. To make regulations relating to commerce and industry.

2. To make laws for the benefit of the labourers.

3. To make care of the poor and the invalid.

4. To make arrangements for Post and Telegraph;

5. To construct roads and highways;

6. To make arrangement for water, gas, etc.;

7. To make arrangement for health and cleanliness;

8. To plant jungles and to protect their production and to increase fish in the rivers;

9. To eradicate social evils like child marriage, drinking etc.

10. Education; and

11. To make arrangement for important and export and to make laws in this regard.

In modern age, the state performs most of these functions for the welfare of the people. For example, welfare state has been established in India. The go
vernment has made many rules relating to commerce and industry and for the welfare of the labourers.

Our government has imposed many restrictions on the import of foreign goods that indigenous goods should become popular. Our government is providing many facilities to local and foreign industrialists so that they may invest their capital and the people should get everything easily.

Our government is not only giving loans and providing many facilities to the industrialists, but it is also imposing heavy taxes on them, so that adequate money should be available for the execution of Five-Year Plans. For the welfare of the labourers our government has fixed their pay, working hours, bonus, holidays and compensation in case of accident.

Our government has left many industries in private sector, but it has regulated them. It has started some industries in public sector also. It has established steel plants in Durgapur (West Bengal), Bhilai (Madhya Pradesh), Rourkela (Orissa) and Bokaro (Bihar) and got technical assistance for them from foreign countries. Our government has established a Locomative Factory at Chittaranjan (West Bengal) and a Coach Factory at Perambur (Tamil Nadu).

Civil Aviation has been nationalized and a ship building and repairing factory has been established at Visakhapatnam. The Governments of France, West Germany, Italy, England and Japan are also doing many things for the welfare of the people and they are making efforts for the regulation of industries and for the uplift of the labourers.

In modern times, all welfare states are making strenuous efforts for the development of agriculture, because it is the first and foremost duty for the government to increase the production of food-grains. After the partition of the country, our government has taken many important steps.

For example, the government launched a Grow More Food Campaign and made many efforts for the improvement of the condition of the farmers, which includes abolition of zamindari system, through constructing many dams, new techniques of agriculture, production of fertilizers, arrangements for loans through co-operative societies, etc.

The Governments in other countries are making similar efforts. The Governments in Russia, China, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, Hungary, etc., are having more control over the industries and” agriculture than the welfare states.

Today all progressive countries have full control over Posts and Telegraphs; and import and export. Modern government build roads for the benefit of the citizens and make arrangements for water supply, lighting and cleanliness for villages and towns.

Today in all progressive countries, the governments create such situations as help the people to keep good health. For this purpose the governments impose price control, check adulteration in foodstuffs and ban the sale of rotten and intoxicating things. They make arrangements for the supply of pure butter and milk. The progressive governments in order to check the spread of diseases establish health departments and open hospitals.

Modern governments have done a commendable work regarding the care of ne poor, invalid and the old. Many states have made arrangements for their livelihood and some pension is also being granted to them. In our country the governments of U.P. and Rajasthan have taken very important steps in this direction. The Central Government also chalked out a plan for this purpose.

The progressive states have also taken steps to increase fish in the rivers, to grow forests, to make better arrangements for education and to eradicate social ills. In our country, in order to grow more forests, Vanamahotsavas are celebrated every year.

The government is continuously making efforts to develop fisheries. To recommend reforms in the educational system, our government has set up a commission. Foreign Educational experts have also been engaged for advice in this matter.

Today, the state also protects the prosperity and tries to bring about moral reforms. In the Constitution of India, the people have been given the right to freedom. The Government of India has also introduced many social reforms. For this purpose the government has passed the Hindu Code Bill. Besides, the government fixes weights and measures and it also mints money. The government also establishes international relations. It develops natural resources.

What the State Should Not Do?

We have discussed above the functions which the state should performs. Now we discuss what the state should not do?

The state should not perform the following functions:

(1) The state should not unnecessarily interfere in the customs and usages of the people, but if any custom is bad, the state has the full authority to ban it. For example, Sati system, child marriage and untouchability were bad customs in India. There, the Government of India abolished them by law.

(2) The slate should not prescribe dress or fashions for the people. It means that the state should not prescribe one type of dress for all the people and it should be left to the people to decide which dress or fashion is to be adopted by them.

But the government is free to prescribe dresses for government officials, police and military personnel. Amir Aman Ullah Khan, the king of Afghanistan, ordered his people to shave off their beards. The orthodox Muslims did not like it because in their view, the government had not right to prescribe a fashion for the people.

The Muslims of Afghanistan took this order as against their religion and an interference in their daily life. The result was that the people revolted against the king and Aman Ullah had to abdicate his throne, and run away to Paris via Delhi.

(3) The government or the state should not interfere in the religion of the people. The students of history are very well aware of the fact as to how Aurangzeb’s fanatic religious policy shook the very foundation of the Mughal Empire. Britishers also tried to convert Indians to Christians before 1857, with the result that the people revolted against them.

This was one of the most important reasons of the 1857 upheaval. Therefore, at the time of the enactment of the Constitution of India, a secular state was established in India. This means that religious matters our country is secular and it will neither work for nor against any religion.

(4) The state should not impose any special restriction on public opinion but it should give maximum freedom to such means as form public opinion. In a democratic set-up, there should be maximum freedom of speech and writing, freedom of criticism to the press, freedom to form institutions or association.

However, in actual practice it is seen that this type of freedom exists in democratic countries, but it is almost non-existent in communist or dictatorial regimes. These rights are included in the human rights declared by the United Nations. The U.N. is trying to get these rights for all citizens of the world.

(5) The state should not interfere in the family and personal affairs of the people.

(6) The state should not take up such measures as hinder the mental or physical growth of the people.

State and Religion:

Political Science deals with the State. In ancient and medieval times, and Politics were closely related to each other. Ancient scriptures deal with also. In ancient Egypt, India and other countries Political Science and religion went together. In the same way European States were Christian in the medieval ages.

There was theocracy in the medieval Islamic Empire. In Rig-Veda reference has been made to “Samiti” and “Sabha” the two political institutions of that time. And it was believed that a wise king should always be in harmony with these institutions.

The two institutions were very powerful in the Vedic era. In Atharva Veda we come across many incantations which were taken as an oath by the king before his coronation and if he did not act in accordance w
ith the incantations, he was very likely to be dethroned.

There were incantations (mantras) which recommended the dethroned king to be enthroned again if he had left repentant. Manusmriti deals with the duties of a king. In Mahabharata, reference has been made to the origin of the state.

In ancient times the Hindu kings tried to run their government in accordance with the Hindu religion and Muslim kings in accordance with the Quran. This makes it very clear that in ancient times kings and emperors were much impressed by religion. Emperor Ashoka made all efforts, except the use of power, to preach Buddhism.

Religion has helped to a very great extent as a cementing factor in political organisation also. Islam successfully united all the warring tribes of Arabia. The preaching’s of Guru Nanak and other Gurus united all the Sikhs into one state- Punjab-which proved to be a very powerful kingdom during the tenure of Ranjit Singh.

Religion disciplined the public and taught people how to obey the king or the government. Religion also taught people how they should behave. Religion is a very good thing because it teaches morality and love for human beings but it has been misused by the politicians to suit their own ends, therefore, it has given rise to secular state.

Rise of Secularism and the Growth of the Secular State:

If religion united the public, much blood has also been shed in the name of religion by politicians who exploited it for selfish ends. In Jerusalem, fierce battles were fought in the name of religion first between the Egyptians and the Jews and then between the Christians and the Muslims in the middle Ages.

In India, some Turks and Afghan rulers, and some Mughal Emperors like Aurangzeb, declared Islam as their state religion and imposed it upon the Hindus. These rulers tyrannised over those people who refused to profess Islam. Consequently, religious conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims arose.

These disputes reached culmination in the regime of Aurangzeb and shook the foundation of his empire. In ‘857, the British Government also tried to impose Christianity upon people by all means but people rose in revolt which reduced the British East India Company to nothingness.

When India became free, a new Constitution was framed and the rattlers of the Constitution thought it unwise to declare any religion as national religion because there was a great diversity of religions. As a result, India saw the origin and growth of the Secular State.

It was felt that religion was a personal affair and it should not be allowed to interfere in politics. The Constitution of India includes a list of seven Fundamental Rights and one of these seven Fundamental is the right to Freedom of Religion. According to Venkataraman, Secularism means that the State is neither theistic nor atheistic nor agnostic.

It is always away from the religious principles and their performance and thus it remains non-aligned in the religious matters. In the opinion of Dr. Radhakrishnan to be secular does not mean to be an atheist or to be follower of a narrow religious sect but it means to be perfect and spiritual.

According to Eric S. Waterhouse, “Secularism is an ideology which provides a theory of life and conduct as against one provided by a religion. The whole idea of secularism, as enshrined in our Constitution, was very vividly explained by a Member of the Constituent Assembly, Pandit Lakshmi Kant Maitra of West Bengal, who on 6th December, 1948 said thus:

“By Secular State, as I understand it, is meant that the state is not going to make any discrimination whatsoever on the ground of religion or community against any person professing any particular form of religious faith. This means in essence that no particular religion in the state will receive any state patronage any particular form of religious faith. This means in essence that no particular religion in the state will receive any state patronage whatsoever. The state is not going to establish patronage or endow any particular religion to the exclusion of or in preference to others; that no citizen in the state will have any preferential treatment or will be discriminated against simply on the ground that he professed a particular form of religion. In other words, in the affairs of the state the profession of any particular religion will not be taken into consideration at all. This, I consider to be the essence of a secular state. At the same time we must be very careful to see that in this land of ours we do not deny to anybody the right not only to profess or practice, but also to propagate and particular religion the Constitution has rightly provided for this not a right but also a fundamental right”.

So in other words it means that the State will not do any favour or disfavour to any one on the religious grounds either in the selection for jobs or in any other sphere. It depends entirely on the will of the person concerned to profess any religion, he or she likes.

The State will not make use of power or any incentive to pressurise people to profess a particular religion. In India no discrimination has been made since independence for any political or administrative office on the basis of caste, creed, religion or sex and equal opportunities are available to all the citizens of India.

This was demonstrated well on the occasion of the election to the highest office in India when Dr. Zakir Hussain and Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed were elected Presidents of India. Mohammadans have also enjoyed office of Chief Minister, Governor, Judge and Chief Justice of High Court and Supreme Court. So in India Secularism prevails. There is no official religion in India as we find in some Muslim States of the world.

Though India has seen the rise of Secularism and the growth of the Secular State, the world remains to see it yet. In the world there are many countries which have their official religions. For example, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt profess only Islam and they do not profess any other religion.

In the ancient and medieval Arab countries there was theocracy and the Caliph (Khalifa) was considered to be the chief of both the state and the religion. Though Capliphs are not there these days, yet these countries do not profess any other religion except Islam. Therefore, the interests of the religious minorities suffer there.

Advantages of the Secular State:

(1) There is no doubt about it that the Secular States are far better than the non-Secular States because such state neither favour nor disfavour any religion, the religions are given equal treatment. And all the persons professing any religion they like, are given similar opportunities;

(2) In a Secular State, the national unity is safe and secure as there are no religious disputes;

(3) In a Secular State all have equal opportunities to make progress and, therefore, stability is there Nationalism gets strength and the country makes progress on all sides;

(4) A Secular State may follow the high ideals of Truth, Ahimsa, Love and Brotherhood and by so doing the secular nature of the state does not suffer;

(5) In a Secular State People are at liberty to take their own decisions in the religious matters and nobody imposes religion of his choice on anybody. People feel self-reliant and self- dependent;

(6) In a Secular State, unity in diversity is maintained.

Criticism of the Secular State:

People have criticised the Secular Slate on the ground that in a Secular State there is no physical basis to run the government and people do not care to follow any religion or high moral ideals. The criticism is not totally baseless.

It carries some weight. But there is no denying the fact that the Secular State is far better than the non-Secular State. Its merits outshine its demerits. It will not be wrong to say that for countries like India, secularism is most suitable because it does not injure the religious feelings of the people and it does not discrim
inate against any religion.

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[PDF] Why Gandhi Regarded Pure Non-Violence As The Most Powerful One?

Gandhi regarded pure non-violence as the most powerful one. It was non-violence of the brave satyagrahi. He called it as soul or spiritual force (Spiritual Power) which is invincible and never-failing. It could move mountains, transform life and flinch from nothing in its unmistakable faith. It has the unique capacity of winning adherents, building up morale and invoking sacrifice, arousing public opinion and weakening the adversary.

He was so much convinced of its potency that he advised many allies during the Second World War to fight aggression by non-violence alone. A votary of such non-violence or satyagrahi had to observe very strict discipline. One had to take vows like rishis (seers) of ancient India and undergo a compre­hensive moral and spiritual discipline to adopt total Ahimsa.

Gandhi himself, while in South Africa and later India, transformed himself step by step, from common man dressed in English clothes to a saint, a rishi or a mahatma by appearance, word, thought and deed: ‘My earthly possessions consist of six spinning wheels, prison dishes, a can of goat’s milk, six homespun loin clothes and towel and my reputation, which cannot be worth very much.’ He believed in the ideal of non-possession.

Very soon he attained the stature of an avatar (incarnation), and wherever he went, people cried, ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki jai’ (Hail to the Mahatma). Village folks began to revere him like a god, prophet, avatar and god man. The number of his followers, accepting this line, was not very large. Only a few men had full faith in his non-violence as a creed. There were millions of men and women who in line with India’s religious traditions, praised, sympathised and backed up the sayings and doings of the Mahatma without subscribing to his creed.

All this made him a ‘super-power’ unto himself. But Gandhi’s non-violence of the brave was more a wish, possibility or imagination. Most of those statements were made merely as eulogy or poetry to attract people at large. According to the traditional Shastras the power of non-violence of the brave (Spiritual Power) was supposed to dawn on a satyagrahi only after he attained perfection of soul, which none of the satyagrahi could do so.

Gandhi continued to strive to attain non-violence of the brave, but actually could never reach that stage. He continued experimenting with his search of Truth till the end of his life. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude that he ever attained the ordained power of non-violence of the brave.

According to him, the real secret of non-violence of the brave was ‘self-suffering’. It was the unfailing instrument of a non-violent satyagrahi to evoke the best in the opponent. In inflicting suffering on the satyagrahi, the opponent helps in his own defeat. The satyagrahi thrives on repression inflicted on him by the opponent, and no amount of violence can crush the soul in him.

Ahimsa is the most efficacious in face of the greatest ‘himsa’ (violence). There is no such thing as defeat or failure in non-violence because in satyagraha to suffer is to win. The struggle may be slow or long-drawn-out but he regarded it as the wisest way for it was the surest. For him it touched and strengthened the moral fibre of those against whom it was exerted. Use of non-violence benefited even the opponent. It touched the people most for whom that non-violent struggle was launched. In fact, all these are tall claims and personal wishes of Gandhi as Mahatma.

However, owing to their religious background, the masses continued to believe, despite Gandhi’s own rebuttals, that the Mahatma had mastered non-violence of the brave, and was able to attain all goals claimed by him. The people were so eager to see the image of their Mahatma as real that they, overlooking the role of so many national and international events, concluded that the realisation of India’s freedom was the result of the power of non-violence alone. The tragic assassination of the Mahatma, and the propaganda made by the post-independence leadership, the Congress party and the press reinforced this impression.

At many places, Gandhi himself had made it clear that by perfection in non-violence, he meant the perfection of ‘striving’, and not of actual attainment. He himself believed that perfection was unattainable. His perfect non-violence was impossible as long as man in human body was living.

He, perhaps, stood at the theoretical level of pure non-violence, but often operated at the level of non-violence as policy or expediency: ‘Mine is a struggling, striving, erring, and imperfect soul.’ That non-violence did not prove unfailing. Gandhi’s winning over the adversary, even on the basis of his long self-suffering, could not become a reality.

However, because of Gandhian leadership, non-violence did flourish in India. There were many favourable conditions permitting the conduct of Gandhian movements. The Government of India was operating under the charge of the British parliamentary democracy which wanted to keep up the show of’ rule of law’ ongoing. Non-violence could also flourish owning to the British understanding of law and justice. Courts, big and small, while punishing a culprit looked into the existence of evil intention underlying a particular act.

In the absence of evil intention, the result, outcome, effect or consequence related to satyagraha acts did not remain very important to the rulers or courts. The pattern of Gandhi’s non-violence of the brave operated on this ground only. Movements under leaders committed to pure non-violence were likely to remain peaceful. The eventual transfer of power to India also remained peaceful.

Thus, the power of non-violence of the creed was actually not the most effective one as Gandhi has thought and claimed. It was rather the power of the people who thought Gandhi to be the most powerful leader because of his non-violence. This power appeared to be increasing because of the sufferings of the satyagrahis which attracted their sympathy and identifi­cation owing to their faith in common values.

Gandhi infused values around non-violence of the brave, and organised the people into a mass-movement. It was rather the Initial Formative Power of Gandhian non-violence, not an actual power. Non-violence as ‘creed’ did not form an independent source of power despite all tall claims.

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[PDF] Read this Essay on Globalisation

Globalisation’ is a notion that is poorly understood. Globalisation is not only an economic phenomenon. It should not be equated with the emergence of a ‘world system’. It is really about the transformation of space and time. Globalisation does not only concern creating large-scale systems, but also the transformation of local, and even personal, contexts of social experience.

Our day-to-day activities are increasingly influenced by events happening on the other side of the world. Conversely, local lifestyle habits have become globally consequential. Globalisation is not a single process but a complex mixture of processes, which often act in contradictory ways, producing conflicts, dis-junctures and new forms of stratification. Globalisation is a super-transnational force. Global governance is its manifestation as well as management.

Globalisation is the emergence of a complex web of interconnectedness by which our lives are increasingly shaped by events that occur, and decisions that are made, at a great distance from us. It means geographical distance is of declining relevance, and that territorial boundaries of the nation-states are becoming less significant. It is the deepening as well as the broadening of the political process.

Anthony Giddens considers it as the intensification of worldwide social relations. Kenichi Ohmae finds it as a ‘borderless world’. It is linked to the growth of ‘supra-territorial’ relations between people, where territory matters less because an increasing range of connections have a ‘trans-world’ or trans-border character. There is a single increasingly integrated and universalised world economy largely operating across state frontiers and also beyond the frontiers of state ideology and state-controlled mechanisms.

Globalisation is used to refer to a process, a policy, a marketing strategy, a predicament, even an ideology. But it is not a single process but a complex of processes, often overlapping and interlocking processes, but also, at time, contradictory and oppositional ones.

Globalisation can be defined as a complex set of distinct but related processes – economic, cultural, social but also political and military – through which social relations have developed global reach and significance. In this sense globalisation includes the devel­opment of transnational relations of many kinds as well as specifically global forms.’

Briefly, it stands for:

(i) Cross-border relations or internalisation e.g. movement of goods, investments, people, capital, communications, ideas etc.

(ii) Removal of regulatory barriers to international trade, travel, financial transfers, transactions and communications, i.e., liberalisation;

(iii) Increase of trans-border relations making out a ‘global village’.

The term ‘globalisation’ was not coined until the second half of the twentieth century. Some theorists have presented globalisation as the focal point for an alternative paradigm of social inquiry. Yet ideas of globalisation remain as elusive as they are pervasive. According to Anthony Giddens there are few terms that we use so frequently but which are so poorly conceptualised.

It is a malleable catchall term that can be invoked in whatever way the user finds convenient. To make its meaning more explicit, the term should be distin­guished from internationalisation, liberalisation, universalisation and westernisation. Internationalisation refers to a growth of transactions and interdependence between countries. First and Thompson see globalisation as an intense form of internalisation. But the term is politically objec­tionable as it finds world social relations in terms of country units, state governments, and national communities.

Liberalisation denotes a process of removing officially imposed constraints on movements of resources between countries in order to form an open and borderless world economy. Globalisation as liberalisation opens no new insights. Globalisation as universalisation is assumed to entail standardisation and homogenisation with worldwide cultural, economic, legal and political convergence. In this sense, ‘global’ means ‘worldwide’ and ‘everywhere’. This conception too opens no new and distinctive insight.

This statement can have unhappy political consequences. Cultural protectionists oppose it. Globalisation in many ways can promote cultural diversity, revival and innovations. As westernisation it represents particular social structures of modernity (capitalism, industrialism, rationalism, urbanism, individualism etc.) In this sense, globalisation is interpreted as colonisation, Americanisation, westoxification, unipolar hegemony, neo-imperialism and the like. But westernisation, and also modernisation and colonisation have a longer history than contemporary intense globalisation. The two are not coter­minous.

Following eclectic approach, Scholte identifies globalisation as the spread of transplanetary and supraterritorial connections between people. In this approach the words ‘global’, ‘transplanetary’ and ‘transworld’ are synonyms. He prefers the word ‘globality’ or spatiality which says something about the arena and the place of human action and experience: the where of social life. Globality in the broader sense of transplanetary relations refer to social links between people located at points anywhere on earth.

The global field is in these cases a social space in its own right. Distinctiveness of recent globalisation involves more than the quantity, frequency, scope and depth of transplanetary social links. Qualitatively much of today’s global connectivity is different. Unlike earlier times, contemporary globalisation is marked by a large-scale spread of supraterritoriality. ‘Supraterritorial’ relations are social connections that substantially transcend territorial geography.

Global connections have qualities of trans-world simultaneity and trans-world instantaneity as seen in telecommunication networks, global mass media, global finance etc. Territoriality has lost its monopoly hold. Earlier periods did not know jet travel, satellite communications, Internet, television broad­casts, intercontinental production chains, global credit cards etc.

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[PDF] Essay on Human Rights

Man under Human Rights is different from the ‘man’ of religion, philosophy and Holy Books. Whatever he is supposed to have, he has in this life. His status and existence is substantive and real. It recognises that man has inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights. He has all these rights because he is born as man. He is a member of human family. They are not given, bestowed and granted by any other external authority. Man himself is the source of these rights.

Basic beliefs and postulates about man are:

(i) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights;

(ii) They are endowed with reason and conscience;

(iii) They should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood being members of human family; and

(iv) Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

It is the basic assumption of the United Nations Organization (UNO) that these rights are ‘the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’ (Preamble). They would lead to promote social progress and better standards of life of men and women in larger freedom. A common under­standing of these rights and freedoms would promote the development of friendly relations between nations and their cooperation with the United Nations.

These rights have some very special features. They are closely connected with freedoms and their goal is enjoyment of life. One has to enjoy them at his own will. Only in this way, they promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedoms. There is no hierarchy, strati­fication, privileges or immunities in the possession of these rights.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It does not accept any distinction made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or interna­tional status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. This position has universal recognition and is supported by international force. All these rights can be put into categories.

1. Right to Life:

It can be elaborated positively as:

(i) Right to life, liberty and security of person, and negatively as

(ii) Total rejection of slavery in any form;

(iii) Total discarding of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and

(iv) Denial of any arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

2. Right to Equality:

It speaks of all persons as equal before the law. They are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of these rights.

3. Right to Justice:

The UDHR gives guarantee to free, fair and impartial justice:

(i) It entitles everyone in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in all legal matters;

(ii) Everyone charged with a penal offence is given the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law;

(iii) There has to be a public trial at which every person has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence;

(iv) For holding a person guilty of any penal offence, it is necessary that the said offence constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed;

(v) It is further stated that the penalty imposed must be in force at the time offence was committed.

4. Right to Non-interference:

Every person has been granted protection from arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

5. Right to Freedom of Movement, Residence, and Nationality:

The UDHR confirms that everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. A person cannot be discrimi­nated or confined in his own country. Another very important right it has granted to individuals is the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. A similar right to persons is to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. However, this right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. In practice, it is severely limited almost everywhere.

Everyone, under the Human Rights, has the right to a claim nationality. It means no one can be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. An individual can assert, be a renegade or adopt any particular nationality.

6. Social Rights:

Among these rights is the right to marry and to found a family without any restriction of race, nationality or religion. Men and women are given equal rights as to marriage, living in marriage and its dissolution. It further explains that marriage has to happen only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. This right makes a new and unusual declaration that “(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

Another tool in the hands of the individual is that everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one can be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

7. Right to Freedom of Expression, Assembly and Association:

Enjoying freedom of speech and belief has been proclaimed as one of the highest aspiration of the common people. For this, the Declaration grants that everyone will have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change one’s religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

It makes no mention of compulsion or violence in matters of religion. Apart from religion everyone has been given the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. This right has been given a concrete form by granting right to everyone to organise peaceful assembly and association. However, no one can be compelled against his will to belong to an association.

8. Right to Economic Security and Cultural Protection:

These rights are indispensable for a person’s dignity and the free devel­opment of his personality. For this, everyone has been given the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. At par with it, everyone, without any discrimination, also has the right to equal pay for equal work.

The UN community desires that everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration. It should ensure for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. However, everyone also has the right to rest and leisure. For this his working hours should be reasonably limited and he should have periodic holidays with pay. In order to make this right a concrete reality all have been given the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests.

However, all these rights are not mercy or pity shown to persons in the way the employer likes at will. The latter has to see that every person enjoys the right to a standard of living ad
equate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.

One has to have the right to social security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. The states of motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, even if they are born in or out of wedlock, should enjoy the same social protection.

9. Right to Compulsory and Humanist Education and Knowledge:

To equip a person mentally and morally with education everyone shall enjoy the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Parents are given a prior right to choose the kind of education that would be given to their children.

Technical and professional education are to be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. The goal of education would be the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It would promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups. In this way, it would work for the maintenance of peace.

In the field of culture, everyone will have the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scien­tific advancement and its benefits. A persons has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

10. Right to Participation in Governance:

It is the most important right granted by the UN. It is the right to make and unmake one’s fate to participate in governance. Accordingly, every person is given the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” At the level of administration, everyone has the right of equal access to public services in his country. Thus, they have been given the right to realise a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration are fully realised.

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[PDF] What do you mean by the term Explanation?

Explanation is different from ‘analysis’. It is closer to ‘theory’ than analysis. Theory stands on the solid foundation of explanation. However, analysis also seeks some explanatory law and moves towards theorisation. Explanation is the final stage of research. The goal of every scientific process is to arrive at an explanation of the phenomena under study. To explain is to elucidate the process which exhibits a certain phenomenon. It is discovery of a relationship between one phenomenon and another.

It makes it possible to understand the way the phenomenon in question was caused. Presenting of explanation is Political Science is not an easy task. There is a crisis of explanation in social sciences. It is not very easy to discover and isolate the explanatory factors which could give an account of the situation under study.

According to Meehan, explanation is an instrument that generates anticipation about the environment. It makes possible to have control over events in the environment by linking changes in the values of two or more variables according to rule. It seeks reasons how and why changes occur. An explanation focuses on the record of change that appears in descriptive accounts of the environment, seeking the reasons how and why changes occur.

There are seven stages in the process of explanation:

(i) Concept,

(ii) Indicators,

(iii) Measurement,

(iv) Description,

(v) Classification,

(vi) Forecast or expectation,

(vii) Explanation, and

(viii) Control or change of environment.

Structurally, it consists of a set of symbols or variables and a set of rules. The set of rules relates those symbols to empirical observations. It is a closed logical structure or calculus consisting of rules for manipulating the symbols.


Meehan enumerates five problems in the basic structure of explanation:

1. The phenomena to be explained;

2. The logical apparatus required for explanation,

3. The transformation rules that link the logical calculus or apparatus to empirical observation;

4. The isomorphism between the loaded calculus and the situation; and

5. The problems involved in the use of well established explanation to deal with a particular phenomenon.

Selection of events or phenomena for explanation is closely connected with evaluation. The formal logic underlying an explanation is known as calculus or logical structure. It generates justified expectations within its prescribed boundaries. The calculus has the power to force a conclusion or compel acceptance of specified expectations relating to the effect of changing the value of one variable in an interrelated set.

The key to the process of explanation is the transfer of expectations from within a formal calculus to the observed environment. But the calculus or the logical structure must be closed and finite. Only empirical observations or research methodology determines its shape, form, and validity. Calculus should be loaded with concepts having empirical relevance and have isomorphism or identity with essentials of the situation or event.

The size and complexity of the calculus depend on the purpose and capacity of the user. His conceptual framework requires him to select a set of factors or variables from the environment to be accounted for. Much depends on the way in which he conceptualise and explains the event.

The formal calculus must fit the situation. Its symbols should be assigned empirical meaning underlying the event or situation. The calculus or logic of explanation, in this manner, would be able to show significance of the event by making its implicit logic express and explicit. If the description of the situation and the rules of transformation or interaction are applied correctly, the venture would succeed in its purpose.

Explanation, according to Meehan, provides justifiable expectations with reference to the environment and suggests ways in which man can intervene to alter the course of events to conform to his own desires. It would, thus, be able to prove compatible with existing knowledge and also with past experiences of his history. Wherever possible it can be applied and experimented in some laboratory or situation on the pattern of natural sciences.

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[PDF] Compliance and Political Accountability of a Political System

Practically, legitimacy in the context of political systems means public or political accountability. Need of a satisfactory solution to public accountability is greater because of its legal mechanism. The State is a compulsory organisation having monopoly over the exercise of coercive power. As all citizens and subordinates, and their non-adult dependents have a faith in the legitimacy of its structures, processes and functioning, its responsibility to operate within the confines of ‘rightness’ increases manifold so as to respond to their hopes and expectations.

These expectations must be accomplished more with the exercise of influence, authority and leadership than force, coercion and violence. Though after attainment of legitimacy, exercise of power or force cannot be treated as coercion or violence, yet it should primarily resort to persuasion, propaganda, and deference to the moral susceptibilities of the people. Authorities do have the right to exercise force, domination, manipulation, and other sanctions, but their use should strictly conform dispassionately to the accepted procedure as shown below.

Power, Influence, Authority and Compliance

Obedience to rule is necessary to maintain and sustain a society and its polity, but it should base itself on the following:

(1) Legitimate authority:

It bestows ‘right’ to issue orders and directives, take decisions, make policies, and run administration through various authorities, subject to rational higher principles of social life.

(2) Incentives:

They can be positive as well as negative, external or internal, instrumental and non-instrumental. They can be functional, if used with discrimination and proportion to cases under consideration.

(3) Sanctions:

These can be used in a direct or indirect manner, and their consequences can be intended or unintended.

(4) Ideology and leadership:

In democracy, they play a dominating role.

(5) Participation and cooperation:

When people are involved in the process of decision-making and implementation of policies, compliance, despite difficulties, increases. Cooperation of persons representating communities and sets of opinions, makes compliance increasingly ensured. It should be pointed out that legitimacy does not always mean blind obedience to laws or decisions. In-spite of their belief in legitimacy, people can oppose or support them for their instrumental gains or loses and the former can persist even by allowing them to pursue their own goals.

However, it has to accommodate such demands for strengthening itself. It can be cautioned that moral values are individualistic by nature, whereas legitimacy is collective and political in essence. If incentives of award and punishment overweigh the sense of legitimacy, people would follow the former and neglect the latter. Therefore, politics must assiduously contrive to make legitimacy more effective, acceptable and practiceable.

Another aspect of political accountability concerning legitimacy belongs to the members of a political system. There is a distinction between legitimacy and holistic consensus based on integration of cultural values. The political system should always keep the bases or sources of legitimacy before it, and in that light constantly evaluate various political structures, processes, activities, decisions, etc. All deviations from them must be taken care of at political, legal or non-legal levels.

Political actors may be called upon to make sacrifices at the altar of gaining legitimacy, as it happens at the time of upheavals and revolutions. If one wants to make change in the basis of legitimacy, it must be undertaken by general consent, and all concerned have to be informed in advance to deliberate and express their views on it. Political accountability of legitimacy demands that political leaders continue to fulfil their obligations at moral, legal and political levels.

The countries belonging to the Third World have scarce means to spend and have constantly to face the ‘revolution of the rising expectations’. Their storehouse has limited political and economic resources. As such, they cannot afford to operate on the basis of naked power or sheer force.

If they do so, their energies and scarce resources would be dried up in replacing one rule by another, increasing forces, and purchasing of arms. Therefore, it is very necessary that they try, first and foremost, to earn legitimacy for the whole political system, and begin to work on influence and authority. Politics, not power, is the direction to which they must move to tread on the path of development. Politics must acquire legitimacy first, then it should proceed to convert influence into authority.

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