We, humans, live in a society, a society that is governed by various rules and regulations. Some are imposed by law, while some are imposed morally by those judgmental people of the society whose glares we can’t miss. To fulfill those needs and demands, we need to take certain actions to live a dignified life, and for that, basic human and civil rights are needed. Human rights are those which can never be taken away from you in your life, and you receive them as a gift from the day you were born.
What Are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are those rights that are guaranteed by the law to all the citizens of the country. When the government of a particular country decides that a human right will be brought into force by passing a law, then the rights that will be provided by that to a citizen will be termed as civil rights. Now let’s understand this complicated definition with an example:
In earlier days, it was a basic human right that there would be no discrimination between two people on the basis of caste, sex, gender, or religion, and everyone must be treated equally, yet there was no law made on it. But after the Constitution of India emerged, this human right became a law to be followed under Article 14 of the constitution, and if anyone fails to follow the law, there will be sanctions. Therefore, these rights are called civil rights.
Civil Rights History Around The U.S.
1950: The U.S. court says that “from this year onwards, there will be discrimination of black and white people for getting admission in any university and law schools.”
1954: There cannot be racial discrimination in public institutions as it is a violation of the human and fundamental right of equality.
1955: Rosa Parks, an African civil rights activist, did not give her seat to a white man and was arrested for that. Many protests happened, and the protest was led by Martin Luther King Jr. Finally, discrimination while using public transport was also not allowed and declared illegal.
1964: Finally, an act was introduced, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which abolished discrimination in all forms against blacks and minorities as well.
1994: African apartheid, a massive civil rights movement, started against racial discrimination. At that time, blacks were not even given voting rights, and later in 1994, Nelson Mandela went on to become the first black president of South Africa.
Major Civil Rights Movement In India
- Civil Disobedience Movement: It simply meant resisting the words of the government at that time, which were not meant for the welfare of the people. People in India and Africa stopped following the orders passed by the government. In India, Mahatma Gandhi started this movement by picking up salt at Dandi beach. It was a peaceful disobedience to the Britisher’s policies and their monopolies over basic necessities like salt. After this, most of the countries followed the same strategy and united against the Britishers.
- Mahad Satyagraha, 1927: This was a movement that was led by Dr. Ambedkar against the caste system in India. But particularly the caste known as Brahmins and them suppressing the lower castes. The lower castes were even denied to drink water, which showed the uncivilized manner of Indians at that point. Thus, a civil rights movement was started.
Basic Civil Rights Available Now To Everyone Around The Globe
- Right to Life: This is an indispensable right that can never be taken away by the government, and it has been protected through various legislations.
- Right to Family: Individuals above a certain age limit have been given the freedom to marry a person of their choice without any discrimination from society and to start a family thereof.
- Right to Education: Primary education has been made free for some classes of people; apart from being free, it has been made compulsory and has been declared a fundamental right.
- Right to religion: Everyone has the freedom to choose their religion and profess it only with certain conditions or restrictions in place.
- Freedom of thought: It is the right of every individual to express their speech and thought; however, it should not harm the well-being of other individuals.
- Right to Justice: Every citizen has the right to seek justice for the violation of any kind of right.
- Freedom to move: Individuals cannot be restricted within the territorial boundaries of the state. They can move and settle freely. They can even leave the country and come back again without any discrimination.
Civil rights are thus the spirit of a democratic society. People are the main subjects of any state, and if their rights and freedoms are constrained, it will not help in uplifting the country. Their rights make them free and capable enough to take action if they are faced with any wrongdoing, even at the hands of the government.
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