It has been assumed that our human rights already existed in our world but it is not true. Before assuming this one must go back to our past to see what our ancestors have gone through to shape the world we live in and continue to do so. Today, workers don’t realise that the holidays we have is the long struggle by the workers. Rights we have like, an individual should not work more than eight hours, male and female both should be paid equally and workers are entitled to pension and security - all these rights are the result of the social movements. Thus, it is somewhere true that “Social movements have shaped the world we live in and continue to do so.”
For example – RIGHT TO VOTE also known as Universal Adult Franchise is one of the principal right granted by the Indian Constitution to its citizens. It means that every citizen of the country has the right to choose a representative of his choice. During the colonial period, Indians were forced to surrender to the authority of the Britishers who were ruling India for their benefit and were representing the British Crown in India. In Britain, only property-owning men had Right to vote. Later it was through social movements like Chartism where 1.25 people signed the people’s chart demanding for universal male suffrage, voting by ballot, and the right to stand for elections. In 1918, after World War I, all men over 21, married women, women owning houses, and women university graduates over the age of 30 got the right to vote.
In India, social reform movements of the 19th century helped us to fight against the caste and gender discrimination. Through the nationalist movement, we also got Independence in 1947 .
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