top of page

Citizenship Notes | Class 11 Political Science

This chapter introduces the political Idea of citizenship and examines the aspects of single and dual citizenship. We also highlight the concept of Global Citizenship and analyse what rights that must be granted to the citizens and the migrants.


 

What Is Citizenship?


Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law of a sovereign state or local jurisdiction. In many sovereign states, citizenship is equal to nationality, which is in international law the membership to a sovereign state.


It also implies full and equal members of a political community.




Full membership


Full Membership of a political community means that he/she enjoys all civil as well as political rights under the protection of the state in return for his/her loyalty to the state This means that he/she agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the society, not be a disturbance to the society and follow his/her duties completely along with rights.


A Collective political Identity: Nation-states provide a collective political identity to their members as well as certain rights. Therefore we think of ourselves as Indians, or Japanese, or Germans, depending on the state to which we belong.


Citizens expect certain rights from their state as well as help and protection wherever they may travel. Certain rights are required so that a person is able to live their lives with dignity and can progress and develop in the respective areas of interest. A citizen also requires protection towards his/her life or right to life, so that one may live freely.


A state is also required for protection towards threats and that can provide necessary conditions for minimum quality of life.

Refugees do not have full membership in their country and hence they do not enjoy any rights and live like strangers in another country. Such people are not guaranteed rights by any state and generally live in precarious conditions.


Equal Membership


The term "equal membership" refers to the fact that all citizens have the same rights. Nobody is treated unfairly because of their caste, religion, region, or gender. When we talk about citizenship, we're talking about rights and responsibilities, which we've won after many battles, such as the Indian freedom struggle. Black people in South Africa fought for equal rights.


Citizenship encompasses not only state-citizen relations but also citizens and their responsibilities to the state. It encompasses not only state-imposed legal obligations but also a moral obligation to participate in and contribute to the community's shared life.


Citizens are also regarded as the inheritors and trustees of the country's culture and natural resources.




What Rights Are Granted To Citizens?



The exact nature of citizens' rights varies by state, but in most democratic countries today, they would include political rights such as the right to vote, civil rights such as freedom of speech or belief, and socio-economic rights such as the right to a minimum wage or the right to education.


The right to equality of rights and status is one of the fundamental rights of citizenship.



Why do migrants/outsiders often face resistance?



Locals become resentful of jobs and opportunities being given to people from outside the area, sometimes at lower wages, as a result of worker migration. There may be a demand to limit certain jobs to state residents or those who speak the local language. The issue could be taken up by political parties.


Organised violence against "outsiders" could be part of the resistance. Such movements have occurred in almost every region of India. There may be a distinction between how we respond to poor migrants and how we respond to skilled migrants at times. We may not always be as welcoming to poor migrants who move into our communities as we are to highly skilled and wealthy workers.






Equal Rights



Equal rights should be provided to all citizens, but not everyone in India receives them. For example,' slum dwellers' who migrate from poorer parts of the country such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and settle in cities to make a living. They leave their villages and settle in urban areas such as Delhi and Mumbai.


These poor migrants do not receive basic housing and live in slums in one small room with no clean drinking water, sanitation, proper nutrition, or housing, but they also play an important role by cleaning our homes, cleaning our cars, and so on.


As a result, even if these poor people are Indians, they do not have access to the bare essentials of life.


Another example: The Tribals living in the forests have been rendered homeless and been rooted out from their traditional place.

The forests are being cut down by rich people for their own commercial interests. They build hotels, playgrounds and their own beautiful locales but destroy the tribal people's area of traditional living.


The same is the case with women, although they have equal rights still they are being discriminated against. They are attacked at night and many crimes are committed against them.







Citizen and Nation


The nation is different from a country. A country is defined by territory and government with a population in it. A nation is defined in terms of culture and history; it provides an identity to an individual on the basis of which they are recognised as different from other countries.


For example Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, American.


The State, then, provides rights to these individuals so that they can enjoy themselves also different states provide different rights.


The Indian constitution has included citizenship in part II.



How Citizenship can be acquired?


Citizenship can be acquired by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and inclusion of territory.


● By Birth: If an individual is born in a country, he/she automatically becomes a citizen of that country.


● Descent means that if his/her parents are born in that country, he/she automatically becomes a citizen of that country.


● Registration means registering or applying for citizenship in another country.


● Naturalisation means that a person lives in the country for a minimum period of time and then naturally he/she acquires the citizenship of that country.


● Inclusion of territory: if a country acquires territory of a country, then the defeated country acquires the citizenship of a victorious country.



What is Universal Citizenship?


The concept of universal citizenship creates a new type of political relationship between migrants and host countries. Because of social and economic inequalities, people are unable to fully enjoy their national citizenship. As a result of famine, devastation, or war, many people become stateless on a global scale.


They don't have citizenship in a country that can protect and defend them. They rely on the other country to protect them and provide them with the essentials of life. Although many states support the idea of universal and inclusive citizenship, each state sets its own criteria for citizenship.


Many countries face a difficult humanitarian and political problem when deciding how many people they can accept as citizens. Many countries have a refugee policy that welcomes people fleeing persecution or war. They may, however, be unwilling to accept an unmanageable number of people or risk putting the country in danger.


As it did in 1959 with the Dalai Lama and his followers, India takes pride in providing refuge to persecuted peoples.


People from neighbouring countries have crossed all of the state's borders into India, and the process is still ongoing. Many of these people have spent years or generations as stateless people in camps or as illegal migrants.


However, each country has a limit on how many refugees it can accept, and it must first look after its own citizens.




What is Global Citizenship?


The concept of universal citizenship creates a new type of political relationship between migrants and host countries. Because of social and economic inequalities, people are unable to fully enjoy their national citizenship. As a result of famine, devastation, or war, many people become stateless on a global scale.


They don't have citizenship in a country that can protect and defend them. They rely on the other country to protect them and provide them with the essentials of life. Although many states support the idea of universal and inclusive citizenship, each state sets its own criteria for citizenship.


Many countries face a difficult humanitarian and political problem when deciding how many people they can accept as citizens. Many countries have a refugee policy that welcomes people fleeing persecution or war. They may, however, be unwilling to accept an unmanageable number of people or risk putting the country in danger.


As it did in 1959 with the Dalai Lama and his followers, India takes pride in providing refuge to persecuted peoples.


People from neighbouring countries have crossed all of the state's borders into India, and the process is still ongoing. Many of these people have spent years or generations as stateless people in camps or as illegal migrants.


However, each country has a limit on how many refugees it can accept, and it must first look after its own citizens.


TH Marshall on Citizenship


He gave three kinds of rights:


● Civil rights: protection of life, liberty and property.

● Political rights: the right to vote

● Social rights: the right to education, employment.












Comments


bottom of page