The sprit of equality refers to man’s mental attitude towards his fellow human beings. This concept considers all human beings as equals. It presupposes that all human beings are entitled to equal rights and opportunities. It adjudges the social system that extends equal rights (Political, Social and Economic) to all people as ‘Natural justice’. It considers the social system that does not allow equal rights and opportunities to all people as not only wrong but also immoral.
The concept of equality considers all forms of oppressions as unjust and immoral. It disapproves all kinds of discriminations. It is against not only slavery but also slavish mentality. It opposes all hereditary privileges. It advocates the social system that gives opportunities to everyone to raise their status educationally, socially and economically. It insists that all people have equal rights and opportunities to enter any profession they like. It opposes any restriction on entering any profession on account of birth or on any other reason. It stands for the social structure that facilitates both horizontal and vertical social mobilities. It envisions a social system that gives liberty and freedom to all people without any bias.
Upholding equality is a problem in every society in every age. However, it is being accomplished by human efforts by peaceful means and, at times, by violent revolutions. History records these human efforts and achievements in detail. In ancient period, China was in the forefront in upholding human equality. Chinese society did not value human beings on account of birth, but for the way they live and work they do. The first Han emperor was a peasant and the first Ming emperor was a famine orphan.
In France, a violent revolution took place during the eighteenth century to establish equality in the then unequal society. It gave birth to political, social and economic equality not only in France but in the entire European society. In Russia, a Bolshevik revolution took place in the beginning of twentieth century to establish equality. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid and succeeded. Thus, struggle for equality is a permanent feature in human society.
Many social reformers in India gave much importance for eradication of the caste based oppressions and privileges. In Kerala, Narayana Guru (1855– 1928) fought for social equality and for eradication for casteism. Dr.B.R. Ambedkar (1891- 1956) and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (1879- 1973) fought for equal rights and opportunities and for abolition of caste based privilages. In India, the struggle against caste system continues.
However, in Indian society the evils of caste system are not well realised. In the same manner, the importance of assimilating equality is not adequately realised. This ignorance has to be dispelled. The mass should be enlightened with the truth that only by making our society as a homogeneous (casteless) society, can we emerge as a strong nation and progress in every sphere.
On the same footing large number of people in the world are ignorant of the importance of assimilating equality and universal brotherhood. Human society clearly elicits the truth that human progress was not achieved not by changing the human nature but by making the constitution of the society based on the principle of equality. Understanding t his truth, every individual and society has to assimilate the spirit of equality wholeheartedly and practise that concept honestly. So, enlightening the people towards the importance of assimilating the spirit of equality and universal brotherhood are essential prerequisites for an egalitariansociety.