Difference Between a Right and a Privilege (With Table)

A man is called a social animal, not just by looking at his lifestyle but by looking at his surroundings too. The society in which humans live creates a complete aura for us and provides us with each and every necessity that a person can possibly have. However, when society increases with time, there arises a need for the maintenance of this human society. 

Right and Privilege are two such elements that every righteous society should have in it to ensure the collective growth of the whole society and each and every person living in that society. The concept of rights and privileges is common in almost all the democratic and republic countries of the world. This article will shed some light upon the distinctions that lie between these two concepts. 

Right vs Privilege 

The difference between A Right and A Privilege is that a Right is essentially granted by a certain form of justice. It can be prescribed by the law of the land or by the principles of natural justice. While on the other hand, a Privilege is a distinction given to a certain person or community or groups of people and can be given without reasonableness. Rights provide freedom, while privileges grant immunity to people.  

A right is such a concept that it can be found in almost all the major parts of the world. It can be any type of right such as statutory right, constitutional right, and a right provided by one’s family. However, at the major level, we generally talk about those rights that are framed with the intention of granting more autonomy or freedom to a person.  

Talking about Privilege, it is not a generalized concept rather a specific concept. A Privilege is never applied to the whole members of a state or group. Rather it is granted to certain specific people only. Now the question arises of what makes a person eligible for a privilege. The answer is quite simple that a privilege can be granted to a person based on his color, class, caste, sex, or other things. 

Comparison Table Between a Right and a Privilege 

Parameters of Comparison Right Privilege 
Meaning  It refers to a concept where individuals are granted the autonomy to do or to abstain from doing a certain thing. It refers to a concept that provides certain immunities, permissions, or allowances to a certain person or group of people based on their class, sex, caste, etc.  
Granted to It is granted to all individuals without discrimination. It is granted to certain specific individuals only.  
Granted by Granted by the natural justice or by principles of equality Granted by someone sitting in a higher position 
Withdrawal  It cannot be withdrawn by anyone as its withdrawal shall amount to serious damage to equality and good conscience. It can be revoked at any point in time by the authority that has granted it. 
Interrelation  Most of the rights today, used to be privileges once. Many privileges have turned into rights with the passage of time. 
Examples  Right to vote, right to speech, right to education, etc. Right not to be arrested during house proceedings (privilege given to the members of parliament) 
Purpose  It is generally given to establish equality and non-discrimination in society. It is generally given as a benefit to those who hold a higher rank. 

What is a Right? 

People are granted rights because of them being a member of a certain group or citizen of a certain country. These are the basic pillars of any democracy because they ensure that discrimination is canceled by providing equality and equal opportunities to all the people. 

It refers to a system where all individuals are granted the autonomy to do or to abstain from doing a certain thing. Rights are granted by the principles of equity and good conscience. They cannot be revoked or taken away as their withdrawal shall amount to serious damage to equality and good conscience. 

However, there are certain rights that were considered privilege long ago, but they are now classified into basic human rights with the changes in time and society. Some crucial rights are- 

  • Right to life 
  • Right to food 
  • Right to speech 
  • Right to vote 
  • Right to privacy 

What is a Privilege? 

A privilege is a very distinguished and confusing concept. Mostly, people take it as a system where the people sitting on higher ranks get something good which the common people don’t. However, this concept is not true. A privilege can be granted to anyone based on his conditions and status. 

Talking about the influential people. Privileges bring immunities for them. Such as the immunity if legislators granted to them for being a member of parliament. But when a privilege is granted to someone from a backward area, it brings equality and opportunity for those people. One major example can be the concept of reservation. 

However, there is one drawback attached to this concept that is it can be revoked at any point in time by the authority that has granted it. As a privilege is provided by the government or the throne usually, it can be taken away without any justification. But many privileges have turned into rights with the passage of time. For example- The right to vote used to be a privilege for certain people, but now it is termed a basic human right. 

Main Differences Between a Right and a Privilege 

  1. A Right is a concept where individuals are granted the autonomy to do or to abstain from doing a certain thing. While a privilege is a concept that provides certain immunities, permissions, or allowances to a certain person or group of people based on their class, sex, caste, etc. 
  2. While a Right is granted to all individuals without discrimination, a privilege is granted to certain specific individuals only. 
  3. A Right is generally given to establish equality and non-discrimination in society. While as far as Privilege is concerned, it is generally given as a benefit to those who hold a higher rank in certain aspects as compared to other people. 
  4. A Right on one side cannot be withdrawn by anyone as its withdrawal shall amount to serious damage to equality and good conscience. While a Privilege can be snatched at any point from the recipient. 
  5. Certain examples of rights are the right to vote, right to speech, right to education, etc. While the immunity given to legislators is an example of privilege. 

Conclusion  

Looking at the abovementioned comparisons, it can be ascertained easily that rights are privileges are indeed interrelated, but they differ a lot. One must be aware of these differences to know his own rights and duties more clearly. 

The condition upon which a Right is granted happens to be subject to his citizenship of a state or membership of a particular community or group. And to grant a Privilege, the class and status of a person are taken into consideration. It is a special immunity or permission that is not available to the common public otherwise. 

References 

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/yjfem21&section=9
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1740774518803122
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