SCERT AP Board 9th Class Social Solutions 20th Lesson Democracy: An Evolving Idea Textbook Questions and Answers.
AP State Syllabus 9th Class Social Studies Solutions 20th Democracy: An Evolving Idea
9th Class Social Studies 20th Lesson Democracy: An Evolving Idea Textbook Questions and Answers
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How does democracy produce an accountable, responsive, and legitimate government?
1. Accountable :
Democracy produces a government which is accountable to all people, it is the basic outcome of democracy. It will produce a government which responds to people.
2. Legitimate :
In democracy, elections are conducted through which people select their representatives. If they do not react for their demands, they choose another representative in the next elections.
3. Responsive :
Democracy produces a government which responds to all the demands and needs of different people.
What are the conditions under which democracies accommodate social diversity?
- In every society, there are people belonging to different religions, income groups, and using different languages.
- Democracy means that equal treatment is given to all the individual and that there should not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, race, religion, or region.
- It accommodates all the social diversity by giving equal rights and freedoms to the people.
- In a democratic set up, people from socially weaker sections of the society are allowed to vote and choose their representatives in the government, and no particular religion or language is given any special preference.
- Also, women are given equal rights as men in the society.
- It also ensured that the rule of the majority is not by those who are in majority just in number. The majority group needs to work in harmony with the minority group such that interests and concerns of every group are respected.
Give arguments to support or oppose the following assertions :
A) Industrialised countries can afford democracy but poor countries need dictatorship to become rich.
No, we do not agree with the statement, because the nature and scope of democracy is not confined or limited to rich or industrialised countries only. Democracy is the government of modern era which provides accountable, representative, responsible and legitimate government to the people. It also tries to accommodate social differences and promote economic growth which a dictatorship cannot. Hence, a poor country can also afford democracy for popular government and economic growth.
B) Democracy can’t reduce inequality of incomes between different citizens.
We do not agree with the statement. Democracy can’t reduce inequality of incomes between different citizens. But democracy can reduce the economic inequality by providing equal distribution of wealth and equal opportunities to all.
C) Government in poor countries should spend less on poverty reduction, health, education, and spend more on industries and infrastructure.
We do not agree with this statement. Poverty is one of the social challenges which democracy has to accommodate, so poor countries should spend more to check poverty.
Besides food, clothing, health and education are the basic needs of the people and it is the duty of the government to provide these facilities to the people.
D) In democracy, all citizens have one vote, which means that there is absence of any domination and conflict.
Yes, we do agree with the statement. Democracy stands for political equality and guarantees Universal Adult Franschise. Universal Adult Franchise gives right to vote to every adult citizen of the country. Hence there is no chance of political domination and conflict.
In the context of assessing democracy, which among the following is odd one out? Democracies need to ensure :
A) free and fair elections
B) dignity of the individual
C) majority rule
D) equal treatment before law
(C) Reason : Majority rule is odd one out because democracy ensures people’s rule based on popular consensus.
Studies on political and social inequalities in democracy show that:
A) democracy and development go together.
B) inequalities exist in democracies.
C) inequalities do not exist under dictatorship.
D) dictatorship is better than democracy.
(B) Inequalities exist in democracies
Here is some information about six countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
i) Country A : People who do not accept the country’s official religion do not have a right to vote
ii) Country B : The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years
iii) Country C : Ruling party has lost in the last elections
iv) Country D : The parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army
v) Country E : The parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary
vi) Country F : All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change,
ii) Not sure (More details are needed)
Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
A) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to confirm to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation.
Passing laws by the parliament is democratic whereas passing it in confirmity to the regulations decided by WTO is undemocratic.
B) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large scale rigging was reported.
To order repoll in a constituency by the Election Commission is democratic whereas rigging is undemocratic.
C) Women’s representation in the parliament has never reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.
Demand by women’s organisation to reserve 1/3 seats for women is democratic whereas less 10% women’s representation in the parliament is undemocratic.
Write a response to the following arguments against democracy :
A) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore army should rule the country.
Army rule is always undemocratic. Under this system, people do not enjoy freedom of speech and expression and are not allowed to criticise the government. Military rule is another name for dictatorship. Moreover, many army men are not disciplined and are corrupt.
B) Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.
Rule of majority is democratic as it represents the views of all sections of the people.
C) If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.
Rule by religious leaders is not democractic. It arouses communal feeling among the people which sometimes lead to communal riots. Besides many religious leaders do not have any experience of administration.
Locate the following countries in the world map.
1. Sri Lanka
4. America (USA)
Read the first two paragraphs under the subheading ‘Dignity and freedom of the citizens’ and answer the following question.
Democracy stands much superior to any other form of government in promoting dignity and freedom of the individual. Every individual wants to receive respect from fellow beings. Often conflicts arise among individuals because some feel that they are not treated with due respect. The passion for respect and freedom are the basis of democracy. Democracies throughout the world have recognised this, at least in principle. This has been achieved in various degrees in various democracies. For societies which have been built for long on the basis of subordination and domination, it is not a simple matter to recognise that all individuals are equal.
Take the case of dignity of women. Most societies across the world were historically male dominated societies. Long struggles by women have created some sensitivity today that respect to and equal treatment of women are necessary ingredients of a democratic society. That does not mean that women are actually always treated with respect. But once the principle is recognised, it becomes easier for women to wage a struggle against what is now unacceptable legally and morally. In a non-democratic set up, this unacceptability would not have legal basis because the principle of individual freedom . and dignity would not have the legal and moral force there. The same is true of caste inequalities. Democracy in India has strengthened the claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated castes for equal status and equal opportunity. There are instances still of caste-based inequalities and atrocities, but these lack the moral and legal foundations. Perhaps it is this recognition that makes ordinary citizens value their democratic rights.
Write about the dignity and freedom of the citizens in a democratic country in your own words.
- In a democratic country people have freedom to choose their representatives on the basis of universal adult franchise.
- Most societies across the world are male dominated. Equal treatment of women became the necessary requirement of a democratic society. Thus their status in democratic countries improved.
- In a non-democratic set up, there is no legal basis for freedom and dignity of individuals.
- Democracy in India has strengthened the claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated castes for equal status and equal opportunity.
- Democracy transforms people from the status of subjects under a king or a dictator to the status of citizens with rights and duties.
- Many fundamental rights are granted to citizens in a democratic country. One such right is to travel anywhere, freedom to any profession, to choose any religion, etc.
What are the reasons for the people to fight for democracy?
- A democracy is the best form of government.
- Democracy promotes equality.
- It promotes dignity and freedom of the individual.
- It improves the quality of decision making.
- People can elect the leaders of their choice.
- People have the right to get the information about the public administration.
Give some examples which prove that democracy is practised in our schools.
- Admissions to the students without any differences of caste/creed / religion.
- Elections to elect SPL / CPL
- Parents, teachers, associations
- Social clubs
- Community participation
- Equality in teaching etc.
Conduct elections in your class to elect class representative with the help of your teacher.
Note : ‘Mock poll’ should be conducted in the class with the help of the teacher.
9th Class Social Studies 20th Lesson Democracy: An Evolving Idea InText Questions and Answers
Discuss the solutions given in both the countries to accomodate social, religious, and linguistics diversity in them. (Text Book Page No. 254)
Both are democracies. Yet, they dealt with the question of power sharing differently. In Belgium, the leaders have realised that the unity of the country is possible only by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions. Such a realisation resulted in mutually acceptable arrangements for sharing power. Sri Lanka shows us a contrasting example. It shows us that if a majority community wants to force its dominance over others and refuses to share power, it can undermine the unity of the country and force the country back several hundred years with internal conflicts and civil wars.
How will this chess board change? (Text Book Page No. 247)
If the inequalities are vanished, the chess board will change.
If a party is repeatedly voted to power, does it mean that people really want it to come to power, or that there is no alternative or that people are not allowed to vote for any alternative? Answer on the basis of the following three case studies: (Text Book Page No. 249)
a. Since its independence in 1930, Mexico holds elections after every six years to elect its President. The country has never been under a military or dictator’s rule.But, until 2000, every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). Opposition parties did contest elections, but never managed to win. The PRI was known to use many unfair means to win elections. Teachers of government schools used to force parents to vote for the PRI.
b. Zimbabwe attained independence from White minority rule in 1980. Since then, the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle.Its leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ruling the country since independence. Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF. President Mugabe is popular but also uses unfair practices in elections. His government has changed the Constitution several times to increase the powers of the President and make him less accountable. Opposition party workers are harassed and their meetings disrupted. There is a law that limits the right to criticise the President. Television and radio are controlled by the government and give only the ruling party’s version.
c. In China, elections are regularly held after every five years for electing the country’s parliament, called Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Oahui (National People’s Congress). The National People’s Congress has the power to appoint the President of the country. It has nearly 3,000 members elected from all over China. Some members are elected by the army. Before contesting elections, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist Party. Only those who are members of the Chinese Communist Party or eight smaller parties allied to it were allowed to contest elections held in 2002-03. The government is always formed by the Communist Party.
- Democracy requires free and fair elections.
- People should have choice to vote.
- People should not be forced by the government.
- Electoral rolls should maintained in a right way.
In these 3 cases, these conditions are not fulfilled. So we can say that the elections are conducted in an undemocratic way.
Let us take the example of an election in India. Of all the residents in a region, let us assume that 1000 have right to vote. In any typical election about 60% people go to cast their votes. Thus, we have 600 people voting in an election. Let us assume that there are ten candidates in the election and of these the winning candidate gets about 250 votes, the second candidate gets 200 votes and the other candidates between them get about 150 votes. We declare the one with 250 votes the winner. Does he or she really represent the views and interests of the residents of the locality? Actually, he or she only represents one fourth of the voters. Is this a fair democratic arrangement ? Can there be better ways of representing the people in decision making bodies? (Text Book Page No. 250)
He or she really represents the views and interests of the majority people of the locality. This may not be a fair democratic arrangement.
This controversial new look at democracy in a multicultural society considers the ideas of political inclusion and exclusion and recommends ways to engage in democratic politics in a more inclusive way. Processes of debate and decision making often marginalize individuals and groups because the norms of political discussion are biased against some forces of expression. Inclusion and democracy broadens our understanding of democratic communication by reflecting on the positive political function. It reconstructs concepts of civil society and public sphere.
Do the millions of poor people really have any control over the functioning of the elected functionaries? (Text Book Page No. 246)
In a democracy, every citizen has certain basic rights that anyone cannot take away from them. I think people are using this during the time of elections.
Does democracy mean rule by people or merely rule by elected persons? (Text Book Page No. 246)
Literally, democracy means rule by people only. But in practice, it is rule by elected persons.
How can people really participate in government on a day to day basis? (Text Book Page No. 246)
This is possible when all policies and laws are made after extensive public discussions, in which people participate and openly state their needs and views. It also requires that people be involved in effective implementation of the policies and laws – by forming independent citizens committees.
Why do people not want to participate in governance? Is it because of poor knowledge or lack of interest or a feeling that they don’t have a real say in things? (Text Book Page No. 247)
The people remain apathetic and they lose their interest in politics. Fore.g. : whoever may be the elected representative, he tries to save his position and wealth, etc.
So they do not want to participate in governance.
Why do you think does such high level of inequality persist even where the countries are democratic and government works in the interest of all people? (Text Book Page No. 248)
In many countries like the USA, most of the media are owned by very rich corporate houses or media barons. They effectively manipulate and influence public opinion by what they high light and what they black out. The rich and powerful also have immediate access to members of the legislature and the ministers, and are in a position to influence their policies and programmes.
On the other hand, the poor and illiterate people have no such access to the government circles. Thus the government of many of these countries follow policies which seem to be contradictory to the interests of the poor and in favour of the rich.
So the high level of inequality persists even where the countries are democratic and government works in the interest of all people.
Even today, most countries do not give voting powers to people who have migrated from other countries. Actually, millions of people across the world live without these democratic rights simply because the countries they live in treat them as illegal immigrants. This is the plight of South American immigrants in the US or Turkish immigrants in France or Germany. Such immigrants and refugees are found all over the world including India. Should they not be part of democratic governance? (Text Book Page No. 247)
Think of some reasons for your answer.
Democracy is based on the fundamental principle of political equality and inclusiveness. In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value. So they should also be a part of democratic governance.
Many governments give people the civil liberties. But they keep a careful watch on the activities of the citizens by tapping their telephones and letters, spying on them etc. Do you think this is justified? (Text Book Page No. 248)
Today the conditions in the world are so. All the countries are in the shadow of terrorism. So the governments are supposed to do like that. But the government should not disclose the secrecy of the individuals. Then only I think this is justified.