MP Board Class 9th Social Science Important Questions Chapter 12 Concept of Democracy
Short Answer Type Questions
Explain the meaning of democracy and give two definitions of it. (MP 2015)
The word democracy has been derived from two greek words “Demos and Cratia”. lich means people and power. It means a type of governing system where the power to govern rests with the people and administration is either directly done by the people or through their representatives. It is also referred to as Loktantra or Jantantra.
- Aristotal: “Democracy is the rule of Many”.
- Abraham Lincoln: “Democracy is the rule of the people, by the people and for the people”.
- Dicey: “Democracy is a form of government where the ruling community is comparatively bigger part of the entire nation”.
Explain the importance of democracy. (MP 2011)
Importance of democracy can be studied under the following heads:
1. In political sphere: In political sphere of man’s life democracy means a political system in which the power to take decisions does not vest in an individual but in the hands of the elected representatives of the people. Therefore the rule is based on the feelings of the people.
2. In social sphere: In the social sphere of man’s life democracy implies a society where there is no discrimination on the grounds of caste, religion, colour, gender race, creed or wealth. Everyone must have equal right and opportunities to grow in one’s life equally without any discrimination and the society must have the underlying feeling of brotherhood and mutual cooperation.
3. In economic sphere: In the economic sphere of man’s life by democracy is meant a system, where every member of the society gets the freedom and the right to choose his means of livelihood or any profession. An effort to establish such a system is made where there is no exploitation of one by the other.
An effort is made to provide basic facilities so that he may fulfil his minimum economics need live a dignified life, meaning to provide the facilities of food, clothing, shelter, health, education employment is the basis of democracy.
Why is constitution needed for Democracy? (MP 2010)
In the present democratic system the government is formed by the elected representatives of the people. The fundamental belief of democracy is that the power of the Governing must be in the interests of the governed for protecting the rights of the people. In a democracy the common people easily get to know the procedure of the formation of the government and rights and duties of the citizens. There should also be a provision to ensure that the constitution may not be easily changed.
In this manner it is important to have a written constitution for safeguarding democracy. Democracy is therefore called the Rule of Law. Here the Law is above an individual or a group of individuals, which is ensured through written constitution. Therefore a constitution is very important for a Democracy. For strengthening democracies, democratic traditions are also important which give flexibility to a written constitution.
“Freedom is the soul of Democracy”. Explain.
Strengthening system of freedom In a democracy various types of freedom are ven to the citizens for their all rounded development. Besides political freedom rights to various types of religious and cultural freedom are also given to the citizen. In a democracy citizens have the right to vote get elected hold public offices, give speeches, freedom to express, form associations, Organize meetings, address people or practice any profession or trade. If the citizens do not agree with the policy’s of the government then they have a right to protest. Freedom is the soul of democracy without freedom democracy is not possible.
What do you mean by independent and impartial judiciary?
What is the importance of judiciary?
In democracy we have independent and impartial judiciary because judiciary is supreme power to make the government work in accordance with the constitution. It secures the rights of the citizens and punishes who violates the constitution. No one can deny the decision taken by the court because it is considered as the final decision.
“Democracy is the best means of political education”. Explain.
Political Education: Democracy is the best means of political education. People take interest in political field naturally, due to the right to vote and freedom to hold political position. Freedom of expression and the use of means of communication, promote the tendency to exchange ideas among citizens. All political parties keep campaigning continuously which gives political education to the masses. Therefore in a democracy citizens receive administrative, political and social education.
“Democracy is the rule of incapables”. Explain.
Governance is an art. For this special knowledge and qualifications are required. The aim of welfare of the entire society cannot be realized if the ruler does not have the knowledge of this art. Only a few people have the art, capability and the potential to govern. But in a democracy there is a rule of die majority and a capable person is also equated with an incapable. In developing countries the situation is even more pitiable. Therefore critics also call democracy as a rule of the incapable.
Distinguish between direct democracy and Indirect democracy. (MP 2012)
Differences between direct democracy and indirect democracy:
- When the people residing in a state themselves directly discuss on the public issues on the basis of which policies are decided and laws made, them such a government is called direct democracy.
- Direct democracy is possible only in states with less population and small in size.
- It is less expensive because expenditure is not done on large scale.
- There is no. party system in it because are directly involved in it.
- Direct democracy today is prevalent in some of cantons of Switzerland.
- People enact laws for themselves in direct democracy.
- There is no difference between the ruled and the ruler in the direct democracy.
- When the people participate in making the law and controlling the working of administration through the elected representatives it is called Indirect Democracy.
- It is suitable to the places with high population and big states.
- It is expensive because much money is spent on election procedure.
- There are many party in indirect democracy.
- It is popular in India and many other parts.
- In an indirect democracy laws are made by their representatives.
- The government is run by the representatives of the people is an indirect democracy.
What do you understand by indirect or representative democracy? (MP 2009)
The word democracy has been derived from two greek words ‘Demos’ and ‘Gratia’ which respectively ‘people’ and ‘power’. It means a type of governing system where the power to govern rests with the people and administration is either directly done by the people or through their representatives.
Generally democracy is of two types:
- Direct Democracy
- Indirect or Representative Democracy.
(i) Direct Democracy: When the people residing in a state themselves directly discuss public issues on the basis of which policies are decided and laws are made, their such a governance is called direct democracy.
Direct democracy is possible only in states with less population and small in size. In present times when in big states the number of citizens is in crores, direct democracy is not possible. Direct democracy today is prevalent in some of cantons of Switzerland and under the Panchayati Raj system in the Gram Sabha of India.
(ii) Indirect or Representative Democracy: When the people participate in the making of law and controlling the working of administration through elected representatives, it is called indirect or representative democracy in present times indirect democracy is practised. In this the people choose their representatives for a definite period who form the legislature and make laws. In this system the wishes of the people are expressed through the elected representatives.
Long Answer Type Questions
What are the characteristics of democracy? (MP 2009, 10)
The features of democracy are:
1. Accountable ruling system: In a democracy people rule directly or through their elected representatives. In this the people have continuous influence over the ruling class. The people can make the government work in an accountable manner by asking question and criticising it.
Here the power to govern is basically with the people which is handed to the representatives for a fixed term. Therefore the accountability of the governing is essential for the people else the people have the right to hand over the power to any alternative in the next elections.
2. Rule based on equality: Democracy is based on the principle of equality In this form of government all citizens without any discrimination have equal civil and political rights. Elections in a fixed time-period are essential for democracy. All adult citizens have equal rights to vote and contest elections as candidates in these elections. The basic traits of democracy are equal social and economic opportunities and equal importance to an individuals personality.
3. Strengthening the system of freedom: In a democracy various types of freedom are given to the citizens for their all round development. Besides political freedom rights to various types of religious and cultural freedom are also given to citizen. Freedom is the soul of democracy, without it democracy is not possible.
4. Rule of Law: In this system the Government formed on the wishes of the people, works according to law therefore it is also called as Rule of Law. By rule of lav. is meant fhv everyone is equal before law. Similar punishment is given for similar crime. Whatever be the status and position. Its not the rule of any individual or group.
Therefore it is important to have a constitution where the fundamental laws are mentioned. Ensuring rights of the citizens and abiding by the laws is the responsibility of an independent judiciary. Judiciary can give verdict against the government if it works against the constitution.
5. Independent and impartial elections: Conducting elections only is not enough in democracy but elections must be conducted in an independent and impartial manner. There should be no pressure on the voters during elections and the election process should also be impartial. The will of the people is supreme in a democracy. In this form of government elections are held from time to time. For forming the government various political parties and independent candidates also have the freedom to participate in these elections.
6. Existence of written constitution: Definite fundamental principles and procedures of administrative of organization is the most important feature of democracy so that any ruling party on the basis of its majority may not define or change it according to its whims and fancies. The constitution of organs of government, procedures etc. must be clearly defined in the constitution. Therefore a written constitution is considered to be very important. Democracy is based on equality and freedom of the citizens.
Explain the merits of democracy. (MP 2012)
The merits of democracy are as follows:
1. Based on highest values of humanity: Democracy is based on higher values like equality, justice and brotherhood and everyone is treated with equality respecting every individuals dignity. It develops virtues like self respect and self-reliance in the citizens as it is based on sovereignty and partnership of the citizens.
2. Public welfare: In a democracy the representatives of the people govern who are elected by the people for a definite period. They are always afraid that if they do not work in accordance with the wishes, feelings and need of the people then they will be defeated in the next elections. Therefore public welfare is always kept in mind in a democracy.
3. Political Education: Democracy is the best means of political education. People take interest in political field naturally due to the right to vote and freedom to hold political position. Freedom of expression and the use of means of communication, promote the tendency to exchange ideas among citizens. All political parties keep campaigning continuously which gives political education to the masses. Therefore in a democracy citizens receive administrative, political and social education.
4. Growth of Feeling of Patriotism: Democracy is the rule of the people for attaining public welfare for the people. People feel associated with the government and state since they are politically conscious. This association promotes the feelings of love and commitment for the nation. This leads to the cultivation of nationalism. Citizens feel that government is formed by them and they alone have all rights and powers.
5. Minimum possibility of violent revolution: Democracy is a philosophy of peace and tolerance. Its based on understanding and consensus. The opposition also has a right to put forth its views. Therefore the opposition also criticises and condemns the government. If the majority of the people are dissatisfied with the ruling class it can easily remove them through constitutional methods. Therefore there is a least possibility of a violent revolution in the democracy.
Democracy is the best system based on the rule of the people on theoretical grounds. But there are practical difficulties in putting this system into practice.
Explain the demerits of democracy.
There are some demerits seep into the system. The chief demerits of the systems are as follows:
1. Emphasis on quantity rather than on quality: In a democracy more importance is given to quantity than quality. Only the votes are counted in this system. The vote of every voter has equal value irrespective of whether he is capable or incapable. The basis of democracy is the concept that everyone is equal where as the potential of all in the society is not equal. Every voter has right to one vote in a democracy meaning that it considers everyone equal. Therefore the more capable people are not correctly evaluated.
2. Rule of the incapable: Governance is an art. For this special knowledge and qualifications are required. The aim of welfare of the entire society cannot be realized if the ruler does not have the knowledge of this art. Only a few people have the art, capability and the potential to govern. But in a democracy there is a rule of the majority and a capable person is also equated with an incapable. In developing countries the situation is even more pitiable. Therefore critics also call democracy as a rule of the incapable.
3. Waste of public time and money: Only after a long and complex procedure the legislature is formed. Sometimes it takes years to make important laws. Lot of money is spent on the election process. A lot of money is also spent on the members of parliament. Members of legislative assembly ministers and officers attached to the legislature. Therefore there is a waste of both time and money in a democracy.
4. Domination of the wealthy: To say that everyone participates in the political process in a democracy is only theoretical. Practically the elections have become so expensive that common people cannot even think of participating in the election for any position. To contest elections on money has become a common features of democracy system. Candidates contesting elections spend a lot of money in campaigning. This has led to the transformation of democracy from ‘Rule of the people’ to the ‘Rule of the Rich’.
5. Party politics: For the regulation of present democracy political parties are becoming essential. Political parties are formed on the basis of ideologies but their main aim is to acquire power. To influence people and win popularity political parties levy baseless charges against each other opposition for the sake of opposing and not for principles or values becomes the aim of the political parties.
Political parties become a battling ground for those who influence the feeling of the people through negative campaigning and find ways and means to fulfil their selfish motives and establish their supremacy. Partisan interests becomes more important then public welfare and they also use political power to fulfil their selfish interests.
6. Weak during wars and emergencies: There is a need to take quick decisions during a war or an emergency, but democracy proves to be ineffective during such times. Due to the distribution of power in a democracy it takes a lot of time to take decision and enforce them.
What are the obstacles in the way of democracy?
Following are the main obstacles in the social development of our country:
1. Communalism: Communalism is a great problem in way of development of Indian society. When certain communities or castes are denied right to equality it gives rise to problem of communalism. This feeling stops the development of any society. Feeling of hatred is developed because of communal feeling and it gives rise to the riots.
2. Casteism: Our society is divided into various castes. Faith in one’s own caste is not wrong but to hate other castes and to practice untouchability is certainly quite wrong. Casteism creates sense of high and low and because of this society is divided into various parts.
3. Illiteracy: Illiteracy is the main cause of all social and economic evils. Education is a must for removing any evil including poverty and unemployment; Education must be made cheaper and compulsory.
4. Unequal status of women: It also disturbs the smooth functioning of the society. Democracy is based on equality of all citizens. But if women are not considered equal to men society cannot be developed.
Explain the organisation of election commission.
The election commission is a free and impartial body established under the constitution. It was one man commission till recently, but through recent constitution amendment, now there are three election commissions of the equal rank who work co-operatively, The president of Indian Republic appoints them. He also appoints regional election commissioners for the state.
The procedure for the removal of the chief election commissioner and two others in the same as it for the supreme court judges. The election commission is responsible for holding free and fair election for the parliament and vidhan sabha the election of the president and vice-president of Indian Union.
What are the conditions necessary for the successful working of democracy?
Conditions required for the successful democracy:
1. Literacy: Democracy can be successful in a country where the citizens of the country are literate This is important as only educated citizens can have proper knowledge of their rights and duties and can exercise them properly.
2. Social and Economic Equality: Social and economic inequalities go against the democratic system of government. Democracy can function successfully if there is equality for all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of sex, caste, religion, class, language, etc.
Similarly, the existence of economic inequality pose a serious challenge to the democracy and works to disrupt the system, because all those who belong to weaker groups the poor, the illiterate, unemployed, backward classes, become soft targets. They are further exploited by vestes interests to promote their narrow political ambitions. These are treated as vote banks, which are like making a mockery of democracy. So social and economic equality becomes must.
3. Socially responsive citizens: Democracy can run successfully in a country whose citizens are honest, selfless and impartial. They should not be amenable to undue and wrong pressures during the elections. They should vote only for the best and deserving candidates. The success of democracy also depends to a large extent, on the quality of its leaders. Citizen should choose such person as their leaders who are honest men of sound judgement, selfless and of high character.
4. Sound party system: For the success of democracy political parties must be formed on the basis of clear cut principle, policies, programmes etc. Political parties should not be the outcome of conformation between the leaders. Number of parties should not be more as these encourage the formation of coalition governments that are usually instable. Political parties should not be organized on the basis of caste or religion.
5. Independent and impartial press: A free press is said to be the bible of democracy. It is because whatever is published in newspapers has a deep impact on the common man. Thus, they should give news independently and impartially so that people get correct informations regarding domestic and foreign affairs.
6. Independent judiciary: Independent and impartial Judiciary are the foundations of democracy. If judiciary is not independent, rights and liberties of the people cannot be safeguarded and elections cannot be held freely and impartially.
I. Choose the correct alternatives:
Which of the following is not a characteristic of a Democracy:
(a) Government of elected representatives
(b) Respect of rights
(c) Centralization of power in the hands of one person
(d) Free and impartial election.
(c) Centralization of power in the hands of one person
Which is the Democratic concept:
Which of the following is not a demerit of a democracy:
(a) Waste of public time and money
(b) Dominance of the wealthy
(d) Public welfare
(d) Public welfare
Democracy is a rule of people, by the people and for the people: (MP 2015)
II. Fill in the blanks:
In Rigveda ………….. is mentioned.
………….. has called democracy as “Rule of Many”.
Indians constitute is …………..
………….. is possible only in states with less population and small in size.
At present India is the biggest ………….. country. (MP 2012)
Indian constitution come into force in ………….. (MP 2009)
26 Jan 1950.
III. Match the following:
|1. Atharvaveda||(a) Kashi|
|2. Marksvadi principle||(b) Samiti|
|3. Lok Kalyan||(c) Dyasi|
|4. Abraham Lincoln||(d) Karl Marks|
|5. Mahajanpad||(e) Party|
IV. Write ‘true’ or ‘false’:
Democracy is the best means of political education.
Direct democracy is possible in states having less population.
Democracy is not dependent on equality and freedom of citizens.
In democracy fair election should be held.
Democracy is based on the principle of equality.
The Changes in the constitution of any country brought about by the parliament of that country.
V. Give answer in one word:
The supreme power of the state.
Direct participation of people in democracy.
India became republic on.
26 Jan 1950
A system of government where public welfare is of utmost importance.
Democratic cannot run without it.