SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. How can you say that every government that holds an election is not a democracy? Give an example to prove your point. [Important]
Ans. It is true that every government that holds an election is not a democracy. In many dictatorships and monarchies, there are formally elected parliaments and governments but the real power is with those who are not elected. Pakistan under General Musharraf could not be called a democracy because people there elected their representatives to the national and provincial assemblies but the power to take final decision rested with army officials and with General Musharraf
Q.2. In China, elections are held after every five years. Inspite of this, China does not have a democratic government. Why?
Ans. In China, elections are regularly held after every five years for electing the country’s Parliament. The Parliament 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. The government is always formed by the Communist Party.
Q.3. In which way is the right to vote denied in Saudi Arabia and Fiji?
Ans. In Saudi Arabia women do not have the right to vote.
In Fiji, the electoral system is such that the vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian Fijian. In both the countries, the right to vote is denied as there is no political equality. In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value.
Q.4. Why has India never had a famine of the level which occurred in China in 1958-61?
Ans. In China’s famine of 1958-61, nearly three crore people died. In those days India’s economic condition was not much better than China. Yet India did not have a famine of the kind China had. The reason was the difference in the economic policies of the two countries. Democratic government in India responded to the food shortage in a way that Chinese government did not.
If China too had had multi-party elections, an opposition party and a press free to criticise the government, so many people would not have died in the famine.
Q.5. ‘Democracy is based on consultation and discussion.’ Explain.
Ans. Consultation and discussion help democracy prosper. A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings. When a number of people put their heads together, they are able to point out possible mistakes in any decision. This reduces the chances of rash or irresponsible decisions. Thus democracy improves the quality of decision-making.
Q.6. Why is it not possible for the people to rule directly but through elected representatives?
Ans. The people cannot rule directly but only through their elected representatives because, firstly, modern democracies involve such a large number of people that it is physically impossible for them to sit together and take a collective decision. Secondly, even if they could, the citizens do not have the time, the desire or the skill to take part in all the decisions.
Q.7. Is it possible for any country to become a perfect democracy? Give reasons.
Ans. No country is a perfect democracy as every democracy has to realise the ideals of democratic decision-making. This cannot be achieved once and for all. This requires a constant effort to save and strengthen democratic forms of decision-making. What we do as citizens can make a difference to making our country more or less democratic.
Q.9. Why is Democracy considered the best form of government? Give three reasons.
Ans. Democarcy is a more accountable form of government.
(i) It improves the quality of decision-making
(ii) It enchances the dignity of citizens.
(iii)It allows us to correct its own mistakes
Q.10. What is the role of citizen in promoting democracy? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Every citizen should be able to play equal role in decision-making. For this a citizen not only needs an equal right to vote but also needs to have equal information, basic education, equal resources.
Q.11. Explain any three differences between democratic country and non-democratic country? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. In a Democratic country–
(i) Each adult citizen has a vote;(ii) Each vote has one value; and (iii) Free and fair elections are held.
In a non-democratic country — (i) Election do not offer a choice and fair opportunity; (ii) Rulers are not elected by the people; and (ii) The rulers have unlimited power.
Q.12. Is China a democratic country or not? Give two arguments in favour of your answer.
Ans. China is not a democratic country. (i) Only those who are members of the Chinese Communist Party or eight smaller parties allied to it are allowed to contest elections; (ii) Before contesting elections a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist Party.
Q.13. Explain any three features of democracy. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. According to a Democarcy— (i) Rulers elected by the people take all the major decisions.
(ii) Elections offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the corrent rulers; and (ii) This choice and opportunity is available to all the people on an equal basis.
Q.14. Why is Zimbabwe not considered a democratic country? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. It is ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader, Robert Mugabe has been ruling the country since independence. Elections are held regularly but always won by the ZANU-PF. President Mugabe uses unfair means in the elections. He has changed the constitution several times to increase the power of the president. Radio and TV are controlled by the government.
Q.15. How does democracy in a country enhance the diginity of an individual? State three points. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. (i) Democracy is based on the principal of political equality on recognising that the poorest and the least educated has the same status as the rich and the educated.
(ii) People are not subjects of a ruler they are the rulers themselves.
(iii) Even when they make mistakes, they are responsible for their conduct.
Q.16. ‘‘Elections in China do not represent people verdict.’’ Explain. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. In China the elections do not offer the people any serious choice. They have to choose the ruling party and the candidates approved by it. Can it be called a choice? There is only are political party and people have to vote for its candidates.
Q.17. ‘‘Democracy allows people to correct their own mistakes’’. Support the given statement with three points. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. The advantage in a democarcy is that mistakes made by a government cannot be hidden for long. There is a space for public discussion on these mistakes and there is room for correction.
Either the rulers have to change their decisions or they can be changed
Q.18. Explain any three major political changes that took place recently in India’s neighborhood? [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. (i) Pakistan–General Musharaff led a military coup.
(ii) Nepal–In 2005 the new king dismissed the elected government.
(iii) Iraq–Sadaam Hussain’s regime was overthrown.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. What were the steps taken by Musharraf in Pakistan to empower himself?
Ans. In Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup in October 1999. He overthrew a democratically elected government and declared himself the ‘Chief Executive’ of the country. Later he changed his designation to President and in 2002 held a referendum in the country that granted him a five year extension. This referendum was based on fraud and malpractices. In 2002, he issued a ‘Legal Framework Order’ that amended the Constitution of Pakistan. According to this order, the President could dismiss the national or provincial assemblies.
Q.2. With reference to Zimbabwe, describe how the popular approval of rulers is necessary in a democracy but not sufficient.
Ans. In Zimbabwe, since Independence in 1980, elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader, President Robert 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. Public protests and demonstrations against the government are declared illegal. There is a law that limits the right to criticise the President.
Q.3. On the basis of the various examples given in the chapter, state what should be the four features of a democracy. [V. Important]
Ans. Four features of a democracy are –
(i) Representatives elected by the people take all the major decisions.
(ii) Elections offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the current rulers.
(iii) This choice and opportunity is available to all the people on an equal basis.
(iv) The exercise of this choice leads to a government limited by basic rules of the constitution and citizens’ rights.
Q.4. Enumerate the arguments given against democracy.
Ans. Some of the arguments against democracy are as follows :
(i) Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.
(ii) Democracy is all about political competition and power play, with no scope for morality.
(iii) Since so many people are to be consulted in a democracy, it leads to delays.
(iv) Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people; so it leads to bad decisions.
(v) Democracy leads to corruption as it is based on electoral competition.
Q.5. How does democracy provide a method to deal with differences and conflicts?
Ans. In any society people are bound to have differences of opinions and interests. These differences are particularly sharp in a country like India which has lot of social diversity. The preference of one group may class with those of the other groups. Democracy provides the only peaceful solution to this problem. In democracy, no one is a permanent winner or a permanent loser.
Different groups can live with one another peacefully. In a diverse country like ours, democracy keeps our country together.
Q.6. Write any four diadvantages of democracy. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. (1) Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability. (2) Democracy is all about political competition and power play. There is no scope for morality. (3) So many people have to be consulted in a Democracy that it leads tro delays. (4) Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions.
Q.7. How does a democratic government rule within limits set by Constitutional Law? Give three reasons. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. A democratic government cannot do whatever it likes simply because it has won an election.
Every major decision has to go through a series of consultations. Every office bearer has certain rights and responsibilities assigned by the constitution and the law. A democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens rights.
Q.8. What is the significance of the rule of law and respect for rights in democratic country?
State four points. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. A democractic government cannot do whatever it likes simply because it has won an election.
It has to respect some basic rules. In particular it has to respect some guarantees to the minorities. Every major decision has go through a series of consultation. Every office bearer has certain rights and responsibilities assigned by the constitutition and the law. Each is accountable not but only to law to other independent officials.
Q.9. Why is democracy called a ‘‘government by discussion’’? [2010 (T-1)] Ans. It is called a ‘‘government by discussion’’ because a democracy is based on consultation and discussion. A democratic decision always involves many persons discussions and meetings.
When a member of people together think over a certain matter they are able to point out possible mistakes. This takes time. But there is big advantage in taking time. This reduces rush decisions, problems are not resolved by brutal force but by peaceful discussions. It offers best alternative that we know.
Q.10. Why does a democratic country always need a constitution? [2010 (T-1)] Ans. All countries that are democratic will have constitutions. After the war of independence against Great Britain the Americans gave themselves a constitution. After the revolution the French people approved a democratic constitution. Since then it has became a practice in all democracies to have a written constitution.
Q.11. ‘‘Democracy enhances the dignity of citizen.’’ Justify this statement. [2010 (T-1)] Ans. Democracy is based on the principle of political equality on recognising that the poorest and the least educated has the same status as the rich and the educated. People are not subjects of a ruler. They are the rulers themselves. Even when they make mistakes they are responsible for their conduct
Q.12. ‘‘Democracy improve the quality of decision making.’’ Explain. [2010 (T-1)] Ans. Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts. In any society people are bound to have difference of opinions and interests. These differences are particularly sharp a country like ours which has an amazing social diversity. People belong to different regions speak different languages, practise different religions and have different castes. Preferences of a groups can clash with those of other groups. Democracy provides the only peaceful solution to this problem. In democracy no one is a permanent winner. No one a permanent loser. In a diverse country like India, democracy keeps our country together.
Q.13. Give any four reasons why democracies resolve conflict in a better way than other forms of governments. [2010 (T-1)]
Ans. Democracies resolve conflict in a better way. Reasons — (i) It improves the quality of decision making. It has scope for consultation and discusion. (ii) In a Democracy conflicts are not solved by brutal force but by peaceful solutions. (iii) Even even when people/associations/ government make mistakes for a democracy allows them to correct their mistakes; and (iv) Democracy provides a forum for consultations and discussions to resolve conflicts.
Q.14. Despite its demerits why is democracy the most preferred form of government? Explain.
Ans. Despite its demerits democracy is still the most preferred form of government as it is— (i) a more accountable form of government. It responds to the needs of the people because the constitution requires it; and (ii) Better decision came for when many heads together strive to do so, this reduces the chance of rash decisions or irresponsible decisions plus a democracy enhances the dignity of citizens. It is clearly better than any other form of government.
Q.15. Why is democracy government a better government? Mention four reasons. [2010 (T-1)] Ans. A democratic government is a better government as— (i) it offers better changes of a good decision; (ii) it is always likely to respect people wishes and allows; (iii) different kinds of people to live together; and (iv) even when it fails to do something for the people it allows a way of correcting its mistakes and offers more dignity to all citizens. That is why a democracy is considered the best form of government.