Challenges of Democracy Class 10 Civics Chapter 8
Very Short Answer Questions
1. What is a ‘Challenge’?
Answer:A challenge is not just any problem, we usually call only those difficulties a ‘challenge’ which are significant and which can be overcome. It carries on opportunity for progress.
2. How can a challenge be overcome?
Answer:Challenge can be overcome by identifying your challenge, believing in your goal, strengthening will-power, and by trying consistently.
3. What is the foundational challenge of democracy?
Answer:Bringing down the existing non-democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
4. What involves the challenge of expansion?
Answer:Ensuring greater power to local government, extension of federal principles to all the units of federation, inclusion of women and minority groups, etc., fall under this challenge.
5. How is challenge of ‘deepening of democracy’ faced by democracies?
Answer:This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy. This should happen in such a manner that people can realise their expectations of democracy.
6. Does law play a key role in political reform?
Answer:No doubt, law has an important role to play in a political reform. Carefully desired changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones. But legal constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy.
7. Explain the meaning of democracy. [CBSE (AI) 2017]
Answer:Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.
8. Give importance of a law in forms of democracy.
Answer:The ‘Right to Information’ Act is a law that empowers the people to find out what is happening in government and act as watchdog of democracy.
9. In what way does RTI help the people in a democracy?
Answer:Such a law helps to control consumption and supplements the existing laws that banned corruption and imposed strict penalties.
10. How do political parties bring democratic reforms?
Answer:The main focus of political reforms should be on ways to strengthen democratic politics. The most important concern should be to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens.
11. How do we define a true democracy?
Answer: (i) The rulers elected by the people must take all the major decisions.
(ii) Elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the current rulers.
12. A country holds election to elect people’s representatives to form the government but the elections are not fair. Identify the kind of challenge faced by the people in such a country. [CBSE Sample Question 2016]
Answer:People face the challenge of expansion of democracy.
13. If a non-democratic country wants to change into a democratic set up, then which kind of challenge would it face? [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]
Answer: The challenge faced is: Foundational Challenge
Short Answer Type Questions
1. Explain ‘foundation challenge’ faced by democracies of the world.
Answer: (i) Foundation challenge takes place when the basic structure or foundation of the government changes.
(ii) It can be monarchy or military dictatorship, changed into democracy.
(iii) The Nepal King Gyanendra, who replaced democracy with autocracy was forced to leave the palace and accept democracy and political rights of the people, when the movement against autocracy took place.
This transition may take many decades or centuries.
2. “The Right to Information Act acts as a watchdog of democracy.” Explain.
Answer: The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. The Right to Information Act empowers the people to find out the role of government and makes its functioning more transparent. The citizens have the right to ask what happened and how it happened. It helps them check corruption, malpractices, etc.
3. When is democracy considered to be successful?
Answer: The rulers elected by the people must take all major decisions and not the rich and powerful people. The elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the rulers, if they want to. A choice and opportunity should be available to all the people based on political equality.
4. Define a “good democracy”.
Answer:Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people. Supreme power is in the hands of people and exercised directly by them.
(i) In a good democracy, the citizens and political parties should enjoy freedom in electing the government.
(ii) The elections should be free from money and muscle power and there should not be any malpractices.
(iii) Democracy is considered good when the economic growth rate and standard of living are high.
5. What do you mean by ‘counterproductive law’?
Answer: Any legal change becomes counterproductive law when it results adversely. For example, many states have banned people who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections. This had resulted in demat of political opportunity to many poor and women, which was not intended. Generally, laws that seek to ban something are not successful in politics. This law tends to hinder the attainment of a desired goal and results adversely.
6. How democracy has been redefined? What positive points about democracy can highlight the definition?
Answer:Democracy has been redefined as a democratic government where the changes have taken place. The positive points about the democracy can be added to its definition.
(i) The rulers elected by the people must take all the major decisions.
(ii) Elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the current rulers.
(iii) This choice and opportunity should be available to all the people on an equal basis.
(iv) The exercise of this choice must lead to a government limited by basic rules of the constitution and citizens’ rights.
7. “The challenge of deepening of democracy is being faced by every democracy in one form or another.” Support the statement with arguments. [CBSE (F) 2016]
Which kind of government is dominant in the contemporary world? Mention the issues that are involved in the challenge of ‘deepening of democracy’. [CBSE (Comptt.) 2016]
Answer: (i) Deepening of democracy involves strengthening of the institutions and practice of democracy.
(ii) The ordinary people have different expectations from democracy in different societies. Therefore, this challenge has different meanings in different parts of the world.
(iii) It wants more of people’s participation and control.
(iv) It controls and wants to bring down the control of rich and powerful people in making of the governmental decision.
8. “A public expression of dissatisfaction with democracy shows the success of democratic project.” Justify the statement. [CBSE (F) 2016]
Answer: “A public expression of dissatisfaction with democracy shows the success of democratic project:”
(i) It shows that people have developed awareness and the ability to expect.
(ii) People look critically at power holders. They want to make democracy better.
(iii) They come up with expressions and complaints. They value their democratic rights
Long Answer Type Questions
1. What are the broad guidelines to be kept in mind while devising ways and means for political reforms in India?
Answer: (i) Legal ways of reforming politics are very tempting. However, only carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones. Democratic reforms should be carried out by political activities, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
(ii) A legal change must be clear in its results. Best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. One such Act is the Right to Information Act, which helps in controlling corruption.
(iii) Democratic reforms need to be carried out through strengthening its practice. There should be an increase in quality of political participation by citizens.
(iv) Any proposal for political reform should even devise ways of implementing the reform.
2. “At least one-fourth of the globe is still not under democratic government.” Explain the challenge to democracy.
Answer: (i) The challenge to democracy in these parts is very stark.
(ii) These countries face the foundational challenge of making the transition to democracy and then instituting a democratic government.
(iii) This involves bringing down the existing non-democratic government.
(iv) Military should be kept away from the controlling government and a sovereign and functional state should be established.
3. “Most established democracies face a challenge of expansion.” Comment.
How does existing democracies face the challenge of expansion?
“Most of the established democracies are facing the challenge of expansion.” Support the statement with examples. [CBSE Delhi 2016]
Answer: Challenge of expansion involves applying or following the basic principle of democratic government in almost all regions, various institutions and different social groups. It should ensure greater power to local governments, extension of federal principle to all the units of federation including women and minority. Most countries including India and other democracies like the US (America) face this challenge. It also means that less and less decisions should remain outside the arena of democratic control.
4. Write the measures that can strengthen and deepen democracy.
Answer: (i) Decentralisation of authority should take place. Based on separation of powers, power should be decentralised at the local level. It would make government more responsive to the needs of the people.
(ii) Political parties using caste, religion, violence and separatism as vote-bank factors should be banned.
(iii) Right to Information (RTI) Act should be strengthened so that the rule of law should be implemented realistically.
(iv) It is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It means that people should always be alert to preserve their freedom. For this, it is essential to have an enlightened public opinion. Agencies like mass media, political parties, educational institutions and pressure groups should help in the generation of public opinion. Curbs on any agency would act as a hindrance in the development of sound public opinion which is essential for the smooth functioning of democracy.
(v) Mass media like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and journals should play an important role in strengthening the freedom of people by spreading awareness and enlightenment and keeping the government on toes by pointing out its loopholes.
(vi) People should be given a right to recall their representatives if they are not working in public interest.
(vii) The term of parliamentary institutions should be fixed so that political instability does not hinder development.
(viii) Women, dalits and backward castes should be given adequate representation so that all communities receive adequate political say.
(ix) Election Commission should be given more powers to make stringent laws, banning parties using money and muscle power.
(x) State funding of elections should be started.
(xi) The bureaucrats should be made more responsive to the needs of people.
(xii) Lokpal should be created to check corruption in public life.
(xiii) Institutions of governance should be strengthened to reduce politics of expediency and opportunism.
(xiv) Citizens should become more active and enlightened to keep a vigil on the functioning of democracy.
5. What are the shortcomings or weaknesses of Indian democracy.
Answer:In spite of certain achievements, Indian democracy has not been able to solve the problems in entirety. There have been certain shortcomings. These include the following:
(i) Though GDP has increased about 50 per cent, children below five years are still malnourished.
(ii) People are still living in abject poverty, illiteracy and unemployment.
(iii) More than 60 per cent of Indian people do not have access to sanitation.
(iv) Economic development has not been accompanied by institutional changes.
(v) About 35 per cent of the Indian population still lives below the poverty line.
(vi) Women representation in governance is not even 6 per cent.
(vii) Socio-economic inequalities continue to exist in our society.
(viii) Society is divided along casteist, communal, linguistic and regional lines.
(ix) Politics has been criminalised. Use of money and muscle power has shaken the faith of people in democracy.
(x) Society has been divided in the name of coste, religion and creed.
(xi) Increasing corruption has shaken the faith of people in the political system. Democracy is considered to be a means of making easy money at the cost of public welfare.
(xii) Wholesale and mercenary defections have made democracy a farce.
(xiii) Failure to evolve a strong and effective opposition has led to complacency in the ruling party.
6. “Democracies are not appearing to be very successful in reducing economic inequalities.” Analyse the statement. [CBSE (F) 2016]
Answer: Democracy and the economic outcomes
(i) Slow economic development and economic growth due to population
(ii) Basic needs of life, such as food, clothing, shelter are difficult to make
(iii) Prevalence of Economic Inequalities
(iv) Poverty is still a big issue
(v) Allocation of resources in few hands
(vi) Unjust distribution of goods and opportunities
HOTS Questions (Higher Order Thinking Skills)
1. ‘It is very difficult to reform politics through legal ways.’’ Evaluate the statement. [CBSE (AI) 2017]
Answer: ‘It is very difficult to reform politics through legal ways’:
(i) Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones.
(ii) Legal constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy. This is like the rules of cricket. A change in rules for LBW decisions helped to reduce negative batting tactics. But no one would ever think that the quality of cricket could be improved mainly through changes in the rules. This is to be done mainly by the players, coaches and administrators.
(iii) Any legal change must carefully look at what results it will have on politics. Sometimes the result may be counterproductive.
(iv) Democratic reforms are to carried out mainly by political activists, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
(v) Laws that give political actors incentives to do good things have more chances of working.
(vi) The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms.
(vii) Democratic reforms are to be brought through political practices. Therefore the main focus should be on the ways to strengthen democratic practices.
2. Explain three different types of challenges being faced by democratic governments in modern times.
Answer:Following are the types of challenges being faced by modern democracies in the world.
(i) Foundational Challenge:
- Foundational challenge takes place when the basic structure or foundation of the government changes.
- It can be monarchy or military dictatorship, changed into democracy.
(ii) Deepening of Democracy:
- This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy.
- This should happen in such a way that people can realise their expectations of democracy.
- This requires an attempt to bring down the control and influence of the rich and powerful people in making governmental issue.
(iii) Challenge of Expansion:
- This involves applying the basic principles of democratic government across all regions, different social groups and various institutions.
- Ensuring greater power to local government extension of federal principle to all the units of federation, inclusion of women and minority groups, etc., fall under this challenge. This also means that less and less decisions should remain outside the area of democratic control.
3. Explain how democratic reforms can be achieved. Why is it important for us?
Answer: Democratic or political reforms should be achieved mainly by the actions of political parties. They should show concern about how to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens. The main focus of political reforms should be how to strengthen democratic practices through institutions.
Any proposal or suggestions may be there on the paper but it is all about how to implement and by whom to meet the need. It improves our quality of life, maintain peace and give us good governed social infrastructure.