Here are the solutions, questions, answers, and notes of chapter 11: Democracy which is a part of social science class 9 syllabus of students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.
INTRODUCTION: Democracy is a form of government where people choose their leaders. Unlike monarchy where the son of a king becomes the king and rule over the citizens, in democracy, anyone can become the leader. Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as a government by the people, of the people, and for the people.
Today, the United Nations has 193 member countries and among those 120 are democracies. Democracy is a very popular form of government around the world as people get to choose their leaders. And to choose their leaders, elections become a necessity. India is an example of a democratic government. Democracy again takes two forms- direct democracy and indirect democracy. In a direct democracy, people participate directly in the government and make the rules by themselves. It is convenient for countries with tiny populations where everyone can gather together at one place and decide what to be done. India, being a huge nation, cannot have a direct democracy and so we have the indirect form of democracy. In India, we choose our local leaders who represent us in the legislative assemblies and parliament and make the laws for us.
In this chapter you will learn the various aspects of democracy, how it came to be, what are the different characteristics of democracy and why democracy is so popular.
I. Choose the correct answer.
1. Which is not a feature of true democracy in the following statements?
Ans: (d) The government alone has access to al! information.
2. A theocracy is :
Ans: (b) A government run according to the majority religion.
3. Which country is a typical example of Constitutional Monarchy?
Ans: (b) Britain
4. Which of the following is not an essential feature of democracy?
Ans: (a) Universal Suffrage
5. Which form of government is considered superior to other forms of government?
Ans: (a) Democracy
6. Who defined democracy as ‘a government by the people, of the people and for the people?
Ans: (b) Abraham Lincoln
7. Iraq under Saddam Hussain was an example of which form of government?
Ans: (b) Dictatorship
8. Which country has adopted democracy recently?
Ans: (c) Nepal
II. Very Short Answer Type Questions
1. Who should be allowed to make laws and decide the policies of the Government?
Ans: Only those elected by the people make laws and decide the policies of the Government.
2. What do we call the right given to all adults to vote?
Ans: The right given to all adults to vote is called Universal suffrage.
3. Name two rights allowed in a democracy to the people.
Ans: Two rights allowed in a democracy to the people are right to contest elections and freedom of expression.
4. State one weakness of democracy.
Ans: One weakness of democracy is that leaders keep changing and this leads to instability.
III. Short Answer Type Questions
1. Why, according to Reinhold Niebuhr, democracy is necessary?
Ans: According to Reinhold Niebuhr, man’s capacity for injustice makes democracy necessary.
2. What is meant by the term ‘free and fair elections’?
Ans: By free and fair elections, it is implied that-
(i) Voters must be honestly counted (a proper census).
(ii) Voters should vote freely without any kind of pressure from those in power.
(iii)Voters should have the right to choose freely from among those competing in the elections.
(iv) Elections should be held regularly and be strictly impartial.
3. Explain the difference :
(i) Direct and Representative Democracy.
(ii) Theocracy and Absolute Monarchy.
(iii) Dictatorship and constitutional monarchy.
Ans: (i) Direct and Representative Democracy:
Direct Democracy is a democracy where every citizen participates in the election of the leaders and can speak in the assembly and vote on all issues.
On the other hand, in representative democracy people elect their representatives through adult franchise who make the laws and supervise the functioning of the government.
(ii) Theocracy and Absolute Monarchy:
Theocracy is a government which rules according to the religious teachings of the majority religion, e.g., Iran.
Whereas under Absolute Monarchy, the king is the government, and his authority is unlimited. Monarchies are hereditary.
(iii) Dictatorship and constitutional monarchy:
Dictatorship means the absolute rule of one man. Under dictatorships, governments can totally disregard the general public and their problems. e.g., Nazi Germany
On the other hand, in a constitutional monarchy, there is a king or queen as the head of the state but with nominal powers. The real power lies in the hands of Prime Minister and the Parliament.
IV. Long Answer Type Questions
1. Explain the essential features of democracy.
Ans: The essential features of democracy are:
i. Elected representatives: In a democracy, the final decision making power must rest with those elected by the people.
ii. Free and fair elections: A democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of losing.
iii. Universal suffrage: In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value. All adults have the right to vote in the elections.
iv. Right to contest elections: All adults who fulfil the conditions, should be able to contest elections.
v. Freedom of expression: Citizens should have the right to express their opinion without any fear.
vi. Freedom of information: Citizens should have the right of access to all information, only the government should not have that monopoly.
2. Give four arguments for democracy.
Ans: Four arguments for democracy are:
i. A democratic government is a more accountable form of government.
ii. Democracy improves the quality of decision making.
iii. Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts
iv. Democracy is better than other forms of government because it allows us to correct its own mistakes.
3. Give six arguments against democracy.
Ans: Six arguments against democracy are:
i. Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.
ii. Democracy is all about Political competition and power play. There is no scope for morality.
iii. So many people have to be consulted in a democracy that it leads to delays.
iv. Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions.
v. Democracy leads to corruption for it is based on electoral competition.
vi. Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them; they should not decide anything.