Working of Democracy

social science
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Here you will find all the questions, solutions, answers, and notes of chapter 11 Working of Democracy of Social Science for class 10 students studying under Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE). However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.

INTRODUCTION: In this chapter, you will learn more about democracy and how different aspects of society affects the system of democracy of a country like India, Democracy is affected by communalism (thinking that one religion is better and above another religion), gender division (thinking that women and men are different and they cannot do each other’s work), casteism (thinking one caste is better than another caste), etc.

Politicians take advantage of communalism, castism, etc. and try to win elections using these differences. Like you can see presently some political parties fight elections using the name of gods, caste, etc. These weaken the system of democracy and prevents real development.

Social divisions do exist in most of the countries and their political expression is obvious and desirable in a democracy. It strengthens as well as weakens democracy. It all depends on a country’s citizens, the political parties and their leaders. If they place the nation above social differences, the unity, integrity and prosperity of a nation are ensured. If the social divisions are given priority, democracy and the very unity of a country are in jeopardy. In light of this, let us examine the three prominent social differences in our own country – Gender, religion and caste.

I. Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is meant by ‘gender division’?

Answer: (b) Division between males and females

2. ln which of these countries, the participation of women in politics is not very large?

Answer: (c) India

3. Indian society is considered as

Answer: (b) a patriarchal society

4. Which among the following poses the biggest threat to democracy?

Answer: (c) Corruption

5. When the demands of one religion are formed in opposition to another, it is associated with:

Answer: (c) communalism

II. Very Short Answer Questions

1. Name a famous leader who was associated with Muslim League?

Answer: M.A. Jinnah was a famous leader who was associated with Muslim League.

2. Name one factor which influences the Indian politics.

Answer: Casteism is one factor which influences the Indian politics.

III. Short Answer Questions

1. What is the main demand of women organisations and activists regarding the reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies?

Answer: 33 per cent reservation of seats for women is the main demand of women organisations and activists regarding the reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.

2. What is the meaning of a patriarchal society?

Answer: Its literal meaning is rule by father. It is a system where the father is the head of the family and all important decisions are taken by male members of a family to the exclusion and seclusion of women.

3. Mention any two problems faced by Dalits in our society.

Answer: Two problems faced by Dalits in our society are poverty and caste discrimination. They live in poverty because of the lack of economic opportunities. Furthermore, caste discrimination results in difficulty to adjust in society and live a respectable life.

IV. Long Answer Questions

1. Discuss the gender issue with respect to its political expression.

Answer: A prominent social division in our country is the gender division. It is based on social expectations and stereotypes about women for centuries. They are made to believe that the main responsibility of women is housework and bringing up children. The main responsibility of men is to provide bread and butter to the family. As a result of the gender division of labour, women remained confined to the four walls of their houses. But gradually women organised and campaigned for their rights. These movements are collectively referred to as Feminist Movements. So we find that political expression of gender division helped to improve women’s role in public life. They are marching shoulder to shoulder with men in all walks of life. They are engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, executives, teachers in schools and colleges. They are also members of parliament.

2. State two reasons to say that caste alone cannot determine elections in India. [HOTS]

Answer: Two reasons to say that caste alone cannot determine elections in India are:

I. No parliamentary constituency has the clear majority of one single caste. More than two castes generally inhabit a constituency. A candidate or a party needs to secure the confidence of more than one caste to win elections.
II. It is impossible to secure votes of all the voters of a caste in a constituency. There are a host of other factors that count.

3. ‘Caste can take various forms in politics.’ Give any six reasons in support of the statement.

Answer: Six reasons in support of the above statement are:

I. Generally, people of the same caste vote en bloc for a candidate of the same or different caste.
II. When they do not vote en bloc they prefer a candidate of their own caste irrespective of the merits or demerits of the candidates.
III. The office-bearers of a party are appointed on the basis of caste to please or not to displease a caste group in the party and in the constituency.
IV. Political parties take care to give fair representation to various castes and tribes in the Council of Ministers.
V. Parties and candidates appeal to the caste sentiments of voters to muster support.
VI. Particular political parties are known to favour particular castes. On the other hand, particular castes are known to favour particular parties.

4. Describe the influence of politics on the caste system.

Answer: There is a two-way relationship between caste and politics. Politics influences the caste system and the caste system influences politics. There is the politicisation of the castes who are drawn into the political arena. As usual, the political expression of caste division has led to positive as well as negative outcomes. Caste politics has led to reservation of seats in government jobs for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. These caste groups today have more presence in the three organs of the government. Several lower castes are now demanding more share in land, resources and other opportunities. On the other hand, caste division has also resulted in conflict and violence.

5. Discuss the political expression of communalism.

Answer: The political expression of communalism can be discussed through the following points:

I. Expression of communalism in everyday beliefs– These involve religious prejudices against certain religious community stereotypes, belief in the superiority of one’s own religion.
II. Political dominance– Often there is political dominance of the majority religious groups over minority called majoritarianism. Therefore, followers of the minority community have a strong desire to form a separate nation or an autonomous political unit.
III. The political mobilisation of masses on religious lines– Political leaders exploit sacred symbols, instigate local religious leaders, emotional appeal, fear to polarise people of one religion for political gains. This happens during elections.
IV. Communal violence, riots and massacre for political gains– Muslim League led by M.A. Jinnah used these to effect partition of India. Even in the post-Independence period, there have been worst communal riots at the instigation of political parties.

6. Explain the main features of communalism.

Answer: The features of communalism are:

I. Religion is the principal basis of the social community.
II. The followers of a particular religion belong to one community.
III. Fundamental interests – socio-economic and political interests – of a particular religious community are the same.
IV. People who follow different religions cannot belong to the same social community.
V. Whatever similarities are there among followers of different religions, these are superficial and insignificant.
VI. Interests of various religious communities are different and mutually conflicting.
V. The ultimate ideological conclusion is that people belonging to different religions cannot live together as equal citizens. Either one of them has to dominate the rest or they have to form different nations.

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