You learn about power-sharing and how power might be dispersed to account for language and geographical diversity in Chapter 2. This chapter will examine how democracy reacts to societal divisions, disparities, and differences. The chapter begins with an illustration of how social divides are expressed publicly. Following that, you will discover some fundamental concepts about how social inequalities may manifest in a variety of ways. Then you’ll examine how democratic politics both impacts and is impacted by these socioeconomic differences. We have discussed each of these points in detail and summarised them in CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 3 – Democracy and Diversity. Reading through these notes provides an overview of the chapter.
CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes will assist students in studying the topic thoroughly and clearly.
These CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes were written by subject experts who made the study material very basic, both in terms of language and format.
A STORY FROM MEXICO OLYMPICS
During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, the two African-American athletes from the USA stood with their fists clenched and their heads down during the 200-metre medal ceremony. Involved were John Carlos and Tommie Smith.
They had already won bronze and gold medals in their respective sports.
- They received their awards while wearing black socks and bare feet to represent Black Poverty.
- They thought that their conduct would draw global attention to America’s racial injustice.
- Black-gloved hands and raised clenched fists were meant to symbolise Black Power.
- Peter Norman, from Australia and the third athlete (silver medalist), wore a human rights symbol on his shirt to demonstrate his support for African-American.
- Smith and Carlos were found guilty of violating the Olympic spirit by expressing their political views.
- Their medals have been returned to them. Norman was also disciplined for his activities, as he was dropped from Australia’s Olympic team for the future upcoming Olympics.
However, their conduct garnered worldwide notice for the US Civil Rights Movement.
DIFFERENCES, SIMILARITIES, DIVISIONS
In the provided scenario, the athletes were reacting to societal divides and injustices. This, however, occurs even in cultures without racial differences, such as Belgium and Sri Lanka.
In the case of Belgium, residents in various areas speak a variety of languages. Sri Lanka is linguistically and religiously diverse. Thus, social diversity may take on a variety of shapes among civilizations.
ORIGINS OF SOCIAL DIFFERENCES
Social diversity manifests itself differently in various communities. Almost everyone in society encounters social distinctions. It is not necessary that social distinction will always result in a form of social division. Social differences divide similar persons, yet they may also unite people who are diametrically opposed.
Individuals belonging to diverse social groups have characteristics and traits that transcend the boundaries of their groupings. Two players were African-American and one was white on the Mexican Olympic team, but they were all athletes who spoke out against racial prejudice.
OVERLAPPING AND CROSS-CUTTING DIFFERENCES
- Social division occurs when certain social distinctions overlap with others.
- In the United States, the divide between Blacks and Whites becomes a social separation since Blacks are more likely to be impoverished, homeless, and discriminated against.
- Dalits in India are often impoverished and landless. They are often subjected to prejudice and injustice.
- As a result, societal divides occur. When social divisions intersect, it becomes difficult to put one group of people against another.
- This implies that parties with a shared interest in one area are likely to have opposing positions on another.
CASE OF NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE NETHERLANDS
In Northern Ireland and the Netherlands, the majority of people are Christians, although they are split between Catholics and Protestants.
Catholics and Protestants are at odds in Northern Ireland, but not in the Netherlands.
This is because Catholics are impoverished in Northern Ireland as a result of past prejudice.
While Catholics and Protestants are approximately equally likely to be impoverished or wealthy in the Netherlands.
SOCIAL DIVISIONS DUE TO OVERLAPPING SOCIAL DIFFERENCES
Due to the overlap of social inequalities, the possibility of severe social divides and conflicts exists. Cross-cutting social distinctions are more amenable to accommodation.
Most nations have some kind of social division.
For instance, they occur in both large countries such as India and tiny countries such as Belgium.
They are also present in homogeneous societies.
Germany and Sweden were previously very homogeneous societies, but are today seeing fast change as a result of the inflow of people or migrants from other regions of the globe.
Migrants bring their own culture and often establish a new social group.
Thus, the majority of the world’s nations became multicultural.
POLITICS OF SOCIAL DIVISIONS
Democracy necessitates rivalry between political parties. Their rivalry has the potential to transform social differences into political ones.
This results in conflict, bloodshed, and even country dissolution in a number of nations.
Social division occurs in the majority of the world’s nations. They are mirrored in politics wherever they exist.
Political parties discuss these differences, make varying pledges to various populations, and implement policies aimed at resolving the problems of disadvantaged communities.
Social divides have an effect on voting in the majority of nations.
POLITICAL DIVISION IN NORTHERN IRELAND
For many years, Northern Ireland was the scene of a violent and severe ethno-political war between Protestants (53% of the population) and Roman Catholics (44 percent).
Protestants were represented by Unionists who wanted to stay in the primarily Protestant United Kingdom.
On the other side, the Catholics were represented by the Nationalist parties, who argued for the reunification of Northern Ireland with a primarily Catholic nation, namely the Republic of Ireland.
Hundreds of civilians, militants, and security personnel were slain in the conflict between Unionists and Nationalists, as well as between the United Kingdom’s security forces and the Nationalists. The UK Government and the Nationalists signed a peace pact in 1998.
POLITICAL DIVISION IN YUGOSLAVIA
The consequence of Yugoslavia’s politics, political rivalry along religious and ethnic lines, resulted in Yugoslavia’s breakup into six sovereign republics.
As a result of these instances, it is clear that politics and social divide should not coexist.
THREE DETERMINANTS OF POLITICAL OUTCOME
PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION ABOUT THEIR IDENTITIES
To begin, the result is contingent upon how individuals see their identities.
When individuals see their identities in single and exclusive terms, accommodating them becomes very challenging.
However, if people believe their identities are varied and complimentary to the national identity, the situation becomes much simpler and more favourable.
For instance, the majority of individuals in India and Belgium consider themselves to be both Indian and Belgian, as well as members of a state or linguistic group.
ROLE OF POLITICAL LEADERS
Politics is determined by how political leaders address the needs of any society.
It is simpler to meet requests that are constitutionally permissible and do not jeopardise another community.
The Sri Lankan government’s majority rule for Sinhala dominance came at the expense of the Tamil community’s interests and identity. In Yugoslavia, it was impossible to accommodate the demands of leaders of many ethnic groupings inside a single nation.
THE ATTITUDE OF THE GOVERNMENT
Finally, it is contingent upon how the government responds to the demands of various groups.
If the majority community’s rulers are prepared to share power and meet reasonable minority community requests, societal differences become less dangerous for the nation.
However, if efforts are made to stifle such demands in the name of national unity, the consequence is the reverse.
CONCLUSION ON POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DIVISION
Political manifestation of social division is entirely natural and healthy in a democracy.
This enables different marginalised and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups to air their problems and the government to address them.
Occasionally, societal divisions result in an intolerable degree of social inequality and injustice.
Combating such inequity sometimes necessitates resorting to violence and disobedience of official authorities.
However, history demonstrates that democracy is the most effective means of achieving recognition and also accommodating variety.
NCERT Question Answer Notes Class 10 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 3 – Democracy and Diversity
Question 1. Discuss three factors that determine the outcomes of politics of social divisions.
Answer: Three factors are crucial in deciding the outcome of politics of social divisions. First of all the outcome depends on how people perceive their identities. If people see their identities in singular and exclusive terms, it becomes very difficult to accommodate. As long as people in Northern Ireland saw themselves as only Catholic or Protestant, their differences were difficult to reconcile. It is much easier if people see that their identities are multiple and are complementary with the national identity.
A majority of Belgians now feel that they are as much Belgian as they are Dutch or German-speaking.
This helps them to stay together. This is how most people in our country see their identity: they think of themselves as Indian as well as belonging to a state or a language group or a social or religious community.
Second, it depends on how political leaders raise the demands of any community. It is easier to accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community. The demand for ‘only Sinhala’ was at the cost of the interest and identity of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. In Yugoslavia, the leaders of different ethnic communities presented their demands in such a way that these could not be accommodated within a single country.
Third, it depends on how the government reacts to the demands of different groups. As we saw in the examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka, if the rulers are willing to share power and accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, social divisions become less threatening for the country. But if they try to suppress such a demand in the name of national unity, the end result is often quite the opposite. Such attempts at forced integration often sow the seeds of disintegration.
Question 2. When does a social difference become a social division?
Answer: People who feel marginalized, deprived, and discriminated against have to fight against the injustices. Such a fight often takes the democratic path, voicing their demands in a peaceful and constitutional manner, and seeking a fair position through elections.
Sometimes social differences can take the form of an unacceptable level of social inequality and injustice. The struggle against such inequalities sometimes takes the path of violence and defiance of state power. However, history shows that democracy is the best way to fight for recognition and also to accommodate diversity.
Question 3. How do social divisions affect politics? Give two examples.
Answer: Expression of various kinds of social divisions in politics often results in their cancelling one another out and thus reducing their intensity. This leads to the strengthening of democracy. But a positive attitude towards diversity and a willingness to accommodate it does not come about easily. People who feel marginalized, deprived, and discriminated against have to fight against the injustices.
Such a fight often takes the democratic path, voicing their demands in a peaceful and constitutional manner, and seeking a fair position through elections. Sometimes social differences can take the form of an unacceptable level of social inequality and injustice. The struggle against such inequalities sometimes takes the path of violence and defiance of state power. However, history shows that democracy is the best way to fight for recognition and also to accommodate diversity.
Question 4. Fill in the blanks:
___________ social differences create possibilities of deep social divisions and tensions. ____________ social differences do not usually lead to conflicts.
Answer: Overlapping social differences create possibilities of deep social divisions and tensions Cross-cutting social differences do not usually lead to conflicts.
In dealing with social divisions which one of the following statements is NOT correct about democracy?
(a) Due to political competition in a democracy, social divisions get reflected in politics.
(b) In a democracy it is possible for communities to voice their grievances in a peaceful manner.
(c) Democracy is the best way to accommodate social diversity.
(d) Democracy always leads to the disintegration of society on the basis of social divisions.
Answer: (d) Democracy always leads to the disintegration of society on the basis of social divisions.
Question 6. Consider the following three statements :
- Social divisions take place when social differences overlap.
- It is possible that a person can have multiple identities.
- Social divisions exist in only big countries like India. Which of the statements is/are correct?
(a) A, B, and C
(b) A and B
(c) B and C
(d) Only C
Answer: (b) A and B
Question 7. Arrange the following statements in a logical sequence and select the right answers by using the code given
- But all political expressions of social divisions need not be always dangerous.
- Social divisions of one kind or the other exist in most countries.
- Parties try to win political support by appealing to social divisions.
- Some social differences may result in social divisions.
(a) D, B, C, A
(b) D, B, A, C
(c) D, A, C, B
(d) A, B, C, D
(a) D, B, C, A
Question 8. Among the following, which country suffered disintegration due to political fights on the basis of religious and ethnic identities?
(d) the Netherlands
Answer: (c) Yugoslavia
Question 9. Read the following passage from a famous speech of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. Which social division is he talking about? What are his aspirations and anxieties? Do you see a relationship between this speech and the incident in Mexico Olympics mentioned in this chapter?
‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring – when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed,: “We hold these truths to be self- evident: that all men are created equal.”
Social division: He is talking about social divisions in the USA between the Blacks and Whites, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics.
His aspirations and anxieties: He aspires that all human beings must be free and there should be no discrimination on the basis of color and creed. He dreams that his four children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. He dreamt that there would be freedom for all in every village, hamlet, city, state. He hoped that the time would come when all people – Black, White, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – without any discrimination, would join and ring the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” In short, he dreamt that one day all men would be treated as equal.
Relationship between the speech and the incident in Mexico Olympics: There is a relationship between the two because at the medal ceremony of the 200 meters race in the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City, two African-Americans – Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals, had protested against Black poverty wearing black socks and no shoes.
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