Chapter 8 of Political Science will summarise all you learnt in Civics classes 9 and 10. The chapter will provide some options for approaching issues of democratic politics, such as what are the obstacles facing democracy. How can democratic politics be reformed? How can democracy improve its practice and outcomes? Additionally, the chapter will assist you in thinking independently and developing your own interpretation of the issues and meaning of democracy. As a result, we have offered the CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Material 8 – Challenges to Democracy to assist you in comprehending the chapter thoroughly. Additionally, you may download these notes in pdf format for additional preparation during tests.

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.

CONCEPT OF CHALLENGES

Democracy is the world’s most prevalent form of governance today. However, democracy faces grave threats worldwide, but not from a competitor or opponent. A ‘challenge’ is not merely any kind of difficulty.

Generally, people refer to issues as ‘a challenge’ only when they are big and solvable. In other terms, a challenge is a task that has the potential for advancement. When individuals conquer adversity, they advance to a greater level.

Different nations encounter a variety of difficulties. Every nation faces three distinct sorts of difficulties. These are the:

FOUNDATIONAL CHALLENGE

Countries that are not democratically governed confront the first challenge, which is the basic one of achieving democracy and then adopting democratic rule.

This entails overthrowing the present undemocratic dictatorship, separating the military from political authority, and creating a sovereign and viable state.

Nepal is an excellent illustration of a fundamental challenge to democracy, having replaced monarchy with a democratic administration.

CHALLENGE OF EXPANSION

The majority of established democracies are confronted with the second obstacle, namely the difficulty of growth. It entails implementing the fundamental premise of democratic administration throughout all areas, social groupings, and institutions.

This problem encompasses issues such as granting more authority to local governments, extending the federal concept to all federation components, and assuring the involvement of women and minority groups.

This also implies that no choice should be made outside of the democratic process. Countries such as India, the United States of America, and others confront this kind of difficulty. In India, the challenges to democratic growth are:

  1. Certain socioeconomically disadvantaged populations have not yet been granted political authority.
  2. Several North-Eastern states have not yet achieved complete integration into mainstream India.

DEEPENING OF DEMOCRACY

Every democracy, in one form or another, faces the third issue of democratic strengthening. This entails strengthening democratic institutions and practices.

In various cultures, ordinary people have varying expectations about democracy. As a result, this task takes on a unique meaning and course in each country.

This is often accomplished by enhancing the institutions that facilitate citizen engagement and control. This takes a concerted effort to undermine the affluent and powerful control and influence over government decision-making.

Thus, it is apparent that various nations confront distinct types of democratic issues. These difficulties vary according to a country’s level of socioeconomic development.

Solutions to these problems also rely on the specific circumstances of each nation. There is no predetermined approach for addressing the difficulties confronting a democracy.

POLITICAL REFORMS

In general, any recommendations or plans for resolving different democratic difficulties are referred to as democratic change or political reform. There is no such thing as a universal wish list of desired improvements. Because problems differ by nation, solutions should likewise be country-specific.

However, individuals may propose improvements at the national level. However, the true test of changes may not be at the national level. Certain critical issues must also be considered at the state or municipal level.

GUIDELINES FOR POLITICAL REFORMS

Several general parameters that might be followed while establishing strategies and tactics for political transformation in India are as follows:

  1. Law has a critical role in political transformation. Changes to the legislation that are well crafted may help discourage bad political activities and promote positive ones. However, formal constitutional amendments alone cannot overcome democratic obstacles.
  2. For instance, in cricket, a modification in the LBW judgement served to minimise bad batting strategies, while simultaneously improving the game’s quality. This is mostly the responsibility of players, coaches, and administrators. Similarly, democratic changes will be primarily carried out by political activists, parties, movements, and politically aware individuals.
  3. Any legislative reform must be carefully considered in terms of the impact on politics. Occasionally, the outcomes may have the reverse impact.
  4. For instance, several states have prohibited individuals with more than two children from running in Panchayat elections. This has resulted in the denial of democratic chance to a large number of impoverished people and women, something that was not intended.
  5. Democratic changes are primarily to be accomplished via political practise. As a result, the primary objective of political changes should be to bolster democratic practise. It should also prioritise increasing and improving the quality of ordinary people’s engagement in politics.
  6. Any suggestion for political changes should include not only what constitutes a desirable answer, but also who and how it will be implemented.

REDEFINING DEMOCRACY

If the following qualifiers are added to the definition of democracy, it will be redefined:

  1. All significant choices must be made by the authorities chosen by the people.
  2. Elections must provide voters with a viable and equitable means of removing their present rulers. This option and possibility should be equally open to all individuals.
  3. The exercising of this option must result in the establishment of a government constrained by the Constitution’s fundamental norms and people’ rights.
  4. Democracy provides people with certain political, social, and economic rights.
  5. Power sharing among governments and public groupings is both essential and desirable in a democracy.
  6. Democracy cannot be the tyrannical rule of the majority, and it is important for democracy to respect minority voices.
  7. Democracy reduces caste, religion, and gender prejudice.

NCERT Question Answer Class 10 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 7 – Outcomes of Democracy

Question 2. In the following cases and context (as given in the Textbook page 104) give description of the challenges for democracy in that situation.

Answer:

Case and contextYour description of the challenges for democracy in that situation
Chile: General Pinochet’s government defeated, but military still in control of many institutionsFoundational problems, such as putting civilians in charge of all government institutions, holding the first elections with more than one party, and bringing all political leaders back from exile.
Poland: After the first success of Solidarity, the government imposed martial law and banned solidarity.Foundational challenges are to get rid of the current non-democratic government, end martial law, and give people the right to join together.
Ghana: Just attained independence, Nkrumah elected president.Challenge of expansion – to apply basic principles of democracy in all regions.
Myanmar: Suu Kyi under \ house arrest for more than 15 years, army rulers getting global acceptance.The biggest problem is keeping the military from taking over the government and making a state that is independent and works.
International Organisations: US as the only super power disregards the UN and takesthe Challenge of expansion – to ensure equal powers and cooperation among members to solve international problems.
Mexico: Second free election after the defeat of PRI in 2000; defeated candidate alleges rigging.The challenge of deepening democracy is to strengthen its institutions and ways of doing things, and to make sure that elections are free and fair.
China: Communist Party adopts economic reforms but maintains monopoly over political power.Challenge of deepening of democracy – no division of power or public participation. To have free and fair elections.
Pakistan: General Musharraf holds referendum, allegations of fraud in voters’ list.To make the transition to democracy and set up a civilian government based on free and fair elections is the most important challenge.
Iraq: Widespread sectarian violence as the new government fails to establish its authority.Foundational challenge to democracy – to set up democratic government on the basis of free and fair elections
South Africa: Mandela  retires from active politics, pressure on his successor Mbeki to withdraw some concessions given to White minority.Challenge of deepening of democracy – to safeguard the interests of White minority.
US, Guantanamo Bay: UN Secretary-General calls this a violation of international law, US refused to respond.Foundational challenge – to safeguard various rights of people including freedom. To refrain the USA from following unjust policies and compel them to obey international law.
Saudi Arabia: Women not allowed to take part in public activities, no freedom of religion for minorities.Challenge of expansion – to grant equal rights to ‘ women without any discrimination. Interests of the minorities to be protected.
Yugoslavia: Ethnic tension between Serbs and Albanians on the rise in the province of Kosovo. Yugoslavia disintegrated.Challenge of expansion of democracy – basic principles. of democracy should have been applied in Yugoslavia i.e., extension of federalism, to protect the interests of minorities etc.
Belgium : One round of constitutional change taken place, but the Dutch speakers not satisfied; they want more autonomy.Challenge of deepening of democracy – to strengthen the institutions of democracy to realise the expectations of the people. More powers to local bodies.
Sri Lanka: The peace talks between the government and the LTTE break down, renewed violence.Challenge of expansion of democracy – to adopt federal principles – to avoid majoritarianism. To accommodate minorities and protect their interests.
US Civil Rights: Blacks have won equal rights, but are still poor, less educated and marginalised.Challenge of deepening of democracy – equal opportunities in economic field, education to be provided such as reservation for SCs / STs / OBCs in India.
Northern Ireland: The civil war has ended but Catholics and Protestants yet to develop trust.Challenge of expansion of democracy – extension of federal principle to all the units, women and minorities.
Nepal: Constituent Assembly about to be elected, unrest in Terai areas, Maoists have not surrendered arms.The foundational challenge of making the transition – to democracy and setting up a democratic government. To establish a sovereign functional state.

Question 3. Different types of challenges :

Now that you have noted down all these challenges, let us group these together into some broad categories. Given below are some spheres or sites of democratic politics. You may place against each of these the specific challenges that you noted for one or more countries or cartoons in the previous section. In ease you find that some challenges do not fit into any of the categories given below, you can create new categories and put some items under that.

Answer:

Constitutional designNepal
Democratic rightsPoland, Myanmar, Pakistan, US and Guantanamo Bay, Saudi Arabia and US Civil Rights
Working of institutionsInternational organisations, Mexico and China
ElectionsMexico
Federalism, decentralisationYugoslavia and Belgium
Accommodation on of diversityIraq and Northern Ireland
Political organisations.Ghana and South Africa
GlobalisationBolivia

Question 4. Let us group these again, this time by the nature of these challenges as per the classification suggested in the first section. For each of these categories, find at least one example from India as well.

Answer:

Foundational challengesPoland, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iraq, US, Guantanamo Bay, Nepal, India (Naxalites problems, insurgency in North-Eastern states)
Challenge of expansionGhana, International organisations, Saudi Arabia, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, India (More power to local governments)
Challenge of deepeningMexico, South Africa, Belgium, US, Civil Rights, Bolivia, India (corruption, less public participation)

Question 5.

Now let us think only about India. Think of all the challenges that democracy faces in contemporary India. List those five that should be addressed first of all. The listing should be in order of priority, i.e., the challenge you find most important or pressing should be mentioned at number 1, and so on. Give one example of that challenge and your reasons for assigning it the priority.

Answer:

PriorityChallenges to democracyExampleReasons for preference
1.Challenge of deepening
  1. Use of money
  2. muscle power
  3. Free and fair elections
  4. Decentralisation – more powers to local governments to increase public participation.
To make India democratic in practice at all levels – national, state and local.
2.Challenge of expansion5. Representation of women to elected bodies.Women consist of half of the population. They should have adequate representation.

Question 6.

Here are some challenges that require political reforms. Discuss these chal­lenges in detail, study the reform options offered here and give your preferred solution with reasons. Remember that none of the options offered here is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. You can opt for a mix of more than one option, or come up with something that is not offered here. But you must give your solution’in details and offer reasons for your choice.

Doctors absenteeismPolitical funding
Challenge: The government of Uttar Pradesh did a survey and found that most of the doctors who are supposed to work in rural primary health centres are just not there. They live in a town, do private work, and only go to the village where they are posted once or twice a month. Even for common illnesses, villagers have to go to towns and pay very high fees to private doctors.Challenge : Every candidate in the last Lok Sabha elections owned an average of one property worth more than 1 crore. People worry that only rich people or people with their help can afford to run for office. Most political parties need the money that big businesses give them. People are worried that the power of money in politics will make it harder for poor people to have a say in our democracy.
Reform proposals: The government should make it so that doctors have to live in the villages where they work, or else they should be fired. They should be offered some money to get them to do it.Reform proposals: Everyone should be able to see how much money each political party has. Government auditors should look over these books.
District administration and police should carry out surprise checks to ensure the attendance of the doctors.There should be state funding of elections. Parties should be given some money by the government to meet their election expenditure.
The annual report of the doctor should be written by the village panchayat and read at the gram panchayat meeting.People should be encouraged to give more money to political parties and people who work for them. Donations like these should not be taxed as income.
Problems like this can be solved only if Uttar Pradesh is split into several smaller states which can be administered more efficiently.

Answer:

(1) Doctor’s absenteeism :

  • To stop doctors from not showing up to work, they should have to live in the village where they are posted, and they should not be allowed to do private practise.
  • They should get some money to get them to do it.
  • These rules should be one of the requirements for their job.
  • These rules must be followed exactly, and the department should do surprise checks.
  • The department should punish the doctors who made mistakes.

(2) Political funding :

  1. In India, the role of money in elections has been growing over the past few years. To make democracy work better, we need to limit the role of money.
  2. The first two ideas, having political parties’ finances audited and getting money from the government, are good because they will make the finances of political parties more clear.
  3. Second, elections will cost less because of state funding. Money will play less of a role, and poor candidates may also be able to run for office.

Question 7. Write your own definition of good democracy and its features.

Answer:

  1. A good democracy is a government that is run by and elected by the people to look out for the interests of everyone, no matter how rich or poor they are, where they live, or what race they are. Everyone should have their basic needs met.
  2. Features :
    • People vote for their government.
    • Run directly or indirectly by the people, with as much public participation as possible at all levels.
    • As was done in Ram Rajya, public opinion should be taken into account.
    • Poverty, illiteracy, social divisions, and unemployment shouldn’t exist in the state.
    • Citizens should be happy in many different ways. There shouldn’t be any trouble in the world.
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