NCERT : Challenges to Democracy


Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 103

Q.1 Each of these cartoons (see text book page 103) represents a challenge to democracy. Please describe what that challenge is. Also place it in one of the three categories mentioned in the first section.

Cartoon Mubarak Re- elected : This represents the influence of the rich and powerful people on the election the basic procedure of democracy.

Challenge – Deepening of democracy.

Cartoon Seeing the democracy : This represents the existence of non- democratic regimes in the world. If tries to show that democracy does not come by the use of bullet.

Challenge :  Foundational challenge.

Cartoon Liberal Gender Equality : This represents that in principle, we talk about gender equality, but in practice male dominancy is observed in democracy.

Challenge – Challenge of expansion.

Cartoon Campaign Money : This represents how is money used to influence decision making in democracy by the rich and powerful people.

Challenge – Deepening of democracy.

Intext Question

Textbook Page no.  104-105   Table : Page 67 

Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 106

Q.2  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 addition to that write one item for India for each of these spheres. In case you find some challenges that do not fit into any of the categories given below, you can create new categories and put some items under that.


Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 107

Q.3 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.

Intext Question

Q.4 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 number 1, and so on. Give one example of that challenge and your reasons for assigning it the priority.  

Q.5 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.

I shall go with the following reform proposals regarding Doctor’s absenteeism:

The government should make it compulsory for the doctor to live in the villages where they are posted. But they must be provided the facilities like clean and well ventilated houses with electric supply and the provision of clean water. There must be appropriates schooling system for their children. Means of communication should be there in the villages. Examinations machines for the diagnosis of the diseases should be provided in each health centre in the villages. Adequate medicines must be supplied to health centres so that the doctors can make available to the patients.

Reasons : Doctors usually say no their posting in rural areas due unavailability of facilities. If the doctors and the liealthcentres are provided the facilities mentioned above than they must be completed to live in the rural area to take care of the villagers.

Village Panchayat should be given the power to write the annual report of the doctor which should be read out in the gram sabha meeting.

Reasons : Village Panchayat is able to check the presence of doctors everyday in the health centre. It can also assess over all treatment system available to the patients.

District administration should also carry out surprise raids to check attendance of the doctors.

Reasons : It will make the doctors responsible to their duty. Also , they will work properly and stay in the hospitals due to probable actions taken by the district administrators for the doctors absenteeism.

I shall go with the following reform proposals regarding Political funding :

There should be state funding of elections.

Reasons: State funding will reduce the dependence of the political parties as well as candidates on the donations provided by the businessmen to fulfill their demands.

There must be silence mode of convasing without wide use fo banners and leaflets during elections. Each candidate must be directed to make his/her identity by visiting door to door /village to village and give his/her plan of action he/she wishes to be elected.

Reasons : The silence mode of canvasing will automatically reduce the expense and open a way to relate the candidates and the electorates directly.  

Q.2  Any other problem of your choice.

Challenge: Generally, it has been observed that the teachers in colleges run their private tuition or coaching centres. As and when their class is over, they leave the college and invest their time in earning money. If students had to take suggestions, concerned teachers were not available. Not only this, instead of teaching them well in the class, they suggest students to join their coaching classes. This had led to a tendency among the students to bunk their classes. This has greatly affected the quality of education.

Reform proposals:

1. Government should make it compulsory for the teachers to stay in the colleges till these are closed for that day.

2. The university officials should carry surprise raids to check the teachers attendance and if found absent during their classes, they should be heavily penalized.

3. There should be a provision of ‘Best Teacher’s Award’. The students will select one teacher from each subject, every year from their colleges. The teacher who gets three such awards, should be given special incentive.

Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 112

Here is your space for writing your own definition of good democracy.

(Write your name here) XYZ ‘s definition of good democracy (not more than 50 words) :

A good democracy is one in which the rulers elected by the people take major decisions under the framework of the Constitution of fulfill the wishes of the people, but if they do not withstand their expectations, people can call them back.

Features (use only as many points as you want. Try to compress it in as few points as possible).

1. Democracy should reduce differences, giving full respect to these.

2. People should have the right to call their  representatives back before time, if they do not perform.

3. Once found guilty, people should be banned from contensting elections.

4. Democracy should take care of socio- economic matters equally and find out means to minimize economic inequality among citizens.

5. Democracy should provide sufficient representation of the minority and disadvantaged classes.

6. In a good democracy, the elected leaders should follow certain moral principles, which form an ideal for the rest of the society.  

Additional Questions

Q.1      What do you mean by ‘challenges’?

(i)  A challenge is a difficulty that it carries within it.

(ii)  A challenge is not just any problem.

(iii) We usually call only those diffi-culties a ‘challenge’ which are significant and which can be overcome.

Once we can overcome a challenge , we can go up to a higher level than before.

Q.2   What are the major categories of challenges that a democracy faces?

There are three major categories of challenges that a democracy faces –

1. Foundational challenge

2. Challenge of expansion

3. Challenge of deepening of democracy.

Q.3  Mention the foundational challenges that democracies are facing today.

The foundational challenges faced by democracies include:

1. Bringing down the existing non- democratic regimes.

2. Keeping military away from controlling government.

3. Establishing a sovereign and functional state.

Q.4   Discuss the challenges of expansion faced by democracies all over the world.

The challenges of expansion involve –

1. Applying the basic principles of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions.

2. Ensuring greater power to local governments, extension of federal principles to all the units of federation and inclusion of women and minority groups.

Q.5 What are the challenges of deepening of democracy? Why does this challenge take different meanings and path in different parts of the world?

(i) The challenges of deepening of democracy involve :

(a)  Strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy.

This should happen in such a way that the people can relaise their expectations of democracy.

(b) Strengthening those institutions that help people’s participation and control.

This requires an attempt to bring down the control and influence of the rich and powerful people on decision making.

(ii) Ordinary people have different expectations from democracy in different societies. Therefore , this challenge takes different meanings and path in  different parts of the world.


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