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NCERT : Political Parties


Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 74

Q.1 Okay granted that we can’t live without political parties. But tell me how do we live with the kind of political parties we have?

There is nothing wrong with any of the political parties. It is we people who have everything in our hands in a democracy. So, if we are right in our thought and action, the parties will have to work accordingly. They simply represent what we are.  They also come from our society. Even if they do not work rightly, remember, we have ballots in our hands which give them life. 

Let Us Revise

Textbook Page No. 75

Q.2 Categories these photographs by the functions of political parties they illustrate. Find one photograph or news clipping from your own area for each of the functions listed above.

(i)  Left: Playing the role of opposition.

(ii)  Top(Right): Implementation of policies and programmes.

(iii) Bottom (Right): Contesting elections.

[Hint: Students find themselves the photograph related to the above functions from their respective areas]

Textbook Page No. 76

Q.3 Kishenji is no more. What would be your advice to these four activists? Should they form a new political party? Can a political party become a moral forcein politics? What should that party be like?

(i) These activists should move ahead with the idea of formation of a  new political party. It is obvious that initially they will not gain   popular support, but if they continue to put moral force in their party, very soon they with win faith of the people. It is only then they can doany thing good for the society, which is the urgent need of today’s politics.

(ii)  Yes, of course.

(iii) Yes. It can do so by translating its promises into actions. Once the party does so, very soon it will gain popular support.

•  That party should focus on the immediate problems of the people. The party should select only those candidates who are willing to serve the society in the true sense. The candidates should come from the locality and should have an idea of the common problems of that locality. Even if this party does not with enough seats to form a government it can act as a strong opposition or   pressure group.

Let Us Revise

Textbook Page No. 77

Q.4  Let us apply what we have learnt about party systems to the various states within India. Here are three major types of party systems that exist at the state level. Can you find the names of at least two states for each of these types :

Two- party system

Multi- party system with two alliances

Multi – party system

(i) Two- party system : Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.

(ii) Multi- party system with two alliances : Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, West Bengal.

(iii)  Multi- party system : Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu.

Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 79

Q.5   Does the cartoonist reflect the data graphics shown in the previous page?


Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 83

Q.6 Why don’t parties give enough tickets to women? Is that also due to lack of internal democracy?

(i) We all know about the patriarchal mentality of most of the India society. Men always tend to use authority and politics is not an exception. If the parties give tickets to women, steadily the power will go into their  hands, which the Indian mentality is still not ready to accept.

(ii) Yes, this is an example of lack of internal democracy.

At least one- third of the seats, for which the party is contesting, should be allocated to the women.  

Let Us Revise

Textbook Page No. 85

Q.7 Most cartoons caricature politicians. From the cartoons (on page 83 to 85), can you identify which of the challenges described in this section is being highlighted in these cartoons. They relate to Italy, US, and India.

The cartoons highlight the challenge of the frequent use of money and muscle power in politics faced by the political parties.

Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 86

Q.8  Do you agree that this form of reforming political parties will be acceptable to them?

We hope so, because this is good not only for them but also for the democracy. After all, they all are meant for strengthening the democracy. They also feel the need for reformation. A fair politics, we think, will be appreciated by all the parties usually.   


Q.9   State the various functions political parties perform in a democracy.

Following are the major functions performed by political parties :

•  They contest elections.

•  They put forward different policies and programmes among which the voters

•  They play a decisive role in making laws for the country.

•  They play the role of opposition.

•  They from and run the government.

•  They shape public opinion.

•  They provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes.

Q.10  What are the various challenges faced by political parties?

(i)  The parties are lacking internal democracy, which keeps many    prospective leaders deprived of their rights.

(ii) There has been dynastic successions in the political parties. This keeps the parties deprived of apt leadership.

(iii) The parties are indulged in the use of money and muscle power for winning elections. This hampers the democracy from developing and lessens the importance of genuine leaders within the party.

(iv) The parties have almost common ideologies, so there is lack of meaningful choices before the voters.

Q.3  Suggest some reforms to strengthen parties so that they perform their functions well.

(i) Laws should be made to regulate the internal affairs of parties. They should follow their constitution.

(ii) They should have one- third seats reserved for women candidates at every level in the organization.

(iii) There should be state funding of elections.

(iv) The people should put pressure on political parties through petitions, publicity and agitations.

(v)      Last but not least is that parties can improve if those who want this join  political parties.

Q.4  What is a political party?

A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections, and form and run government by holding power in the government.

Q.5   What are the characteristics of a political party?

Following are the characteristics of a political party:

•  It is a group of people coming together to contest elections and share power.

• It agrees on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote collective good.

•  It seeks to implement these policies by winning popular support through-

•  It reflects a fundamental political division of the society.

•  It is known by which part it stands for which policies it supports and whose interest it upholds.

Q.6 A group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government is called a _________.

Political party.

Q.7 Match List I (organizations and struggles) with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:

(c)  C, A, D, B.

Q.8  Who among the following is the founder of the BahujanSamj Party?

(a) Kanshi Ram

(b) SahuMahraj

(c) B. R. Ambedkar

(d) JotibaPhule

(a) Kanshi Ram

Q.9  What is the guiding philosophy of the BhartiyaJanata Party?

(a) BahujanSamaj

(b) Revolutionary democracy

(c) Integral Humanism

(d) Modernity

(b) Revolutionary Democracy.

Q.10  Consider the following statements on parties :

1. Political parties do not enjoy much trust among the people.

2. Parties are often rocked by scandals involving top party leaders.

3. Parties are not necessary to run governments.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) A, B and C

(b) A and B

(c)  B and C                          

(d) A and C

(b)  A and B

Q.11 Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:

Muhammad Yunus is a famous economist of Bangladesh. He received several international honours for his efforts to promote economic and social development for the benefit of the poor. He and the Grameen Bank he started jointly, received the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2006. In February 2007, he decided to launch a political party and contest in t parliamentary elections. His objective was to foster proper leadership, good governance and build a new Bangladesh. He felt that only a political party different from the traditional ones would bring about new political culture. His party would be democratic from the grassroots level.

The launching of the new party, called Nagarik Shakti (Citizen’s Power) has caused stir among the Bangladeshis. While many welcomed his decision, some did not like it.“Now I think Bangladesh will have a chance to choose between good and bad and eventually have a good government,” said Shahedual Islam, a government official. “That government, we hope, would not only keep itself away from corruption but also make fighting corruption and lack money a top priority.”

But leaders of traditional political parties who dominated the country’s politics for decades were apprehensive. “There was no debate (over him) winning the Nobel, but politics is different – very challenging and often controversial,” said a senior leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Some others were highly critical. They asked why he was rushing politics. “Is he being planted in politics by mentors from outside the country,” asked one political observer.

Do you think Yunus made a right decision to float a new political party?

Do you agree with the statements and fears expressed by various people? How do you want this new party organised to make it different from other parties? If you were the one to begin this political party how would you defend it?

(i)  Yes, Yunus’s decision to float a new political party I sright and  appreciable.

(ii)  I agree with the statement of the government official, Shahedul Islam that the launch of this new party may change the political culture of the country. But I don’t agree with the fear of t senior leader of Bangladesh Nationalist party.

(iii)  (a) It should be democratic from very grassroots level.

(b) It should have equal place for rich and poor, men and women, educated and non- educated, rural and uraban people without any discrimination.

(c) It should draft policies which keep the society integrated and take the country towards development.

(iv)  (a) The floating of such a party is necessary because the existing parties have moved away from carrying their democratic  responsibilities.

(b) Instead of strengthening democracy, they are just taking it as means to amass wealth.

(c) This party is being launched to foster proper leadership, good governance and build a new Bangladesh.

(d) It is going to bring about a totally new political culture, more democratic and more transparent.

Additional Questions

Q.1  What do you mean by political parties?

(i) A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government.

(ii) They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good.

Q.2  What is the general view of the people about the political parties?

(i)   Most people tend to be very critical of political parties.

(ii)  They tend to blame political parties for all that is wrong with our democracy and our political life.

Q.3 What is a political party known by ?

A political party is known by:

•  Which part of the society it stands for

•  Which policies it supports, and

•  Whose interests it upholds.

Q.4   What are the components of a political party?

A political party has following three components :

•  The leaders,

•  The active members and

•  The followers.

Q.5   Write any four functions of the political parties.

(i)  It puts forwards different policies and programmes for the society.

(ii) It plays a decisive role in making laws for the country.

(iii) Parties from and un government

(iv)  They play the role of opposition to those in power.

•  They shape public opinion.

•  They provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by the government.

Q.6  How do the political parties put forward different policies and programmes?

(i)  In a democracy, there is a large number of similar opinions. Government needs to evolve a policy out of these. This work is done by the    parties.

(ii) It reduces a vast multitude of opinions into a few basis positions which it supports. Governement makes it policy based on the line taken by the ruling party.

Q.7  How can you say that parties form and run the government? Explain.

(i) The  party which wins majority of the seats in the elections is invited to form  the government.

(ii) In government, big decisions are taken by the political exceutives who come from the ruling party.

(iii) Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them minister to run the government.

Q.8  How do political parties shape public opinion?

(i) Political parties have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country. The parties raise and highlights issues among them.

(ii) Parties sometimes also launch movement for the resolution of problems faced by the people. Often opinions in the society crystallise on the lines parties takes.


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