NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 What Is Democracy? Why Democracy?
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 What Is Democracy? Why Democracy?
Question:- 1 Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries. Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
a ) Country A: People who do not accept the country’s official religion do not have a right to vote.
b ) Country B: The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years.
c ) Country C: Ruling party has lost in the last three elections.
d ) Country D: There is no independent election commission.
- Not sure
Question:- 2 Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries. Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
a ) Country P: The parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army.
b ) Country Q: The parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary.
c ) Country R: The country’s leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighbouring country.
d ) Country S: All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change.
Question:- 3 Which of these is not a good argument in favour of democracy? Why?
a ) People feel free and equal in a democracy.
b ) Democracies resolve conflict in a better way than others.
c ) Democratic government is more accountable to the people.
d ) Democracies are more prosperous than others.
Answer:- (d) Democracies are more prosperous than non-democratic countries.
This is not a good argument because a country’s prosperity is determined by its economic situation, not by its system of governance. For example, a democratic country like India is still developing, whereas a monarchy-ruled country is economically prosperous.
Question:- 4 Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
a ) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
b ) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large-scale rigging was reported.
c ) Women’s representation in the parliament has barely reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.
- Democratic element – According to a minister, laws must be passed by parliament. Undemocratic element – conform to the World Trade Organization’s regulations (WTO).
- Democratic element –The Election Commission ordered for re-polling in a constituency. Large-scale rigging was reported is Undemocratic element .
- Democratic element –Women’s organisations will want one-third of the seats in the legislature. Undemocratic feature – Women’s representation in parliament has dwindled to less than 10%.
Question:- 5 Which of these is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country?
a ) Opposition parties can draw attention to hunger and starvation.
b ) Free press can report suffering from famine in different parts of the country.
c ) Government fears its defeat in the next elections.
d ) People are free to believe in and practise any religion.
Answer:- D. The statement that “people are free to believe in and follow any religion is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country.
Question:- 6 There are 40 villages in a district where the government has made no provision for drinking water. These villagers met and considered many methods of forcing the government to respond to their need. Which of these is not a democratic method?
a ) Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of right to life.
b ) Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.
c ) Organising public meetings against government’s policies.
d ) Paying money to government officials to get water.
Answer:- D. Paying money to government officials to get water is not a democratic method.
Question:- 7 Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:
a ) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore army should rule the country.
b ) Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.
c ) If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.
- The army is a well-organized organization. However, having an army rule is unfair because the army was not chosen by the citizens, thus it an undemocratic practise.
- The majority rule is not the rule of the ignorant. Wisdom is subjective, and the government is run by law-abiding citizens.
- Politics and religion are not the same thing. While religion can guide one’s attention to religious matters, it cannot guide one’s attention to politics, which is an important aspect of a country.
Question:- 8 Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?
a ) Father to daughter: I don’t want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family children marry where the parents tell them to.
b ) Teacher to student: Don’t disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.
c ) Employee to the officer: Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.
Answer:- (a) The father’s statement is undemocratic because every adult has the freedom to choose his or her life partner. The father has no right to force his choice on his daughter.
(b) This statement is also contrary to democratic principles. The student has the right to inquire. If his right is denied, this is undemocratic.
(c) The third statement is democratic because it promotes the rule of law, which benefits employees.
Question:- 9 Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision.
a ) All the citizens of the country have right to vote. Elections are held regularly.
b ) The country took loan from international agencies. One of the conditions for giving loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health.
c ) People speak more than seven languages but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 percent people of that country.
d ) Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nation wide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. Government has arrested these leaders.
e ) The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about government’s policies and protests.
Answer:- (a) This is democracy since only a democratic system allows people to vote and hold elections on a regular basis.
(b) A democratic country is responsible for its citizens’ well-being. The circumstance of cutting health and education spending is detrimental to people’s well-being.
(c) Education is a basic right in a democratic society, and it is provided in all languages. The majority of people can speak the official language.
(d) In a democracy, people have the freedom to peacefully express their opinions. It’s an undemocratic act.
(e) This is undemocratic in nature, as freedom of the press and media is required in a democracy. If the government owns radio and television stations, journalistic freedom is infringed.
Question:- 10 In 2004 a report published in USA pointed to the increasing inequalities in that country. Inequalities in income reflected in the participation of people in democracy. It also shaped their abilities to influence the decisions taken by the government. The report highlighted that:
- If an average Black family earns $ 100 then the income of average White family is $ 162. A White family has twelve times more wealth than the average Black family.
- In a President’s election ‘nearly 9 out of 10 individuals in families with income over $ 75,000 have voted. These people are the top 20% of the population in terms of their income. On the other hand only 5 people out of 10 from families with income less than $15,000 have voted. They are the bottom 20% of the population in terms of their income.
- About 95% contribution to the political parties comes from the rich. This gives them opportunity to express their opinions and concerns, which is not available to most citizens.
- As poor sections participate less in politics, the government does not listen to their concerns – coming out of poverty, getting job, education, health care and housing for them. Politicians hear most regularly about the concerns of business persons and the rich.
Write an essay on ‘Democracy and Poverty’ using the information given in this report but using examples from India.
Answer:- Since India’s inception, democracy and poverty have been closely interwoven. Our country’s political independence was secured through widespread participation of the rural poor in the national movement. However, and tragically, this rural poor segment of the Indian population has seen its influence in national politics dwindle since then.
India has developed its resources and added to its national financial wealth decade after decade, with the rich getting richer and the poor being abysmally poorer. We have the distinction of being the world’s largest democracy, but we are also one of the poorest countries, with significant economic disparities throughout our community.
Inequality of income is a concern that is directly reflected in the functioning of our republic’s democratic process. Despite the fact that the majority of Indian voters come from the rural Indian hinterland, research shows that their impact on their elected representatives and, more broadly, on the national policymaking process is dwindling with each passing year. On the other hand, the wealthier segments of our society wield disproportionate influence over governance in this country, despite the fact that they do not necessarily vote or show any obvious care for their civic responsibilities.
Furthermore, the culture of corporate funding of political parties has quickly spread throughout the federal apparatus. It has made political parties and their leaders less reliant on their actual constituents, allowing them to overlook public issues such as agrarian reforms, PDS fine-tuning, agricultural subsidies, and educational changes.
To summarise, while we take pride in being the world’s greatest democracy, we must equally acknowledge and act on the fact that the phenomena of enormous economic inequality is imposing a severe constraint on its viability.