Class 9 Civics Chapter 2 Extra Questions and Answers What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

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Class 9 Civics Chapter 2 Extra Questions and Answers What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer Civics Chapter 2 Very Short Answers Type

Question 1.
Give Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy.
Answer:
“Democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Question 2.
The word democracy comes from a Greek word ‘Demokratia’. What does it mean? Or what is the word ‘democracy’ derived from?
Answer:
The word ‘Demokratia’ is a combination of two words—‘demos’ which means people and ‘Kratia’ which means rule. So, democracy is rule by the people.

Question 3.
Give a simple definition of the ‘democracy’.
Answer:
Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.

Question 4.
Who led a military coup in Pakistan in 1999?
Answer:
General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup in Pakistan in 1999.

Question 5.
What is the Chinese parliament called?
Answer:
It is called Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People’s Congress).

Question 6.
Which party in China always forms the government?
Answer:
The Communist Party always forms the government in China.

Question 7.
When did Mexico become independent?
Answer:
Mexico became independent in 1930.

Question 8.
Holding elections of any kind is not sufficient. What must the elections offer?
Answer:
The elections must offer a real choice between political alternatives. And it should be possible for people to use this choice to remove the existing rulers, if they wish so.

Question 9.
Which party rules in Zimbabwe?
Ans.
ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle, rules in Zimbabwe.

Question 10.
Who is the leader of ZANU-PE?
Answer:
Robert Mugabe is the leader of this party.

Question 11.
What is called dictatorship?
Answer:
A dictator is a ruler who wields absolute power. A state ruled by a dictator is called a dictatorship.

Question 12.
What leads to instability in a democracy? Give one reason.
Answer:
Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.

Question 13.
What was the designation taken by Pervez Musharraf for himself when he overthrew the democratic government of Pakistan in 1999?
Answer:
He declared himself the ‘Chief Executive’ of Pakistan. Later he changed his designation to President.

Question 14.
What is meant by political equality?
Answer:
Political equality means that in a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value.

Question 15.
What may have averted China’s famine of 1958-1961?
Answer:
If China had multi-party elections, an opposition party and a press free to criticise the government, then China’s famine of 1958-1961 may not have occurred.

Question 16.
Name one non-democratic country.
Answer:
China.

Question 17.
What do you mean when you talk of true democracy?
Answer:
True democracy means that all citizens must take active participation in it.

Question 18.
Give one feature of a non-democratic government.
Answer:
A non-democratic government denies equal right to vote. Also, it does not respond to the people’s needs.

Question 19.
What is meant by representative democracy?
Answer:
It is a form of government where representatives elected by people, rule them on their behalf.

Question 20.
Which form of government is considered non-democratic?
Answer:
Military rule or monarchy is considered non-democratic.

Question 21.
Which country does not give voting rights to minorities.
Answer:
Estonia does not give voting rights to minorities.

Question 22.
Why is quality decisions a possibility in a democracy?
Answer:
A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings. This improves the quality of decision-making.

Question 23.
During which period did China record its worst famines in world history?
Answer:
China recorded its worst famine during 1958-1961. Nearly 3 crore people died in this famine.

Question 24.
Which party is associated with Zimbabwe’s freedom struggle?
Answer:
It is ZANU-PF.

Question 25.
Suggest the strongest argument in favour of Democracy?
Answer:
It allows a way of correcting its mistakes and offers more dignity to all citizens.

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer Civics Chapter 2 Short Answers Type

Question 1.
How can you say that the forms of government ruling in countries like Myanmar, Chile, Nepal and Saudi Arabia are not Democratic?
Answer:
Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people. This simple definition allows us to separate democracy from forms of government that are ruling in countries like Myanmar, Chile, Nepal and South Arabia. These countries cannot be called democratic because:

  • Myanmar is ruled by army rulers who are not elected by the people. Those who happen to be in control of the army become the rulers of the country. People have no say in this decision.
  • Pinochet’s government in Chile cannot be called democratic because Pinochet is not elected by the people of Chile.
  • The same thing applies to monarchies also. The kings of Nepal and South Arabia rule not because the people have chosen them to do so but because they happen to be born into the royal family.

Question 2.
‘Elections in China do not represent people’s verdict’. Explain.
Or
How can you say that elections in China do not follow democratic methods.
Or
Explain how elections are held in China. Why is the government there always formed by the Communist Party only?
Answer:
(i) Elections are held regularly in China after every five years for electing the country’s parliament known as the National People’s Congress.

(ii) The parliament has the power to appoint the president of the country. It has nearly 3,000 members elected from all over China. Some members are elected by the army.

(iii) Before contesting elections, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist Party. Only those who are members of this party or eight smaller parties allied to it were allowed to contest elections that took place in 2002-2003. The government is always formed by the Communist Party.

Question 3.
Are elections in China and Mexico democratic? If not, why?
Or
‘The type of elections held in China and Mexico is not sufficient’. Why?
Or
‘The elections held in China and Mexico are not fair elections.’ Explain.
Answer:
Elections are regularly held in these two countries but they are not fair. These elections do not offer a real choice between political alternatives.
(i) In China, people have to choose the ruling party and the candidates approved by it.

(ii) In Mexico, people seemed to really have a choice but in practice they had no choice. There was no way the ruling party could be defeated, even if people were against it. These are not fair elections. A democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of losing.

Question 4.
How can you say that. Saudi Arabia, Estonia and Fiji are not democratic countries in true . sense of the term?
Answer:
Although the principle of Universal Adult Franchise has now come to be accepted almost all over the world, there are many instances of denial of equal right to vote:

  • In Saudi Arabia women do not have the right to vote.
  • Estonia has made its citizenship rules in such a way that people belonging to Russian minority find it difficult to get the right to vote.
  • In Fiji, the electoral system is such that the vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian-Fijian.

Question 5.
How are elections in India different from those of Mexico?
Answer:
Although both these countries present an example of multi-party system, there are some basic differences in the way elections are held in these countries:

  • In India, elections are free and fair chance of losing. But in Mexico, the PRI did not lose any election from the year of its independence i.e. 1930 till 2000.
  • During election period in India government officials work under the control of the Election Commission and not the government. This is not true in case of Mexico.
  • Elections in India are held after every five years whereas Mexico holds elections after every six years.

Question 6.
Which is the most common form of democracy? Why is it important in today’s world? Or why is direct democracy not possible in the present day world? Or why do we need a representative democracy in the present day world?
Answer:
The most common form that democracy takes in our times is that of a representative democracy. In the countries we call democracy, all the people do not rule. A majority is allowed to take decisions on behalf of all the people. Even the majority does not rule directly. The majority of people rule through their elected representatives. This is important in today’s world because of the following reasons:

  • Modern democracies involve such a large number of people that it is physically impossible for them to sit together and take a collective decision.
  • Even if they could, the citizen does not have the time, the desire or the skills to take part in all the decisions.

Question 7.
How are differences and conflicts dealt with in a democracy?
Or
“Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.” Explain.
Answer:
(i) Differences of opinions and interests are bound to take place in any society. These differences are particularly prominent in a country like ours where we find so many diversities.

(ii) People belong to different regions, speak different languages, practise different religions and have different castes. They look at the world very differently and have different preferences. The preferences of one group can clash with those of other groups. It is also possible that different groups may not be able to live together for long in case of conflicts.

(iii) Democracy provides the only peaceful solution to this problem. In democracy no one is a permanent winner. No one is a permanent loser. Different groups can live with one another peacefully. In a diverse country like India, democracy keeps our country together.

Question 8.
“Democracy allows people to correct their own mistakes.” Explain.
Answer:

  • There is not guarantee that mistakes cannot be made in democracy. No form of government can guarantee that.
  • The advantage in a democracy is that such mistakes cannot be hidden for long. There is a space for public discussion on these mistakes and there is a room for correction.
  • Either the rulers have to change their decisions, or the rulers can be changed. This cannot happen in a non-democratic government. Thus, democracy allows a way of correcting its mistakes and offers more dignity to all citizens.

Question 9.
‘A democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ right’. Explain.
Answer:
(i) A democratic government cannot do whatever it likes, simply because it has won an election. It has to respect some basic rules. In particular it has to respect some guarantees to the minorities. Every major decision has to go through a series of consultations.

(ii) Every office bearer has certain rights and responsibilities assigned by the Constitution and the law. Each of these is accountable not only to the people but also to other independent officials.

(iii) Everyone should be equal in the eyes of law. They should be free to think, to have opinions, to express these in public, to form associations, to protest and to take other political actions. All their rights must be protected by an independent judiciary whose orders are obeyed by everyone. In this way we can say that democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ rights.

Question 10.
Compare some of the major features of democratic and non-democratic governments.
Answer:
A democratic government is very much different from a non-democratic government:

Democratic government Non-democratic government
(i) In a democratic government, people elect their rulers and have right in decision­making. (i) In a non-democratic government, people do not elect their rulers and therefore, they have no right in decision-making.
(ii) Rulers accountable to the people and have to fulfil their needs. (ii) A non-democratic government may and can respond to the people’s needs, but it all depends on the wishes of the people who rule.
(iii) There are free and fair elections in a

democratic government. Elections offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the rulers.

(iii) In a non-democratic government elections are either not held and if held they are not fair enough. They do not offer the people any serious choice.
(iv) People in a democratic government enjoy freedom of expression and fundamental rights. (iv) People in a non-democratic government do not have freedom of expression and fundamental rights.
(v) Democracy is based on the fundamental principle of political equality. (v) No principle of political equality is followed in a non-democratic government.

Question 11.
What steps did president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe take to remain in power?
Answer:
(i) Zimbabwe became an independent country in 1980. Since then the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ruling the country since 1980.

(ii) Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF. President Robert Mugabe is popular among his countrymen, but also uses unfair practices in elections. Over the years his government has changed the Constitution several times to increase the powers of the President and make him less accountable.

(iii) Opposition party workers are harassed and their meetings disrupted. Public protests and demonstrations are declared illegal. There is a law that limits the right to criticise the President.

(iv) Television and radio are controlled by the government and give only the ruling party’s version. There are independent newspapers but the government harasses those journalists who go against it. The government has ignored some court judgements that went against it and has pressurised judges.

The above examples show that popular approval of the rulers is necessary in a democracy, but it is not sufficient. Popular governments can be undemocratic and popular leaders can be autocratic. In Robert Mugabe’s government there is no sufficient room for normal political activity. The state does not respect some basic rights of the citizen.

Question 12.
What are the broader aspects of democracy?
Or
Give broader meaning of democracy.
Answer:
(i) People usually see democracy as a form of government. But it is important to see the operation of democracy beyond government. For this we need to know its broader meanings.

(ii) Sometimes we use democracy for organisations other than the government. For example, a democratic family provides a platform to its members to sit together to whenever a decision has to be taken and arrive at a consensus.

(iii) Sometimes we use the word democracy not to describe any existing government but to set up an ideal standard that all democracies must aim to become. There must be a guarantee that no one goes hungry to bed. All citizens must be able to play equal role in decision-making.

They must have equal information, basic education and equal-resources. These are the broader aspects of democracy which are difficult to achieve for any country. But no country should stop making efforts in this regard.

Question 13.
What is representative democracy? Why is it criticised?
Answer:
Representative democracy is a form of government which is run by elected representatives representing the majority of the people of the country. It is needed because it is impossible for all the people of the country to take a collective decision. Also, all the citizens may not have time and skill to take the decisions.

We live in a democratic country. All over the world people want democracy. Countries that were not democratic earlier are now becoming democratic now. All great people have said nice things about democracy. It is obvious that democracy is the best. Still many arguments are given against it. Some of them are:

  • Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.
  • Democracy is all about political competition and power play. Politicians fight among themselves. There is no scope for morality.
  • Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions.
  • So many leaders have to be consulted in a democracy. This leads to delays.
  • Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them; they should not decide anything.
  • Democracy leads to corruption for it is based in electoral competition.
  • Democracy has not ended poverty in our country and in other parts of the world.

Question 14.
How is Zimbabwe an example of non-democratic country?
Answer:
(i) Zimbabwe became an independent country in 1980. Since then the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ruling the country since 1980.

(ii) Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF. President Robert Mugabe is popular among his countrymen, but also uses unfair practices in elections. Over the years his government has changed the Constitution several times to increase the powers of the President and make him less accountable.

(iii) Opposition party workers are harassed and their meetings disrupted. Public protests and demonstrations are declared illegal. There is a law that limits the right to criticise the President.

(iv) Television and radio are controlled by the government and give only the ruling party’s version. There are independent newspapers but the government harasses those journalists who go against it. The government has ignored some court judgements that went against it and has pressurised judges.

The above examples show that popular approval of the rulers is necessary in a democracy, but it is not sufficient. Popular governments can be undemocratic and popular leaders can be autocratic. In Robert Mugabe’s government there is no sufficient room for normal political activity. The state does not respect some basic rights of the citizen.

Question 15.
Is it right to criticise democracy? Give your opinion.
Answer:
Democracy is criticised widely for many reasons. Such as—leaders keep changing in a democracy which leads to instability, democracy is all about political competition and power play, democracy leads to corruption, etc.
Democracy is not a magical solution for all the problems.

It has not ended poverty in our country and in other parts of the world. Democracy as a form of government only ensures that people take their own decisions. This does not guarantee that their decisions will be good. People can make mistakes. Involving people in these decisions does lead to delays in decision-making.

It is also true that democracy leads to frequent changes in leadership. Sometimes this can set back big decisions and affect the government’s policy. Although democracy has many demerits, it is definitely better than other forms of government that are there for us to choose from.

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer Civics Chapter 2 Long Answers Type

Question 1.
Describe why Pakistan under Pervez Musharraf should not be called a democracy.
Or
Would you call Pakistan under Pervez Musharraf a democracy? If not, why? Give valid reasons.
Or
Give some of the features of non-democratic government that are also applicable to Pakistan under Pervez Musharraf.
Answer:
(i) In Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup in October 1999. He overthrew the government elected by the people and declared himself the ‘Chief Executive’ of the country.
After some time he changed his designation to President and in 2002 held a referendum in the country that granted him a five-year extension. It is said that the referendum was based on malpractices and fraud.

(ii) In August 2002 Musharraf amended the Constitution by issuing a ‘Legal Frame work Order’. This order empowered him who could now dismiss the national and provincial assemblies. The work of the civilian cabinet now began to be supervised by a National Security Council which was dominated by military officers. After passing this law, elections were held to the National and Provincial assemblies. The elected representatives enjoyed some powers also but the final power rested with military officers and General Musharraf himself.

(iii) Thus, Pakistan under General Musharraf should not be called a democracy because the actual rulers were not elected by the people. They were all powerful and free to do as they wished and no one could question them. All the above points go against democratic values and so we cannot call Pakistan under Musharraf a democracy.

Question 2.
What arguments are given against democracy? Enlist any five.
Answer:
We live in a democratic country. All over the world people want democracy. Countries that were not democratic earlier are now becoming democratic now. All great people have said nice things about democracy. It is obvious that democracy is the best. Still many arguments are given against it. Some of them are:

  • Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.
  • Democracy is all about political competition and power play. Politicians fight among themselves. There is no scope for morality.
  • Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions.
  • So many leaders have to be consulted in a democracy. This leads to delays.
  • Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them; they should not decide anything.
  • Democracy leads to corruption for it is based in electoral competition.
  • Democracy has not ended poverty in our country and in other parts of the world.

Question 3.
Give reasons why democracy is considered the best form of government.
Or
Why is democracy preferred than any other forms of the government? Give arguments in favour of democracy.
Or
Why is democracy considered to be the best option among all other political systems available in the world? Explain.
Or
Do you think democracy is a favourable form of government? Give reasons.
Or
What are the merits or benefits of democracy?
Answer:
Democracy is spreading very fast in the world because people want it and struggle for it. All great people have said nice things about this form of government. Obviously democracy is the best option among all other political systems available in the world. Those who prefer it, give the following arguments:

(i) Democracy is better than any other form of government in responding to the needs of the people. A non-democratic government may and can respond to the people’s needs, but it all depends on the wishes of the people who rule. If the rulers dont’t want to, they don’t have to act according to the wishes of the people. A democracy requires that the rulers have to attend to the needs of the people. Thus, a democratic government is a better government because it is a more accountable form of government.

(ii) Democracy is based on consultation and discussion. A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings. This reduces the chances of rash or irresponsible decisions. Thus, democracy improves the quality of decision-making.

(iii) Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts. In a diverse country like India, democracy keeps our country together. Democracy provides the peaceful solution if there are clashes between two different groups. It creates an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and coordination.

(iv) Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens. We know that democracy is based on the principle of political equality, on recognising that the poorest and the least educated has the same status as the rich and the educated . People are not subject of a ruler, they are the rulers themselves.

(v) Democracy is better than other forms of government because it allows us to correct its own mistakes. There is no guarantee that mistakes cannot be made in democracy. No form of government can guarantee that. The advantage in a democracy is that such mistakes cannot be hidden for long. There is a space for public discussion on these mistakes, and there is a room for correction. Thus, democracy is clearly better than any other alternative that we know.

Question 4.
“ Since its independence in 1930, Mexico has never been under a military or dictator’s rule. But the way elections were held there till 2000, cannot be said to be democratic” Support the statement with valid points.
Or
“Till 2000, Mexican people seem to have a choice to elect their leader, but practically they had no choice”. Support this statement with valid reasons.
Answer:
The way elections were held in Mexico till 2000 was highly undemocratic. The following points /reasons can be given in this regard:
(i) Until 2000, every election was won by a single party called Institutional Revolution Party or PRI. Opposition parties did contest elections, but never managed to win.

(ii) The PRI used many dirty tricks to win elections. All those who were employed in government offices had to attend its party meetings.

(iii) Teachers of government schools used to force parents to vote for the PRI.

(iv) Media largely ignored the activities of opposition political parties except to criticise them.

(v) Sometime’s the polling booths were shifted from one place to another in the last minute, which made it difficult for people to cast their votes.

(vi) The PRI spent a large sum of money in the election campaign for its candidates.
The election described above cannot be cited as example of people electing their rulers. People here seemed to have a choice but in practice they had no choice. There was no way the ruling party could be defeated, even if people were against it.

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer Civics Chapter 2  Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Questions

Question 1.
Distinguish between democratic government and non-democratic government.
Answer:
A democratic government is very much different from a non-democratic government:

Democratic government Non-democratic government
(i) In a democratic government, people elect their rulers and have right in decision­making. (i) In a non-democratic government, people do not elect their rulers and therefore, they have no right in decision-making.
(ii) Rulers accountable to the people and have to fulfil their needs. (ii) A non-democratic government may and can respond to the people’s needs, but it all depends on the wishes of the people who rule.
(iii) There are free and fair elections in a

democratic government. Elections offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the rulers.

(iii) In a non-democratic government elections are either not held and if held they are not fair enough. They do not offer the people any serious choice.
(iv) People in a democratic government enjoy freedom of expression and fundamental rights. (iv) People in a non-democratic government do not have freedom of expression and fundamental rights.
(v) Democracy is based on the fundamental principle of political equality. (v) No principle of political equality is followed in a non-democratic government.

Question 2.
“Popular governments can be undemocratic and popular leader can be autocratic”. Explain
giving example of Zimbabwe.
Or
How did Robert Mugabe’s party ZANU-PF violate the features of a democratically elected V government in Zimbabwe? Explain.
Answer:
(i) Zimbabwe became an independent country in 1980. Since then the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle. Its leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ruling the country since 1980.

(ii) Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF. President Robert Mugabe is popular among his countrymen, but also uses unfair practices in elections. Over the years his government has changed the Constitution several times to increase the powers of the President and make him less accountable.

(iii) Opposition party workers are harassed and their meetings disrupted. Public protests and demonstrations are declared illegal. There is a law that limits the right to criticise the President.

(iv) Television and radio are controlled by the government and give only the ruling party’s version. There are independent newspapers but the government harasses those journalists who go against it. The government has ignored some court judgements that went against it and has pressurised judges.

The above examples show that popular approval of the rulers is necessary in a democracy, but it is not sufficient. Popular governments can be undemocratic and popular leaders can be autocratic. In Robert Mugabe’s government there is no sufficient room for normal political activity. The state does not respect some basic rights of the citizen.

Question 3.
“A democratic government is a better government because it is a more accountable form of government.” Explain in the light of China’s famine that occurred during 1958-61.
Or
China’s famine of 1958-61 was the worst recorded famine in world history which took nearly three crore lives. During those period, India’s economic condition was not much better than China. Yet India did not have a famine of the kind China had. What do economists think about this?
Or
Why do economists blame China’s government policies for the famine that took place during 1958-61?
Answer:
Nearly three crore people died in Chin’s famine of 1958-61. But no such famine took place in India in spite of the fact that the country’s economic condition was not satisfactory during those times. Economists think that this was a result of different government policies in the two countries. The existence of democracy in India made the Indian government respond to food scarcity in a way that the Chinese government did not.

Economists point out that no large-scale famine has ever taken place in an independent and democratic country. If China too had multi-party elections, an opposition party and a press free to criticise the government, then so many people may not have died in the famine.

Thus democracy is better than other form of government in responding to the needs of the people. It is a more accountable form of government. China lacked such an accountability, so occurred the famine which took so many lives.

Question 4.
Enlist all the major features of democracy.
Or
Describe what are the essential features of democracy.
Answer:
(i) In a democracy the final decision-making power must rest with those elected by the people. From this point of view Pakistan under General Pervez Musharraf cannot be called a democracy because the power to take final decision rests with army officials and with General Musharraf, and none of them are elected by the people.

(ii) A democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of loosing. In China the elections do not offer the people any serious choice. In Mexico, till 2000 people seemed to really have a choice but in practice they had no choice. Such elections are not fair.

(iii) In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value. This principle has now come to be accepted almost all over the world. Yet there are many instances of denial of equal right to vote. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women do not have the right to vote.

(iv) A democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ right. A democratic government cannot do whatever it likes, simply because it has won an election. It has to respect some basic rules.

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Class 9 Extra Questions and Answer Civics Chapter 2 Value-based Questions (VBQs)

Question 1.
How does democracy improve the quality of decision-making?
Answer:

  • Democracy is based on consultation and discussion. A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings.
  • When a number of people put their heads together, they are able to point out possible mistakes in any decision.
  • This may take time but there is a big advantage in taking time over important decisions. This reduces the chances of rash or irresponsible decisions. Thus, democracy improves the quality of decision-making.

Question 2.
Distinguish between a minimal democracy and a good democracy.
Or
Mention some of the values associated with a good democracy.
Answer:
(i) A minimal democracy is that in which government is elected by the people. There exists political equality. Every adult citizen has the right to vote. But we don’t find social and economic equality. They are found only in a good democracy.

(ii) In fact we don’t need just an equal right to vote. Every citizen needs to have equal information, basic education, equal resources and a lot of commitment. A country where there is true democracy, no one goes hungry to bed.

(iii) In a true/good democracy those who are not powerful have the same say in taking the decision as those who are powerful. This can apply to a government, or a family or any other organisation.

Question 3.
Describe why we should value democracy.
Answer:
We should value democracy because of the following reasons:

  • Democracy enables us to judge an existing democracy and identify it weaknesses.
  • It helps us to distinguish between a minimal democracy and a good democracy.
  • It offers better chances of good decision, it is likely to respect people’s own wishes and allows different kinds of people to live together.

Question 4.
How does democracy enhance the dignity of citizens?
Answer:
(i) Democracy is based on the principle of political equality, on recognising that the poorest and the least educated has the same status as the rich and the educated.

(ii) A democratic decision involves consultation with and consent of all those who are affected by that decision. Those who are not powerful have the same say in taking the decision as those who are powerful.

(iii) People are not subjects of a ruler, they are the rulers themselves. Even when they make mistakes, they are responsible for their conduct.

Question 5.
What is the significance of rule of law and respect for rights in a democratic country?
Answer:
In a democratic country it is expected that the basic right of the citizens should be given due respect. Citizens should be free to think, to have opinions, to express these in public, to form associations, to protest and take other political actions. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of law.

These rights must be protected by an independent judiciary whose orders are obeyed by everyone. Similarly, there are some conditions that apply to the way a government is run after the elections. A democratic government cannot do whatever it likes, simply because it has won an election. It has to respect some basic rules. In particular it has to respect some guarantees to the minorities.