NCERT Class 9 Solutions: What is Democracy? Why is Democracy (Democratic Politics-I)? Chapter 2– Part 3
Q-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 practice any religion.
Since opposition parties can draw attention to the problems executive will be more responsive in solving people’s problems.
Similarly free and independent press can bring attention of the executive to urgent issues. Free press would also provide for transparent monitoring of the executive response so that people can make judicious decisions next election.
Fear of defeat and not getting mandate next election, due to non-performance is the key reason why democratic executive is working for the people. The ability of the common people to overthrow the government every election just by pressing a button is the strength of democracy.
Practicing of any religion is not going to solve the famine problem.
Q-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) Organizing public meetings against government’s policies.
(d) Paying money to government officials to get water.
Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of right to life.
In a democratic system there is an independent judiciary to force the government to strive for basic rights of its citizens. So (a) is democratic.
Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.
Boycotting elections is not a democratic method, they should participate in election and not give mandate to the current non-responsive party. In the best democracies of the world like India they are free to even form their party and contest elections. Participating in voting is our fundamental duty and it is the only way citizens can make their voices heard. Boycotting the ballots is not a democratic method of protest.
Organizing public meetings against government’s policies.
Freedom of speech is the basic right guaranteed by the constitution, citizens can use it to bring more awareness about their cause. As more and more citizens become aware about their plight government for the fear of losing mandate would be forced to take action.
Paying money to government officials to get water.
It shows undemocratic because in democratic country there is no need to pay extra money to government officials for getting basic living requirements such as water, it doesn’t mean that water is totally free resource in democratic country some charges are imposed on it but not much, and democratic countries population have right to voice for their basic facilities.
Q-7: Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:
(a) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organization in the country. Therefore army should rule the country.
Answer: Democracy is the rule of the people, which is it is firmly grounded in the principle of representation. That is, in democracy only the elected executive is authorized to make decisions affecting the citizens. Military might not make the decisions which are best for people, even though it is loyal to the country its sole aim might be to fight wars with other states to increase territory. Wars are not good for the citizens they bring misery to the masses. Again the promise of democracy is that each and every individual can reach its full potential and a war mongering military cannot fulfill this objective.
(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.
Answer: For democracy to work all the citizens must be participants. However, successful democracy can work only with smart and enlightened citizens. But the answer is not to create an oligarchy where only a few wise are favored. The aim of democracy should be to make each and every citizens more knowledgeable and educated.
(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.
Answer: Democracy is based on the principle of equality and justice. People from all religions even the atheist should be represented by the executive. That is why each and every citizen- the rich and poor; people of all genders, age groups, cast, creed and occupation, have the right to exercise vote and be represented in the governance without any discrimination