NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 22 People՚s Participation in the Democratic Process Part 1 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Title: People՚s Participation in the Democratic Process

  • Democratic government is a government that sustains itself through public opinion which is expressed through the medium of elections.
  • People՚s participation may be defined as, “behaviour through which people directly express their political opinions”
  • Voting in elections is a formal and simple form of political participation.
  • Even in respect of the election process, it includes participation in the campaign, political discussion, working for political parties and standing as candidates.
  • They do so to ensure that their representatives respond to their needs and aspirations.

Public Opinion

  • Public opinion is not the unanimous opinion of the people, nor it is the opinion of the majority.
  • Public opinion is an organized and considered opinion of the people on any issues of public concern.
  • Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of different people and the sum of all their views.
  • These views aim at ensuring the welfare of the whole community
  • They influence the decisions of governments, functioning of political parties and running of the administration.

Importance in Democracy

  • An alert and free public opinion is a check on absolute power
  • It promotes a process to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people; it influences government in making laws in the interest of the people
  • It protects rights, freedoms and liberty: ‘eternal vigilance’ is rightly called the price of liberty, i.e.. , every citizen needs to be vigilant in order to protect the democratic value.

Important Agencies

The following are some of the important agencies which help to formulate a public opinion:

Print Media

  • Newspapers, periodicals, magazines and other print materials
  • Assimilate and concretize varied views and opinions and help them evolve as public opinion

Electronic Media

  • Cinema, radio, T. V. channels and now cell phones
  • They help in converting views into the most representative public opinion and also in communicating it to all concerned.

Political Parties

  • The political parties and their leaders feed the people with facts and ideas.
  • Mass awareness activities about their programmes and policies.

Legislatures

Legislatures, Parliament and State Legislatures in our country the most effective institutions

Educational Institutions

Our schools, colleges, universities and professional institutes leave on our minds permanent impact

Elections in India

  • An election is a contest among candidates in order to seek the membership of a legislative body or a representative institution to attain a public position.
  • Elections widen the scope of political awakening among the masses and educate them by familiarizing them with issues of public concern.
  • Elections facilitate the peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another.

Types of Elections

  • The kinds of elections that take place in India may be understood in two ways.
  • In direct elections, people vote directly through their ballot to elect their representatives to legislative bodies (Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies) and local government institutions
  • In indirect elections, the elected representatives of the people vote for electing persons to occupy certain positions. The President and the Vice-President of India are indirectly elected.
  • Observed in a different way we find another three categories of elections. These are:
    • General Elections are held all over the country, for the Lok Sabha and/or for the State Legislative Assemblies. Such elections are held after the expiry of the full term of the legislature.
    • Mid-term Elections are held before the completion of the normal term of the legislature owing to the dissolution of legislative bodies
    • Bye-elections are held in a particular constituency owing to a vacancy caused by resignation or death of the elected member, or when the election of a particular member is set aside by the judiciary.

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