Chapter Notes - The Story of Indian Democracy Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Sociology Class 12

Humanities/Arts : Chapter Notes - The Story of Indian Democracy Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

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THE STORY OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY

1. Democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people.

2. Two kinds of categories are - DIRECT & REPRESENTATIVE
Direct Democracy - all citizens without the intermediary of elected officials can participate in making public decisions, is practical with small number of people, for eg. tribal council, community organisation, local unit of a trade union, etc.
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY - citizens elect officials to represent them and take decisions. Features of modern society with large populations.
For eg - Municipal Boards State Assemblies, Parliament, etc.

3. PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY - members of a group or community participate collectively in the taking of major decisions for eg Panchayati Raj System

4. Basis of the core values of Indian Democracy -

  • Ancient-epics - like Mahabharata, various folk tales that has elements  of dialogue, discussions and debates(essential requirements of democracy)
  • Western theories on democracy- values like liberty, fraternity and equality derived from the French and the Russian revolutions
  • Karachi congress resolution 1931 which pointed out even before independence the goal of equal rights for all citizens across caste, gender and religion.

5. Basic objectives laid down by the constitution

  • Empowerment of the poor and marginalised.
  • Ending of caste discrimination
  • Equality to all diverse groups.

6. Law carries the means to force obedience, has the power of state behind it. The essence of law is force and coercion.
Justice - the essence of justice is fairness, It functions through the hierarchy of authorities and follow the basic procedures as prescribes in the constitution. A
hierarchy of courts interpret the laws.

7. Constitution is a document based on the ideals on which a nation rests. It is the basic norm from which all other rules and authorities flow. The Supreme
court is the highest court and the ultimate interpreter of the constitution.

8. Panchayati Raj literally translates to governance by five individuals. The idea has been to create a vibrant democracy at the village or grassroots level.

9. Views on Panchayati Raj

  • Dr B.R. Ambedkar was critical of the panchayati Raj system. He believed that local self-government meant giving extra power to the already dominating local elites and upper castes. Thus such a system would lead to further exploitation of the lower castes and the downtrodden.
  • Mahatma Gandhi on the other hand believed in ‘gram swarajya’, i.e village self-governance as an ideal model to adopt after Independence. He envisioned villages as self sufficient units and hence supported Panchayati Raj system.

10. 73rd amendment of constitution in 1992 introduced grass root democracy or decentralised governance, granting various provisions.

  • Constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institution (PRIs)
  • Local self government bodies in rural and municipal areas to be elected every 5 years.
  • Control of local resources given to the elected local bodies

11. 74th constitutional amendment -

  • Reservation of one third of total seats for women in rural & urban local elected bodies.
  • 17% of seats reserved for women of scheduled castes & tribes.

12. Various powers & responsibilities undertaken by Panchayats.

  • To prepare plans and schemes for economic development
  • To ensure social justice
  • To levy, collect and appropriate taxes, tolls and fees
  • To maintain burning and burial grounds.
  • To keep record of birth and death.
  • To propagate family planning
  • To establish child care and maternity center’s
  • To construct roads, buildings, schools for community use

13. Main source of income for Panchayats

  • Taxes levied on property, profession, animals, vehicles
  • Cess on land revenue and rentals
  • Grants received through the Zilla Panchayat

14. Nyaya Panchayat are constituted in certain villages, They have authority to pass judgement on petty civil and criminal Cases. they can impose fines but
cannot award sentences.

15 Van Panchayat - these are environmental groups comprising mostly of village women who develop nurseries and nurture tree saplings. They also guard nearby
forests to check illegal deforestation.

16. Interest groups. - are organized to pursue specific interest in the political arena operating primarily by lobbying with the members of legislative bodies.

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