Key Concepts Chapter 7 - Outcomes of Democracy, Class 10, SST | EduRev Notes

Social Studies (SST) Class 10

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Class 10 : Key Concepts Chapter 7 - Outcomes of Democracy, Class 10, SST | EduRev Notes

The document Key Concepts Chapter 7 - Outcomes of Democracy, Class 10, SST | EduRev Notes is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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How Do We Assess Outcomes Of Democracy?

Why is democracy considered better?

It promotes
equality among citizens

It recognises
and  enhances
 the dignity
 of the
 individual

Improves the quality of decision
making

Provides a method to
resolve
conflicts

Allows room to correct
 mistakes


Three Aspects of Democracy

Political
Political democracy requires
government by
'consent’ and
political equality

Social
This requires
social equality
in the country
poverty line

Economic
There should
 be no disparity —
very rich class
of a few and
a majority
 living under the

 

Other features of a democracy

Free and Fair Elections

Multi-party System

Adult Franchise

Social Equality

Sound Political System

Freedom
of Speech, Expression and
Public Opinion

A Strong Opposition


Over a hundred countries follow the democratic form of government. There are many features of democracy common to all but there are differences in social situations, achievements and their cultures.
For example, in USA — the world’s richest democracy, there is a wide gap among the rich, the poor. The Blacks do not get social justice. But at the same time, the United States of America, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland have the most stable democratic systems in the world. They have welfare schemes for all and hundred percent literacy.
Let us now think about what we can expect reasonably from democracy and examine the record of democracy.


Accountable, responsive and legitimate government
In a democracy, there must be a government which is accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. It should be efficient and effective.
Democratic governments are based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation, so delays take place.

Does that make democratic government inefficient?
Non-democratic governments do not have to bother about discussions in assemblies. They do not worry about public opinion. They are very quick in decision making and implementation.

Are non-democratic governments more efficient?

  1. In the first instance : It has taken time, followed all procedures and then come to a decision. Result : More acceptable to the people, more effective.
  2. In the second instance, let us consider the costs involved. Quick decisions may not with the approval of the majority of people. Result : Problems

Points in favour of democracies

  1. Decision-making is based on norms and procedures.
  2. Transparency — a citizen has the right and the means to examine a decision making process.
  3. Government is accountable to people and has mechanism to hold a government accountable.
  4. It has mechanism for citizens to take part in decision-making.

Points against democracy as a form of government

  1. Transparency rights and means to examine decision-making process are missing.
  2. Government is not accountable.
  3. No mechanisms to hold it accountable.
  4. Decision making not based on norms and procedures.

Democracies have been successful in holding

  1. regular and free elections
  2. creating conditions for open public debate

Democracies have fallen short of :

  1. holding elections that provide a fair chance to everyone.
  2. every decision is not brought forward for in a public debate.
  3. They do not have a very good record in sharing information with citizens.
  4. Democracies have not been free of corruption and have not been attentive to people’s needs and expectations.
  5. In one respect, a democratic government is certainly better than a non-democratic one. It is a legitimate Government. It is a people’s own government. This is the main reason for its popularity. People all over the world want to be ruled by representatives elected by them.

ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. One of the failures of democracy is that it lags behind dictatorships in economic growth.
  2. Economic growth depends on the :
    (i) Size of the population of a country
    (ii) Global situation
    (iii) Co-operation from other countries
    (iv) Economic policies adopted by the country

Reduction of inequality and poverty
The truth is that what is needed is removal of economic disparities. Development without equitable distribution of wealth is not a true democracy. Democracies are based on political equality. All citizens have equal weight in electing representatives.

But it is not so in the economic field. The poor are becoming poorer and sometimes they find it difficult to meet the basic needs of life like food, clothing, higher education and health. Democratic governments have failed in this area. In India this is indicated by:
1. Percentage of population below poverty line in India
2. The Human Development Index will show where India stands in the world as far as health, education and income are concerned.

Accommodation of Social Diversity
Democracy tries to help its citizens to lead a peaceful and harmonious life by accommodating various social divisions.
Example:- Belgium and India. Democratic governments try to resolve differences, respect differences and try mechanisms which can negotiate differences.

Democracy’s plus point is: Ability to handle social differences, divisions and reduce conflicts. Non-democratic regimes can ignore or suppress internal and social differences.
Precaution is needed to see that the majority always works with the minority and does not try to dominate it. Sri Lanka is an example. Majority rule means different people, different groups participate in decision-making. It does not mean the rule of the majority community— a religious, racial or linguistic group.
No one should be barred from being in a majority group on the basis of birth. Every citizen should have a chance to be in a majority at some time.
(i) Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens

  1. Democracy promotes dignity and freedom of the individual
  2. Every individual wants to receive respect from fellow beings
  3. Democracies have achieved this to a certain degree in many countries

(ii) Dignity of Women

  1. Women had to fight long battles to receive their due in society.
  2. Societies across the world have been male dominated. It is absolutely essential that women should get equal treatment.
  3. Women can now wage a struggle against what is now unacceptable legally and morally. In a non-democratic set-up, women would not have a legal basis to fight for equality.
  4. Societies across the world have been male dominated. It is absolutely essential that women should get equal treatment.
  5. Of course, women still have to struggle. They are not always given their due respect even in democracies.

(iii) Caste Inequalities: In India, the disadvantaged and discriminated castes have gained in strength due to democracy. They have now the legal and moral right to fight for equal status and equal opportunities. There are still instances of atrocities and inequalities suffered by people because of caste, but they are not supported by law or moral code.
(iv) A democracy is always striving towards a better goal. People constantly demand more benefits in a democracy. There are always more expectations.
(v) People now look critically at the work of those who hold power, the rich, the powerful. They express their dissatisfaction loudly. It shows they are no longer subjects but citizens of a democratic country.

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