Ques 1: Which of the following does not lead to the spread of democracy?
(a) Struggle by the people
(b) Invasion by foreign countries
(c) End of colonialism
(d) People’s desire for freedom
Ans: (b) Invasion by foreign countries
Ques 2: Which of the following statements is true about today’s world?
(a) Monarchy as a form of government has vanished.
(b) The relationship between different countries has become more democratic than ever before.
(c) In more and more countries rulers are being elected by the people.
(d) There are no more military dictators in the world.
Ans: (c) In more and more countries rulers are being elected by the people.
Ques 3: Use one of the following statements to complete the sentence:
Democracy in the international organisations requires that …
(a) The rich countries should have a greater say.
(b) Countries should have a say according to their military power.
(c) Countries should be treated with respect in proportion to their population.
(d) All countries in the world should be treated equally.
Ans: (d) All countries in the world should be treated equally.
Ques 4: Based on the information given in this chapter, match the following countries and the path democracy has taken in that country.
Path to Democracy
|(a) Chile||(i) Freedom from British colonial rule|
|(b) Nepal||(ii) End of military dictatorship|
|(c) Poland||(iii) End of one party rule|
|(d) Ghana||(iv) King agreed to give up his powers|
Path to Democracy
(ii) End of military dictatorship
(iv) King agreed to give up his powers
(iii) End of one party rule
(i) Freedom from British colonial rule
Ques 5: What are the difficulties people face in a non-democratic country? Give answers drawing from the examples given in this chapter.
Ans: In non-democratic countries people cannot freely choose their leader, they cannot form political parties without the consent of those who are in power. In some extreme cases people who protest against the authorities are tortured and killed. The military coup of 1973 in Chile and the Communist government in Poland, which ruled till 1990, are examples of oppressive undemocratic rule. While the military rule in Chile tortured and killed people who opposed its rule, the Communist regime in Poland imprisoned those who spoke against the government. In both the cases, people were not free to choose their leaders.
Ques 6: Which freedoms are usually taken away when a democracy is overthrown by the military?
Ans: When a democracy is overthrown by the military, the freedom of the people to choose their own leader is taken away. In addition to this, they are not allowed the freedom of expressing displeasure at any of the government policies which they don’t like.
Ques 7: Which of the following positions can contribute to democracy at the global level? Give reasons for your answer in each case.
(a) My country gives more money to international institutions. Therefore, I want to be treated with more respect and exercise more power.
(b) My country may be small or poor. But my voice must be heard with equal respect, because these decisions will affect my country.
(c) Wealthy nations will have a greater say in international affairs. They cannot let their interests suffer just because they are outnumbered by poor nations.
(d) Big countries like India must have a greater say in international organisations.
Ans: The positions voiced by alternatives ‘b’ and ‘c’ can contribute to democracy at the global level. While ‘b’ provides weaker nations an opportunity to be recognised in the decision making process, ‘c’ (if exercised properly) would protect the wealthy nations from being reduced to a minority.
Ques 8: Here are three opinions heard in a television debate on the struggle for democracy in Nepal. Which of these do you agree with and why?
Guest 1: India is a democracy. Therefore, the Indian government must support the people of Nepal who are struggling against monarchy and for democracy.
Guest 2: That is a dangerous argument. We would be in the same position as the US was in Iraq. Remember, no outside force can promote democracy.
Guest 3: But why should we bother about the internal affairs of another country? We should be worried about our business interests there, not about democracy.
Ans: The opinion of Guest 3 can be easily agreed with. This is because it is a diplomatic approach towards a sensitive international situation, while at the same time it upholds the fact that only the people of a nation can establish democracy in their own country.
Ques 9: In an imaginary country called Happyland, the people overthrew the foreign ruler and brought back the old royal family. They said: “After all their ancestors were our kings before foreigners started ruling us. It is good that we have one strong ruler, who can help us become rich and powerful”. When someone talked about democracy the wise men said it is a foreign idea. Their struggle was to throw the foreigners and their ideas out of the country. When someone demanded freedom for the media, the elders thought that too much criticism of the ruler would not help them improve their living standards. “After all, the king is so kind and interested in the welfare of all the subjects. Why create problems for him. Don’t we all want to be happy?”
After reading the above passage, Chaman, Champa and Chandru made the following observations.
Chaman: Happyland is a democratic country because people were able to throw out the foreign rulers and bring back the king.
Champa: Happyland is not a democratic country because people cannot criticise the ruler. The king may be nice and may provide economic prosperity, but a king cannot give a democratic rule.
Chandru: What people need is happiness. So they are willing to allow their new ruler to take decisions for them. If people are happy it must be a democracy.
What is your opinion about each of these statements? What do you think about the form of government in this country?
Ans: Chaman’s statement is incorrect because the overthrowing of a foreign power just amounts to gaining sovereignty.
Champa’s statement is correct. A democracy is a rule of the people. The people should have the right to Ques their ruler.
Chandru’s statement is incorrect. Happiness of the people is only one factor of a democracy. The people might be happy with the king, but he is not an elected representative.