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NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 - What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

Q1. Here is some information about the four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
(a) Country A: People who do not accept the country’s official religion do not have a right to vote.
(b) Country B: The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years.
(c) Country C: The Ruling party has lost in the last three elections.
(d) Country D: There is no independent election commission.

Ans:
(a) Country A: Undemocratic

Reason: This country is undemocratic because it does not grant equal voting rights to all its citizens. In a true democracy, every citizen, regardless of their religion, should have the right to vote.

(b) Country B: Not sure

Reason: We cannot be sure if this country is democratic or undemocratic based solely on the information given. The same party winning elections for the last twenty years could simply mean that the party is popular and effective. However, if this party is maintaining power through corrupt means or manipulating the electoral process, then it would be undemocratic.

(c) Country C: Democratic

Reason: This country is democratic because the ruling party has lost in the last three elections. This demonstrates that there are free and fair elections and a peaceful transfer of power, which are hallmarks of a democratic system.

(d) Country D: Undemocratic

Reason: This country is undemocratic because it lacks an independent election commission. This could potentially lead to election fraud or manipulation by the ruling party, undermining the democratic process.

Features of DemocracyFeatures of Democracy

Q2. Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries. Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these. 
(a) Country P: The parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army.
(b) Country Q: The parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary.
(c) Country R: The country’s leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighbouring country
(d) Country S: All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change.

Ans:
(a) Country P: Undemocratic

Reason: Country P is classified as undemocratic because in a democratic system, the military is under civilian control and does not have the power to veto or influence legislation. This country's arrangement gives the Chief of Army a level of power that may undermine the democratic process.

(b) Country Q: Democratic

Reason: Country Q is classified as democratic because in a democratic system, the judiciary is independent and its powers cannot be reduced by the parliament. This is to ensure checks and balances among different branches of government.

(c) Country R: Undemocratic

Reason: Country R is classified as undemocratic because in a democratic system, the country’s leaders have the autonomy to make decisions that are in the best interest of their country, including signing treaties with other nations. Requiring permission from a neighboring country undermines this autonomy.

(d) Country S: Undemocratic

Reason: Country S is classified as undemocratic because in a democratic system, major economic decisions should be made by elected officials who are accountable to the public, not by officials of the central bank who are not elected and cannot be held accountable by the public. This arrangement could lead to decisions that do not reflect the will of the people.


Q3. Which of these is not a good argument in favour of democracy? Why?
(a) People feel free and equal in a democracy.
(b) Democracies resolve conflict in a better way than others.
(c) Democratic government is more accountable to the people.
(d) Democracies are more prosperous than others.
Ans: (d)
Option 'D' Democracies are more prosperous than others is not a good argument in favour of democracy as there are many countries such as Sri Lanka, India which opted for democracy but not prosperous where other countries such as China or Saudi Arabia which have communist and monarchy rule respectively are more prosperous. The prosperity of any country depends on the correct policies of the government. It also depends on the availibility of natural resources not with the form of government. Democracy can't guarantee prosperity.


Q4. Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
(a) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
(b) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large-scale rigging was reported.
(c) Women’s representation in the parliament has barely reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.

Ans:
(a) Democratic element – A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament.
Undemocratic element – Conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

(b) Democratic element – The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency.
Undemocratic element – Large-scale rigging was reported.

(c) Democratic element – Women’s organisations to demand one-third of seats for women.
Undemocratic element – Women’s representation in parliament has barely reached 10 per cent.


Q5. 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 practise any religion. 
Ans: (d) People are free to believe in and practice any religion.

Reason: Option ‘d’ is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country. This is because practising religion has nothing to do with preventing famine.


Q6. 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) Organising public meetings against government’s policies.
(d) Paying money to government officials to get water. 

Ans: (d) Paying money to government officials to get water.

Reason: Option ‘d’, which advocates paying the government officials money, is an undemocratic method.


Q7. Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:
(a) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore army should rule the country.
(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.
(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.

Ans: 
(a) 

  • If the army is allowed to rule the country, it will lead to the concentration of all powers in the army. Power should be divided among the three organs of the government i.e., legislature, executive and judiciary. 
  • The concentration of all powers with the army will lead to dictatorship
    Example: Pinochet’s rule in Chile.

(b) 

  • Democracy is a form of government where all adults have the right to vote. 
  • Restricting people to rule and govern only from minority having 'wise people' would harm representational democracy.

(c) 

  • Politics and religion are two different fields. Religion takes us towards spirituality by teaching us what is good or bad. 
  • The combination of religion and politics leads to communalism or communal politics which is very dangerous.


Q8. Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?
(a) Father to daughter: I don’t want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family children marry where the parents tell them to.
(b) Teacher to student: Don’t disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.
(c) Employee to the officer: Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.

Ans:
(a) Undemocratic as this statement is not in keeping with the democratic value of individual freedom and the right to express one's opinion. In a democracy, everyone has the right to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives. This includes decisions about personal matters such as marriage. In this case, the father is denying his daughter the right to express her opinion about her own marriage, which is undemocratic.
(b) Undemocratic as this statement is also not in keeping with the democratic value of open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. In a learning environment, students should be encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions. This promotes critical thinking, a key component of democratic societies. By refusing to entertain questions, the teacher is undermining the democratic principle of open dialogue.
(c) Democratic as this statement is in line with democratic values. The employee is asserting their right to fair working conditions, which is a fundamental right in a democracy. They are calling for the implementation of the law, which is a democratic process. This shows respect for the rule of law, a key feature of a democratic society.

Q9. Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision.
(a) All the citizens of the country have right to vote. Elections are held regularly
(b) The country took loan from international agencies. One of the conditions for giving loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health.
(c) People speak more than seven languages but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 percent people of that country.
(d) Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nation wide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. Government has arrested these leaders.
(e) The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about government’s policies and protests.

Ans:
(a) From this statement, we can understand that it is a democratic country where citizens are allowed to vote and choose their government.
(b) While taking a loan from international agencies, the country is compromising on the welfare of the people by reducing their expenditure on education and health, which is totally undemocratic.
(c) The provision of making education accessible in only one language is undemocratic. It is the fundamental right for people to have an education, and it is the government’s duty to provide them with the language they know.
(d) The right to assemble and peacefully demonstrate is a basic right of an individual. Hence, arresting the protestors is undemocratic.
(e) When the government owns the radio and television, it is debarring people from availing their right to a free press. It is undemocratic.


Q10. In 2004 a report published in USA pointed to the increasing inequalities in that country. Inequalities in income reflected in the participation of people in democracy. It also shaped their abilities to influence the decisions taken by the government. The report highlighted that:

  • If an average Black family earns $ 100 then the income of average White family is $ 162. A White family has twelve times more wealth than the average Black family.
  • In a President’s election, ‘nearly 9 out of 10 individuals in families with income over $ 75,000 have voted. These people are in the top 20% of the population in terms of their income. On the other hand, only 5 people out of 10 from families with income less than $ 15,000 have voted. They are in the bottom 20% of the population in terms of their income.
  • About 95% of the contribution to the political parties comes from the rich. This gives the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns, which is not available to most citizens.
  • As poor sections participate less in politics, the government does not listen to their concerns – coming out of poverty, getting the job, education, health care and housing for them. Politicians hear most regularly about the concerns of business persons and the rich.

Write an essay on ‘Democracy and Poverty’ using the information given in this report but using examples from India.
Ans:

  • Poverty and Democracy highlights an important, complicated relationship between the two. It points out how fundamental rights of democracy are given to the elite section, but the poor are still being deprived of.
  • The pitfalls like chronic capitalism, unequal opportunities have widened the gap between the poor and rich. Rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. The rich are influencing government policies. The social power among the citizens is unbalanced, which violate the fundamental principles of democracy.
  • Poverty has become a powerful threat. Political parties are run by the money of the riches. That’s why these parties show apathy towards the needs of the poor. Artificial glitters of the modern industry, skyscrapers cannot hide the prevailing unhygienic dwellings of the poor.
  • Democracy is based on the principle of political equality on recognizing that the poorest and the least educated have the same status as the rich and the educated. Under such biased and pro-rich conditions, a nation can’t be democratic for a long time. Sooner or later, it will lead to conflicts for the betterment of democracy.
The document NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 - What is Democracy? Why Democracy? is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
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FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 - What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

1. What is democracy?
Ans. Democracy is a form of government where the power to make decisions is vested in the citizens of a country. It is characterized by free and fair elections, active participation of people in decision-making processes, protection of individual rights and freedoms, and accountability of the government to the people.
2. Why is democracy important?
Ans. Democracy is important because it ensures equality, freedom, and representation for all citizens. It allows people to have a say in the decision-making processes and provides a platform for diverse opinions to be heard. Democracy also promotes transparency, accountability, and checks and balances in governance, leading to a more just and inclusive society.
3. How does democracy promote social and political equality?
Ans. Democracy promotes social and political equality by giving every citizen an equal opportunity to participate in the decision-making processes. It ensures that all individuals, regardless of their social or economic background, have the right to vote, express their opinions, and contest elections. Democracy also encourages the representation of diverse groups and protects the rights of minorities, thus promoting equality and inclusivity.
4. What are the challenges to democracy?
Ans. Democracy faces several challenges, including corruption, political polarization, voter apathy, and the influence of money and power in politics. It also faces challenges in ensuring equal representation for marginalized groups, protecting the rights of minorities, and maintaining a balance between majority rule and minority rights. Additionally, the rise of authoritarianism and populism poses a threat to democracy in many parts of the world.
5. How can citizens participate in a democracy?
Ans. Citizens can participate in a democracy in several ways. They can exercise their right to vote in elections, join political parties, and contest elections themselves. Citizens can also engage in peaceful protests, demonstrations, or social movements to bring attention to their concerns. Additionally, citizens can participate in public debates, contribute to policy discussions, and hold their elected representatives accountable through active engagement and regular communication.
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