NCERT Textbook - Democracy and Diversity Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters

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UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Democracy and Diversity Class 10 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Democracy  and  Diversity
29
Chapter 3
Democracy
and
Diversity
Overview
In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to
accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and
region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to
people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with
others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion,
gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy
responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin
with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then
draw some general lessons about how social differences can take
various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and
is affected by these social diversities.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Democracy  and  Diversity
29
Chapter 3
Democracy
and
Diversity
Overview
In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to
accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and
region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to
people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with
others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion,
gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy
responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin
with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then
draw some general lessons about how social differences can take
various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and
is affected by these social diversities.
© NCERT
not to be republished
30
Democratic Politics
A Story from Mexico Olympics
Civil Rights Movement
in the USA (1954-1968)
refers to a set of events
and reform movements
aimed at abolishing legal
racial discrimination
against African-Americans.
Led by Martin Luther
King Jr., this movement
practiced non-violent
methods of civil
disobedience against
racially discriminatory
laws and practices.
African-American,
Afro-American, Black
American, or Black are the
terms used to refer mainly
to the descendants of
Africans who were
brought into America as
slaves between the 17
th
century and early 19
th
century.
The Black Power
movement emerged in
1966 and lasted till 1975,
which was a more militant
anti-racist movement,
advocating even violence
if necessary to end racism
in the US.
The pictures on this
page depict an
important landmark in
the history of the CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN
THE UNITED STATES.
These represent the medal ceremony
of the 200 metres race in the 1968
Olympics held at Mexico City. The two
men standing with clenched fists
upraised and heads bowed, while the
American national anthem was
played, are the US athletes, Tommie
Smith and John Carlos. They are
AFRICAN-AMERICANS. They had won the
gold and bronze medals respectively.
They received their medals wearing
black  socks and no shoes to represent
Black poverty. With this gesture, they
tried to draw international attention to
racial discrimination in the United
States. The black-gloved and raised
clenched fists were meant to symbolise
BLACK POWER. The silver medallist,
white Australian athlete, Peter Norman,
wore a human rights badge on his shirt
during the ceremony to show his
support to the two Americans.
Do you think that Carlos and
Smith should have raised an internal
matter of American society in an
international forum? Would you say
that what they did was political? Why
do you think Peter Norman, who was
neither Black nor American, joined in
the gesture of protest? If you were in
Norman’s place what would you do?
In 2005, the San Jose State University installed a 20-foot high sculpture representing the
protest by T ommie Smith and John Carlos. A photograph of the original medal ceremony
in 1968 is on the top.
My salute to
Carlos and
Smith! Will I ever
have the courage
to do what they
did?
© wikipedia & photo flickr.com Kevin
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Democracy  and  Diversity
29
Chapter 3
Democracy
and
Diversity
Overview
In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to
accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and
region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to
people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with
others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion,
gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy
responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin
with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then
draw some general lessons about how social differences can take
various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and
is affected by these social diversities.
© NCERT
not to be republished
30
Democratic Politics
A Story from Mexico Olympics
Civil Rights Movement
in the USA (1954-1968)
refers to a set of events
and reform movements
aimed at abolishing legal
racial discrimination
against African-Americans.
Led by Martin Luther
King Jr., this movement
practiced non-violent
methods of civil
disobedience against
racially discriminatory
laws and practices.
African-American,
Afro-American, Black
American, or Black are the
terms used to refer mainly
to the descendants of
Africans who were
brought into America as
slaves between the 17
th
century and early 19
th
century.
The Black Power
movement emerged in
1966 and lasted till 1975,
which was a more militant
anti-racist movement,
advocating even violence
if necessary to end racism
in the US.
The pictures on this
page depict an
important landmark in
the history of the CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN
THE UNITED STATES.
These represent the medal ceremony
of the 200 metres race in the 1968
Olympics held at Mexico City. The two
men standing with clenched fists
upraised and heads bowed, while the
American national anthem was
played, are the US athletes, Tommie
Smith and John Carlos. They are
AFRICAN-AMERICANS. They had won the
gold and bronze medals respectively.
They received their medals wearing
black  socks and no shoes to represent
Black poverty. With this gesture, they
tried to draw international attention to
racial discrimination in the United
States. The black-gloved and raised
clenched fists were meant to symbolise
BLACK POWER. The silver medallist,
white Australian athlete, Peter Norman,
wore a human rights badge on his shirt
during the ceremony to show his
support to the two Americans.
Do you think that Carlos and
Smith should have raised an internal
matter of American society in an
international forum? Would you say
that what they did was political? Why
do you think Peter Norman, who was
neither Black nor American, joined in
the gesture of protest? If you were in
Norman’s place what would you do?
In 2005, the San Jose State University installed a 20-foot high sculpture representing the
protest by T ommie Smith and John Carlos. A photograph of the original medal ceremony
in 1968 is on the top.
My salute to
Carlos and
Smith! Will I ever
have the courage
to do what they
did?
© wikipedia & photo flickr.com Kevin
© NCERT
not to be republished
Democracy  and  Diversity
31
The International Olympic
Association held Carlos and Smith guilty
of violating the Olympic spirit by
making a political statement. Their
medals were taken back. Back home,
they were subjected to a lot of criticism.
Norman too suffered for his action and
was not included in the Australian team
for the next Olympic. But their action
succeeded in gaining international
attention for the Civil Rights Movement
in the US. Recently, the San Jose
(pronounced ‘Saan Hoze’) State
University , of which they were former
students, honoured them and installed
their statue in the University campus.
When Norman died in 2006, Smith and
Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.
Some Dalit groups decided to participate in the UN Conference
Against Racism in Durban in 2001, demanding the inclusion of caste
in the agenda of this conference. Here are three reactions to this move:
Amandeep Kaur (a government official): Our Constitution declares
caste discrimination to be illegal. If some caste discrimination
continues, it is an internal matter. I am opposed to this being raised in
an international forum.
Oinam (a sociologist): I am opposed to this because caste and race are
not similar divisions. Caste is a social division, while race is a biological
one. Raising caste in this conference on racism would mean equating
the two.
Ashok (a Dalit activist): The argument about internal matter is a
way of preventing open discussion of oppression and
discrimination. Race is not purely biological. It is as much a legal
and sociological category as caste. Caste discrimination must be
raised in this conference.
Which of the three opinions do you agree with most and why?
Differences, similarities, divisions
The athletes in the example above were
responding to social divisions and
social inequalities. But does that
happen only in societies which have
racial divisions? In the previous two
chapters we have already noted some
other forms of social divisions. The
examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka
show both regional and social divisions.
In the case of Belgium we noted that
people who live in different regions
speak different languages. In Sri Lanka,
we noted linguistic as well as religious
differences. Thus social diversity can
take different forms in different
societies.
I met this group
of girls from
Pakistan and felt
that I had more
in common with
them than many
girls from other
parts of my own
country. Is this
anti-national to
feel so?
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Democracy  and  Diversity
29
Chapter 3
Democracy
and
Diversity
Overview
In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to
accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and
region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to
people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with
others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion,
gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy
responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin
with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then
draw some general lessons about how social differences can take
various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and
is affected by these social diversities.
© NCERT
not to be republished
30
Democratic Politics
A Story from Mexico Olympics
Civil Rights Movement
in the USA (1954-1968)
refers to a set of events
and reform movements
aimed at abolishing legal
racial discrimination
against African-Americans.
Led by Martin Luther
King Jr., this movement
practiced non-violent
methods of civil
disobedience against
racially discriminatory
laws and practices.
African-American,
Afro-American, Black
American, or Black are the
terms used to refer mainly
to the descendants of
Africans who were
brought into America as
slaves between the 17
th
century and early 19
th
century.
The Black Power
movement emerged in
1966 and lasted till 1975,
which was a more militant
anti-racist movement,
advocating even violence
if necessary to end racism
in the US.
The pictures on this
page depict an
important landmark in
the history of the CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN
THE UNITED STATES.
These represent the medal ceremony
of the 200 metres race in the 1968
Olympics held at Mexico City. The two
men standing with clenched fists
upraised and heads bowed, while the
American national anthem was
played, are the US athletes, Tommie
Smith and John Carlos. They are
AFRICAN-AMERICANS. They had won the
gold and bronze medals respectively.
They received their medals wearing
black  socks and no shoes to represent
Black poverty. With this gesture, they
tried to draw international attention to
racial discrimination in the United
States. The black-gloved and raised
clenched fists were meant to symbolise
BLACK POWER. The silver medallist,
white Australian athlete, Peter Norman,
wore a human rights badge on his shirt
during the ceremony to show his
support to the two Americans.
Do you think that Carlos and
Smith should have raised an internal
matter of American society in an
international forum? Would you say
that what they did was political? Why
do you think Peter Norman, who was
neither Black nor American, joined in
the gesture of protest? If you were in
Norman’s place what would you do?
In 2005, the San Jose State University installed a 20-foot high sculpture representing the
protest by T ommie Smith and John Carlos. A photograph of the original medal ceremony
in 1968 is on the top.
My salute to
Carlos and
Smith! Will I ever
have the courage
to do what they
did?
© wikipedia & photo flickr.com Kevin
© NCERT
not to be republished
Democracy  and  Diversity
31
The International Olympic
Association held Carlos and Smith guilty
of violating the Olympic spirit by
making a political statement. Their
medals were taken back. Back home,
they were subjected to a lot of criticism.
Norman too suffered for his action and
was not included in the Australian team
for the next Olympic. But their action
succeeded in gaining international
attention for the Civil Rights Movement
in the US. Recently, the San Jose
(pronounced ‘Saan Hoze’) State
University , of which they were former
students, honoured them and installed
their statue in the University campus.
When Norman died in 2006, Smith and
Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.
Some Dalit groups decided to participate in the UN Conference
Against Racism in Durban in 2001, demanding the inclusion of caste
in the agenda of this conference. Here are three reactions to this move:
Amandeep Kaur (a government official): Our Constitution declares
caste discrimination to be illegal. If some caste discrimination
continues, it is an internal matter. I am opposed to this being raised in
an international forum.
Oinam (a sociologist): I am opposed to this because caste and race are
not similar divisions. Caste is a social division, while race is a biological
one. Raising caste in this conference on racism would mean equating
the two.
Ashok (a Dalit activist): The argument about internal matter is a
way of preventing open discussion of oppression and
discrimination. Race is not purely biological. It is as much a legal
and sociological category as caste. Caste discrimination must be
raised in this conference.
Which of the three opinions do you agree with most and why?
Differences, similarities, divisions
The athletes in the example above were
responding to social divisions and
social inequalities. But does that
happen only in societies which have
racial divisions? In the previous two
chapters we have already noted some
other forms of social divisions. The
examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka
show both regional and social divisions.
In the case of Belgium we noted that
people who live in different regions
speak different languages. In Sri Lanka,
we noted linguistic as well as religious
differences. Thus social diversity can
take different forms in different
societies.
I met this group
of girls from
Pakistan and felt
that I had more
in common with
them than many
girls from other
parts of my own
country. Is this
anti-national to
feel so?
© NCERT
not to be republished
32
Democratic Politics
A cartoon like this can be read by different
people to mean different things. What does
this cartoon mean to you? How do other
students in your class read this?
Origins of social differences
These social differences are mostly
based on accident of birth. Normally
we don’t choose to belong to our
community. We belong to it simply
because we were born into it. We all
experience social differences based on
accident of birth in our everyday lives.
People around us are male or female,
they are tall and short, have different
kinds of complexions, or have different
physical abilities or disabilities. But all
kinds of social differences are not
based on accident of birth. Some of
the differences are based on our
choices. For example, some people are
atheists. They don’t believe in God or
any religion. Some people choose to
follow a religion other than the one in
which they were born. Most of us
choose what to study, which
occupation to take up and which
games or cultural activities to take part
in. All these lead to formation of social
groups that are based on our choices.
Every social difference does not
lead to social division. Social
differences divide similar people from
one another, but they also unite very
different people. People belonging to
different social groups share
differences and similarities cutting
across the boundaries of their groups.
In the instance above, Carlos and
Smith were similar in one way (both
were African-American) and thus
different from Norman who was
white. But they were also all similar in
other ways – they were all athletes who
stood against racial discrimination.
It is fairly common for people
belonging to the same religion to feel
that they do not belong to the same
community, because their caste or sect
is very different. It is also possible for
people from different religions to have
the same caste and feel close to each
other. Rich and poor persons from the
same family often do not keep close
relations with each other for they feel
they are very different. Thus, we all
have more than one identity and can
belong to more than one social group.
W e have different identities in different
contexts.
© Ares - Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Democracy  and  Diversity
29
Chapter 3
Democracy
and
Diversity
Overview
In the last chapter, we saw how power can be distributed to
accommodate linguistic and regional diversities. But language and
region are not the only features that give a distinct identity to
people. Sometimes, people also identify themselves and relate with
others on the basis of their physical appearance, class, religion,
gender, caste, tribe, etc. In this chapter, we study how democracy
responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities. We begin
with an example of public expression of social divisions. We then
draw some general lessons about how social differences can take
various forms. We then turn to how democratic politics affects and
is affected by these social diversities.
© NCERT
not to be republished
30
Democratic Politics
A Story from Mexico Olympics
Civil Rights Movement
in the USA (1954-1968)
refers to a set of events
and reform movements
aimed at abolishing legal
racial discrimination
against African-Americans.
Led by Martin Luther
King Jr., this movement
practiced non-violent
methods of civil
disobedience against
racially discriminatory
laws and practices.
African-American,
Afro-American, Black
American, or Black are the
terms used to refer mainly
to the descendants of
Africans who were
brought into America as
slaves between the 17
th
century and early 19
th
century.
The Black Power
movement emerged in
1966 and lasted till 1975,
which was a more militant
anti-racist movement,
advocating even violence
if necessary to end racism
in the US.
The pictures on this
page depict an
important landmark in
the history of the CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN
THE UNITED STATES.
These represent the medal ceremony
of the 200 metres race in the 1968
Olympics held at Mexico City. The two
men standing with clenched fists
upraised and heads bowed, while the
American national anthem was
played, are the US athletes, Tommie
Smith and John Carlos. They are
AFRICAN-AMERICANS. They had won the
gold and bronze medals respectively.
They received their medals wearing
black  socks and no shoes to represent
Black poverty. With this gesture, they
tried to draw international attention to
racial discrimination in the United
States. The black-gloved and raised
clenched fists were meant to symbolise
BLACK POWER. The silver medallist,
white Australian athlete, Peter Norman,
wore a human rights badge on his shirt
during the ceremony to show his
support to the two Americans.
Do you think that Carlos and
Smith should have raised an internal
matter of American society in an
international forum? Would you say
that what they did was political? Why
do you think Peter Norman, who was
neither Black nor American, joined in
the gesture of protest? If you were in
Norman’s place what would you do?
In 2005, the San Jose State University installed a 20-foot high sculpture representing the
protest by T ommie Smith and John Carlos. A photograph of the original medal ceremony
in 1968 is on the top.
My salute to
Carlos and
Smith! Will I ever
have the courage
to do what they
did?
© wikipedia & photo flickr.com Kevin
© NCERT
not to be republished
Democracy  and  Diversity
31
The International Olympic
Association held Carlos and Smith guilty
of violating the Olympic spirit by
making a political statement. Their
medals were taken back. Back home,
they were subjected to a lot of criticism.
Norman too suffered for his action and
was not included in the Australian team
for the next Olympic. But their action
succeeded in gaining international
attention for the Civil Rights Movement
in the US. Recently, the San Jose
(pronounced ‘Saan Hoze’) State
University , of which they were former
students, honoured them and installed
their statue in the University campus.
When Norman died in 2006, Smith and
Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.
Some Dalit groups decided to participate in the UN Conference
Against Racism in Durban in 2001, demanding the inclusion of caste
in the agenda of this conference. Here are three reactions to this move:
Amandeep Kaur (a government official): Our Constitution declares
caste discrimination to be illegal. If some caste discrimination
continues, it is an internal matter. I am opposed to this being raised in
an international forum.
Oinam (a sociologist): I am opposed to this because caste and race are
not similar divisions. Caste is a social division, while race is a biological
one. Raising caste in this conference on racism would mean equating
the two.
Ashok (a Dalit activist): The argument about internal matter is a
way of preventing open discussion of oppression and
discrimination. Race is not purely biological. It is as much a legal
and sociological category as caste. Caste discrimination must be
raised in this conference.
Which of the three opinions do you agree with most and why?
Differences, similarities, divisions
The athletes in the example above were
responding to social divisions and
social inequalities. But does that
happen only in societies which have
racial divisions? In the previous two
chapters we have already noted some
other forms of social divisions. The
examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka
show both regional and social divisions.
In the case of Belgium we noted that
people who live in different regions
speak different languages. In Sri Lanka,
we noted linguistic as well as religious
differences. Thus social diversity can
take different forms in different
societies.
I met this group
of girls from
Pakistan and felt
that I had more
in common with
them than many
girls from other
parts of my own
country. Is this
anti-national to
feel so?
© NCERT
not to be republished
32
Democratic Politics
A cartoon like this can be read by different
people to mean different things. What does
this cartoon mean to you? How do other
students in your class read this?
Origins of social differences
These social differences are mostly
based on accident of birth. Normally
we don’t choose to belong to our
community. We belong to it simply
because we were born into it. We all
experience social differences based on
accident of birth in our everyday lives.
People around us are male or female,
they are tall and short, have different
kinds of complexions, or have different
physical abilities or disabilities. But all
kinds of social differences are not
based on accident of birth. Some of
the differences are based on our
choices. For example, some people are
atheists. They don’t believe in God or
any religion. Some people choose to
follow a religion other than the one in
which they were born. Most of us
choose what to study, which
occupation to take up and which
games or cultural activities to take part
in. All these lead to formation of social
groups that are based on our choices.
Every social difference does not
lead to social division. Social
differences divide similar people from
one another, but they also unite very
different people. People belonging to
different social groups share
differences and similarities cutting
across the boundaries of their groups.
In the instance above, Carlos and
Smith were similar in one way (both
were African-American) and thus
different from Norman who was
white. But they were also all similar in
other ways – they were all athletes who
stood against racial discrimination.
It is fairly common for people
belonging to the same religion to feel
that they do not belong to the same
community, because their caste or sect
is very different. It is also possible for
people from different religions to have
the same caste and feel close to each
other. Rich and poor persons from the
same family often do not keep close
relations with each other for they feel
they are very different. Thus, we all
have more than one identity and can
belong to more than one social group.
W e have different identities in different
contexts.
© Ares - Cagle Cartoons Inc.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Democracy  and  Diversity
33
Overlapping and cross-cutting
differences
Social division takes place when some
social difference overlaps with other
differences.  The difference between
the Blacks and Whites becomes a social
division in the US because the Blacks
tend to be poor, homeless and
discriminated against. In our country
Dalits tend to be poor and landless.
They often face discrimination and
injustice. Situations of this kind
produce social divisions, when one
kind of social difference becomes
more important than the other and
people start feeling that they belong to
different communities.
If social differences cross cut one
another, it is difficult to pit one group
of people against the other. It means
that groups that share a common
interest on one issue are likely to be in
different sides on a different issue.
Consider the cases of Northern
Ireland and the Netherlands. Both are
predominantly Christian but divided
between Catholics and Protestants. In
Northern Ireland, class and religion
overlap with each other. If you are
Catholic, you are also more likely to be
poor, and you may have suffered a
history of discrimination. In the
Netherlands, class and religion tend to
cut across each other. Catholics and
Protestants are about equally likely to
be poor or rich. The result is that
Catholics and Protestants have had
conflicts in Northern Ireland, while
they do not do so in the Netherlands.
Overlapping social differences create
possibilities of deep social divisions
and tensions. Cross-cutting social
differences are easier to accommodate.
Social divisions of one kind or
another exist in most countries. It does
not matter whether the country is small
or big. India is a vast country with many
communities. Belgium is a small country
with many communities. Even those
countries such as Germany and Sw eden,
that w er e once highl y HOMOGENEOUS , are
undergoing rapid change with influx of
people from other parts of the world.
MIGRANTS bring with them their own
culture and tend to form a different
social community. In this sense most
countries of the world are multi-cultural .
Homogeneous society:
A society that has similar
kinds of people,
especially where there
are no significant ethnic
differences.
Migrant: Anybody who
shifts from one region
or country to another
region within a country
or to another country,
usually for work or other
economic opportunities.
Read these two poems by Dalit writers. Why do you think the
poster is titled ‘Hidden Apartheid’ ?
© NCERT
not to be republished
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