NCERT Textbook - Democracy in the Contemporary World Class 9 Notes | EduRev

Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters

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Class 9 : NCERT Textbook - Democracy in the Contemporary World Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


2 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy
has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries
in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world
today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth
and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It
still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.
This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking
of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to
give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence.
We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of
maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on
democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take
a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different
countries. We examine the working of some international organisations.
This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at
the global level?
CHAPTER I
Democracy
in the
Contemporary
World
Page 2


2 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy
has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries
in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world
today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth
and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It
still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.
This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking
of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to
give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence.
We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of
maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on
democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take
a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different
countries. We examine the working of some international organisations.
This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at
the global level?
CHAPTER I
Democracy
in the
Contemporary
World
3
1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 TWO WO WO WO WO T T T T TALES ALES ALES ALES ALES O O O O OF F F F F D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y
leader of the Socialist Party of Chile
and led the Popular Unity coalition
to victory in the presidential
election in 1970. After being
elected the President, Allende had
taken several policy decisions to help
the poor and the workers. These
included reform of the educational
system, free milk for children and
redistribution of land to the landless
farmers. He was opposed to foreign
companies taking away natural
resources like copper from the
country. The landlords, the rich and
the Church opposed his policies.
Some other political parties in Chile
also opposed his government.
M M M M Militar ilitar ilitar ilitar ilitary C y C y C y C y Coup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973
On the morning of 11 September
1973, the military took over the
seaport. The Defence Minister was
arrested by the military when he
arrived at his office. The military
President Salvador Allende
(wearing a helmet) and his
security guards in front of
La Moneda, Chile’s
Presidential Palace, on 11
September 1973, hours
before his death. What do
you read on everyone’s
face in this photograph?
“Workers of my country, I have faith in
Chile and its future. Other men will
overcome this dark and bitter moment
when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in
mind that, much sooner than later, the
great avenues will again be opened,
through which will pass free men to
construct a better society. Long live
Chile! Long live the people! Long live the
workers!
These are my last words, and I am
certain that my sacrifice will not be in
vain. I am certain that, at the very least,
it will be a moral lesson that will punish
felony, cowardice, and treason.”
These are some extracts from the
last speech of Salvador Allende
(pronounced Ayen-they). He was
then the President of Chile, a
country in South America. The
speech was given on the morning of
11 September 1973, the day his
government was overthrown by the
military. Allende was the founder
Why did President
Allende address
himself mainly to
‘workers’? Why
were the rich
unhappy with him?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
©La Nación
Page 3


2 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy
has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries
in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world
today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth
and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It
still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.
This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking
of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to
give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence.
We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of
maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on
democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take
a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different
countries. We examine the working of some international organisations.
This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at
the global level?
CHAPTER I
Democracy
in the
Contemporary
World
3
1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 TWO WO WO WO WO T T T T TALES ALES ALES ALES ALES O O O O OF F F F F D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y
leader of the Socialist Party of Chile
and led the Popular Unity coalition
to victory in the presidential
election in 1970. After being
elected the President, Allende had
taken several policy decisions to help
the poor and the workers. These
included reform of the educational
system, free milk for children and
redistribution of land to the landless
farmers. He was opposed to foreign
companies taking away natural
resources like copper from the
country. The landlords, the rich and
the Church opposed his policies.
Some other political parties in Chile
also opposed his government.
M M M M Militar ilitar ilitar ilitar ilitary C y C y C y C y Coup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973
On the morning of 11 September
1973, the military took over the
seaport. The Defence Minister was
arrested by the military when he
arrived at his office. The military
President Salvador Allende
(wearing a helmet) and his
security guards in front of
La Moneda, Chile’s
Presidential Palace, on 11
September 1973, hours
before his death. What do
you read on everyone’s
face in this photograph?
“Workers of my country, I have faith in
Chile and its future. Other men will
overcome this dark and bitter moment
when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in
mind that, much sooner than later, the
great avenues will again be opened,
through which will pass free men to
construct a better society. Long live
Chile! Long live the people! Long live the
workers!
These are my last words, and I am
certain that my sacrifice will not be in
vain. I am certain that, at the very least,
it will be a moral lesson that will punish
felony, cowardice, and treason.”
These are some extracts from the
last speech of Salvador Allende
(pronounced Ayen-they). He was
then the President of Chile, a
country in South America. The
speech was given on the morning of
11 September 1973, the day his
government was overthrown by the
military. Allende was the founder
Why did President
Allende address
himself mainly to
‘workers’? Why
were the rich
unhappy with him?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
©La Nación
4 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
commanders asked the President to
resign. Allende refused to resign or
leave the country. But realising the
danger to the country and to his life,
he addressed the people on the
radio, part of which we read in the
beginning. Then the military
surrounded the President’s house
and started bombing it. President
Allende died in the military attack. 
This was the sacrifice he was talking
about in his last speech. A
government elected by people was
overthrown by the military through
conspiracy and violence.
What took place in Chile on 11
September 1973 was a military
coup. General Augusto Pinochet
(pronounced Pinoshe), an Army
general, led the coup. The
government of the United States of
America was unhappy with Allende’s
rule and is known to have supported
and funded activities that led to the
coup. Pinochet became the
President of the country and ruled
it for the next 17 years. From a
government that was elected by the
people, the power shifted to the
President Michelle Bachelet
addressing her supporters
after her victory in the
presidential election in
January 2006. From this
photograph do you notice
any difference between an
election rally in Chile and in
India?
Did the army have
any legal right to
arrest the defence
minister of the
country? Should
the army have the
power to arrest any
citizen?
military officers. They could do as
they wished and no one could
question them. Thus a military
dictatorship was established in
Chile. Pinochet’s government
tortured and killed several of those
who supported Allende and those
who wanted democracy to be
restored. These included General
Alberto Bachelet of the Chilean Air
Force and many other officers who
refused to join the coup. General
Bachelet’s wife and daughter were
put in prison and tortured. More
than 3,000 people were killed by the
military. Many more were reported
‘missing’. No one knows what
happened to them.
ACTIVITY
? Locate and shade Chile on the map. Which
state in our country has a shape similar to
Chile?
? Follow the newspaper for one month and collect
news items related to any country in Latin
America. Did you find the news coverage
adequate?
©La Nación, Chile
Page 4


2 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy
has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries
in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world
today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth
and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It
still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.
This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking
of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to
give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence.
We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of
maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on
democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take
a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different
countries. We examine the working of some international organisations.
This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at
the global level?
CHAPTER I
Democracy
in the
Contemporary
World
3
1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 TWO WO WO WO WO T T T T TALES ALES ALES ALES ALES O O O O OF F F F F D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y
leader of the Socialist Party of Chile
and led the Popular Unity coalition
to victory in the presidential
election in 1970. After being
elected the President, Allende had
taken several policy decisions to help
the poor and the workers. These
included reform of the educational
system, free milk for children and
redistribution of land to the landless
farmers. He was opposed to foreign
companies taking away natural
resources like copper from the
country. The landlords, the rich and
the Church opposed his policies.
Some other political parties in Chile
also opposed his government.
M M M M Militar ilitar ilitar ilitar ilitary C y C y C y C y Coup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973
On the morning of 11 September
1973, the military took over the
seaport. The Defence Minister was
arrested by the military when he
arrived at his office. The military
President Salvador Allende
(wearing a helmet) and his
security guards in front of
La Moneda, Chile’s
Presidential Palace, on 11
September 1973, hours
before his death. What do
you read on everyone’s
face in this photograph?
“Workers of my country, I have faith in
Chile and its future. Other men will
overcome this dark and bitter moment
when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in
mind that, much sooner than later, the
great avenues will again be opened,
through which will pass free men to
construct a better society. Long live
Chile! Long live the people! Long live the
workers!
These are my last words, and I am
certain that my sacrifice will not be in
vain. I am certain that, at the very least,
it will be a moral lesson that will punish
felony, cowardice, and treason.”
These are some extracts from the
last speech of Salvador Allende
(pronounced Ayen-they). He was
then the President of Chile, a
country in South America. The
speech was given on the morning of
11 September 1973, the day his
government was overthrown by the
military. Allende was the founder
Why did President
Allende address
himself mainly to
‘workers’? Why
were the rich
unhappy with him?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
©La Nación
4 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
commanders asked the President to
resign. Allende refused to resign or
leave the country. But realising the
danger to the country and to his life,
he addressed the people on the
radio, part of which we read in the
beginning. Then the military
surrounded the President’s house
and started bombing it. President
Allende died in the military attack. 
This was the sacrifice he was talking
about in his last speech. A
government elected by people was
overthrown by the military through
conspiracy and violence.
What took place in Chile on 11
September 1973 was a military
coup. General Augusto Pinochet
(pronounced Pinoshe), an Army
general, led the coup. The
government of the United States of
America was unhappy with Allende’s
rule and is known to have supported
and funded activities that led to the
coup. Pinochet became the
President of the country and ruled
it for the next 17 years. From a
government that was elected by the
people, the power shifted to the
President Michelle Bachelet
addressing her supporters
after her victory in the
presidential election in
January 2006. From this
photograph do you notice
any difference between an
election rally in Chile and in
India?
Did the army have
any legal right to
arrest the defence
minister of the
country? Should
the army have the
power to arrest any
citizen?
military officers. They could do as
they wished and no one could
question them. Thus a military
dictatorship was established in
Chile. Pinochet’s government
tortured and killed several of those
who supported Allende and those
who wanted democracy to be
restored. These included General
Alberto Bachelet of the Chilean Air
Force and many other officers who
refused to join the coup. General
Bachelet’s wife and daughter were
put in prison and tortured. More
than 3,000 people were killed by the
military. Many more were reported
‘missing’. No one knows what
happened to them.
ACTIVITY
? Locate and shade Chile on the map. Which
state in our country has a shape similar to
Chile?
? Follow the newspaper for one month and collect
news items related to any country in Latin
America. Did you find the news coverage
adequate?
©La Nación, Chile
5
R R R R Rest est est est estor or or or ora a a a ation of D tion of D tion of D tion of D tion of Democr emocr emocr emocr emocrac ac ac ac acy y y y y
Pinochet’s military dictatorship
came to an end after he decided to
hold a referendum in 1988. He felt
confident that in this referendum,
the people would say ‘yes’ to his
continuing in power. But the people
of Chile had not forgotten their
democratic traditions. Their vote was
a decisive ‘no’ to Pinochet. This led
to Pinochet losing first his political
and then his military powers. The
hope Allende expressed in his last
address was realised: felony,
cowardice and treason were finally
punished. Political freedom was
restored. Since then Chile has held
four presidential elections in which
different political parties have
participated. Slowly, the army’s role
in the country’s government has
been eliminated. The elected
governments that came to power
ordered inquiries into Pinochet’s
rule. These inquiries showed that his
government was not only very
brutal, but also very corrupt.
Do you remember a little reference
made earlier to General Bachelet’s
daughter who was imprisoned and
tortured along with her mother?
That girl, Michelle Bachelet
(pronounced Mishel Bashelet), was
elected President of Chile in January
2006. A medical doctor and a
moderate socialist, Michelle became
the first woman to be a Defence
Minister in Latin America. In the
presidential elections she defeated
one of Chile’s richest men. In this
photograph of her victory speech,
she is saying to her supporters:
“Because I was the victim of hatred, I
have dedicated my life to reverse that
hatred and turn it into understanding,
tolerance and — why not say it — into
love.”
D D D D Democr emocr emocr emocr emocrac ac ac ac acy in P y in P y in P y in P y in Poland oland oland oland oland
Let us turn to another event, this
time from Poland, in 1980. At that
time Poland was ruled by the Polish
United Workers’ Party. This was one
of the many communist parties that
ruled in several countries of East
Europe at that time. In these
countries no other political party
was allowed to function. The people
could not freely choose the leaders
of the communist party or the
government. Those who spoke
against the leaders or the party or
the government were put in prison.
The government in Poland was
supported and controlled by the
government of the Soviet Union
(USSR), a vast and powerful
communist state.
On 14 August 1980, the workers
of Lenin Shipyard in the city of
Gdansk went on a strike. The
shipyard was owned by the
government. In fact all the factories
and big property in Poland were
owned by the government. The
strike began with a demand to take
back a crane operator, a woman
worker, who was unjustly dismissed
Poland is famous for its
poster art. Most of the
posters of Solidarity carried
this special way of writing
‘Solidarnosc’. Can you find
similar examples of poster
art or wall writing in Indian
politics?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
Lech Walesa
Page 5


2 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
O O O O OVER VER VER VER VERVIE VIE VIE VIE VIEW W W W W
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy
has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries
in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world
today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth
and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It
still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement.
This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking
of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to
give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence.
We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of
maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on
democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take
a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different
countries. We examine the working of some international organisations.
This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at
the global level?
CHAPTER I
Democracy
in the
Contemporary
World
3
1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 T 1.1 TWO WO WO WO WO T T T T TALES ALES ALES ALES ALES O O O O OF F F F F D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y
leader of the Socialist Party of Chile
and led the Popular Unity coalition
to victory in the presidential
election in 1970. After being
elected the President, Allende had
taken several policy decisions to help
the poor and the workers. These
included reform of the educational
system, free milk for children and
redistribution of land to the landless
farmers. He was opposed to foreign
companies taking away natural
resources like copper from the
country. The landlords, the rich and
the Church opposed his policies.
Some other political parties in Chile
also opposed his government.
M M M M Militar ilitar ilitar ilitar ilitary C y C y C y C y Coup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973 oup of 1973
On the morning of 11 September
1973, the military took over the
seaport. The Defence Minister was
arrested by the military when he
arrived at his office. The military
President Salvador Allende
(wearing a helmet) and his
security guards in front of
La Moneda, Chile’s
Presidential Palace, on 11
September 1973, hours
before his death. What do
you read on everyone’s
face in this photograph?
“Workers of my country, I have faith in
Chile and its future. Other men will
overcome this dark and bitter moment
when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in
mind that, much sooner than later, the
great avenues will again be opened,
through which will pass free men to
construct a better society. Long live
Chile! Long live the people! Long live the
workers!
These are my last words, and I am
certain that my sacrifice will not be in
vain. I am certain that, at the very least,
it will be a moral lesson that will punish
felony, cowardice, and treason.”
These are some extracts from the
last speech of Salvador Allende
(pronounced Ayen-they). He was
then the President of Chile, a
country in South America. The
speech was given on the morning of
11 September 1973, the day his
government was overthrown by the
military. Allende was the founder
Why did President
Allende address
himself mainly to
‘workers’? Why
were the rich
unhappy with him?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
©La Nación
4 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
commanders asked the President to
resign. Allende refused to resign or
leave the country. But realising the
danger to the country and to his life,
he addressed the people on the
radio, part of which we read in the
beginning. Then the military
surrounded the President’s house
and started bombing it. President
Allende died in the military attack. 
This was the sacrifice he was talking
about in his last speech. A
government elected by people was
overthrown by the military through
conspiracy and violence.
What took place in Chile on 11
September 1973 was a military
coup. General Augusto Pinochet
(pronounced Pinoshe), an Army
general, led the coup. The
government of the United States of
America was unhappy with Allende’s
rule and is known to have supported
and funded activities that led to the
coup. Pinochet became the
President of the country and ruled
it for the next 17 years. From a
government that was elected by the
people, the power shifted to the
President Michelle Bachelet
addressing her supporters
after her victory in the
presidential election in
January 2006. From this
photograph do you notice
any difference between an
election rally in Chile and in
India?
Did the army have
any legal right to
arrest the defence
minister of the
country? Should
the army have the
power to arrest any
citizen?
military officers. They could do as
they wished and no one could
question them. Thus a military
dictatorship was established in
Chile. Pinochet’s government
tortured and killed several of those
who supported Allende and those
who wanted democracy to be
restored. These included General
Alberto Bachelet of the Chilean Air
Force and many other officers who
refused to join the coup. General
Bachelet’s wife and daughter were
put in prison and tortured. More
than 3,000 people were killed by the
military. Many more were reported
‘missing’. No one knows what
happened to them.
ACTIVITY
? Locate and shade Chile on the map. Which
state in our country has a shape similar to
Chile?
? Follow the newspaper for one month and collect
news items related to any country in Latin
America. Did you find the news coverage
adequate?
©La Nación, Chile
5
R R R R Rest est est est estor or or or ora a a a ation of D tion of D tion of D tion of D tion of Democr emocr emocr emocr emocrac ac ac ac acy y y y y
Pinochet’s military dictatorship
came to an end after he decided to
hold a referendum in 1988. He felt
confident that in this referendum,
the people would say ‘yes’ to his
continuing in power. But the people
of Chile had not forgotten their
democratic traditions. Their vote was
a decisive ‘no’ to Pinochet. This led
to Pinochet losing first his political
and then his military powers. The
hope Allende expressed in his last
address was realised: felony,
cowardice and treason were finally
punished. Political freedom was
restored. Since then Chile has held
four presidential elections in which
different political parties have
participated. Slowly, the army’s role
in the country’s government has
been eliminated. The elected
governments that came to power
ordered inquiries into Pinochet’s
rule. These inquiries showed that his
government was not only very
brutal, but also very corrupt.
Do you remember a little reference
made earlier to General Bachelet’s
daughter who was imprisoned and
tortured along with her mother?
That girl, Michelle Bachelet
(pronounced Mishel Bashelet), was
elected President of Chile in January
2006. A medical doctor and a
moderate socialist, Michelle became
the first woman to be a Defence
Minister in Latin America. In the
presidential elections she defeated
one of Chile’s richest men. In this
photograph of her victory speech,
she is saying to her supporters:
“Because I was the victim of hatred, I
have dedicated my life to reverse that
hatred and turn it into understanding,
tolerance and — why not say it — into
love.”
D D D D Democr emocr emocr emocr emocrac ac ac ac acy in P y in P y in P y in P y in Poland oland oland oland oland
Let us turn to another event, this
time from Poland, in 1980. At that
time Poland was ruled by the Polish
United Workers’ Party. This was one
of the many communist parties that
ruled in several countries of East
Europe at that time. In these
countries no other political party
was allowed to function. The people
could not freely choose the leaders
of the communist party or the
government. Those who spoke
against the leaders or the party or
the government were put in prison.
The government in Poland was
supported and controlled by the
government of the Soviet Union
(USSR), a vast and powerful
communist state.
On 14 August 1980, the workers
of Lenin Shipyard in the city of
Gdansk went on a strike. The
shipyard was owned by the
government. In fact all the factories
and big property in Poland were
owned by the government. The
strike began with a demand to take
back a crane operator, a woman
worker, who was unjustly dismissed
Poland is famous for its
poster art. Most of the
posters of Solidarity carried
this special way of writing
‘Solidarnosc’. Can you find
similar examples of poster
art or wall writing in Indian
politics?
D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRAC AC AC AC ACY Y Y Y Y     IN IN IN IN IN     THE THE THE THE THE C C C C CO O O O ONTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPO NTEMPOR R R R RAR AR AR AR ARY Y Y Y Y W W W W WO O O O ORLD RLD RLD RLD RLD
Lech Walesa
6 D D D D DEMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCR EMOCRA A A A ATI TI TI TI TIC C C C C P P P P PO O O O OLITI LITI LITI LITI LITICS CS CS CS CS
from service. This strike was illegal,
because trade unions independent
of the ruling party were not allowed
in Poland. As the strike continued,
a former electrician of the shipyard,
Lech Walesa (pronounced Lek
Walesha), joined the strikers. He was
dismissed from service in 1976 for
demanding higher pay. Walesa soon
emerged as the leader of the striking
workers. The strike began to spread
across the whole city. Now the
workers started raising larger
demands. They wanted the right to
form independent trade unions. They
also demanded the release of political
prisoners and an end to censorship
on press.
The movement became so popular
that the government had to give in.
The workers led by Walesa signed a
21-point agreement with the
government that ended their strike.
The government agreed to recognise
the workers’ right to form
independent trade unions and their
right to strike. After the Gdansk
agreement was signed, a new trade
union called Solidarity (Solidarnosc
in Polish) was formed. It was the first
time an independent trade union
was formed in any of the communist
states. Within a year, Solidarity
swept across Poland and had about
one crore members.  Revelations of
widespread corruption and
mismanagement in the government
made matters worse for the
rulers. The government, led by
General Jaruzelski, grew anxious
and imposed martial law in
December 1981. Thousands of
Solidarity members were put in
prison. Freedom to organise, protest
and express opinions was once
again taken away.
Another wave of strikes, again
organised by Solidarity, began in
1988. This time the Polish
government was weaker, the
support from Soviet Union uncertain
and the economy was in decline.
Another round of negotiations with
Walesa resulted in an agreement in
April 1989 for free elections. Solidarity
contested all the 100 seats of the
Senate and won 99 of them. In
October 1990, Poland had its first
presidential elections in which more
than one party could contest. Walesa
was elected President of Poland.
ACTIVITY
? Locate Poland on the map. Write down the
names of the countries that surround it.
? Which other East European countries were
ruled by communist parties in the 1980s?
Shade them on the map.
? Make a list of political activities that you could
not have done in Poland in 1980s but you can
do in our country.
T T T T Tw w w w wo F o F o F o F o Fea ea ea ea eatur tur tur tur tures of D es of D es of D es of D es of Democr emocr emocr emocr emocrac ac ac ac acy y y y y
We have read two different kinds of
real life stories. The story from Chile
was of a democratic government led
by Allende being replaced by a non-
democratic military government of
Pinochet, followed by restoration of
democracy. In Poland we tracked the
transition from a non-democratic
government to a democratic
government.
Let us compare the two non-
democratic governments in these
stories. There were many differences
between Pinochet’s rule in Chile and
the communist rule in Poland. Chile
was ruled by a military dictator,
while Poland was ruled by a political
party. The government of Poland
claimed that it was ruling on behalf
of the working classes. Pinochet
made no such claim and openly
favoured big capitalists. Yet both
had some common features:
Why was an
independent trade
union so important
in Poland? Why are
trade unions
necessary?
Read More
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