NCERT Textbook - Why Do We Need Parliament? Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters

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UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Why Do We Need Parliament? Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Social and Political Life 28
Unit Two
2015-16
Page 2


Social and Political Life 28
Unit Two
2015-16
29
Teacher’s Note
This is a continuation of the theme of government that has already been dealt with in the Class
VI and VII textbooks. Hence, a recap of ideas is important especially those related to elections,
representation and participation. These ideas can be made more clear to students through bringing
in actual examples into the classroom. Newspaper and TV reports could be used to facilitate this.
Chapter 3 discusses some of the functions of Parliament. The ways in which these connect to the
idea of parliamentary democracy need to be emphasised. Hence it is important to explain the
critical role played by citizens and allow students to air views regarding this. At times students
might be cynical about the political process and your role as a teacher is not to dismiss or agree
with this cynicism but rather redirect it towards what the Constitution intends.
Chapter 4 is on understanding laws. Children have little exposure to laws. Therefore, they
would require more examples from a familiar context. It is through this they can figure out
that laws are meant to apply in an equitable manner. The chapter begins by discussing how
this rule of law emerged and the ways in which the nationalists opposed the arbitrariness of
British laws.
The storyboard contained in Chapter 4 portrays how a new law comes into being. The focus of
this storyboard is not on the processes within Parliament. In contrast, the storyboard highlights
the important role that people play in transforming an urgent social issue into law. In addition
to the law already highlighted, it would be good to discuss another example of a new/contemplated
law so that students can relate to the role of people in bringing this about.
The chapter ends with a section on unpopular laws. These refer to laws that often restrict the
Fundamental Rights of certain populations. History provides us with examples of several groups
that protest what they view as unjust laws. Bring in these examples into the classroom to
discuss how a law can be unpopular. Allow students to research more examples in the Indian
context and debate these in the classroom using the Fundamental Rights listed in Chapter 1 as
their yardstick.
Parliament and
The Making of Laws
2015-16
Page 3


Social and Political Life 28
Unit Two
2015-16
29
Teacher’s Note
This is a continuation of the theme of government that has already been dealt with in the Class
VI and VII textbooks. Hence, a recap of ideas is important especially those related to elections,
representation and participation. These ideas can be made more clear to students through bringing
in actual examples into the classroom. Newspaper and TV reports could be used to facilitate this.
Chapter 3 discusses some of the functions of Parliament. The ways in which these connect to the
idea of parliamentary democracy need to be emphasised. Hence it is important to explain the
critical role played by citizens and allow students to air views regarding this. At times students
might be cynical about the political process and your role as a teacher is not to dismiss or agree
with this cynicism but rather redirect it towards what the Constitution intends.
Chapter 4 is on understanding laws. Children have little exposure to laws. Therefore, they
would require more examples from a familiar context. It is through this they can figure out
that laws are meant to apply in an equitable manner. The chapter begins by discussing how
this rule of law emerged and the ways in which the nationalists opposed the arbitrariness of
British laws.
The storyboard contained in Chapter 4 portrays how a new law comes into being. The focus of
this storyboard is not on the processes within Parliament. In contrast, the storyboard highlights
the important role that people play in transforming an urgent social issue into law. In addition
to the law already highlighted, it would be good to discuss another example of a new/contemplated
law so that students can relate to the role of people in bringing this about.
The chapter ends with a section on unpopular laws. These refer to laws that often restrict the
Fundamental Rights of certain populations. History provides us with examples of several groups
that protest what they view as unjust laws. Bring in these examples into the classroom to
discuss how a law can be unpopular. Allow students to research more examples in the Indian
context and debate these in the classroom using the Fundamental Rights listed in Chapter 1 as
their yardstick.
Parliament and
The Making of Laws
2015-16
Social and Political Life 30
Chapter 3
We in India pride ourselves on being a democracy.
Here we will try and understand the relation between
the ideas of participation in decision-making and
the need for all democratic governments to have the
consent of their citizens.
It is these elements that together make us a
democracy and this is best expressed in the institution
of the Parliament. In this chapter, we will try to see
how the Parliament enables citizens of India to
participate in decision making and control the
government, thus making it the most important
symbol of Indian democracy and a key feature of
the Constitution.
Why Do We Need a Parliament?
2015-16
Page 4


Social and Political Life 28
Unit Two
2015-16
29
Teacher’s Note
This is a continuation of the theme of government that has already been dealt with in the Class
VI and VII textbooks. Hence, a recap of ideas is important especially those related to elections,
representation and participation. These ideas can be made more clear to students through bringing
in actual examples into the classroom. Newspaper and TV reports could be used to facilitate this.
Chapter 3 discusses some of the functions of Parliament. The ways in which these connect to the
idea of parliamentary democracy need to be emphasised. Hence it is important to explain the
critical role played by citizens and allow students to air views regarding this. At times students
might be cynical about the political process and your role as a teacher is not to dismiss or agree
with this cynicism but rather redirect it towards what the Constitution intends.
Chapter 4 is on understanding laws. Children have little exposure to laws. Therefore, they
would require more examples from a familiar context. It is through this they can figure out
that laws are meant to apply in an equitable manner. The chapter begins by discussing how
this rule of law emerged and the ways in which the nationalists opposed the arbitrariness of
British laws.
The storyboard contained in Chapter 4 portrays how a new law comes into being. The focus of
this storyboard is not on the processes within Parliament. In contrast, the storyboard highlights
the important role that people play in transforming an urgent social issue into law. In addition
to the law already highlighted, it would be good to discuss another example of a new/contemplated
law so that students can relate to the role of people in bringing this about.
The chapter ends with a section on unpopular laws. These refer to laws that often restrict the
Fundamental Rights of certain populations. History provides us with examples of several groups
that protest what they view as unjust laws. Bring in these examples into the classroom to
discuss how a law can be unpopular. Allow students to research more examples in the Indian
context and debate these in the classroom using the Fundamental Rights listed in Chapter 1 as
their yardstick.
Parliament and
The Making of Laws
2015-16
Social and Political Life 30
Chapter 3
We in India pride ourselves on being a democracy.
Here we will try and understand the relation between
the ideas of participation in decision-making and
the need for all democratic governments to have the
consent of their citizens.
It is these elements that together make us a
democracy and this is best expressed in the institution
of the Parliament. In this chapter, we will try to see
how the Parliament enables citizens of India to
participate in decision making and control the
government, thus making it the most important
symbol of Indian democracy and a key feature of
the Constitution.
Why Do We Need a Parliament?
2015-16
31
India, as we know, became independent on 15 August 1947.
Preceding this was a long and difficult struggle in which
many sections of society participated. People from various
backgrounds joined the struggle and they were inspired by
the ideas of freedom, equality and participation in decision–
making. Under colonial rule, the people had lived in fear
of the British government and did not agree with many of
the decisions that they took. But they faced grave danger if
they tried to criticise these decisions. The freedom
movement changed this situation. The nationalists began
to openly criticise the British government and make
demands. As far back as 1885, the Indian National Congress
demanded that there be elected members in the legislature
with a right to discuss the budget and ask questions. The
Government of India Act 1909, allowed for some elected
representation. While these early legislatures under the
British government were in response to the growing
demands of the nationalists, they did not allow for all adults
to vote nor could people participate in decision making.
As you read in Chapter 1, the experience of colonial rule as
well as the participation of different people in the struggle
for freedom left little doubt in the minds of the nationalists
that all persons in independent India would be able to
participate in making decisions. With the coming of
independence, we were going to be citizens of a free
country. This did not mean that the government could do
what it felt like, it meant that the government had to be
sensitive to people’s needs and demands. The dreams and
aspirations of the freedom struggle were made concrete in
the Constitution of independent India that laid down the
principle of universal adult franchise, i.e. that all adult
citizens of the country have the right to vote.
Why should People Decide?
Why Do We Need a
Parliament?
What do you think the artist
is trying to convey through
the image of Parliament on
the previous page?
The above photo shows a voter reading
instructions on how to use an Electronic Voting
Machine (EVM). EVMs were used throughout
the country for the first time in the 2004
general elections. The use of EVMs in 2004
saved around 1,50,000 trees which would
have been cut to produce about 8,000 tons of
paper for printing the ballot papers.
Chapter 3: Why Do We Need a Parliament?
2015-16
Page 5


Social and Political Life 28
Unit Two
2015-16
29
Teacher’s Note
This is a continuation of the theme of government that has already been dealt with in the Class
VI and VII textbooks. Hence, a recap of ideas is important especially those related to elections,
representation and participation. These ideas can be made more clear to students through bringing
in actual examples into the classroom. Newspaper and TV reports could be used to facilitate this.
Chapter 3 discusses some of the functions of Parliament. The ways in which these connect to the
idea of parliamentary democracy need to be emphasised. Hence it is important to explain the
critical role played by citizens and allow students to air views regarding this. At times students
might be cynical about the political process and your role as a teacher is not to dismiss or agree
with this cynicism but rather redirect it towards what the Constitution intends.
Chapter 4 is on understanding laws. Children have little exposure to laws. Therefore, they
would require more examples from a familiar context. It is through this they can figure out
that laws are meant to apply in an equitable manner. The chapter begins by discussing how
this rule of law emerged and the ways in which the nationalists opposed the arbitrariness of
British laws.
The storyboard contained in Chapter 4 portrays how a new law comes into being. The focus of
this storyboard is not on the processes within Parliament. In contrast, the storyboard highlights
the important role that people play in transforming an urgent social issue into law. In addition
to the law already highlighted, it would be good to discuss another example of a new/contemplated
law so that students can relate to the role of people in bringing this about.
The chapter ends with a section on unpopular laws. These refer to laws that often restrict the
Fundamental Rights of certain populations. History provides us with examples of several groups
that protest what they view as unjust laws. Bring in these examples into the classroom to
discuss how a law can be unpopular. Allow students to research more examples in the Indian
context and debate these in the classroom using the Fundamental Rights listed in Chapter 1 as
their yardstick.
Parliament and
The Making of Laws
2015-16
Social and Political Life 30
Chapter 3
We in India pride ourselves on being a democracy.
Here we will try and understand the relation between
the ideas of participation in decision-making and
the need for all democratic governments to have the
consent of their citizens.
It is these elements that together make us a
democracy and this is best expressed in the institution
of the Parliament. In this chapter, we will try to see
how the Parliament enables citizens of India to
participate in decision making and control the
government, thus making it the most important
symbol of Indian democracy and a key feature of
the Constitution.
Why Do We Need a Parliament?
2015-16
31
India, as we know, became independent on 15 August 1947.
Preceding this was a long and difficult struggle in which
many sections of society participated. People from various
backgrounds joined the struggle and they were inspired by
the ideas of freedom, equality and participation in decision–
making. Under colonial rule, the people had lived in fear
of the British government and did not agree with many of
the decisions that they took. But they faced grave danger if
they tried to criticise these decisions. The freedom
movement changed this situation. The nationalists began
to openly criticise the British government and make
demands. As far back as 1885, the Indian National Congress
demanded that there be elected members in the legislature
with a right to discuss the budget and ask questions. The
Government of India Act 1909, allowed for some elected
representation. While these early legislatures under the
British government were in response to the growing
demands of the nationalists, they did not allow for all adults
to vote nor could people participate in decision making.
As you read in Chapter 1, the experience of colonial rule as
well as the participation of different people in the struggle
for freedom left little doubt in the minds of the nationalists
that all persons in independent India would be able to
participate in making decisions. With the coming of
independence, we were going to be citizens of a free
country. This did not mean that the government could do
what it felt like, it meant that the government had to be
sensitive to people’s needs and demands. The dreams and
aspirations of the freedom struggle were made concrete in
the Constitution of independent India that laid down the
principle of universal adult franchise, i.e. that all adult
citizens of the country have the right to vote.
Why should People Decide?
Why Do We Need a
Parliament?
What do you think the artist
is trying to convey through
the image of Parliament on
the previous page?
The above photo shows a voter reading
instructions on how to use an Electronic Voting
Machine (EVM). EVMs were used throughout
the country for the first time in the 2004
general elections. The use of EVMs in 2004
saved around 1,50,000 trees which would
have been cut to produce about 8,000 tons of
paper for printing the ballot papers.
Chapter 3: Why Do We Need a Parliament?
2015-16
Social and Political Life 32
People and their Representatives
The take-off point for a democracy is the idea of consent, i.e.
the desire, approval and participation of people. It is the
decision of people that creates a democratic government and
decides about its functioning. The basic idea in this kind of
democracy is that the individual or the citizen is the most
important person and that in principle the government as well
as other public institutions need to have the trust of these
citizens.
How does the individual give approval to the government? One
way of doing so, as you read, is through elections. People would
elect their representatives to the Parliament, then, one group
from among these elected r epresentatives forms the gov ernment.
The P arliament, which is made up of all representativ es together,
controls and guides the government. In this sense people, through
their chosen representatives, form the government and also
control it.
Give one reason why you think
there should be universal adult
franchise.
Do you think there would be
any difference if the class
monitor was selected by the
teacher or elected by the
students? Discuss.
This photo shows election staff using an
elephant to carry polling material and EVMs to
polling stations located in difficult terrain.
2015-16
Read More
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