Short Answer Questions
Q.1. “Democracy is a better form of government.” Support the statement with three arguments. 
Why do people prefer democracy? Explain with four reasons. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. People prefer democracy because :
(i) People are their own masters. In a democracy, every individual has a right to vote and choose his representatives in the government. The government is of the people and the laws are made by the people (or the representatives chosen) in the government. Laws are made to protect the liberty and freedom of the people.
(ii) In a democracy, no particular religion, region, race or language is given special preference. All individuals are given equal rights and freedom, and there is no discrimination.
(iii) The government is not by force. The opposition parties are allowed to criticise the government.
(iv) Since every individual is given equal rights, there is less danger of conflicts in society. There are less conflicts based on caste, religion or region and less social tensions in society. In politics, dignity of the individual is cared for.
Q.2. How does democracy lead to peaceful and harmonious life among citizens? Explain. [2011 (T-2)]
(i) Democracies accommodate various social divisions. For example, Belgium has peacefully solved her ethnic problems and solved the differences.
(ii) All democracies usually develop a procedure to conduct competition, i.e. conduct elections, power-sharing, etc. This reduces the possibility of tensions, due to social divisions, turning violent or explosive.
(iii) Democracy teaches people to respect the differences and resolve conflicts among different groups peacefully. In non-democratic countries, rulers either turn a blind eye to or suppress internal differences. For example, Sri Lanka. The plus point in democratic regime is the ability to handle social differences, divisions and conflicts.
(iv) A democracy is not just a rule by majority opinion. The majority always needs to work with the minority so that the government represents the general view.
(v) A democratic government ensures that the rule by the majority does not become autocratic in terms of religion, race or linguistic group etc. It tries that in case of every election, different persons and groups can form a majority. It tries to see that every citizen has a chance to be in majority at some point of time and is not barred on the basis of birth. All these things ensured by a democratic regime lead to a peaceful and harmonious life.
Q.3. What are the differences between democratic and non-democratic governments in the decision making process? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The decision making process of the non-democratic rulers is very quick. They are also efficient in decision making and even in the implementation of the decisions. This all happens because non-democratic rulers do not have to bother about deliberation in assemblies or about the public opinion.
On the other hand, democratic form of government is based on deliberation and negotiation. This causes the process slow. They followed procedures, their decisions may be more acceptable to the people and are more effective.
Q.4. How do political parties shape public opinion? Explain with three examples. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Political parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues. They have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country. Many of the pressure groups are the extensions of political parties among different sections of society. Political parties sometimes also launch movements for resolving the problems faced by people. Often opinion in the society crystallise on the lines parties take.
Q.5. ‘‘There is lack of internal democracy within the political parties.’’ Justify the statement with three arguments. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. There is lack of internal democracy within parties. All parties having tendency that there is only one or few leaders should be at top to grab the power. They do not have check on membership registers. They do not call organisational meetings neither they conduct internal elections regularly. Not all the members of the party have information regarding internal party matters. The ordinary member of the party do not have the means or the connections needed to influence the decisions. Every decision of the party is taken only by few leaders in the name of party.
Q.6. ‘‘Most negative feature of democracy is that its examination never gets over.” Support the statement with three arguments. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The working sphere of democracy –
(i) Promote equality among citizens
(ii) Enhance the dignity of the individual
(iii) Improve the quality of decision making
(iv) Provide a method to resolve conflict.
Democracy is also having the fields of work are – social situations, economic achievement and the culture of the nation. It have great responsibilities, huge working area and the high population. So whatever work is done by democracy seems to be very small in terms of problems. That’s why it is said that the most negative feature of democracy is that its examination never gets over.
Q.7. What is the main outcome of democracy with reference to reduction of inequality and poverty? Give any two arguments to support your answer. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Democracies are based on political equality. All individuals have equal right in electing representatives. Parallel to the process of bringing individuals into the political arena on an equal footing, find growing economic inequalities. A few number of rich enjoy a highly disproportionate share of wealth and incomes. Not only that, their share in the total income of the country has been increasing. Those at the bottom of the society have very little to depend upon. Their incomes have been declining and sometimes they find it difficult to meet their basic needs of life such as food, clothing, house, education and health.
Q.8. Why is a democratic government considered better than dictatorship ? Explain any three reasons. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Democratic government is legitimate government. It may be slow, less efficient, not always very responsive or clean but a democratic government is people’s own government. This is not true in case of dictatorship.
In a democratic government citizens have fundamental rights and duties but in dictatorship it is not so.
In a democratic form of government, the decision making process is slow. Because it is follow by the procedures and its decisions are more acceptable to the people. This is not seen in the dictatorship type of government.
Q.9. Examine any three features on the basis of which maximum number of countries claim to practise democratic politics ? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. When any country follows this pattern, then they are able to claim to practise democratic politics.
(i) Elections are held at regular intervals and are fair and free.
(ii) Freedom of speech, expression and thought is another feature of democracy.
(iii) The dignity of the individual is recognised.
Q.10. ‘‘In actual life, democracies do not appear to be very successful in reducing economic inequalities.’’ Support this statement giving three arguments. [2011 (T-2)]
Do democracies lead to a just distribution of goods and services. Justify your answer. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Democracies are based on political equality. All citizens have equal right in electing representatives. This is not so in the economic field. Economic equality come by the equitable distribution of wealth, but this is not true in democracy. The poor are becoming poorer and sometimes they find difficult even to meet the basic needs of life like food, shelter, health and education.
Long Answer Questions
Q.1. Explain any four features that are common in all democratic set-ups of the government. 
i) In a democracy, elections are held at regular intervals and are fair and free.
(ii) A democracy has a multi-party system and elections are held on the basis of universal adult franchise.
(iii) Freedom of speech, expression and thought is another feature of democracy. The media also helps in building a sound public opinion.
(iv) Democracy gives to its citizens a sound political system based on social equality.
(v) Another feature of a democracy is a strong opposition which keeps in check, the ruling party or the government.
(vi) Besides these, we also know how in a democracy, the dignity of the individual is recognised and one can correct one’s mistakes in a democracy and avoid conflicts.
Q.2. How are complaints treated as testimony to the success of democracy? Explain with four facts. 
“The fact that people are complaining is itself a testimony to the success of democracy.” Justify the statement with three points. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Expectations from democracy also function as a criteria for judging any democratic country. People’s complaints in democracy is itself a testimony to its success as it shows that people have developed awareness and the ability to expect and look critically at powerholders and the high and mighty. Examples of complaint of the following type can prove the point :
(i) Democracy sets up slow and inefficient government.
(ii) It is unsuccessful in reducing economic exploitation.
(iii) It is not free of the evil of corruption.
(iv) It is not able to end social discrimination. There are still caste-based inequalities and atrocities, although they lack moral and legal foundations. In all these cases, complaints are there, but so are the efforts made to attack them.