Q. 1. “Democracy is becoming the first choice of the people of South Asia.” Justify the statement.
Ans. Following points justify the given statement :
(i) Despite the mixed record of the democratic experience, the people in all the countries of South Asia share the aspiration for democracy.
(ii) Surveys in SAARC countries show that there is widespread support for democracy everywhere.
(iii) Ordinary citizens view the idea of democracy positively and support the institutions of representative democracy.
(iv) The people think that democracy is most suited for their country.
(v) According to some, democracy could flourish and find support only to prosperous countries of the world.
Q. 2. Mention any four countries of South Asia. Highlight the political system of any of these two countries.
Ans. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal are four countries of South Asia. In India, there is a democracy. People choose their representatives to form government here.
Every fifth year the elections take place. People of eighteen years or above have right to vote. We have universal adult franchise in India. The democracy is going well and doing well in India since its establishment. The Maldives was a Sultanate till 1968, when it was transformed into a republic with presidential form of government. In June 2005, the Parliament of the Maldives voted unanimously to introduce a multiparty system. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), dominates the political affairs of the island.
Democracy strengthened in the Maldives after the 2005 elections when some opposition parties were legalised.
Q. 3. Identify the factors that contributed to Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy?
Describe any two factors responsible for Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy.
Ans. The following factors are responsible for Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy:
(a) The lack of genuine international support for a democratic rule in Pakistan has encouraged to military to continue its dominance.
(b) The US and other countries have also supported military rule due to fulfilment of their own interests. Global Islamic terrorism and their apprehension that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal might fall into hands of these terrorist groups, the military regime in Pakistan was
seen as the protector of Western interests in West Asia and South Asia.
(c) Pakistan’s conflict with India has made promilitary groups more powerful which have often said that political parties and democracy in Pakistan are flawed that Pakistan’s security would be harmed by selfish minded parties and chaotic democracy, hence army stay in power is justified.
(d) The social dominance of military, clergy and landowning aristocracy has led to frequent overthrow of elected government and the establishing of military governments.
Q. 4. State circumstances which were responsible for a full-scale war between India and Pakistan on the issue of liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971.
Ans. Circumstances which were responsible for a fullscale war between India and Pakistan on the issue of liberation of Bangladesh in Dec-1971 :
(i) U nder military rule of General Yahya Khan, the Pakistan army tried to support the mass movement of the Bengali police.
(ii) This led to large-scale migration into India.
(iii) The government of India supported the demand of the people of East Pakistan for their independence.
(iv) The government of India helped them financially and militarily. This resulted in a war between India and Pakistan in December, 1971.
Q. 5. List three challenges to democracy in Nepal.
Ans. Following are the three challenges to democracy in Nepal :
(i) The monarchist forces
(ii) The democrats
(iii) The Maoists
Q. 6. State the political setup of Nepal.
Ans. Nepal was a Hindu kingdom in the past and then a constitutional monarchy in the modern period for the last many years. Recently, it has been declared as a democratic country.
Q. 7. Who led the non-violent movement in Nepal?
Ans. The non-violent movement was led by the Seven Party Alliance, the Maoists and the social activists.
Q. 8. What is LTTE? What are its demands?
Ans. From 1983 onwards, the militant organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been fighting an armed struggle with the army of Sri Lanka and demanding ‘Tamil Eelam’ or a separate country for the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
Q. 9. Name the principal players in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. How do you assess the prospects of the resolution of this conflict?
Ans. The principal players involved in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalas and Tamils who had migrated from India to Sri Lanka and settled there. This migration continued even after independence. The Sinhala nationalists thought that Sri Lanka should not give ‘concessions’ to the Tamils because Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhala people only. The Sri Lankan crisis continues to be violent. But there is always a ray of hope. Both the communities should be regarded as the citizens of the country. Both the communities should work for the development of the country. The prospect of the resolution of this conflict is bright.
Q. 10. What led to the formation of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka? What role has India played in checking this militancy?
Ans. After its independence in 1948, politics in Sri Lanka was dominated by forces that represented the interest of the majority Sinhala community. Sinhala were hostile to a large number of Tamils who had migrated from India to Sri Lanka and settled there. The neglect of Tamil concerns led to militant Tamil nationalism. From 1983 onwards, the militant organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been fighting an armed struggle with the army of Sri Lanka and demanding ‘Tamil Eelam’ or a separate country for the Tamils of Sri Lanka. In 1987, the Indian government got directly involved in the Sri Lankan Tamil question. In 1989, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) pulled out of Sri Lanka without attaining its objective.
Q. 11. Suggest any one measure to improve Indo–Pak ties in the current scenario.
Ans. One measure to improve Indo–Pak ties in the current scenario can be –
(i) Leaders can meet at summits to create better understanding.
(ii) Social activists and prominent personalities can collaborate to create an atmosphere of friendship.
Q. 12. Is there a possibility of nuclear war between India and Pakistan?
Ans. After testing nuclear explosion, India and Pakistan seem to have built a military relationship in which the possibility of a direct and full-scale war was declined.
Q. 13. Suggest any two measures to have good relations with Pakistan.
Ans. Suggested measures : (i) Cultural exchanges by prominent personalities.
(ii) Economic co-operation should be encouraged by both the countries.
(iii) Movement of citizens to interact and understand each other.
Q. 14. How have been relationships between India and Pakistan during 1947 to 1971?
Ans. Soon after independence, India and Pakistan got embroiled in a conflict over the fate of Kashmir. Wars between India and Pakistan in 1947– 48 and 1965 failed to settle the matter. In 1971, India won a decisive war against Pakistan, but the Kashmir issue remained unsettled.
Q. 15. Mention some of the recent agreements between India and Pakistan. Can we be sure that the two countries are well on their way to a friendly relationship?
Ans. Following are some recent agreements between India and Pakistan :
(i) Both the countries have agreed to take steps to decrease the possibility of war.
(ii) Both the countries have agreed to respect the borders of each other.
(iii) Bus services have been introduced.
(iv) Treaty for cultural exchange has also been signed.
Q. 16. Mention two areas each of co-operation and disagreement between India and Bangladesh.
Briefly explain two positive and two negative developments in Indo–Bangladesh relations.
Ans. Two positive and two negative developments in Indo–Bangladesh relations: Two positive developments-
(A) Economic relations have been improved considerably in the last 10 years.
(B) Bangladesh is the part of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ to link up South-east Asia via Myanmar.
(C) Both the countries have co-operated regularly on the issues of disaster management and environment.
Two negative developments-
(A) Differences over several issues including the sharing of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river waters.
(B) India is unhappy on the issues of denial of Bangladeshi immigrants into Indian territory, its support for the anti–Indian Islamic fundamentalist groups and Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to North-eastern India.
Detailed Answer : Disagreement : (i) Difference over sharing of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river waters. (ii) Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to the northeastern India.
Agreement : (i) Economic relations have improved considerably and Bangladesh is a part of India’s Look East Policy that wants to link up with South-east Asia via Myanmar.
(ii) On disaster management and environmental issues, the two states have co-operated regularly.
Q. 17. India’s neighbours often think that the Indian government tries to dominate and interfere in the domestic affairs of the smaller countries of the region. Is this a correct impression?
Ans. No, this is not a correct impression.
(i) India thinks that there are real economic benefits for all from SAFTA and that a region that trades more freely will be able to cooperate better on political issues.
(ii) Contrarily, India feels exploited by its neighbours.
(iii) India has always helped its neighbours irrespective of its size.
(iv) India always wants political stability in the area to avoid interference from other countries.
Q. 18. Why was SAARC established ?
Ans. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a major regional initiative by the South Asian states to evolve co-operation through multilateral means.
Q. 19. Highlight the main objective of SAARC.
Mention the main objective of SAARC.
Ans. (i) Peace and co-operation: To evolve cooperation through multilateral means.
(ii) To help formulate friendly and harmonious trade relations.
Q. 20. What does SAFTA stand for? What was its main objective?
Ans. SAARC members signed the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia.
Q. 21. Write the full form of SAARC. Mention the names of its two smallest member countries.
Ans. The full form of SAARC is South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation.
Bhutan and Maldives are its two smallest member countries.
Q. 22. Why do the people in the SAARC countries share the aspiration for democracy?
Ans. The SAARC countries share the aspiration for democracy.
(i) Ordinary citizens, rich as well as poor and belonging to different religions, view the idea of democracy positively and support the institutions of representative democracy.
(ii) They prefer democracy over any other form of government and think that democracy is suitable for their country.
(iii) Democracy believes in negotiation and discussions.
(iv) It is transparent and provides freedom of expression and public opinion.