Q.1. How can religion influence politics?
Q.2. What is communal politics?
How does communalism create problems in politics?
(i) When one uses religion in politics, it is communal politics. It creates problems when one sees religion as the basis of the nation.
(ii) When one religion considers itself superior to other religions.
(iii) When there is discrimination against the followers of the other religion.
(iv) When state power is used to help one religion to dominate other religious groups and;
(v) When the demands of one religious group are in opposition to others.
Q.3. What are the effects of communalism on politics?
(i) Political parties are formed on communal basis — Muslim League, Akali Dal, the Hindu Mahasabha, the DMK are some examples.
(ii) Religion rather than ability becomes the criteria to choose candidates for elections.
(iii) People prefer to cast votes in favour of candidates of their own religion.
(iv) Communalism can turn ugly and lead to violence, massacre and riots.
Q.4. What is secularism? Mention any four provisions of the Indian Constitution which makes it a secular state.
Ans. Secularism means all religions are given the same respect and there is no state religion.
(i) No religion has a special status.
(ii) Freedom to practice, profess and propagate one’s religion is allowed by the Constitution.
(iii) No discrimination of any kind is allowed on religious grounds.
(iv) ‘Untouchability’ is banned.
Q.5. Has caste disappeared from India?
Ans. No. The following points prove the fact
(i) Even now people marry in their own caste.
(ii) Untouchability is still practised in many parts of India.
(iii) The caste groups which had better education are still ahead of other caste groups.
Q.6. Why is it necessary to have secularism in India?
Ans. India is a land of many religions and it has led to communalism in India. In fact, one of the results of communalism was partition of India into two nations. It was a challenge for Indian democracy and they chose a secular state as a model. Several constitutional provisions were made to secure secularism in India. It was not just an ideology of some party or people. Secularism is the basis, one of the foundations, of our country. To avoid the threat of communalism, secularism was chosen.
Q.7. When does the problem of communalism begin?
Ans. The problem of communalism begins when religion is seen as the basis of the nation. The problem becomes more acute when religion is expressed in politics in exclusive and partisan terms, when one religion and its followers are pitted against another. This happens when the beliefs of one religion are presented as superior to those of other religions, and when the state power is used to establish domination of one religious group over the rest.
Q.8. Which factors have led to weakening of caste hierarchy in India?
Ans. Caste hierarchy in India is weakening due to number of reasons :
(i) Efforts of social reformers like Gandhiji, Periyar, Jyotiba Phule etc. did the starting part of establishing a society in which caste inequalities are absent.
(ii) It has also weakened due to economic development, large-scale urbanisation, growth of literacy and education, occupational mobility, and the weakening of the position of landlords in the villages.
Q.9. Do you agree with the view that casteism has not disappeared from Indian society? Discuss. [HOTS]
Ans. Although the old barriers of caste system are breaking down, but still casteism continues to be there in the Indian society.
(i) Even now most people marry within their own caste or tribe
(ii) Untouchability has not ended completely.
(iii) Effects of centuries of advantages and disadvantages continue to be felt today.
Q.10. Do the ‘caste’ and ‘vote bank’ factors completely control the elections in India?[HOTS]
Ans. There is an impression that elections in India are all about caste and nothing else. But it is also true that ‘caste’ and ‘vote bank’ factors alone cannot determine elections in India due to the following reasons :
(i) No single caste is ever elected with a clear majority in any parliamentary constituency. So votes of more than one caste is required to win the election for any candidate or party.
(ii) Many political parties may put up candidates from the same caste. Some voters have more than one candidate from their caste, while many voters have no candidate from their caste.
(iii) No party wins the votes of all the voters of a caste or community.