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Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes - Power sharing

Introduction

Democracy and necessity of power-sharing among three organs i.e., legislature, executive and judiciary for working of the government.

Power-sharing in Belgium and Sri Lanka

Belgium

  • Complex ethnic composition - 59% in Flemish region (Dutch language), 40 per cent in Wallonia region (French language), 1 per cent German language
  • In Brussels 80 per cent speak French, 20 per cent Dutch
  • French-speaking rich and powerful
  • The tension between Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities

Sri Lanka

Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes - Power sharing

  • Diverse population - Sinhala- speaking 74%, Tamil-speaking 18%
  • Sinhala-speaking people - mostly Buddhist but Tamil-speaking Hindus or Muslims
  • Christians 7 per cent.

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

The situation in Sri Lanka and Belgium almost similar but what happened — different in two countries

Sri Lanka

  • Sinhala’s majority in the govt, and adoption of majoritarian measures to establish their supremacy
  • Act of 1956- Sinhala as the only official language
  • Preferential policies
  • To protect and foster Buddhism
  • Result - Distrust and conflict between two communities; feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils, denial of equal rights, strained relations and struggles for regional autonomy but denial and ultimately a Civil War
  • Terrible set back to social, cultural and economic life
  • End of struggle in 2009

Accommodation in Belgium

Policy of accommodation -

  • An equal number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers in central government
  • State govt, not subordinate to the centre
  • Community government
  • In Brussels a separate govt, with equal representation for both communities
  • Results - No civic strife between two major communities and no division on linguistic lines
  • Headquarters of European Union

Why power sharing is desirable?

Two reasons - prudential and moral reasons

  • Prudential reason to reduce conflicts between social groups. It ensures the stability of political order. It prevents unfair use of authority by the majority and thus helps in the integration of the country.
  • Moral reasons - Power sharing is the essence or the spirit of democracy and has better outcomes. A legitimate government is one in which the citizens have a stake in the functioning of the government through participation.


    Forms of power-sharing
  • Among different organs of government i.e., horizontal distribution of power, the balance of power among various institutions. eg. India

Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes - Power sharing

  • Among government at different levels i.e., central and state government.
  • Among different social groups i.e., religious and linguistic groups, an example of community government, in Belgium.
  • Influence of political parties, pressure groups and movements on those in power.
The document Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes - Power sharing is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes - Power sharing

1. What is power-sharing in the context of political systems?
Ans. Power-sharing refers to the distribution of political power among different groups or institutions within a society. It is a mechanism designed to ensure that no single group or individual holds absolute power and that different sections of society have a say in the decision-making process.
2. How does power-sharing work in Belgium and Sri Lanka?
Ans. In Belgium, power-sharing is based on a system of consociationalism, where political power is divided among the major linguistic and regional groups. This includes the allocation of seats in the parliament and government positions to representatives from different communities. In Sri Lanka, power-sharing has been a contentious issue due to the ethnic conflict between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil communities. The country has experienced a majoritarian system, where power is concentrated in the hands of the majority community, leading to tensions and conflicts.
3. What is majoritarianism and how does it relate to power-sharing?
Ans. Majoritarianism is a political ideology or system that emphasizes the dominance of the majority community or group in decision-making and policy formulation. It often disregards the interests and concerns of minority communities and can lead to the marginalization or exclusion of these groups. Majoritarianism stands in contrast to power-sharing, which aims to include and accommodate diverse groups in the political process.
4. How does Belgium accommodate power-sharing between linguistic and regional groups?
Ans. Belgium accommodates power-sharing between linguistic and regional groups through a system of federalism. The country is divided into three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. Each region has its own government and parliament, with powers devolved to them. Additionally, there are linguistic communities, such as the Flemish and French-speaking communities, which have their own institutions and decision-making bodies.
5. Why is power-sharing desirable in a political system?
Ans. Power-sharing is desirable in a political system for several reasons: 1. Inclusive decision-making: Power-sharing allows for the inclusion of diverse perspectives and ensures that different sections of society have a voice in the decision-making process. 2. Conflict prevention: By accommodating the interests of different groups, power-sharing can help prevent conflicts and tensions that arise from the marginalization or exclusion of certain communities. 3. Stability and governance: Power-sharing mechanisms can contribute to political stability by promoting cooperation and consensus-building among different groups. It also helps in effective governance by ensuring that decisions are made after considering the interests of all stakeholders. 4. Protection of minority rights: Power-sharing can safeguard the rights and interests of minority communities, preventing their marginalization and ensuring their participation in the political process. 5. Nation-building: Power-sharing can contribute to the process of nation-building by fostering a sense of inclusivity and shared governance among different communities. It helps in building trust and strengthening social cohesion within a country.
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