CBSE, Class X, Democratic Politics - II (Political Science)
Chapter 1 POWER SHARING
NCERT Textbook (Important Exercise Questions only)
Q.1: What are the different forms of power sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these.
Ans: The different forms of power sharing in modern democracies are:
Horizontal Division of Power
It is the sharing of power among the different organs of government, for example, power sharing by the executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. In this type of power sharing arrangement, different organs of government, placed at the same level, exercised different powers. Such a separation ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power, thereby putting a check on each other.
Vertical Division of Power
It is a system of power sharing among governments at different levels. For example, a general government for the entire country and governments at provincial or regional levels. In India, we refer to it as the Central Government, State Governments, Municipality, Gram Panchayat etc. The Constitution lays down the powers of different levels of government.
Division of Power among different Social Groups
Power can also be shared among different groups which differ socially like different religious and linguistic groups. ‘Community Government’ in Belgium is a good example of this type of power sharing. The system of reserved constituencies in India is another example. Such an arrangement is used to give minority communities a fair share in power, who otherwise would feel alienated from the government.
Division of Power among Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Movements
In contemporary democracies such a division takes the form of competition among different parties, which in turn ensures that power does not remain in one hand and is shared among different political parties representing different ideologies and social groups.
Q.2: State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power sharing with an example from the Indian context.
Ans: Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. The prudential reason for power sharing is that it helps to maintain harmony among all social groups and thus, ensure political stability of the country. In India, seats have been reserved in Legislature for the socially weaker sections keeping in mind this prudential reason for power sharing.
The moral reason emphasizes the very act of power sharing as valuable. In a truly democratic setup, the citizens too have a stake in governance. In India the citizens can come together to debate and criticize the policies and decisions of the government. This in turn, puts pressure on the government to rethink its policies and reconsider its decisions. This active political participation is in keeping with the moral reason for power sharing.
Q.3: After reading this chapter, three students drew different conclusions [see the conclusion/statement in textbook exercise]. Which of these do you agree with and why? Give your reasons in about 50 words.
Ans: Among the above three conclusions Ouseph’s statement is most logical, and so, I agree with his conclusion that every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions. A democratic society is one where its members or citizens through participation acquire a stake in the system. Power sharing not only prevents conflict between various groups in the society but it also generates a sense of belongingness among them to the society. Power sharing helps to maintain a balance of power among various institutions and also keep a check on how it is exercised. Irrespective of the size of a country or the type of a society, people will be more satisfied where they have a say in the functioning and decision making processes of the system.
Q.4: The Mayor of Mrchtem, a town near Brussels in Belgium, has defended a ban on speaking French in the town’s schools. He said that a ban would help all non-Dutch speakers integrate in this Flemish town. Do you think that this measure is in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power sharing arrangements? Give your reasons in about 50 words.
Ans: This measure is not in keeping with Belgium’s power sharing arrangements. The arrangements seek to maintain peace between the French and Dutch-speaking communities. By banning French, the mayor will cause civil unrest and dissatisfaction among many. In stead, both the languages should be made acceptable in the town’s schools. This bilingual education system could be a better way to integrate the people of the town.: