Please refer to Challenges to Democracy Class 10 Social Science notes and questions with solutions below. These revision notes and important examination questions have been prepared based on the latest Social Science books for Class 10. You can go through the questions and solutions below which will help you to get better marks in your examinations.
Class 10 Social Science Challenges to Democracy Notes and Questions
Challenges to Democracy :
The serious challenges that democracy face in a country for smooth running of govt is called challenges. A challenge is not just any problem. We usually call only those difficulties a challenge which are significant and which can be overcome.
Challenges : At least one fourth of global is still not under democratic govt. The challenge for democracy in these parts of the world is very stark. These countries face the foundational challenge of making the transition to democracy and then instituting democratic govt.
– Most of the established democracies face the challenge of expression. This involves applying the basic principles of democratic govt across all the region, different social groups and various institutions.
– Challenge of deepening of democracy is faced by every democracy in one form or another. This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy. They should happen in such a way that people can realise their expectations of democracy.
– Elections are very expensive. The only rich persons can elect elections. The common man can not stand in elections. The govt should minimise the election expenditure. The govt should prepare budget for elections.
Political Reforms in Democracy
All the suggestions or proposals about overcoming various challenges to democracy are called democracy reform or political reform.
– Reforming politics by making new laws.
– Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones.
– Any legal change must carefully look at what results it will have on politics. Sometimes the results may be counter productive. For example, many states have banned people who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections. This has resulted in denial of democratic opportunity to many poor people and women.
– The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms.
– The Right to Information Act is a good example of a law that empowers the people to find out what is happening in govt.
– Democratic reforms are to be brought about principally through political practice.
– Any proposal for political reform should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how.
Question. “A challenge is not just any problem but an opportunity for progress’. Analyse the statement.
The statement indicates that every challenge has an opportunity hidden in it, which can be said to be camouflaged by a problem. As we overcome the problem or the challenge we are able to exploit the opportunity.
Question. Explain the meaning of ‘challenge.’
Challenge can be explained as the difficulty in moving towards an opportunity. It can be a foundational challenge as faced by non- democracies (as they wish to move towards democracy) or challenge of expansion – as faced by established democracies; as they try to provide all the benefits to all the sections of the population.
Question. Explain the meaning of political reforms.
Political reforms are initiatives that are taken to overcome the various challenges in political and social life are called political reforms.
Question. What does the challenge of expansion faced by established democracies involve?
This involves applying the basic principle of democratic governance across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions.
Question. A country holds election to elect people’s representatives to form the government but the elections are not fair. Identify the kind of challenge faced by the people in such a country.
People face the challenge of expansion of democracy.
Question. Which challenge to established democracies ensures more participation of women and minority groups in a democratic country?
The challenge of expansion.
Question. How can you say that democracies are based on political equality?
Democracy gives political equality by granting every individual the right to vote. All citizens have equal rights to influence decision-making and have equal access to political power.
Question. Which one of the following is a better way to carry out political reforms in a democratic country?
(a) Legal changes
(b) Empowerment of people
(c) Constitutional changes
(d) Legislation reforms
(c) Constitutional changes
Question. How would you like to expand the definition of democracy? Explain.
Definition of democracy shall be expanded by adding following features :
(i) The government elected by the people must take all the decisions freely and fairly.
(ii) Elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the current rulers.
(iii) The choice and opportunity should be available to all the people equally.
(iv) The exercise of this choice must lead to a government limited by the basic rules of the constitution and citizen’s rights.
Question. How are the challenges to democracy linked to the possibility of political reforms ? Explain.
Each challenge in democracy is linked to the possibility of reforms. All the countries do not have same challenges.
(i) Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices.
(ii) Democratic reforms are to be carried out by political activists, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
(iii) Political participation by ordinary citizen should be there and without coercion.
(iv) Democratic movements, citizens’s organization and media should play an important role.
(v) Empowerment of people through laws such as RTI.
Question. “A challenge is an opportunity for progress”. Support the statement with your arguments.
A challenge is an opportunity for progress because :
(i) A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress.
(ii) Once we overcome a challenge we go up to a higher level than before.
(iii) Some of the challenges include inequality, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, regionalism, casteism, communalism, etc.
(iv) Legal constitutional changes and the cooperation of the citizen is the need of the hour.
Question. Suggest some broad guidelines that can be kept in mind while devising ways and means for political reforms in India.
Guidelines for political reform :
(i) Any legal change must carefully consider at what result it will have on politics. Sometimes the result may be counter-productive.
(ii) The main focus of political reforms should be on ways to strengthen the democratic practice.
(iii) Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how.
Question. Which three challenges do you feel are being faced by political parties in India? Give your opinion.
The three challenges faced by political parties in India that needs correction are :
(a) Lack of internal democracy
(b) Challenge of dynastic succession
(c) Growing role of money and muscle power
Question. “Most of the established democracies are facing the challenge of expansion.” Support the statement with examples.
Most of the established democracies face the challenge of expansion as it involves applying the principle of democratic government across all regions. This is due to the following reasons:
Expansion of democracy is the logical next step to the foundational challenge and ensures safeguarding of democratic principles at grassroots level.
Expansion of democracy is related to the empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups amongst the population.
It is related to the participation of people in the decision-making process so that the benefits accrue to all sections of society.
Question. “The challenge of deepening of democracy is being faced by every democracy in one form or another.” Support the statement with arguments.
Deepening of democracy :
(i) Deepening of democracy involves strengthening the institutions and the practices of democracy.
(ii) In different societies the ordinary people have different expectations from democracy and it needs to be fulfilled.
(iii) Deepening of democracy needs more of people’s participation and control on the functioning of the leaders.
(iv) The control of rich and powerful people in the making of the governmental decision has to come down.
Question. What type of financial reforms should be brought to strengthen democracy and why?
1. The financial accounts of every political party should be made public. These accounts should be examined by government auditors.
2. There should be state funding of elections. Parties should be given some money by the government to meet their election expenditure.
3. Citizens should be encouraged to give more donations to parties and to political workers not involving cash transaction. Such donations should be exempt from income tax.
4. Most of the political parties are dependent on money given by big business houses. The worry is that the role of money in politics reduces whatever little voice the poor have in our democracy.
Question. “Lack of internal democracy within parties is the major challenge to political parties all over the world.” Analyse the statements.
Lack of internal democracy is a serious issue in Indian democracy.
(i) Tendency in political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top is a problem. This also triggers family hold over the political party.
(ii) Parties do not keep membership records. (iii) They do not hold organizational meetings. (iv) They do not conduct internal elections
(v) Ordinary members of the party do not get sufficient information about the happening in the party.
(vi) Personal loyalty to the leader becomes more important than actual work done.
Question. “Serious efforts were made by the legal organisations to reform political parties in India.” Support the statement.
The reforms that have been made are :
(i) The constitution was amended to prevent elected MLA and MP from changing parties, by bringing anti defection law.
(ii) The Supreme Court had passed an order to reduce the influence of money and criminals. It is now mandatory for candidates to submit an affidavit of pending court cases and the amount of property they own.
(iii) The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organizational elections and file their income tax returns.
Question. “Legal-constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challanges to democracy”. Justify the statement with an example.
There are many challenges to democracy, like economic inequality, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, regional imbalances, casteism, communalism, etc. The Parliament has time and again passed many laws to remove all such hindrances and challenges.There is not a single field which has not been touched and reformed.
But legal challenges alone cannot overcome challenges to democracy.
As there are strict laws against dowry, but still this evil persists and there is not a single day when we do not hear about dowry deaths.
What is required is the cooperation of the citizens, i.e. change in mindset of the citizens. They need to be reasonable, active, cooperative and willing to perform their duties. Legal constitutional changes and the cooperation of the citizens are the need of the hour. Thus, legal constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy.
Question. Explain three foundational challenges faced by democracies.
Foundational challenges faced by democracies are :
(i) Making the transition to democracy from other forms of rule and then instituting democratic government.
(ii) This involves bringing down the existing non democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
(iii) For example : Democratic Government of Nepal.
Question. Explain the challenges faced by countries which do not have a democratic form of government.
(i) These countries face the foundational challenge of making transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government.
(ii) They also face the challenge of bringing down the existing non-democratic regime and keeping the military away from controlling the government.
(ii) Such countries have to make great efforts to establish a sovereign and functional democracy.
Question. Suggest any three political reforms to strengthen democracy.
Some of the reforms to strengthen the working of political parties are as follows :
(i) Anti-defection law, under which a member would be disqualified if he/she goes against the directions of the party.
(ii) Reduction in the influence of money. Cash for votes have been banned by the election commission and anybody involved in the process is likely to be punished.
(iii) It is important for a condidate to file an affidavit giving details of his property and court cases pending against him/her.
(iv) The election commission has made it necessary for political parties to hold their organizational elections and file income tax returns.
(v) There should be a law to ensure internal democracy in political parties. It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates.
Question. What is a democratic reform? Mention a few broad guidelines for devising political reforms in India.
All suggestions or proposals about overcoming various challenges to democracy are called democratic reform or political reform.
Broad guidelines for devising political reforms in
India are :
(i) Legal ways of reforming politics
(ii) The Right to Information Act
(iii) Reforms through political practice
(iv) Implementation of reforms
Question. ‘Legal reforms may sometimes be counter productive’. Support the statement with suitable arguments.
(i) Any legal changes must carefully look at the results it will have on politics. Sometimes, the results can be counter-productive. For example, many states have banned people who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections.
(ii) This has resulted in the denial of democratic opportunity to many poor men and women, which was not intended. Generally, laws that seek to ban something are not very successful in politics.
(iii) The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. For example, Right to Information Act
Question. Explain the three major challenges faced by modern democracies.
Challenges faced by modern democracies are : (i) Deepening of democracy : This involves applying the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions.
(ii) Every democracy face the challenge of expansion.
This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy. It requires an attempt to bring down control and influence of the rich and powerful people in making governmental decision.
Example : In USA, African-American people have won equal rights, but are still poor, less educated and marginalised.
Question. “It is very difficult to reform politics through legal ways.” Evaluate the statement.
It is very difficult to reform politics through only legal ways.
(i) Devising new laws can help to discourage the practice of wrong political and social practices and encourage new ones.
(ii) But these changes alone can’t help to reform politics that is a challenge to democracy.
For example just by changing the rules in cricket can’t improve the quality of the game.
(iii) Similarly, in politics, the reforms have to be carried out by political parties, activists, pressure groups, movements and citizens.
We have to strive to make political system more participative and representative in its approach. There have been certain provisions and laws that has an effect in improving transparency in public life. An important example is the provision of RTI (Right to Information Act 2005). It is hoped that the functioning of the political parties will soon come under this Act.
Question. Explain any four forms of casteism in Indian politics.
Casteism is rooted in the belief that caste is the sole basis of social community. Caste can take various forms in Indian politics.
(i) When parties choose candidates in elections, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate in a constituency. They select their candidates accordingly so as to get necessary support to win elections.
(ii) When governments are formed, political party takes care that representatives of particular castes and tribes should get a place in the ministry.
(iii) During the campaigning, political parties and candidates make appeals to people to give their votes on the basis of caste. Some political parties are known to favor particular castes and are seen as their representatives.
(iv) The candidates focus on pockets of voters of favored caste; with promises of favoring them when they come in power.
Question. Describe any five efforts made to reform political parties in India.
Some measures taken by the government to reform political parties have been :
(i) Anti-defection law, which states that if any sitting MLA or MP changes the party, he/she will lose his seat in the legislature/parliament.
(ii) It is mandatory now for every candidate to furnish all details related to the financial assets, criminal cases pending against them.
(iii) Election Commission has made it mandatory for parties to hold regular organizational elections and file income tax for the income of the party.
(iv) Recent judgement by Supreme Court that disqualifies convicted MP’s and MLA’s who have been sentenced to more than two years of imprisonment by the lower court and whose appeal against their conviction is pending, is considered to be the landmark decision by the apex court to clean the system.
(v) An important development that is expected is, to bring the functioning of the political parties under the ambit of Right to Information Act.
Question. When was the ‘Right to Information Act’ implemented? How does it act as the watchdog of democracy? Explain.
‘The Right to Information Act’ was implemented in 2005.
(i) It empowers the people to find out what is happening in government departments.
(ii) It acts as the watchdogs of democracy.
(iii) It helps to control corruption and supplements the existing laws that banned corruption and imposed strict penalties.
(iv) It gives political leaders incentives to do good work.
Question. Explain any five major challenges being faced by the Indian democracy.
Major challenges are :
The challenges faced by Indian democracy are of deepening and of expansion in nature viz.
(a) Poverty illiteracy, unemployment are prevalent ever after 72 years of independence and democratic rule.
(b) Caste and gender discrimination is rampant in our society.
(c) There are frequent reports of political corruption.
(d) Political battles are fought with the use of muscle and money power.
(e) The weaker sections still have to be given reservation even after 72 years of democracy.
Question. What are the guidelines to be kept in mind while adopting political reforms?
The guidelines to be kept in mind while adopting political reforms include :
(i) Involving political parties, political activist and people in bringing about reforms rather than impose reforms through laws.
(ii) Legal measures should be positive, more like incentives that will encourage action
(iii) Improving the quality of political practices by increasing people’s participation.
(iv) Laws being considered may meet with resistance in the legislatures and by political parties.
Question. Explain how dynastic succession is a major challenge for political parties in India.
Dynastic succession is a major challenge for the political parties in India. This happens because :
(i) Most political parties do not practice open and transparent procedures for their functioning, there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in such parties.
(ii) Those who happen to be the leaders are in position of favoring people close to them and their family members.
(iii) In many parties, the top positions are always controlled by members of one family.
(iv) This is unfair to other members of that party. This is also bad for democracy, since people who do not have adequate experience or popular support come to occupy positions of power. This tendency is present in some measure all over the world, including in some of the older democracies, but quite prevalent in Indian regional parties.
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