Outcomes of Democracy
How does democracy produce an accountable, responsive and legitimate government?
To produce an accountable, responsive and legitimate government is the most basic outcome of democracy.
Democracy provides equal right to all the citizens to elect their representatives. These representatives are answerable to the people. Democracy ensures that decision-making will be based on norms and procedures. It provides transparency, i.e., the right and means to all the citizens to examine the process of decision-making. This signifies that democracy produces an accountable government.
Democracy is a responsive government. It promotes the formation of public opinion and remains attentive to the needs and demands of the people.
Democracy is also a legitimate government. It is the government of the people. It sets up regular and free elections in which people vote by secret ballot paper, or electronic voting machine, free from force.
What are the conditions under which democracies accommodate social diversities?
Democracies usually develop a procedure to conduct their competition. This reduces the possibility of social tensions becoming explosive or violent.
In order to accommodate social diversities, a democracy must fulfil the following conditions:
(a) It is necessary to understand that democracy is not simply rule by majority opinion. The majority always needs to work with the minority so that governments function to represent the general view. Majority and minority opinions are not permanent.
(b) It is also necessary that rule by majority does not become rule by majority community in terms of religion or race or linguistic group, etc. Rule by majority means that in case of every election, different persons and groups may and can form a majority.
Give arguments to support or oppose the of persons following assertions :
- Industrialised countries can afford democracy but the poor need dictatorship to become rich.
- Democracy can’t reduce inequality of incomes between different citizens.
- Government in poor countries should spend less on poverty redaction, health, education and spend more on industries and infrastructure.
- In democracy all citizens have one vote, which means that there is absence of any domination and conflict.
1. We do not agree with this statement that the poor need dictatorship to become . rich. We accept that in a democracy a lot of money is spent but fair elections make democracy a popular form of government.
African countries are a suitable example for this where military dictatorship has been established but the poor still are poor. If we talk about the people of our neighbouring countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh, their condition is far from satisfactory.
2.This statement is quite correct that democracy can not reduce inequality of incomes between different citizens. Most of the democracies of the world have failed on this issue. Democracy provides only political equality.
We can take an example of India to support us where even after more than 50 years of democratic government more than 26 per cent of the population still lives below poverty line.
3. Industries and infrastructure lead to economic development whereas health, education, etc., are most important components of human development.
Thus, it is wrong to state that government in poor countries should spend less on poverty reduction, health, education and spend more on industries end infrastructure.
4.Yes, it is true. Every adult citizen has right tovote because there is universal adult franchise. Hence, there is no chance of political domination.
Identify the challenges to democracy in the following descriptions. Also suggest policy/ institutional mechanism to deepen democracy in the given situation:
- Following a High Court directive a temple in Orissa that had separate entry doors for dalits and non-dalits allowed entry for all from the same door.
- A large number of farmers are committting suicide in different states of India.
- Following allegation of killing of three civilians in Gandwara in a fake encounter by Jammu and Kashmir police, an enquiry has been ordered.
1.This challenge relates to social inequality and untouchability. Democracy demands social and political equality. To deepen democracy there should be law banning discrimination on account of caste, religion or other factors.
2.There is a challenge of poverty in this description due to lack of rain and irrigation facilities.The government should set up an organisation to give financial help or loan at nominal rate of interest.
3.The challenge of corruption and criminalisation is being identified in this description.
(a) Promotion of Human Rights Commission
(b) Transparency in police
In the context of democracies, which of the following ideas is correct. Democracies have successfully eliminated
(a) conflicts among people
(b) economic inequalities among people
(c) differences of opinion about how marginalised sections are to be treated
(d) the idea of political inequality
In the context of assessing democracy, which among the following is odd one out? Democracies need to ensure
(a) free and fair elections
(b) dignity of the individual
(c) majority rule
(d) equal treatment before law
Studies on political and social inequalities in democracy show that
(a) democracy and development go together
(b) inequalities exist in democracies
(c) inequalities do not exist under dictatorship
(d) dictatorship is better than democracy
Read the passage below:
Nannu is a daily wage earner.He lives in Welcome Mazdoor Colony, a slum habitation in East Delhi. He lost his ration card and applied for a duplicate one in January 2004. He made several rounds to the local Food & Civil Supplies office for the next three months.
But the clerks and officials would not even look at him, leave alone do his job or bother to tell him the status of his application. Ultimately, he filed an application under the Right to Information Act asking for the daily progress made on his application, names of the officials, who were supposed to act on his application and what action would be taken against these officials for their inaction.
Within a week of filing application under the Right to Information Act, he was visited by an inspector from the Food Department, who informed him that the card had been made and he could collect it from the office.
When Nannu went to collect his card next day, he was given a very warm treatment by the Food & Supply Officer (FSO), who is the head of a Circle. The FSO offered him tea and requested him to withdraw his application under the’Right to Information, since his work had already been done.
What does Nannu’s example show? What impact did Nannu’s action have on officials? Ask your parents their experiences when they approach government officials to attend to their problems.
(a) Nannu’s example shows that slum dwellers as well as other people should be aware about their rights.
(b) Nannu who had made several rounds to the local Food and Civil Supplies office, filed an application under the Right to Information Act. His action had a significant effect on the officials. They gave him proper respect and requested to withdraw his application.
(c) To be attempted by the students themselves