Class Ten Civics Chapter 7 NCERT Solutions

Chapter 7: Outcomes of Democracy


1. How does democracy produce an accountable, responsive and legitimate government?

Ans. (i) Democracy produces an accountable government. The most basic outcome of democracy should be that it produces a government that is accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. A citizen should be able to participate in decision-making that affects all. Democracy is based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation.

(ii) Democracy produces a responsive government. The democratic government should be attentive to the needs and demands of the people and be largely free of corruption. Democracies often frustrate the needs of the people and often ignore the demands of a majority of its population. At the same time, there is nothing to show that non-democracies are less corrupt or more sensitive to the people.

(iii) Democracy produces a legitimate government. A democratic government is the people’s own government. People wish to be ruled by representatives elected by them. They also believe that democracy is suitable for their country. Democracy’s ability to generate its own support is itself an outcome that cannot be ignored.

2. What are the conditions under which democracies accommodate social diversities?


“Democracy accommodates social diversities”. Support the statement with examples.

Ans. Democratic governments try to keep peace and harmony among its citizens. This they do by maintaining discipline and accommodating various social divisions. For example, this has been done in Belgium and our own country. Democratic governments resolve differences, respect differences, and try to find mechanisms which can negotiate difference like non-democratic countries.

3. Give arguments to support or oppose the following assertions :

(i) Industrialised countries can afford democracy but the poor need dictatorship to become rich.

(ii) Democracy can’t reduce inequality of incomes among different citizens.

(iii) The government in poor countries should spend less on poverty reduction, health, education and spend more on industries and infrastructure.

(iv) In a democracy, all citizens have one vote, which means that there is the absence of any domination and conflict.

Ans. (i) In a finding, comparison between democracies and dictatorship from the 1950’s to the year 2000 showed that economic growth was slightly more in a dictatorship. For example, industrialised countries like the USA showed a high degree of inequalities between the rich and poor, the blacks and white people, etc. However, this growth rate was negligible. Economic growth rate depends more on other factors than on the kinds of government. Such factors include:

(a) Population (b) Global situation

(c) Cooperation between countries (d) Economic priorities and policies of a country.

(ii) Expectations of democracy are always high. One expects economic disparities to be less in a democracy, as it believes in an equitable distribution of wealth. But in reality, democracy has growing income inequality.

There is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. If we look at South Africa, the top 20% of people have more than 60% share of income, the bottom 20% of people have less than 3% share of the income. In Bangladesh, more than half the population lives below the poverty line. This proves that even though democracy aims at equality of status and income for everyone, in actual life it has not been very successful in reducing economic inequalities.

(iii) Development of a nation depends on industrialisation but it is not the only means of development. One needs a population which has a high rate of literacy, wide knowledge and skills. A population with low literacy rate, poor health is a burden for any country. It is wrong to say that the government should spend more on industries. A balance must be maintained between investment on food, clothing, health and education, and industries. The former is a part of human development, without which industrialisation will not achieve much.

(iv) The principle of one vote does not mean that there is the absence of any domination and conflict in a democracy. Conflicts can happen if the demands of one group are against the demands of other social groups. Democracy only avoids conflicts by accommodating and negotiating and avoids any possibility of conflict by giving everyone equal rights and freedom in society. One advantage is that since every citizen has one vote, political parties cannot ignore any social group. They have to promote policies that include all social groups to win their support during elections.

4. Identify the challenges to democracy in the following descriptions. Also, suggest policy/ institutional mechanism to deepen democracy in the given situation.

(a) Following a High Court directive, a temple in Odisha that had separate entry doors for Dalits and all non-Dalits allowed entry for all from the same door.

(b) A large number of farmers are committing suicide in different states of India.

(c) Following allegation of killing three civilians in Gandwara in a fake encounter by Jammu and Kashmir police, an enquiry has been ordered.

Ans. (a) The challenge was practising untouchability or casteism, that was banned by our Constitution. The High Court restored the Right to Equality.

Casteism should be eradicated from India with the help of education and by promoting national festivals.

(b) Here the challenge is poverty. The government has to provide economic equality by promoting agriculture and diversity in agriculture so that it raises the economic standard of the farmers.

(c) Here the challenge is the security of citizens; a fundamental right is violated.

These incidents can be avoided by practising transparency in the police department and their actions. The government should promote human rights.

5. 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

Ans. (D) the idea of political inequality

6. In the context of assessing democracy, which among the following is the odd one out. Democracies need to ensure :

(A) free and fair elections

(B) the dignity of the individual

(C) majority rule

(D) equal treatment before the law

Ans. (D) equal treatment before the law

7. 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 the dictatorship

(D) dictatorship is better than democracy

Ans. (B) Inequalities exist in democracies

8. 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 last 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 an 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 the 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 about their experiences when they approach government officials to attend to their problems.

Ans. Nannu’s example shows that he was aware of his rights. He was denied the right to information and not given his rights as a citizen because he was poor. Nannu’s application frightened the officers and they hurried to give him his ration card, which was their duty to do. The officers were corrupt and fear of disclosure made them perform their duty. This case clearly shows that everyone has a right to equality. Nannu did not give in to the pressure tactics of the clerks, exercised his rights and exposed the corruption prevalent in the department. People have to enforce their rights themselves and not wait for the government to do so.