Class Ten Civics NCERT Solutions

 Chapter 3: Democracy And Diversity


1. Discuss three factors that determine the outcomes of politics of social divisions.

Ans. First: It depends on how people see their identities. Are they Irish first and then Protestant and Catholics? Are they Belgians or Dutch-speaking and French-speaking first? Are we Indians or Bengali or Punjabi, Hindu or Muslim? If people realise they have multiple identities and give precedence to the national identity, there will be no trouble in the country.

Second: It also depends on how political parties support the claims or raise the demands of any community. The demand to give importance only to ‘Sinhala language’ and ‘Buddhism’ at the cost of Tamil-speaking Hindus and Muslims has led to civil war in Sri Lanka.

Third: The attitude of the government and its reaction to the demands of different communities also affect the outcomes. In Belgium or Netherlands, the government was willing to share power with different ethnic groups unlike Sri Lanka or Yugoslavia.

Thus, in a democracy, it is considered healthy to have political expressions of social divisions. It allows those who are at a disadvantage or marginalised to express their grievances. It strengthens and deepens democracy. It is not easy for those in power to accommodate other groups but democracy shows us the path of how to fight for equality and justice.

2. When does a social difference become a social division?

Ans. A social difference becomes a social division when it overlaps with some other social difference. For example, the Whites were rich and powerful and the blacks were poor and homeless and discriminated against. When one kind of social difference becomes more important than the other, then it leads to social division.

3. How do social divisions affect politics? Give two examples.

Ans. In politics, there is competition between political parties. If these political parties use this competition in support of some social divisions, it can lead to political divisions. This can lead to conflict, violence or even disintegration of a country.

(i) One example is of Northern Ireland where religious divisions led to ethnopolitical conflict. Two major sects of Christianity: 53% Protestants and 44% Catholics dominate the country. The Catholics wanted Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland and the Protestants wanted to remain with the UK. This led to years of violence where thousands were killed. Only in 1998, peace returned when the UK government and the Nationalists reached a peace treaty and stopped all violence.

(ii) The second example is of Yugoslavia where the political parties refused to accommodate each other. Each ethnoreligious group wanted to dominate the other. The result – the disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries.

4. Fill in the blanks :

______________ social differences create possibilities of deep social divisions and tensions. _____________ social differences do not usually lead to conflicts.

Ans. Overlapping; Cross-cutting.

5. In dealing with social divisions which one of the following statements is NOT correct about democracy?

A. Due to political competition in a democracy, social divisions get reflected in politics.

B. In a democracy, it is possible for communities to voice their grievances in a peaceful manner.

C. Democracy is the best way to accommodate social diversity.

D. Democracy always leads to the disintegration of society on the basis of social divisions.

Ans. (D) Democracy always leads to the disintegration of society on the basis of social divisions.

6. Consider the following three statements.

A. Social divisions take place when social differences overlap.

B. It is possible that a person can have multiple identities.

C. Social divisions exist in only big countries like India.

Which of the statements is/are correct?

(a) A, B and C (b) A and B (c) B and C (d) Only C

Ans. (b) A and B

7. Arrange the following statements in a logical sequence and select the right answers by using the code given below.

A. But all the political expression of social divisions need not be always dangerous.

B. Social divisions of one kind or the other exist in most countries.

C. Parties try to win political support by appealing to social divisions.

D. Some social differences may result in social divisions.

(a) D, B, C, A (b) D, B, A, C (c) D, A, C, B (d) A, B, C, D

Ans. (a) D, B, C, A

8. Among the following, which country suffered disintegration due to political fights on the basis of religious and ethnic identities?

(a) Belgium (b) India (c) Yugoslavia (d) Netherland

Ans. (c) Yugoslavia

9. Read the following passage from a famous speech by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. Which social division is he talking about? What are his aspirations and anxieties? Do you see a relationship between this speech and the incident in Mexico Olympics men­tioned in this chapter?

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—Black men and White men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’.”

Ans.  The social division he is talking about is of racism. American society has been divided into Black and White races, where the Blacks are discriminated against because of the colour of their skin.

 His aspirations are for his children and citizens of America to live in a country which is truly free — free of prejudices of colour and race, religion, gender and class, where everyone is equal. He does not want his people or his children to be judged because of the colour of their skin but appreciated or condemned because of their character.

He wants all American citizens to believe that “all men are created equal and it’s only the strength of our character that makes us better than others. “Free at last” is to be free of all prejudices, social divisions that affect a person’s life.

 What Martin Luther is asking is equality for Blacks, the same opportunities as the Whites to rise in life. The two Americans (Tommie Smith and John Carlos) who protested at the Mexico Olympics were doing the same — asking for equality, respect and same opportunities, and making the world aware of the condition of the blacks in USA, the injustice done to them, their poverty, their struggle for freedom from racial prejudice.