What is Democracy? Why Democracy? with notes in hindi || Class 9 Chapter 2 Politics ||


Chapter 2
What is Democracy? Why Democracy?
1.       Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.
2.       This is a useful definition for the democracy.
3.       The army rulers of Myanmar are not elected by the people.
4.       Those who control the army become the rulers of the country.
5.       Dictators (अनन्य शासक) like Pinochet are not elected by the people.
6.       This also applies to monarchies (राजा).
7.       The kings of Nepal and Saudi Arabia rule not because the people have chosen them but because they born into the royal family.
8.       This simple definition is not enough (काफी).
9.       It reminds (याद दिलाना) us that democracy is people’s rule.
10.   But if we use this definition without thinking then we would have to calling almost every government democratic that holds an election.
11.   That would be very misleading (धोखा देना).
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1.       Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.
2.       This raises many questions:
3.       Who are the rulers in this definition?
4.       Which officials (अधिकारी) must be elected for any government to be called a democracy?
5.       Which decisions may be taken by nonelected officials in a democracy?
6.       What kind of election constitutes (बनाना) a democratic election?
7.       What conditions (शर्त) must be fulfilled (पूरा करना) for an election to be considered democratic?
8.       Who are the people who can elect the rulers or get elected as rulers?
9.       Should every citizen include on an equal basis?  
10.   Finally, what kind of a form of government is democracy?
11.   Can elected rulers do whatever they want in a democracy?
12.   Or must a democratic government work with some limits?
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Major decisions by elected leaders
1.       In Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup (तख्ता पलट) in October 1999.
2.       He overthrew (पद से निकालना) a democratically elected government and declared himself the ‘Chief Executive’ of the country.
3.       Later he changed his post to President and in 2002 held a referendum (जनमत-संग्रह) in the country that granted him a 5 year extension.
4.       Pakistani media, human rights organisations and democracy activists said that the malpractices (अपराध) and fraud (धोखा) included in referendum.
5.       In August 2002 he issued a ‘Legal Framework Order’ that amended (संशोधन करना) the Constitution of Pakistan.
6.       According to this Order, the President can dismiss (हटा देना) the national and provincial assemblies.
7.       After passing this law, elections were held (आयोजन करना) to the national and provincial assemblies.
8.       So elected representatives have some powers
9.       But the final power had with military officers and General Musharraf himself.
10.   Clearly, there are many reasons why Pakistan under General Musharraf should not be called a democracy.
11.   Can we say that the rulers are elected by the people in Pakistan? Not quite (बिल्कुल).
12.   They cannot take the final decisions.
13.   The power to take final decision had with army officials (अधिकारी) and with General Musharraf, and none of them are elected by the people.
14.   This happens in many dictatorships (तानाशाही) and monarchies (राज-तंत्र).
15.   This cannot be called people’s rule.
16.   In a democracy the final decision making power must be with those elected by the people.

Free and fair electoral competition
1.       In China, elections are regularly held after every 5 years for electing the country’s parliament, called Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People’s Congress).
2.       The National People’s Congress has the power to appoint the President of the country.
3.       It has nearly 3,000 members elected from all over China.
4.       Some members are elected by the army.
5.       Before contesting (चुनाव लड़ना) elections, a candidate needs the approval of the Chinese Communist Party.
6.       Only the members of the Chinese Communist Party or 8 smaller parties allied (मित्र) to it were allowed to contest elections held in 2002-03.
7.       The government is always formed by the Communist Party.
8.       Since its independence in 1930, Mexico holds elections after every 6 years to elect its President.
9.       The country has never been under a military or dictator’s rule.
10.   But until 2000 every election was won by a party called PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party).
11.   Opposition parties did contest elections, but never win.
12.   The PRI was known to use many dirty tricks to win elections.
13.   All those who were employed in government offices had to attend its party meetings.
14.   Teachers of government schools used to force parents to vote for the PRI.
15.   Media ignored the activities of opposition political parties except (छोड़ कर) to criticise (आलोचना करना) them.
16.   Sometimes the polling booths were shifted from one place to another in the last minute & create difficulty for people to cast (डालना) their votes.
17.   The PRI spent (खर्च करना) a large amount of money in the campaign for its candidates.
18.   Should we consider the elections described above as examples of people electing their rulers?
19.   There are many problems here.
20.   In China the elections do not offer the people any other choice.
21.   They have to choose the ruling party and the candidates approved by it.
22.   Can we call this a choice?
23.   In the Mexican example, there was no way the ruling party could be defeated (हराना).
24.   These are not fair elections.
25.   We can thus add a second feature to our understanding of democracy.
26.   So, a democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of losing.

One person, one vote, one value
1.       In the previous chapter we read how the struggle (संघर्ष करना) for democracy was linked to the demand for universal adult franchise.
2.       This principle has now come to be accepted almost all over the world.
3.       Yet there are many example of denial (इंकार) of equal right to vote.
4.       In Saudi Arabia women do not have the right to vote.
5.       Estonia has made its citizenship rules in different way that to get the right to vote for the people belonging to Russian minority is very difficult.
6.       In Fiji, the value of a vote of an indigenous (मूल निवासी) Fiji has more than that of an Indian-Fijian.
7.       Democracy is based on a fundamental (बुनियादी) principle (सिद्धांत) of political equality.
8.       That gives us the third feature of democracy:
9.       In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value.

Rule of law and respect for rights
1.       Zimbabwe attained independence from White minority rule in 1980.
2.       Since then the country has been ruled by ZANU-PF, the party that led the freedom struggle.
3.       Its leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ruling the country since independence.
4.       Elections have been held regularly and always won by ZANU-PF.
5.       President Mugabe is popular but also uses dirty tricks in elections.
6.       Over the years his government has changed the constitution several times to increase the powers of the President and make him less accountable (जवाबदेह).
7.       Opposition party workers are harassed (तंग करना) and their meeting disrupted (भंग करना).
8.       Public protests (विरोध करना) and movements (आन्दोलन) against the government are declared illegal (ग़ैरक़ानूनी).
9.       Television and radio are controlled by the government.
10.   There are independent newspapers but the government harasses (तंग करना) those journalists who go against it.
11.   The government has ignored some court judgments that were against it and has pressurised judges.
12.   The example of Zimbabwe shows that popular approval of the rulers is necessary in a democracy, but it is not sufficient.
13.   Popular governments can be undemocratic & autocratic (तानाशाही).
14.   If we want to understand a democracy, it is important to look at the elections.
15.   But it is equally important to look before and after the elections.
16.   State should also respect some basic rights of the citizen.
17.   They should be free to think, to have opinions (विचार), to express these in public, to form associations (मण्डली), to protest and take other political actions.
18.   Everyone should be equal in the eyes of law.
19.   These rights must be protected by an independent judiciary (न्यायपालिका) whose orders are obeyed by everyone.
20.   A democratic government cannot do whatever it likes, simply because it has won an election.
21.   It has to respect some basic rules.
22.   Every major decision has to go through a series of consultations (विचार सभा).
23.   Each of these is accountable (जवाबदेह) not only to the people but also to other independent officials (अधिकारी).
24.   Both these aspects give us the fourth and final feature of democracy: a democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ rights.

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Arguments against democracy
1.       Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to lack of balance.
2.       Democracy is all about political competition and power play. There is no scope for morality (नैतिकता).
3.       So many people have to be consulted (विचार करना) in a democracy that it leads to delays (देर करना).
4.       Elected leaders do not know the best interest (दिलचस्पी) of the people. It leads to bad decisions.
5.       Democracy leads to corruption because electoral competitions are very costly.
6.       Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them; they should not decide anything.
7.       Clearly, democracy is not a magical solution for all the problems.
8.       It has not ended poverty in our country and in other parts of the world.
9.       It is also true that democracy leads to frequent changes in leadership.
10.   Sometimes this can set back (रुकावट) big decisions and affect (प्रभावित करना) the government’s efficiency.
11.   These arguments show that democracy of the kind we see may not be the ideal (आदर्श) form of government.
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Arguments for democracy
1.       China’s famine (भुखमरी) of 1958-1961 was the worst recorded famine in world history.
2.       Nearly 3 crore people died in this famine.
3.       During those days, India’s economic condition was not much better than China.
4.       Economists think that this was a result of different government policies in the 2 countries.
5.       Indian government adopted different strategy of food scarcity (कमी) than the Chinese government.
6.       If China too had multiparty elections, an opposition party and a press free to criticise (आलोचना करना) the government, then so many people may not have died in the famine.
7.       This example shows that why democracy is considered the best form of government.
8.       Democracy is better than any other form of government in responding (जवाब देना) to the needs of the people.
9.       A nondemocratic government may or may not respond to the people’s needs, but it all depends on their wishes.
10.   A democratic government is a better government because it is a more accountable (जवाबदेह) form of government.
11.   There is another reason why democracy should lead to better decisions than any non-democratic government.
12.   Democracy is based on consultation (मशवरा) and discussion.
13.   A democratic decision always involves many persons, discussions and meetings.
14.   When a number of people say yes to any decision, then the chances of the mistakes are very less.
15.   This takes time & there is a big advantage in taking time over important decisions.
16.   Thus democracy improves the quality of decision-making.
17.   This is related to the third argument i.e. Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts (झगड़ा).
18.   In any society people have differences of opinions (विचार) and interests.
19.   In India, people belong to different regions (क्षेत्र), speak different languages, practise different religions (धर्म) and have different castes (जाति).
20.   The preferences of one group can clash (टकराव) with other groups.
21.   Can these conflicts (झगड़ा) be solved by brutal (निर्दयी) power?
22.   Whichever group is more powerful will pressurise (दबाव डालना) the others.
23.   But that would lead to resentment (नाराजगी) and unhappiness.
24.   Democracy provides the only peaceful (शांतिपूर्ण) solution to this problem.
25.   In democracy, no one is a permanent winner or loser.
26.   Different groups can live with one another peacefully.
27.   In a diverse (भिन्न प्रकार का) country like India, democracy keeps our country together.
28.   Even if democracy does not bring about better decisions and accountable government, it is still better than other forms of government.  
29.   Democracy enhances (बढ़ाना) the dignity (गौरव) of citizens.
30.   Finally, democracy is better than other forms of government because it allows us to correct its own mistakes.
31.   It offers better chances of a good decision, respect people’s own wishes and allows different kinds of people to live together.
32.   That is why democracy is considered the best form of government.

1.       We have understood democracy as a form of government.
2.       In the countries, all the people do not rule but the majority is allowed to take decisions on behalf of all the people.
3.       This majority of people rule through their elected representatives.
4.       This become necessary because:
·         Modern democracies involve such a large number of people that it is physically impossible for them to sit together and take a collective decision.
·         Even if they could, the citizen does not have the time, the desire (इच्छा करना) or the skills to take part in all the decisions.
5.       This clarity helps us to distinguish (फर्क बताना) democracies from non-democracies.
6.       But it does not distinguish (अंतर करना) between a democracy and a good democracy.
7.       Sometimes we use the word democracy not to describe any existing government but to set up an ideal standard that all democracies must aim to become:
·         True democracy will come to this country only when no one goes hungry to bed.
·         In a democracy every citizen must be able to play equal role in decision making.
8.       For this you don’t need just an equal right to vote.
9.       Every citizen needs to have equal information, basic education, equal resources and a lot of commitment (ज़िम्मेदारी).
10.   If we take these ideals seriously, then no country in the world is a democracy.
11.   The most common form of democracy in today’s world is rule through people’s elected representatives.
12.   But if the community is small, there can be other ways of taking democratic decisions.
13.   All the people can sit together and take decisions directly.
14.   This is how Gram Sabha should work in a village.
15.   What we do as citizens can make a difference to making our country more or less democratic.
16.   This is the strength and the weakness of democracy: the fate (किस्मत) of the country depends not just on what the rulers do, but mainly on what we, as citizens, do.
17.   Other forms of government like monarchy, dictatorship or one-party rule do not require all citizens to take part in politics.
18.   In fact most nondemocratic governments would like citizens not to take part in politics.
19.   But democracy depends on active political participation by all the citizens.
20.   That is why a study of democracy must focus on democratic politics.


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