UNIT – 2

INDIAN DEMOCRACY

I. ANSWER THE FOLLOWING

1. Explain the meaning of democracy?

Ans. Democracy:-

1. The word ‘democracy’ is derived from the Greek words ‘demos’ which means people and ‘Kratia’ which means rule. Thus literally it means ‘rule by the people’.

2. The famous definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln as “the government of the people, by the people and for the people” reveals its popular nature in modern times.

3. In a general sense we can say there is democracy where member of any group or association can freely participate with equal rights in collective decision-making.

4. In the political sense, a government is democratic if it is accountable to the people through competitive election to public office.

5. In democracy All adults have an equal right to vote and stand for election.

6. And civil and political rights are legally guaranteed.

2. Describe the election procedure?
Ans. The election procedure :-

1. The procedure for elections is laid down in the Representation of people’s act.

2. The election commission announces the dates and schedule of elections of Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha.

3. One officer is appointed to each constituency to supervise and conduct elections. He/she is called the “Returning Officer”.

4. Anyone who is eligible and interested to stand in the elections files nomination papers after they are duly proposed and seconded by the voters whose names are given in the electoral rolls.

5. Candidates who are put up by recognised political parties are called party candidates. Others are called independents. Returning officers scrutinize the nomination papers and announce the list of valid nominations.

6. A person may withdraw his nomination within the specified time. After the time for withdrawal is over, the final list of contesting candidates is declared.

7. Party candidates are given reserved symbols, while the “Independents” choose from the list of “Free symbols” made available by the Election commission.

8. Ballot papers are then printed with the allotted symbols against the names of the candidates in the contest.

9. Elaborate arrangements will be made and Ballot papers, polling booths will be setup with a presiding officer and other polling staff.

10. On the date of polling ,registered voters will be allowed to vote. A ballot paper will be given and indelible ink is put on the index finger of the left hand as a proof that the voter has exercised the vote.

11. After the polling is over the Electronic Voting Machines(EVM) brought to the counting centers.

12. The candidates who secure the highest number of votes is declared elected. If any malpractices are brought to the notice of the Election Commission, repoll will be held in the particular constituency.

3. Explain Universal Adult Franchise?

Ans: Universal Adult Franchise:-

1. The right to vote has come to mean the right to choose representatives. This constitutional right of choosing the representatives is called the franchise or suffrage or right to vote.

2. Every adult person of a prescribed age is given the voting right regardless of education, property and gender, it is called Universal Adult Franchise.

3. Universal Adult Franchise is one of the important of features of Indian polity.

4. The constitution of India bestowed voting right on all adult Indians.

5. Introduction of any educational or property qualification for suffrage in India, where large masses are poor and illiterate, would have amounted to a negation of democracy.

6. Infact the Universal adult suffrage made India the largest democracy in the world.

7. Article 326 of the constitution says that the elections to the Loksabha and to the Vidhan Sabha of every state shall be on the basis of adult suffrage.

8. Every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than 18 years of age is entitled to be registered as a voter.

9. No person is ineligible for inclusion in the electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender etc.

4. Write about the General elections in India?

Ans. General Elections:

1. An election held at regular intervals in which representatives are elected in all or most constituencies of a nation or a state is called General Election.

2. In India, General elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies are usually held once in five years.

3. The first general election on the basis of adult suffrage was held in the year 1952. So far 15 (2009) General elections were held to the Lok Sabha.

4. Holding elections in a vast country like India is a gigantic exercise.

5. The number of eligible voters has more than trebled since 1952. In the 11th Lok Sabha elections held in 1996, there was 59.15 crore voters.

6. About 8 lakh polling stations had to be set up for general elections in 1996.

7. In the year 1998 for the 12th Lok Sabha nearly 64 crores citizens are registered as voters.

8. Elections had become more and more competitive.

9. By and large, the Indian voters, especially the ordinary and poor, have exercised their franchise well.

10. Voter turn-out at elections has been reasonably high.

5. Explain the Assumptions that underlie the nature of democratic formed
Govt.?

The assumptions which underline the nature of democratic form of
Government as follows:

1. Limited government:
1.The government in democracy is always a limited one.
2.The powers of the government are limited by the constitution which is regarded as the fundamental law of a nation.
2. Rule of law:
1.In democracy all citizens are equal before law.
2. All have equal rights. The rule of law prevails, there is no discrimination based on birth, wealth or status.               3. Importance of Dissent:
1.Dissent means to differ in opinion with those in power or majority. The majority has no right to force the minority to accept its views.
2.Thus in democracy every individual or minority has the right to express his/her or its opinion freely.
4. Need for vigilant public:                                                                                                                                            1. People must be alert to defend their rights when they are denied by those in power.
5. Role of public opinion:
1.There must be effective role by the public so that the activities of their elected representatives are checked.
2.The public can express their opinions by organizing meetings, rallies and processions or by submitting memoranda.
6. Nature of leadership:
1.Democracy needs tolerant, wise, righteous, efficient and responsible persons as leaders.
2.People should choose proper leaders.
7. Social and economic equality:
A high degree of social and economic equality is essential for the success of the democracy.

II. Answer the following:-

1. Mention the basic elements of democracy?

Ans. Democracy’s basic elements are the following:

1. People participates freely in public affairs with equal rights.

2. The government in democracy is always limited one. It is accountable to the people

3. Rule of law operates civil and political rights are legally guaranteed to the people.

4. Since democracy is a government by discussions, dissent of opinion is recognised.

5. Successful functioning of democracy needs a vigilant public. People must be alert to defend their rights when they come under attack of those in power.

6. There is scope for public opinion which is expressed in various ways.

7. Democracy needs a wise and responsible leadership.

8. There should be a high degree of social and economic equality for true democracy.

2. Why should democratic governments in modern states be representative governments?

Ans.

1. Modern democracy rests on the idea of representation.

2. Without representation it will be impossible to operate a democracy in the modern state with its vast territory and population.

3. It is impossible for all the people to assemble, discuss and take decisions.

4. The growth of the representative system has enabled the people to control the government through their elected representatives.

3. Explain social and economic equality as a prerequisite for democracy.

Ans.
1. A high degree of social and economic equality is also essential for true democracy.
2. A nation divided into a few rich people and a large number of poor is not conductive to democracy.
3. It leads to the domination of the rich even in the political sphere.
4. This means true democracy will be successful where the social and economic disparities among the people are kept to the minimum.

4. Describe the functions of Election Commission of India?

Ans. Election Commission:-

1. The work of conducting elections to the parliament and state legislatures is entrusted to the Election Commission.

2. It is an autonomous body.

3. It prepares the electoral rolls and suitably revises them before every general election.

4. It ensures that elections are held as per schedule.

5. It controls and directs the machinery of elections throughout the country so that elections are held in a free and fair manner.

6. At present Chief Election Commissioner of India is Sri Naveen Chawla.

5. Distinguish between general election and bye-election?

Ans. General Election:-

1. An election held at regular intervals in which representatives are elected in all or most constituencies of a Nation or a State is called General Election.

2. In India, General elections to Lok Sabha and States Legislative Assemblies are usually held once in five years.

Bye-Election:-

A special election held between regular elections to fill one or few vacant seats is called bye-election.

6. What are the malpractices in election?

Ans. Malpractices :-

1. The guidelines of the Election Commission have to be observed by all during the election canvassing.

2. No candidate should commit a malpractices.

3. Malpractices include
a. Making appeals to win votes in the name of some religion, caste or community.
b. Giving bribes or gifts
c. Promise or some gratification to influence the voters.
d. Use of official machinery or government employees for election purpose.
e. Hiring or procuring vehicles for the purpose of bringing voters to the polling booths and
f. Spending more than the permitted amount during the elections.

4. Incase a candidate is found to have committed any electoral malpractice, his/her election will be declared invalid by the court.

7. Define National and State parties.

Ans. National Parties:-

A party which is recognised as a state party in atleast four state is recognized as a national party.

Example:- Congress, B.J.P., C.P.I.

State Party:-

1. A party which secures atleast four percent of valid votes in a state in a general election either to the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha is recognised as a state party.
2. State party is also called as Regional parties.
Example:- T.D.P., P.R.P., D.M.K.,A.G.P.

III. Answer the following.

1. What is democracy?

Ans. 1. The word ‘democracy’ is derived from the Greek words ‘demos’ which
means people and ‘Kratia’ which means rule. Thus literally it means ‘rule by the people’.

2. The famous definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln as “the government of the people, by the people and for the people” reveals its popular nature in modern times.

2. What is Universal Adult Franchise?

Ans. If every adult person of a prescribed age is given the voting right regardless of education, property and gender, it is called Universal Adult Franchise.

3. What is the difference between General elections and Mid-term elections?

Ans. General Elections:-

1. An Election held at Regular intervals in which representatives are elected in all or most constituencies of a nation or a state is called General Elections.
2. General Elections usually held once in five years.

Midterm Elections:-
When the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly are dissolved by the president or governor even before the expiry of their due term, the elections held are called Midterm Elections.

4. What is the difference between Midterm Elections and Bi-elections?

Ans. Midterm Election:-

When the Loksabha or Legislative Assembly are dissolved by the president (or) Governor even before the expiry of their term, the Elections held
are called Midterm elections.

Bye – Election:-

A special election held between regular elections to fill one or few vacant seats is called “ Bye – Elections”.

5. Write about the “Election Manifesto” ?

Election Manifesto :-

Ans. 1. Each political party before elections comes out with their principles and aims.
This is called Election Manifesto.

2. Election manifesto states various issues and what it will do if it is elected to rule.

IV. Fill in the blanks :-

1. The term ‘Democracy’ is derived from Greek language.

2. In democracy the supreme power rests with the people.

3. In modern democracies the form of government is Representative.

4. Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

5. Electorate means the body of voters.

6. Franchise means the right to vote.

7. Electoral roll means the list of voters in any election.

8. When people’s representatives elect some one to a public office it is called Indirect election.

9. 25 years is the minimum age requirement for a person to be a candidate in Lok Sabha elections.

10. Returning officer supervises and conducts election in a constituency.

11. Presiding officer is in charge of a polling booth.

12. How many registered voters were there in the Eleventh Lok Sabha elections? – 59.15 Crores.

13. In which year were the First general elections held in India? – 1952.

14. In which year were the Sixth General Elections held? – 1977.

15. Securing votes by resorting to force and illegal means during the polling process is known as Election crime.

16. National conference is a regional party in Jammu and Kashmir state.

17. Elections to 13th Lok Sabha in 1999.

18. For the first time, the local bodies elections were held in the year 1884.

19. 12th general elections in 1998.

20. The member of Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly.

21. According to 326 article the constitution provides adult franchise.

22. Adult Franchise means giving right to vote to those who are above 18 years of age.

23. The biggest democracy in the world is India.

24. An Indian gets the right to vote at the age of 18 years.

25. An election held at regular intervals is called General elections.

26. The election commission is an autonomous body which has responsibility to conduct the elections.

27. A party in power is called ruling party.

28. The last elections conducted by Britishers in India were held in 1937.

29. A group of individuals who share common political views and work to capture political power is called a political party.

30. 14th General Election was held in 2004.

31. 15th General Election was held in April 2009.

32. At present Chief Election Commissioner of India is Sri Naveen Chawla.

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