Thursday, March 26, 2009

Civics Objectives

Civics – Combined (All Chapters)

 Democracy is based on the principle of POLITICAL EQUALITY.
 Glorious revolution was between 1640 and 1688.
 Rule of law meaning the government by a set of laws and not by the whims and fancies of those in power.
 The British precedents also popularized the idea of Charter of Rights.
 French Revolution started in 1789.
 The revolutionaries of France adopted the declaration of rights of man.
 LAISSEZ-FAIRE policy where by everybody knew his interest. Also known as individualism.
 Right to vote is called suffrage or franchise.
 “One man one vote” meaning political equality.
 Till the fifth Lok Sabha, the party that was in prominence was Congress.
 Party symbols: There are symbols for different Political Parties like
 Hand for Congress (INC).
 Sickle and sheaf of paddy for CPI.
 Hammer, sickle and star for CPI (M).
 In 1977, Janata Party came to power.
 1980: Congress again took over.
 In England – Tories and Whigs represent two different kinds of social interests.
 German Social Democratic Party is a state within the state.
 Indian National Congress was founded in 1885.
 First PM of free India was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru followed by Lal Bahadur Shastri.
 Mrs. Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister in 1967.
 The Congress split into two in 1969.
 Emergency was imposed on India between 1975 and 1977.
 Janata party won the elections in 1977.
 Regional parties were Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
 Trade Unions are AITUC, CITU and INTUC.
 Urdu developed in the Mughal court is a mixture of Hindi, Arabic and Persian.
 Hindustani music is a creation of both Hindus and Muslims.
 Raja Ram Mohan Roy came from Bengal.
 Tilak came from Maharashtra.
 Gandhiji came from Gujarat.
 Nehru came from Kashmir.
 Sare Jahan Se Acchha was written by Iqbal in Urdu and Jana Gana Mana was written by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali.
 The Brahmins taught or did the rituals.
 The Kshatriyas ruled and the Vaishyas carried on the business or were merchants.
 The Shudras were to do all the menial jobs of the upper classes. They were also known as untouchables.
 Gandhiji was assassinated by a Hindu Fanatic “Nathuram Godse”.
 In 1954, the western powers formed a military alliance called the NATO followed by SEATO, CENTO and ANZUS.
 The socialists’ states formed their own alliances the following year called the WARSAW PACT.
 The Security Council is a body of fifteen members with five permanent members i.e. USA, USSR, China, UK and France.
 ILO means International Labor Organization.
 FAO means Food and Agricultural Organization.
 WHO means World Health Organization.
 UNESCO means United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization.
 UNICEF means United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund.
 Korea was divided into two in 1950.
 First war with Pakistan started in 1965.
 Second war with Pakistan started in 1971 over the formation of Bangladesh.
 Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s government was overthrown in 1975 and subsequently he was killed.
 In 1962, China declared war on India.
 “Third world” can be defined as the countries into non alignment and they are also the newly independent countries.



1) What did democracies mean in ancient societies? What does it mean now?

Though democracies did exist in ancient societies like India and Greece, but historians argue that they were not the type of total democracies. For example in Greece, democracy did exist but only for the masters and not for the slaves though much of the Athenian society ran on the labor of the slaves, but they did not have any political equality. By the ancient Athenian form of government, they enjoyed total democracy but only the masters but if we compare it with today’s form of democracy, it can be labeled as the worst form of tyranny. Ancient democracies thrived on class divide and modern democracy does not believe in class divide. The rights are not limited to the privileged few but for the population at large. So the idea of democracy in ancient times can be quiet misleading.

Today’s democracy means political equality in the sense every person who is a citizen of that particular land has certain rights and enjoys them without any class divide and has to perform certain duties for the country and here also the duties are not unequally divided. Ancient societies may have had total democracies and that may have existed before the society was divided on the basis of class. Modern democracies are not and cannot be limited and are open to one and all and the rights are universal to all.

2) What is meant by the principle of political equality?

Modern democracies are not based on class divide and cannot have first class citizens or second class citizens. They are available to all and the definition of democracy is based on political equality. Political equality means every citizen of that land enjoys equal status and has the right and duty to take active part in the democratic process. The person’s economic status is not a scale to decide his right as a citizen of that land. Constitutions of some countries are written and some are understood but in today’s world they have provided equal rights to all the citizens and these rights protect the citizens from the atrocities that may be heaped on them.

For example our country India, the society is multi religious and does not contain people of one caste, race, language or following a single type of tradition or culture. In such a situation, the government had the responsibility of seeing to it that all the people of our country what ever may be their religion or caste or economic status be, enjoy total rights or political equality and have the freedom of taking active part in the government process of our land.

3) What is the importance of the dates 1688 and 1789 in the growth of modern democracy?

Modern democracies that we enjoy today have had a long history of changes and revolutions and additions and deletions. Accountability on part of the government i.e. being accountable for every law or act that was passed was not present as early as 1688. It was only after 1688 that the principle of rule of law was established i.e. the government was guided by a rule of law meaning it had to frame laws according to set standard rules and not according to the whims and fancies of who every may have been in power. All those governments who ever came to power had to work within the frame work of the constitution. The government can no longer make its own principles, which is as good as having none at all. The British precedents also popularized the idea of a charter of rights for ordinary citizens.

The French revolution of 1789 contributed most to the idea of democracy. The revolutionaries in France adopted the declaration of rights of man. It declared that all men were equal. The French revolution is considered to be one of the most remarkable revolutions as it made few compromises and many innovations. The idea of associating democracy with the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity goes to the 1789 French revolution.

4) What is a laissez-faire economy?

This policy encourages the idea of private enterprise. It means that every person knows his interest and should work for himself. Man need not care for others. This type of economy lays more emphasis on individualism where man need not bother about others but work for his own benefits and when every person works for his benefit, the country is benefited in the long run. This type of economy has certain merits i.e. it requires tolerance or one individual for others’ lives, views and customs. Here democracy meant a way of life where every one works for self. But this theory is true only in books because practically it is very difficult to have this type of economy where every one works for self interest and not bother about others. This race for self interest may sometimes lead to one person trying to take away the rights of another individual.

5) What are the differences between direct and indirect democracy?

Democracies are of two type’s i.e. direct and indirect democracy. Direct democracy means involving the entire population in government. There are four procedures by which people can be directly involved. These are referendum, recall, initiative and plebiscite. Direct democracies may have existed when the population may have been less and manageable.

Indirect democracy can also be called as representative type of democracy. Here the population being large does control the government but not directly. They do not make laws or take decisions but their representatives do it for them. In this kind of democracy the choosing of right kind of representative is the most important affair and is done through elections where the population of that country exercises it right to vote once in five years. The elected representatives then take decisions in the government on behalf of the electorate. But if the representative proves to be unconstitutional, then the electorate can throw the representative out during the next elections. In the modern world today, this type of representative democracy is the most effective type of democracy.

6) How is public opinion formed and expressed?

In a democratic form of government, public opinion is very important from the government’s point of view. Every party wants to stay in power and would not like to displease the public so feed back is necessary on the policies that have been formed and so public opinion becomes the most important part in any democracy of modern world.

Public opinion is formed in many ways. Several agencies have a hand in shaping it. For a healthy public opinion, it is very important that the citizens of the country should know what is happening around them in the country and in the world at large. In today’s world public opinion is formed through mass media i.e. through newspapers, radio, television, cinema etc. But public opinion heavily depends on the free press and it is the responsibility of the press to project the correct news and not to manipulate it to suite their ends.

Public opinion is not just to be formed but also to be expressed. The general public should not only form the public opinion but also express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction towards the government process. It is the duty of the journalists and the mass media to help the public to express their opinion so that a healthy democratic government is shaped and the country moves on the road to development. Public opinion which is correctly formed and expressed plays a very important role in the government process not only in the country but also in the other countries of the world as the public is aware of what is happening not only in their country but also in the countries around the world.



1) Why are the modern democracies indirect?

Direct societies do not suit the modern age as the population of the country cannot be directly involved in the Government process. It did exist in the ancient societies where the population was less and all the members of the community could be involved in formation of laws and decisions making process for the community. But this became defunct as the population increased and it was impossible for the whole community to be involved in the law making and decision making process. Indirect democracies came to the rescue where representatives are elected to represent the community and take decisions for the community and impose laws for the benefit of the community at large.
Indirect democracies play a major role in modern democracies as the electorate does not control the government directly but indirectly and the government is accountable for the decisions taken and if the decisions taken are unconstitutional, then the representative is done away with in the next election. Though the electorate does not get involved directly in the law making process but it is involved in the government formation process where it has the choice to form the government which will work for the betterment of the community at large.

2) What is the importance of representation in democracy?

In modern democracies representation forms the most important business in the government formation. The population rise has given rise to indirect form of democracy whereby representatives are chosen from the community by the community itself and this representative takes decisions and makes laws on behalf of the community at large. Choosing the correct representative is precisely the most important form of the government forming process.
The usual way of choosing a representative is through election and in today’s election process all adults at the age of 18 and above start having a say in the government process by exercising their right to vote. The government is not independent but is accountable to the people of the land as the representatives are controlled by the people and it is through the representatives that the community has a control over the legislature. A government so formed does not rule but instead is ruled by the people of the country and thus we can say that representation or choosing a representative is the most important act in the government formation process or in a democracy.

3) What is the meaning of the terms: responsible government and accountability?

During the time of monarchy and feudalism the governments were not called responsible governments, as it depended on the monarch to make the life of the subjects better. If the monarch was not interested, then naturally the subjects suffered. There was nothing like responsibility on the part of the monarch. It was only after the English and French revolutions that the governments that were set up were called responsible governments. They were different from the earlier feudal governments. They could not do what they pleased. They had to obey definite rules and that was more important the ordinary laws that were framed for the ordinary people. These rules were laid down and were like laws above the ordinary laws and that was called constitution of the land.
During feudalism the laws that were passed by the monarch were just passed and he was not answerable to the general public for the laws he had framed. The general public had just to follow the laws whether they were beneficial to them or not. But in modern democracies, if the party has to stay in power, then it is accountable to the general public for the decisions taken and the laws passed because then the general public can just throw them out in the next general elections. The governments today are accountable for the decisions taken on behalf of the citizens of the country.

4) What is an election manifesto? What is its use?

When the election dates are made public, then the parties go in for campaigning. This forms the crucial part in any election process. It is the process by which the candidate persuades the voters to vote for him/her rather than some one else. Though some times speeches, posters processions do the part of campaigning, the candidates do go across to the people with their manifesto where by they describe in what way they would solve some of the internal and external issues once they are elected. It also explains to the voters as to how the candidate and the party he/she is representing is different from the other party. Election manifestos are very important documents and the parties are judged by them. It is in a way a commitment by the government that once it is elected it will honor all the promises made in the manifesto. If by chance the government does not honor the promises so made, then an electorate can demand the fulfillment of the promises made in the manifesto.

The election manifesto is most useful for selecting the right kind of representative and seeing to it that the representative so elected acts for the better life of the people who have elected him trusting his promises he made in the manifesto. As it is also a written promise made by the candidate, he cannot, after he is elected go back on the promises so made. This helps the electorate to keep the representative in control.

5) Can you explain the paradoxes of simple majority?

The election process in our country is not based on any cryptic formulae. It is based on the method of simple majority. Any person who is elected or who gains even one vote more than his opponent is declared a winner. This helps even the simple rural electorate understand the reason why a particular candidate has been elected. If major formulae are involved, then the electorate will find it difficult to understand the reason why a particular candidate has been elected or not. Simple majority makes the election process simple and not complex. The whole idea is that the representative should be a delegate of the majority of the voters.

But simple majority has its own disadvantages. It is advantageous when there are two candidates. But when there are more than two candidates, then the problem arises. For example, there are three candidates A, B, C. In the elections, A polls 40 votes and B and C together poll 30 votes each. According to the process of simple majority A is clearly the winner as he has polled 10 more votes than either B or C. But the problem here arises that though 40 people want him to be their representative, 60 people do not want him to be their representative. Here the simple majority turns out to be disadvantageous. But where there are certain advantages, disadvantages also do arise.

6) Describe the various steps in the election process?

Election forms the most important exercise in any democratic country. The whole election process undergoes various steps which are important in their own way and the whole exercise has to undergo each one of them before the entire exercise is complete.

 Representation: Today’s democracies are indirect democracies and representation forms an important step. A representative is one who is elected by the community to represent them in the law making process. Selecting of the right kind of representative who will effectively represent the community forms the most important function. It is through the representative that the community can control the government.
 The Franchise: The right to vote is called franchise or suffrage. The constitution in modern world gives this right to each and every citizen of the land irrespective of his economic, educational or caste status. It is the right of every citizen and every citizen can exercise only one vote. There can be no proxy voting when we have to exercise our franchise.
 Secret Ballot: During the election process every citizen above the age of 18 chooses his candidate through his franchise but he can do so in secret i.e. he need not tell anyone whom he has voted for. This secret ballot is important especially in a country like India where a voter can be harassed if the candidate comes to know that he has not been voted for.
 Candidates: A person who is willing to stand up for elections and get elected as a representative is called a candidate. There are two types of candidates one is the party candidate and the other is an independent candidate. A party candidate has the support of his party and the party campaigns for him. But an independent candidate has to do all the campaigning himself but where coalition governments are to be formed, then the support of the independent elected candidate becomes effective. But when compared to a party candidate, an independent candidate even if elected has to work under a tremendous handicap.
 Nominations: Once the candidates are selected by the parties to stand for the election, then they have to formally announce their intention to participate in the elections. This is called nominations. A last date is announced before which the nominations have to come before the election commission. Then follows the period of scrutiny where the papers are scrutinized whether they are in order. Sometimes the nominations are rejected if there is any doubt arising in the papers so submitted. After this the candidates are usually given a date before which they can withdraw their candidature. This is to make the election process clearer and to disallow wastage of the voter paper where only seriously contending names of the candidates are printed.
 Symbols: Symbols form another important process in the elections. In a country like India where the rural poor are often illiterate and cannot read the names of their candidates whom they want to elect, the symbols play a very important part so that the illiterate can cast his vote for his candidate. They also play a very important part among the educated classes where a huge number of candidates are standing for election and it is difficult to remember the names then the party symbol comes handy.
 The Campaign: Campaigning is the process by which a candidate tries to persuade the voter to vote for him/her rather than the others. A usual campaign involves public speeches, posters, processions and manifesto. In the whole campaigning process the election manifesto plays a very important part where the candidate proclaims that if at all he is elected then what are the problems of the nation he is going to solve and in what way. Usually the party for which a candidate is representing brings out an election manifesto. It also helps the general public to remind the candidate once he is elected about the promises that he had made during the campaigning.
 Simple Majority: The election of a candidate is through simple majority. The idea behind the election is that the representative should be elected through a majority of voters. But ideally this does not happen. It is effective where there are only two candidates but where there are more than two candidates then the formula of simple majority may become a disadvantage. Some countries have adopted a system of proportional representation to prevent the anomalies of simple majority though our country follows it.

Political Parties


1) What are political parties?

In a democracy it is important that the people participate either directly or indirectly. Direct democracy is only present in countries with a small population. Most of the countries follow indirect democracy.
In the area of development of any country, political parties play a major role. They are a link between the government and the common man. They convey the policies of the government to the masses, they form the government, they form the opposition and they critize the government for its wrong policies. A political party is an organized way of representing the public opinion. They have a lot of influence on colleges and universities, pressure groups and the common man. There are 3 kinds of party system namely a single party system, a bi party system and a multi party system.

 Single party system: A country may have many small political parties but if only one party is prominent and strong then that system is known as a single party system. Only one party comes to power again and again, it cannot be dislodged or openly critized. The result being it behaves like a dictatorship under the grab of democracy. For e.g., Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s Fascist party.

 Bi party system: England and USA are two examples of a bi party system. The 2 parties in England are labour party and the conservative party and the 2 parties in the USA are the democrats and the republicans. This is very healthy for democracy because when one party forms the government, the other party forms the opposition. The opposition keeps a check and balance on the policies of the ruling party. In England, the opposition is known as the shadow cabinet. It means that it acts like a shadow of a ruling party, one serious mistake made by the ruling party results in their overthrow and the shadow cabinet becomes the ruling party. Other parties are also there but they are not prominent.

 Multi party system: India is a living example of this system. Some of the prominent national parties are the Congress, the BJP, the CPI, the CPI (M), Lok Dal etc. In this system, the party with the highest number of seats in the legislature forms the government. The atmosphere is extremely competitive. Each party has to prove its worth before it can dream of becoming a ruling party. The entire country is represented through the various parties and no section of the society feels isolated.
It has 2 major drawbacks. First of all it suffers from the paradox of simple majority. Secondly in case of a hung legislature a coalition is formed where nobody is ready to shoulder the responsibility. The NDA government and the UPA government have exposed this draw backs.

 Opposition party system: In a democracy, the party or parties that win the seat in the legislature but do not have the right number of seats to form the government, automatically form the opposition. There are a number of functions of the opposition. It acutely observes the policies of the government and crises then wherever and whenever necessary. A bill is not allowed to become a law if the opposition gets together and rejects it. The ruling party is always worried about the presence of the opposition became one never knows when they might become a ruling party.
A money bill can only be introduced in the lower house of the legislature. This gives the opposition a lot of power to control the finances of the government. The expenditure of the government has to be explained to the opposition. The government cannot spend money on irrelevant issues. The opposition has the power to ask question in the question hour, to present the call attention moment on an issue and to bring in the vote of no confidence.
A healthy opposition is that which keeps a check on the activities of the government, praises it for its commendable operation, criticizes it for its wrong policies, and gives its unflinching support for the issues of national interest.

2) Why does coalition arise in the multi party system?

Governments where more than one party shares power are called coalition governments. This is usually present in the multi party system and is generally weaker than one party government. Different parties reflect different opinions and interests. A government by two or more parties usually leads to differences on questions of policy sometime or the other.
A coalition is usually formed by parties when no single party can get majority and the only way out is coalition. But these governments do not have any unity or purpose as the parties sometimes pull in different directions and the government consequently does not become effective. The government is always on tenterhooks as even a small party in the coalition may bring it down and so it always unsure of every party in the coalition. Coalition governments also hamper the progress of the nation because when there is no unity, naturally the government may fall any time and again elections may have to be held to again form the government so the development of the nation takes a back stage.

Our Nation and Society


1) Explain the rise of Nationalism in India.

Before the British came to India, India was ruled by the Mughals. Their powers had declined and there were more or less independent or some independent approximately 500 kingdoms. Though the British were an imperialist power, they must be given the credit for making India a nation, uniting the Indians and sowing the seeds of nationalism. For their own selfish needs the post and telegraph system was developed, many roads and railways were constructed, railway lines were spread across the length and the breadth of the country and a few facilities were developed for their convenience
Because of all these developments transport and communication developed resulting in linking the entire nation. This led to the spread of education creating an atmosphere of awareness in this scenario. The seeds of patriotism and nationalism were sown. The Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, the RSS etc laid the foundations of nationalism. The country that the British lead united for their own selfish interests rose in rebellion first in 1857 and then in 1947. We owe unity of our country to British imperialism.

2) What were the political effects of Britain colonialism?

A nation that becomes newly independent faces many problems. The first and foremost is the problem of transition from the imperialist government to the native government. Since the country has freed itself from the colonies, it wouldn’t like to adopt the previous system and a totally new system would be chaotic thus new form of government is preferred to the old. Next is the problem of converting an agrarian economy to an industrialized one. For this a lot of infra structure is needed which that country simply doesn’t have. Next, comes the problem of unemployment, displaced farmers, ruined artisans and all categories of skilled and unskilled labour. Last is the problem of education, development and giving the middle class its due.

3) In what ways did the national movement contribute to the feeling of unity in the Indian people?

Our country is defined by unity in diversity. We have various regions, languages etc. These are all unifying factors if each group or region respects the others for their own art, culture. The rich literature of each area binds the people together. They get a sense of belonging, having an identity and having firm roots in traditions.
We all are united nation, but these very factors at times become the basis of religions, intolerance, communalism, sectarian violence, regionalism etc. For a nation to be strong and healthy, it must preserve its culture, get rid of the social evils to imbibe all that is the best form all over the world.

4) What are the main forces that divide the Indian Nation?

India is a nation that is bound by not one community, or language but a host of different religions, communities, languages, cultures etc. Though we have been moving forward with the spirit of nationalism, but still sometimes problems arise which can divide our country and cause problems for its development. The main problems are:

 Religion: India is a country of many religions. People have lived together amicably through generations. But sometimes problems do arise when forces that want to act against the unity of our nation use religion to meet their own selfish ends. The most glaring example was the divide of our country into two i.e. India and Pakistan. Many families were uprooted and lost their lands land sometimes their own people and had to shift and live as refugees.
 Languages: The uniqueness of our country is that it is a land of many languages. Every person feels pride for his own language. But it is wrong to try and impose one’s language on another. These causes lead to the divide in our country and these forces are those which are blinded by linguism and provincialism.
 Castes: For long the Hindu religion is a religion that has predominantly been divided by castes. Though during the fight for independence the caste divide was looked down upon by the national leaders, it still persists even after so many years of independence in the rural areas. Though Muslims and Christians are relatively untouched by the caste divide, but the economic inequality and oppression has led to make the caste divide more glaring.
 Cities and Villages: Industrialization has led to the rise of cities and those who live in cities have developed a certain set of habits and these habits have created a wide gulf between the city dwellers and the villagers. This is because the city dweller will not understand the villager’s problems nor vice versa. This also leads to misunderstandings between the both.

5) What are the reasons for the economic backwardness of our country?

Our nation is a mixture of languages, culture, religions etc. Prior to independence, caste was the primary factor which divided the Indian society. A person who was by birth born into lived a life of economic success. But a person born in the low caste family would naturally end up with poverty throughout his life. The economic backwardness primarily was because of caste divide. But after independence, though caste divide was forgotten to a certain extent, it does play a role.
Other factors are lack of education, industrialized society etc. The factors that tend to divide our country are the ones that ultimately lead to the economic backwardness of our country. Where the governments have to concentrate on developing the country, because of these problems the governments waste precious money and time to solve them and they are the reason why even after nearly sixty years of independence, we are still a developing nation.
Population too has had a heavy hand on the economic backwardness on our country. All the problems are interrelated and it is not the governments which can solve these problems, but it is we who can find a proper solution to these problems and move ahead on the road of development and thus lead to the economic development of our country.

6) How have the old systems of inequality changed into the new inequalities of the industrial society?

Prior to industrialization, the society was divided by the caste system. A person’s economic prosperity was decided on the fact into which family he was born. If he was born in the so called high caste, then naturally he would be economically progressive and if not he would lead a life of poverty. After industrialization it is no longer so. A person if he has the right kind of education can become economically progressive and has no longer to depend on the caste divide. He can also get privileges, power and eminence. It has created a hierarchy which is decided by money and not by caste.
A single individual can move up the ladder due to sheer hard work and make money and become economically progressive but that has also led to economic inequalities of the haves and the have-nots. Previously caste divided the society now it is the economic inequality. The classes have remained but of a different kind.

Problems of Indian Democracy


1) In what ways the following factors obstruct the functioning of democracy in our country?

 Communalism: When India became independent in 1947, she was divided into two countries i.e. Pakistan and India. Pakistan had an advantage i.e. the religion of East Pakistan and the mainland were the same but India had the problem of different religions and that could have turned to be the greatest disadvantage. Though to a certain extent nationalism has played a major role in keeping our country united but the separatist forces do not loose any opportunity to see to it that there is communal flare up. The victory of independence was blackened by the most ghastly Hindu and Muslim riots when the refugees were moving towards either India or Pakistan. Most recently we have had the 1993 Bombay blasts, the Godhra riots, 1983-84 the Hindu Sikh riots where we tend to become butchers and end up forgetting the oneness that had united us in our fight for freedom. If we as Indians tend to rise above this communal divide, we can assure ourselves a truly developed nation like in the west where the west has risen above the religious divides that can hamper the developmental process.

 Casteism: During the Vedic times the caste was divided as per the profession any person held. But down the line the caste system became rigid and a person could not change his caste as he could do during the Vedic times. The rigidity of caste system was such that it bound a person to his caste and there was no freedom and alienated him from other castes. The castes like Shudras were looked down upon and were not even allowed to enter the village except to do menial work etc. This rigidity did exist even till the pre-independence days but after independence the national leaders worked for removing casteism and untouchability and to a certain extent have been successful but casteism does exist where religion has many sub castes and there is no intermarriage allowed between these sub castes and is allowed only in rarest of the rare cases. Untouchability does exist among the rural poor and sometimes in the urban areas though the urban areas are fast forgetting caste system and untouchability.
This is a hindrance to democracy because it bars a person from mixing freely with a person from other castes. This caste system though is not followed in other religions but in India because other religions have come into contact with Hindu religion caste system is followed to a certain extent.

 Inequality of women: Women in olden times were not a suppressed lot and though education was a dream, freedom of movement was allowed to a certain extent. But the various invasions including the Islamic invasion in India has encouraged inequality of women where education was barred for women, they were allowed to go out of the house and they were married off early to protect their honour and sati and infanticide was performed on them. Though during the social and religious reformation of our country upliftment was the agenda of all the reformists, the inequality of women does continue even today when women though are education and can move on equal status with men, still some areas are forbidden to women.
In rural areas compared to urban areas the position of the women is deplorable and she is not educated and does not have any rights and only duties. Girls are still married off at a tender age and widows are treated worst than animals. Female infanticide still exists and a girl child is killed as soon she is born. Dowry is rampant every where be it urban or rural areas and it is one of the reasons for female infanticide. Sati is still practiced in remote areas of Rajasthan and the law sometimes cannot do anything to stop these practices and these have been a hindrance to democracy as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first prime minister said “Educate a woman you educate a family”.

 Economic inequality: Today in urban areas inequality does exist but in the area of economy. A poor man has the opportunity to become rich and can do so by the dint of sheer hard work and does not need his family name to fall back on. But in urban areas, the opportunities are less and it is always the rich become richer and the poor poorer. Unemployment is more glaring today in urban areas and a person who is unemployed has to struggle to gain any employment and has not family support because in urban areas usually the families are nuclear.
In rural areas economic inequality is between the zamindar and the peasant. The zamindar has means to get a good profit for his produce but the peasant has to depend mostly on the middle men (though the government is taking steps to stop the monopoly of the middle men). In case of a bad season like failure of monsoon or floods, he usually depends on the money lender and is for life in debt. But in the areas on unemployment it is not as glaring as in urban areas. If in a family a person and his family are superfluous on the land, then it is not as glaring as the family lives in a joint family and is looked after and the person does not feel unemployed as on the land there is always room for more work and help. This is called disguised unemployment.
Economic inequality sometimes leads to lawlessness and social injustice being meted out on the economically backward. It sometimes even divides the family because an economically forward brother may not want to have anything to do with his economically backward brother. Economic backwardness can also be about the poverty our nation suffers. It is because of the problem of poverty, that the government finds it difficult to handle democracy because poverty leads to illiteracy, child labour and abuse, lawlessness and other related things which hamper the success of democracy.

India and The World


1) What were the effects of the Second World War?

The world that came out after the Second World War was completely different. Two countries emerged as most powerful and two types of governments were most prominently formed one was capitalist type of government and another was socialist type of government. The old imperialist states like Europe and France found it difficult to maintain the colonies and the colonies too seeing the imperialist states weakening after the world war started their demand for independence in right earnest. Some of the colonies gained their independence through non violent means and some gained through violent means.

The two countries that emerged most powerful were USA and Soviet Union. The emergence of these powers ultimately led to the cold war and formation of blocs. The most important effect of the Second World War was the emergence of United Nations and Non alignment movement where the newly independent countries decided not to be aligned with any of the two blocs and decided to move forward without either support. Though there have been wars in the world after the Second World War, but thanks to United Nations these wars have not been destructive to the world as the Second World War had been.

2) What were the factors that led to the destruction of colonialism?

As a result of Second World War, the allies consisting of Russia, USA and Britain emerged as victors but the economy of the European countries like Britain and France were in shambles. The imperialist nations of Europe did not have the power to cling to their colonies. Almost all the nationalist movements sensed the weakness of the imperialist rulers and thus intensified their movements but though they did not get their independence immediately but the colonies through intense nationalist movements gained their independence and some of them gained their independence as in the case of Portugal. The changing political equation of the world too led to the destruction of colonialism. The general public of the imperialist nations too fought for the independence of the colonies and sometimes other nations too supported the cause of independence of these colonies. When India demanded her independence and her nationalist struggle intensified, the people of Britain too supported the cause of Indian independence and thus it ultimately led to India being the first to break the chain in 1947 followed by China in 1949.

3) What is the meaning of non-alignment?

India’s policy in foreign relations is called non-alignment. It arose after independence when the newly independent state of India was trying to develop independent foreign relations. After the II world war, the world was divided between two sets of the countries – the two blocs as they were called. One was the western bloc; the other was of communist countries. India decided to stay out of the military blocs. Since it did not sign itself militarily with the blocs, its policy was called one of non alignment. Today a majority of the states that have become independent from the foreign rule have joined the non-alignment movement. Their influence counts much in the United Nations too.

4) What is the third world?

After the II world war there arose two blocs one was the western bloc and another was the socialist bloc and the emergence of these two blocs gave rise to hostility in the world that is known as cold war. India after independence decided not to join any of the blocs and thus started the non alignment movement and those countries which joined the nonalignment movement were called third world countries. They had the same set of developmental problems like social, economic and political and the problems were broadly similar and that is the reason they are referred to as third world countries. India is one of the largest states in the third world.

5) Which are India’s neighbour states? How are India’s relations with other states?

Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are India’s neighbours. India has tried to maintain friendly relations with her neighbours even in some of the most tiring of the circumstances. For instance with Pakistan, after the independence, there have been at least three wars with Pakistan and still India has tried to build amicable relations with the neighbour. Signing of peace treaties, trade relation building etc. are some of the sops which India has used to build better relations with this neighbour. Though China is much larger than India in area and population and is a communist country and there have been border differences, still India is trying to maintain relations which build up friendship which this neighbour of ours and many business houses have been encouraged to open shop in china and many Indian students study in china. Bhutan is a small country and India has a big brother attitude not only with Bhutan but also with Nepal and has had a hand in their developmental activities. India has with the help of Bangladesh tried to work on stopping the rise of terrorism and has helped Sri Lanka in trying to bring about peace and tranquility in the island nation. With different nations India is trying to build up better relations so that she and her neighbours live better and build up better relations with each other.

6) Describe the functions of United Nations Organization and also describe the main organs and agencies of the United Nations Organization.

After the end of II world war, a need was felt to prevent further war to protect human kind. There was felt a need to keep peace and prevent further aggression. Thus United Nations came into being. Its main function is to keep peace throughout the world. For this it takes the collective help of all the member nations and this arrangement is called collective security. Other than this main function, the UN has functions like developing friendly relations in-between nations, to work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease, illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction, to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedom and to be a centre for helping nations achieve these aims. To achieve these aims in the world, UN has a numbers organs and agencies to help to achieve these aims. The main organs of UN are:

· The General Assembly: It consists of all the members of United Nations and every member state can sent a maximum of 5 representatives but at the time of voting the vote is counted as one. Some of the functions of general assembly are:

ü To recommend peaceful settlement of disputes.

ü To consider and approve the UN Budget.

ü To elect non-permanent members of the Security Council, members of the economic and social council and members of the trusteeship council.

· The Security Council: It is the most important organ of the United Nations. It looks after the peace and security of the world. It examines the disputes between countries and tries to settle them peacefully. Under the charter the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

· The Economic and Social Council: It is concerned with the welfare of the children and women’s rights. It also promotes higher standard of living and economic and social change. It aims at solving international economic and social health problems and also aims promoting universal respect for and observance of human; rights for all without any distinction of race, caste, language or religion.

· The Trusteeship council: The objective of the trusteeship council is to help in the attainment of independence to those territories which are under the foreign rule. It has helped most of those territories to attain independence.

· The International Court of Justice: It is headquartered at Hague. It decides disputes between its member nations and also gives advice to the different bodies of the United Nations.

· The Secretariat: It carries out the days to day work of the United Nations. Its administrative head is known as the secretary general and is appointed by the general assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. The duties carried out by the secretariat are as varied as the problems dealt with by the united nations such as:

ü Administering peacekeeping operations.

ü Mediating international disputes.

ü Surveying economic and social trends and problems.

ü Preparing studies on subjects such as human rights and sustainable development.

ü Organizing international conferences on issues of worldwide concern.

ü Monitoring the extent to which the decisions of the United Nations bodies are being carried out, interpreting speeches and translating documents into the official languages of UN.

· Other specialized agencies of the UN are: UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF, ILO, FAO, IMF, IAEA and the world bank. These agencies help provide higher standard of living, full employment and proper conditions for socio-economic development etc., all round the world especially in the third world countries which need help to become developed nations.