Class 9 Social Science – What is Democracy?

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What is Democracy?

One of the most critical subjects in class 9 is social science. While it may be boring for some, a few students might find it interesting to study. So, to make the subject more interesting for everyone, take a look at class 9 social science notes on democracy in India that we have prepared for you. Before the British colonised India, the country was primarily a monarchy. This means it was ruled by kings of a particular region. But, post the British rule, our leaders chose democracy as the independent country’s form of government. So, in this article, let us understand the concept of democracy and the details of democracy in India.

“What is really needed to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but the right education”. – Mahatma Gandhi

What is Democracy?

Democracy is a form of government in which people have the right to choose their representatives. These elected representatives then go on to form a government to rule the country. In simple terms, we often hear people describing democracy as a government that is “of the people, by the people and for the people” of that particular country.

Credits: Australian Human Rights Commission

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What are the Types of Democracy?

Democracy can be broadly classified into two types, namely direct and indirect democracy:

What is Direct Democracy?

Direct democracy is one in which the people themselves vote on a bill or amendment, thereby making the final statement. It involves a huge number of people from the country. It was mainly practised in ancient Greek cities.

What is Indirect Democracy?

Indirect democracy is the one which is currently being practised in India and a few other major countries like the USA, UK etc. Here, the representatives are chosen through elections. They make important decisions on behalf of the people.

Credits: Galarious Goods

Features of Democracy in India

Apart from the above-mentioned types of Democracy, different countries have developed their own unique forms of government, incorporating additional features to suit their socio-cultural requirements. These may include a Two-party system, multiple-party systems, or indirect methods of representative election. However, irrespective of what their practices are, every Government that calls itself a Democracy has certain aspects which are common with other Democracies. These features of democracy are basic empowering tools that every citizen in the country is equipped with, irrespective of any form of social status or standing. Here are the features of Democracy in points:

  • Free, Fair and Frequent Elections
  • Representation of Minorities
  • Rule within the Constitutional Law
  • Freedom of Speech, Expression and Choice
  • Federal Rights
  • Council Responsibility
  • Right to Education
  • Right to Form Association and Union
  • Same Law for All
  • No Control on Judiciary

What are the Merits of Democracy?

  • Since the people of the country elect a government in a democracy, thus it is ultimately answerable to the people for their actions.
  • A democratic government will give more freedom to its people to question the government itself. For example, the people of China cannot question the government. However, democracy in India will allow people to question the government if anything is done wrong.
  • Since there is the concept of an opposition party, the quality of decision-making will be improved over a period of time.

What are the Demerits of Democracy?

  • Since there are many layers of authority in a democracy, the decision-making process is a little slower compared to other types of government.
  • There is a possibility of corruption in a democratic government since people can use political influence and power to win elections. Democracy in India can be an excellent example where people try to influence election results by giving money to people during election times.
  • Development projects in a big country like India could be unstable due to a change of political parties every five years.

Check Out: What is Democracy Why Democracy Class 9 PDF

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Also Read: What is Democracy in Hindi

Which is the Largest Democracy in the World?

India is the largest democracy in the world where the President acts as the head of the state. The Prime Minister acts as the head of the central government of the country. Apart from the central government, there are state governments for each state to aid in better governance of the country. Both the central government and state government function within the framework of the constitution. One of the fundamental principles of democracy in India is based on political equality, and therefore any person in the country can run a party and contest in the elections.

Division of Houses in the Central Government

Democracy in India has a bicameral legislature, which creates two houses namely the Upper House or Rajya Sabha and the Lower House or Lok Sabha. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected through the central government elections in which people from all over the country cast their votes to elect members for their constituency. As of now, there are a total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha which represents 543 constituencies in the country. The party with the majority among the 543 seats form the government. The party with the second majority forms the opposition party.

Out of the 245 members of the Rajya Sabha, 233 members are elected indirectly by the representatives of the state legislative assembly. The President of India elects the remaining 12 members for their contribution in various fields like art, literature, sports etc.

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Types of Parties in India

The system of democracy in India has a multi-party system. All parties in India are classified as a national party or a state party if they have clear specific qualifications. Also, for a party to contest in the elections, it must be registered with the election commission of India. It is an independent body that cannot be controlled by the government.

What is Constitution?

Society has fundamental laws that describe and differentiate it from other types of societies. Constitutive laws are formed by agreement in significant cultures where different groups of citizens co-exist. In developed nations, this agreement is available in written form, which we call a Constitution. The Indian Constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was formed in December 1946. The Constituent Assembly consisted of 300 members in 1946. It was headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The Constituent Assembly completed the work in two years, eleven months, and eighteen days. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950. To know more, read our blog on The Indian Constitution.

Credits: Basic Gyan

What is Dictatorship?

Dictatorship is a type of government where one person or a group of people enjoy unbridled power in the absence of any limitations. Dictators usually use forcible means to achieve political power. They subsequently maintain their government through the use of violence, terror, and the suspension of civil rights. They also use different means such as the dissemination of disinformation to sustain their rule. All this helps the dictator to govern the country in the direction of his choice, even though it may come at the cost of public welfare. For more information, read our blog on What is the Difference between Democracy and Dictatorship?

Democracy vs Dictatorship

Criteria Democracy Dictatorship
Definition Government of the people One person or a group rules a population
Key Feature People choose their representatives The dictator rules every aspect of the country.
Power Citizens have the ultimate power in a democracy. The dictator has all the powers.
Freedom The freedom provided in terms of rights and duties No freedom for the people
Justice A wholesome justice system The power to provide justice lies in the hands of the dictator
Government Promotes sovereignty Facilitates domination
Rights Human rights to express, vote, information, social rights, cultural rights, etc. The dictator has all the rights and people are oppressed.

Principles of Indian Democracy

There are mainly five principles like – Sovereign, Secular, Socialist, Democratic, and Republic. Let’s discover them more in detail:

  • Sovereign- Sovereignty is a vital feature of Indian Democracy. It refers to the full power of the governing body over itself without outside interference. On the basis of this, the elections by the political parties are being held. Most noteworthy, the people of India elect their representatives and these representatives remain responsible for the common people. 
  • Secular – Another principle is being politically equal. Furthermore, it essentially means all the citizens are equal before the law. Also, there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, race, etc. Hence, every Indian enjoys equal political parties. 
  • Republic- Rule of the majority is an essential feature of Indian democracy. Moreover, the party which wins the most seats forms and runs the government. Nobody can object to the support of the majority. 
  • Socialist- Collective Responsibility is a notable feature of Indian Democracy. The council of Ministers of India is collectively responsible to their respective legislatures. Therefore, no minister alone is responsible for any actions of their government. 
  • Democratic- Indian Democracy works on the principle of the formation of opinion. The Legislature of India provides an appropriate platform to express public views and beliefs. 

Cons of Democracy 

  • In a democracy, leaders change frequently, resulting in instability
  • Democracy is all about political power and competition, with little room for morals
  • In a democracy, many individuals must be consulted, which causes delays
  • Elected officials do not always know what is best for the public, which leads to poor decisions
  • Because democracy is built on election competitiveness, it breeds corruption
  • Ordinary people don’t know what’s best for them, thus they shouldn’t make any decisions

Arguments in Favour of Democracy

  • A democratic government is preferable to a non-democratic government because it is more responsible
  • The quality of decision-making is enhanced by democracy
  • Democracy gives a means of resolving disagreements and problems
  • Citizens’ dignity is enhanced by democracy
  • Democracy is preferable to other kinds of government in that it permits us to fix our own errors

FAQs

What are the 3 types of democracy?

Consensus democracy – rule based on consensus rather than traditional majority rule. Constitutional democracy – governed by a constitution. Deliberative democracy – in which authentic deliberation, not only voting, is central to legitimate decision making.

What is a democracy in Short answer?

Democracy is a system of government in which laws, policies, leadership, and major undertakings are directly or indirectly decided by the “people”—a group generally understood to include all (or nearly all) adult citizens.

What is democracy and example?

The definition of democracy is a form of government in which the common people hold political power and can rule either directly or through elected representatives. An example of democracy at work is in the United States, where people have political freedom and equality.

Hope this blog on what is democracy helped you in understanding its importance in the Indian context. Get in touch with Leverage Edu if you plan to explore various careers in this particular domain. 

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