Class 10 Civics

Democracy and Diversity

  • Diversity in society
  • Effects of caste system
  • Liberal outlook

Diversity in Society:

The presence of different socio-economic groups, different religious groups, different linguistic groups, different cultural groups and different caste groups can be termed as diversity in society.

India is a perfect example of diverse nation. In India, people of almost all major religion of this world can be found. There are thousands of languages, variety of food habits, all hues of costumes and myriad variety of cultures and subcultures in India.

Diversity as perfect stimulus to politics

As per Darwin's theory of evolution it is the survival of fittest. Human beings need to prosper economically; in their endeavour to survive. The economic prosperity ultimately leads to social upgradation. History is full of examples when some economically stronger social group tried to dominate the comparatively weaker sections. This was done to ensure uninterrupted control over resources and power.

Political manifestation of social diversity depends on three factors, which are as follows:

  1. How people perceive their identities. If people see their identity in singular or exclusive term, it becomes difficult to accommodate social diversity.
  2. How political leaders raise the demands of any community.
  3. How the government reacts to the demands of a community. If the government accommodates the demand of a particular community in a justified way, it does wonders for the politics.

Effects of Caste System

As per the caste system of ancient Hindu scriptures, society was divided into four classes based on area of work. Nobody is sure what was the situation originally but over a period of time this developed into a caste and class system which was strictly based on one's birth in a particular caste.

The so-called upper caste people controlled every economical resource and lower caste people were oppressed to prevent them from developing in the socio-economic order.

Liberal Outlook

Partly because of British influence and partly because of liberal policies followed by successive governments in India more and more people started getting access to modern methods of education. Apart from this, the fourth estate, media increased political awareness among vast sections of the society.

These things must have done wonders for political awakening of the downtrodden masses. This awakening is bearing fruit, which is evident from rise of strong regional leaders who don't belong to the upper caste.

As you know, democracy is about giving every stakeholder a say in the governance. So now it can be said that India is finally evolving as a true democracy, because now almost all sections of society are having a representation in the Government.

Government's Steps to Include Fringe groups into Mainstream:

After independence, the constitution makers made two radical provisions, which were to frame India's destiny in the right direction.

  1. The first provision was to give the right to vote to every adult citizen of this country. Many experts in those days laughed at the idea. The reason given was a highly illiterate population was not fit to use the right judiciously.
  2. The second provision was to give reservation to the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes to include them in the mainstream of the life of the nation.

These two provisions helped to grow the level of political awareness amongst the people of hinterland. In fact it took hundreds of years for developed countries like the US and the UK to provide voting rights to women. And the disheartening fact is till date no woman could become the President of USA. Till a few years ago no president of the US was black.

It can be said that India has seen many examples of people from the oppressed classes rising up to the high posts in country. The President’s post had been graced by people from the minority communities; like Muslim and Sikh. Some Dalits had also become the President of India. India has seen a woman Prime Minister and a Woman President. India has also seen a Sikh as the Prime Minister.


Power Sharing

Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects.

Federalism

Federalism is a system of government in which the power is divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country. Usually, a federation has two levels of government.

Democracy and Diversity

The presence of different socio-economic groups, different religious groups, different linguistic groups, different cultural groups and different caste groups can be termed as diversity in society.

Gender Religion and Caste

Social division on the lines of caste is unique to India. The caste system of the present has evolved from the varna system which was based on occupations and on the principle that an occupation passed from one generation to another.

Popular Struggle

Some examples of popular movements in India are: Narmada Bachao Andolan, Movement for Right to Information, Anti-liquor Movement, Women’s Movement, Environmental Movement.

Political Parties

A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good.

Outcomes of Democracy

The most basic outcome of democracy is that it produces a government that is accountable to the citizens, and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens.

Challenges to Democracy

A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress. Once we overcome a challenge we go up to a higher level than before.