Power Sharing Notes Class 10 Notes NCERT and MCQs

14-10-2022 11:56 AM IST Priyanka Chaudhary

This chapter discusses the importance and forms of power sharing in diverse societies.

Important Terms

  • Ethnic: A social division based on shared culture. People belonging to the same ethnic group believe in their common descent because of similarities of physical type or of culture or both. They need not always have the same religion or nationality.
  • Majoritarianism: A belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whichever way it wants, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority.
  • Civil war: A violent conflict between opposing groups within a country that becomes so intense that it appears like a war.
  • Prudential: Based on prudence, or on careful calculation of gains and losses. Prudential decisions are usually contrasted with decisions based purely on moral considerations.

Arrangement for Power sharing in Sri Lanka and Belgium

Sri Lanka became independent in 1948. Sinhala community enjoyed the majority in the country and the elected government adopted various majoritarian measures to establish the supremacy of Sinhala such as passing an act in 1956 to recognize Sinhala as the only official language (disregarding Tamil language), fostering Buddhism, favoring Sinhala applicants for government jobs, etc.

As a result, Sri Lankan Tamils started feeling alienated and they asked for the recognition of Tamil as an official language and equality in opportunity in education and jobs. But their demands were denied. In 1980s, several political organisations were formed that demanded an independent Tamil Eelam in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

In Belgium, the leaders identified the existence of regional differences and cultural diversities. They amended the constitution four times so as to enable everyone to live together in the nation. The measures taken are as follows:

  • Number of Dutch and French speaking ministers will be equal in the central government. For special laws to pass, the majority of each linguistic group would be required.
  • Many powers of the central government were transferred to the state governments of the two regions and the state government was not subordinate to the central government.
  • In Brussels, a separate government had both Dutch speaking and French speaking communities with equal representation.
  • There was also a community government elected by the people belonging to French, Dutch and German-speaking community. This government has the power related to cultural, educational and language related issues.

Need for Power-sharing

  • Prudential reason: It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups and ensures the stability of political order. Favoring majoritarianism undermines the unity of a nation.
  • Moral reason: Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A legitimate government is one where citizens, through participation, acquire a stake in the system.

Common arrangements of Power-sharing in modern democracies

  • Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary.
    • This is called horizontal distribution of power because it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers.
    • This results in a balance of power among various institutions and is hence called a system of checks and balances.
  • Power can be shared among governments at different levels – a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. This is called federal division of power and also vertical division of power.
  • Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups.
    • The system of ‘reserved constituencies’ in assemblies and the parliament of our country is an example of this type of power sharing.
    • This type of arrangement is meant to give space in the government and administration to diverse social groups who otherwise would feel alienated from the government.
  • Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power.
    • This sharing is in form of competition among different parties.
    • Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups.

 

MCQs based on NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1: Power Sharing

1. Which of the following is/are the advantages of power sharing?

A. Reduces conflict among different communities

B. Delays decision making process

C. Accommodates diversities

D. Undermines the unity of a country

Select the answer using the codes given below:

a. A and B

b. A and C

c. B and D

d. A, B and C

Ans. b

Explanation:

Power sharing reduces the conflict among different communities, accommodates diversities, increases political stability and promotes people’s participation.

2. Consider the following statements about power-sharing arrangements in Belgium and Sri Lanka.

A. In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking majority people tried to impose their domination on the minority French-speaking community.

B. In Sri Lanka, the policies of the government sought to ensure the dominance of the Sinhala-speaking majority.

C. The Tamils in Sri Lanka demanded a federal arrangement of power-sharing to protect their culture, language and equality of opportunity in education and jobs.

D. The transformation of Belgium from unitary government to a federal one prevented a possible division of the country on linguistic lines.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

a. A, B, C and D

b. A, B and D

c. C and D

d. B, C and D

Ans. d

Explanation:

Statement A is incorrect because in Belgium a different model of the government was adopted in which there was equal representation of ministers from Dutch and French speaking communities in the Centre. Statement B, C and D are correct.

3. Match List I (forms of power sharing) with List II (forms of government) and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists.

List I

List II

1. Power shared among different organs of government

A. Community government

2. Power shared among governments at different levels

B. Separation of power

3. Power shared by different social groups

C. Coalition government

4. Power shared by two or more political parties

D. Federal government

 

 

1

2

3

4

a.

D

A

B

C

b.

B

C

D

A

c.

B

D

A

C

d.

C

D

A

B

 

Ans. c

Explanation:

 The correct match is given below:

  • Power shared among different organs of government- Separation of power
  • Power shared among governments at different levels- Federal government
  • Power shared by different social groups- Community government
  • Power shared by two or more political parties- Coalition government

4. Consider the following statements on power sharing and select the correct answer using the codes given below:

A. Power sharing is good for democracy.

B. It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups.

Which of these statements are true and false?

a. A is true but B is false

b. Both A and B are true

c. Both A and B are false

d. A is false but B is true

Ans. b

Explanation:

Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Power Sharing

What is majoritarianism?

Majoritarianism is a belief that the majority community should be able to rule the country in whichever way it wants, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority.

What is the system of checks and balances?

In case of horizontal distribution of power among the various organs of the government- executive, legislative, and judiciary- each organs checks the power of the other thereby creating a balance of power among institutions. This arrangement is known as the system of checks and balances.

What is coalition government?

When the different political parties form an alliance before the elections and gets elected, then they form the coalition government and share the power.

What is federal government?

When the power is shared among the governments at different levels, then the general government is referred to as the federal government.
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