Democracy and Diversity Class 10 Notes NCERT and MCQs
This chapter discusses how democracy responds to social differences, divisions and inequalities.
Civil Rights Movement in the USA (1954-1968) refers to a set of events and reform movements aimed at abolishing legal racial discrimination against African-Americans. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., this movement practiced non-violent methods of civil disobedience against racially discriminatory laws and practices.
African-American, Afro-American, Black American, or Black are the terms used to refer mainly to the descendants of Africans who were brought into America as slaves between the 17th century and early 19th century.
The Black Power: This movement emerged in 1966 and lasted till 1975, which was a more militant anti-racist movement, advocating even violence if necessary, to end racism in the US.
Homogeneous society: A society that has similar kinds of people, especially where there are no significant ethnic differences.
Migrant: Anybody who shifts from one region or country to another region within a country or to another country, usually for work or other economic opportunities.
A story from Mexico Olympics
At the 1968 Olympics, two athletes named Tommie Smith and John Carlos while receiving medal wore black socks and no shoes to show Black poverty. They wore black gloves on one hand and raised it to make a fist while the US anthem was playing. They did this to as a sign to protest against the racial discrimination in US. The black gloves and the clenched fists symbolized the Black Power.
These differences originate mainly on the basis of birth. These differences can be based on caste, color, gender, religion, background, etc. Every social difference does not lead to social division. Social differences divide similar people but unite very different people.
Types of Social Differences
Social division occurs when some or the other social difference overlaps with other differences. For example- In India, dalits face discrimination because they tend to be poor and landless.
Overlapping social differences, like racial differences along with poverty, create possibilities of deep social divisions and tensions. People start feeling that they belong to different communities.
Cross-cutting differences: When social differences cross cut each other i.e. the groups share a common interest on one issue but are likely to be on different sides on another issue. These differences are easier to accommodate.
Migration also creates the social division as the migrants bring with them their own culture and form a different social community. Thus, we can say that most of the countries in the world are multi-cultural.
Politics of Social Division
In Democracy, various parties are involved in competition which tends to create social division. If they compete in terms of existing social divisions, the social divisions convert into political divisions thereby resulting in violence, conflict or even disintegration of a nation. This had happened in many countries like UK (Northern Ireland), Yugoslavia.
Three factors are crucial in deciding the outcome of politics of social divisions:
How people perceive their identities: If people see their identities in singular and exclusive terms, it becomes difficult to accommodate everyone. However, it is much easier if the people see that their identities are multiple and are complementary with the national identity.
How political leaders raise the demands of any community: It is easier to accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community.
How the government reacts to demands of different groups: If the rulers are willing to share power and accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, social divisions become less threatening for the country.
If the rulers are willing to share powers and accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, then the social divisions become less dangerous for the country.
Hence, we can say that in a democracy, political expression of social divisions is not always unhealthy as this allows different disadvantaged and marginal groups to draw attention of the government towards their grievances. This leads to strengthening of democracy.
MCQs based on NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 3: Democracy and Diversity
1. In dealing with social divisions which one of the following statements is NOT correct about democracy?
a. Due to political competition in a democracy, social divisions get reflected in politics.
b. In a democracy, it is possible for communities to voice their grievances in a peaceful manner.
c. Democracy is the best way to accommodate social diversity.
d. Democracy always leads to the disintegration of society on the basis of social divisions.
Democracy is the best way to accommodate social diversity. In a democracy, it is possible for communities to voice their grievances in a peaceful manner. Due to political competition in a democracy, social divisions get reflected in politics.
Democracy does not always lead to the disintegration of society as can be seen in case of India which is a multicultural country having many social divisions.
2. Consider the following statements about social differences.
A. Overlapping social differences create possibilities of deep social divisions.
B. Cross-cutting social differences do not usually lead to conflicts.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. A only
b. B only
c. A and B
Overlapping social differences create possibilities of deep social divisions and tensions. Cross cutting social differences do not usually lead to conflicts. These differences are easier to accommodate.
3. Among the following, which country suffered disintegration due to political fights on the basis of religious and ethnic identities?
Yugoslavia suffered disintegration due to political fights on the basis of religious and ethnic identities. Yugoslavia was disintegrated into 6 countries.
4. Consider the following three statements:
A. Social divisions take place when social differences overlap.
B. It is possible that a person can have multiple identities.
C. Social divisions exist in only big countries like India.
Which of the statements is/are correct?
a. A, B and C
b. A and B
c. B and C
d. Only C
Social divisions take place when social differences overlap. It is possible that a person can have multiple identities. Social divisions exist in big as well as small countries.