CBSE Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Notes Understanding the Lesson
1. In a democracy, all power does not rest with anyone organ of the state. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of democracy.
2. The two stories from Belgium and Sri Lanka show how democracies handle demands for power-sharing. The stories end with conclusions that power-sharing is important in democracy.
3. The ethnic composition of Belgium, a small country, is very complex. Of the country’s total population, 59 percent lives in the Flemish region and speaks Dutch language. Another 40 percent people live in the Wallonia region and speak French. Remaining one percent of the Belgians speak German. In the capital city Brussels, 80 percent people speak French while 20 percent are Dutch-speaking.
4. The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich and powerful. The Dutch-speaking community resented it which resulted in tensions between the two communities.
5. The Belgian leaders amended their constitution four times to solve this problem. Their constitution now prescribes that the number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers shall be equal in the central government and no single community can make decisions unilaterally. Also the state governments are not subordinate to the Central Government.
6. Sri Lanka too has a diverse population. The major social groups are the Sinhala-speakers (74%) and the Tamil-speakers (18%).
7. When Sri Lanka emerged as an independent country in 1948, the leaders of the Sinhala community sought to secure dominance over the government by virtue of their majority. As a result, the democratically elected government adopted a series of majoritarian measures to establish Sinhala supremacy. This strained the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities. And soon there was a civil war.
8. In Belgium, the leaders have realized that the unity of the country is possible only by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions. Such a realization resulted in mutually acceptable arrangements for power-sharing.
9. Sri Lanka shows that if a majority community wants to force its dominance over others and refuses to share power, it can weaken the unity of the country.
10. Power-sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. In modern democracies, power-sharing arrangements can take many forms –
- power is shared among different organs of government,
- power can be shared among governments at different levels,
- power may also be shared among different social groups, and
- power-sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power.
Power Sharing Class 10 CBSE Notes Important Terms
Democracy: Government by all the people, usually through elected representatives.
Ethnic: A social division based on shared culture.
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.