|Board||CBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board|
|Subject||Civic| Political Science | Social Science|
|Chapter Name||Key Elements of a Democratic Government|
|Topic||Key Elements of a Democratic Government CBSE Class 6 Civic Chapter 4 Notes|
|Especially Designed Notes for||CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA, All Govt. Exam|
Key Elements of a Democratic Government
In South Africa, there are several races of people who live together. There are black people who belong to South Africa, whites who came there to settle and Indians who came as labourers and traders.
Apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid means separation on the basis of race. There were several races in South Africa such as white, black, Indian and coloured reces. As for as the rules and regulations these races were not allowed to mingle with each other. Discrimination between different races took place in South Africa in several ways:
- Hospitals were separate and so were ambulances. An ambulance for white people would always be in good condition whereas the one for black people was not.
- Trains and buses were separate for white and black people. Even the bus stops were different for black and white people.
- Non-whites were not permitted to vote.
- The best land of South Africa was reserved for the white people and non-whites had to settle down at the worst land. There was a township2 for black people called Soweto.
Struggle Against Apartheid
The African National Congress led the struggle against apartheid* under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, who fought the apartheid system for several years. Finally, they overcame apartheid system in 1994 and South Africa became a democratic country in which people of all races were considered equal.
Participation of Common People in Government
People participate in government through their representatives. These representatives take decisions on behalf of the people. While taking decisions, they keep in mind the interests and voices of the people.
In India, the governments are elected for a fixed period of five years. If they want to continue to be in power, then they have to be re-elected by the people. This is a moment when people can sense their power in a democracy. In this way, the power of the government gets limited by regular elections.
Other Ways of Participating
Other ways of participating in the process of government are as follows:
- People participate by taking an interest in the working of the government and by criticising it when required.
- In August 2005, when a particular government increased the money people had to pay for electricity, people protested and organised rallies and a signature campaign. The government had to change its decision because it is responsible to the people.
- There are many ways in which people express their views against government’s wrong decisions viz. holding dbarnas, rallies, strikes, signature campaigns etc. Wrong and unjust decisions are also brought forward through newspapers, magazines and TV. These play an important role in discussing issues and responsibilities of the government.
- In a democracy, everyone can raise their voices but some sections of people are actually not able to do so. People sometimes organise themselves into social movements that seek to challenge the government and its functioning. Members of the minority community, dalits, adivasis, women and others participate in this manner.
- If a country’s citizens are alert and interested in how the country is run, then the government of that country will be stronger.
Need to Resolve Conflict
Conflicts occur when people of different cultures, religions, regions or economic backgrounds do not get along with each other or when some among them feel they are being discriminated against.
Conflict can lead to violence and death on many occasions. It occurs when one group decides that they can use force to prevent the other group from protesting. People sometimes use violent steps to settle their differences. This violence brings fear and tension among others who live in and around the area. The government plays an important role in helping resolve conflicts.
Types of Conflicts in Indian Society
In this chapter, mainly two kinds of conflicts i.e. religious conflicts and river water conflicts are discussed.
Religious processions and celebrations sometimes lead to conflicts. For example suppose a religious procession takes the route of another community’s locality, then someone may throw stones or try to disrupt the procession. At times, there is fear that violence may occur.
The government, specially the police, play an important role in tackling such conflicts. They meet the representatives of the communities concerned and try to arrive at a solution. The police is responsible for ensuring that violence does not take place.
River Water Conflict
Sometimes rivers can also become a source of conflict between states. A river flows from one state to another, therefore sharing of river water between states becomes an issue of conflict. For example Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
A conflict arose because both Krishnasagar dam (Karnataka) and Mettur dam (Tamil Nadu) are on the same river. The Tamil Nadu dam can only be filled up if water is released by Karnataka. It happens only for downstream and upstream locations. Thus, neither of the two states gets enough water to meet their needs. This leads to conflict.
The Central Government plays a significant role here in ensuring that both states get fair distribution of water and no conflict arises in future.
Equality and Justice
In a democratic type of government, equality and justice are two key elements and these are inseparable. The practice of untouchability is now banned by law. In earlier times, this group of people were denied education, transport or medical facilities and prohibited from entering into the temples.
Dr Ambedkar and many others like him analysed that such practices must be discontinued and that justice can only be achieved when people are treated equally. The government also identifies this and legislates special provisions for groups within society that are unequal.
In our society, there is a tendency to value the boy child more than the girl child. This means that society does not value the girl and boy child equally and this is unjust.
In this environment, the government takes steps to promote justice by providing special provisions that can enable girls to overcome the injustice that they are subjected to. Consequently, girl’s fees in government schools or colleges might be dropped or decreased.
- Discrimination It is action that denies social participation or human rights to certain categories of people based on prejudice.
- Township The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries.
- African National Congress The group of people who struggled against the apartheid is named as the African National Congress.
- Apartheid It is a policy of discrimination on the basis of colour of skin and creed.