Which of these is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country?
a. Opposition parties can draw attention to hunger and starvation.
b. Free press can report suffering from famine in different parts of the country.
c. The government fears its defeat in the next elections. d. People are free to believe in and practise any religion.
Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision.
a. All the citizens of the country have the right to vote. Elections are held regularly.
b. The country took loan from international agencies. One of the conditions for giving loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health.
c. People speak more than seven languages, but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 percent of people of that country.
d. Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. The government has arrested these leaders.
e. The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about the government’s policies and protests
Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?
a. Father to daughter: I don’t want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family, children marry where the parents tell them to.
b. Teacher to student: Don’t disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.
c. Employee to the officer: Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.
Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:
a. The army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore, army should rule the country.
b. Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.
c. If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.
There are 40 villages in a district where the government has made no provision for drinking water. These villagers met and considered many methods of forcing the government to respond to their need. Which of these is not a democratic method?
a. Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of right to life.
b. Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.
c. Organising public meetings against the government’s policies.
d. Paying money to government officials to get water.
Each of these statements contains a democratic and undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
a. A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
b. The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large-scale rigging was reported.
c. Women’s representation in parliament has barely reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third of seats for women.