Political Theory-An Introduction
claims, manipulating different sections, pursuing personal or group interests ruthlessly and in worst cases stooping to crime, they link politics with ‘scams’. So prevalent is this way of thinking that when we see people in different walks of life trying to promote their interests by any means possible, we say they are playing politics. If we see a cricketer manipulating to stay in the team, or a fellow student trying to use his father’s position, or a colleague in office mindlessly agreeing with the boss, we say he or she is playing ‘dirty’ politics. Disillusioned by such pursuits of selfishness we despair of politics. We say, “I am not interested in politics” or that “I am going to stay away from politics”. It is not only ordinary people who despair of politics; even businessmen and entrepreneurs routinely blame politics for their woes even as they benefit from and fund various political parties. Cinema stars also complain of politics though they seem to be adept at the game once they join it.
We are thus confronted with conflicting images of politics. Is politics an undesirable activity that we should stay away from and get rid off? Or, is it a worthwhile activity which we must engage with in order to make a better world?
It is unfortunate that politics has come to be associated with the pursuit of self-interest by any and every method. We need to realize that politics is an important and integral part of any society. Mahatma Gandhi once observed that politics envelops us like the coils of a snake and there is no other way out but to wrestle with it. No society can exist without some form of political organization and collective decision making. A society that wants to sustain itself needs to take into account the multiple needs and interests of its members. A number of social institutions such as the family, tribes, and economic institutions have emerged to help people fulfill their needs and aspirations. Such institutions help us find ways of living together and acknowledging our obligations to each other.
1. Which of the following statements are true/false about Political theory?
a. It discusses ideas that form the basis of political institutions
b. It explains the relationship between different religions
c. It explains the meanings of concepts like equality and freedom
d. It predicts the performance of political parties
2. Politics is more than what politicians do. Do you agree with this statement? Give examples.
3. Vigilant citizens are a must for the successful working of a democracy. Comment.
4. In what ways is the study of political theory useful for us? Identify four ways in which the political theory can be useful to us?
5. Do you think that a good/ convincing argument can compel others to listen to you?
6. Do you think studying political theory is like studying mathematics? Give reasons for your answer.
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 11 Political Science Political Theory-An Introduction