NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Civics for chapter 6 Political Parties
Q1. State the various functions political parties perform in a democracy.
In a democracy, a political party has the following functions-
• Parties contest elections. Parties select their candidates for elections in different ways. In USA, members and supporters of a party choose its candidate. In India, senior party leaders choose the candidate.
• Different policies and programmes are put forward by political parties. Voters decide which party to vote for based on their policies.
• Parties play a decisive role in law making for the country. Laws are debated and passed in the legislature. But members of the legislature belong to some party of the other. They generally take the line of their party while debating a law.
• Parties form and run governments. Party that wins maximum seats in legislature forms government. Party leaders are appointed as ministers in the government.
• Parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition. They voice different views and criticize the government for its failures or wrong policies.
• Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues. Parties sometimes also launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people.
• Parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by governments. For an ordinary citizen, it is easy to approach a local party leader than a government officer.
Q2. What are the various challenges faced by political parties?
The various challenges faced by political parties are -
• Lack of internal democracy: This challenge is faced by political parties all over the world. There is a tendency that power is concentrated with some big leaders within the party. Parties do not hold organizational meetings and do not hold internal elections regularly. Ordinary members of a party are not aware of what is going on in the party.
• Dynastic succession: In many parties, top positions are always controlled by members of one family. This is unfair to other members of a party and it is bad for democracy.
• Role of money and muscle power: Parties are mainly interested in winning elections. They tend to use short-cuts to win elections. Parties pick candidates that can raise huge amounts of money. As a result, rich people and companies who fund parties also shape the policies of the party. In many cases, political parties give tickets to criminals who can win the election.
• No meaningful choice: Another challenge is the lack of any meaningful choice to the voters. In recent years, there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in most parts of the world. For example, the difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party in Britain is very little. They agree on more fundamental aspects but differ only in details on how policies are to be framed and implemented. In India too, the differences among all the major parties on the economic policies have reduced. Those who want really different policies have no option available to them.
Q3. Suggest some reforms to strengthen parties so that they perform their functions well?
Some reforms that are suggested to strengthen parties are -
• A law should be brought into force to regulate internal affairs of political parties. It should be made compulsory for a political party to:
- Maintain a register of its members
- Follow its own constitution
- Have an independent authority to act as judge in case of party disputes
- Hold independent elections for highest posts
• It should be made mandatory for all political parties to give one-third tickets to women candidates. There should also be a quota for women in the decision making body of a party.
• There should be state funding of elections. Funds should be given by the government to the parties for their election expenses.
Q4. What is a political party?
A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good.
Q5. What are the characteristics of a political party?
Important characteristics of political parties are -
• They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good.
• Since there can be different vie\NS on what is good for all, parties try to persuade people why their policies are better than others.
• They seek to implement these policies by winning popular support through elections.
• Parties reflect fundamental political divisions in a society.
• Parties are a part of society and thus involve partisanship. Thus, a party is known by which part it stands for, which policies its supports and whose interests it upholds.
Q6. A group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government is called a _
A group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government is called a political party.
Q 7. Match List I (organisations and struggles) with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:
A. National Democratic Alliance
Bharatiya Janata Party
B. State Party
Communist Party of India
C. United Progressive Alliance
Telugu Desam Party
D. Left Front
Q8. Who among the following is the founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party?
B. Sahu Maharaj
C. B.R. Ambedkar
D. Jotiba Phule
A. Kanshi Ram
Q9. What is the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party?
A. Bahujan Samaj
B. Revolutionary democracy
C. Integral humanism
Ans. C. Integral humanism
Q10. Consider the following statements on parties.
A. Political parties do not enjoy much trust among the people.
B. Parties are often rocked by scandals involving top party leaders. C. Parties are not necessary to run governments.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) A,B and C
(b) A and B
(c) B and C
(d) A and C
(b) A and B
Q11. Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:
Muhammad Yunus is a famous economist of Bangladesh. He received several international honours for his efforts to promote economic and social development for the benefit of the poor. He and the Grameen Bank he started jointly, received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006. In February 2007, he decided to launch a political party and contest in the parliamentary elections. His objective was to foster proper leadership, good governance and build a new Bangladesh. He felt that only a political party different from the traditional ones would bring about new political culture. His party would be democratic from the grassroots level.
The launching of the new party, called Nagarik Shakti (Citizens' Power), has caused a stir among the Bangladeshis. While many welcomed his decision, some did not like it. "Now I think Bangladesh will have a chance to choose between good and bad and eventually have a good government," said Shahedullslam, a government official. "That government, we hope, would not only keep itself away from corruption but also make fighting corruption and black money a top priority."
But leaders of traditional political parties who dominated the country's politics for decades were apprehensive. "There was no debate (over him) winning the Nobel, but politics is different- very challenging and often controversial," said a senior leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Some others were highly critical. They asked why he was rushing into politics. "Is he being planted in politics by mentors from outside the country," asked one political observer.
Do you think Yunus made a right decision to float a new political party?
Do you agree with the statements and fears expressed by various people? How do you want this new party organised to make it different from other parties? If you were the one to begin this political party, how would you defend it?
• Yunus did the right thing by forming a new party. He launched a party that was different from traditional parties. His party also promised to be democratic from the grass-root levels. Being democratic from the grass-root level meant the party would not allow power concentration with few top leaders. It would also give a fair chance to young and budding leaders to prosper. Since the party was different from traditional ones, it would give the voters a meaningful choice.
• I agree with the statement made by Shahedul Islam in support of the party. The party would provide the people with a meaningful choice which was not there with traditional parties. It would allow the people to choose a government free from corruption. On the other hand, I do not agree with the fears and apprehensions of the people opposing the new political party. These fears and apprehensions are baseless.
• To make this party different from others, the party should truly be democratic at grass-root level. The leaders and candidates should be selected by open election. The party should maintain a membership register and regularly hold organizational meetings. Moreover, the party must give one-third of the tickets to women candidates and also reserve seats for women in decision making bodies.
• I would defend the party with the following arguments -
- Traditional parties do not offer a meaningful choice to the voters
- They have failed to check corruption and flow of black money
- The party is democratic at grass-root levels which prevents power concentration with a few big leaders
- The party gives a fair chance to young and budding leaders and does not allow power concentration in one family