CBSE Class 9 Social Science Political Science Revision Notes Chapter 1

CBSE Class 9 Political Science (Civics) 

Chapter 1 notes- What is Democracy? Why Democracy? 

Class 9 Political Science Chapter 1 Notes will highlight the importance and basics of democracy in any nation and the arguments in favour of and against democracy. With the help of Class 9 Chapter 1 Political Science Notes, students can cover the major portions of the chapter that are important for their final examination. Along with Chapter 1 Political Science Class 9 Notes, Extramarks also provides students with past years’ question papers to help them prepare for tests and exams thoroughly.

Extramarks believes in incorporating joyful learning experiences through its own repository. The subject experts have conscientiously prepared authentic, concise answers which students can trust and enjoy the process of learning. Students looking for last-minute revision material should refer to the Class 9 Political Science notes in Chapter 1.

CBSE Class 9 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 1

Access Class 9 Social Science Civics Chapter 1- What is Democracy? Why Democracy? 

What is Democracy? 

Chapter 1 highlights what democracy is and why it is important for a nation to be democratic. The word democracy originated from the Greek word “Demokratia”, in which Demo means to rule, and Kratia means people. Democracy is a form of government where the nation’s leaders are elected and chosen by the people. So, according to its original meaning, democracy stands for the people’s rule. One factor common to all democracies is that the people choose their leaders. It helps us to differentiate between Democratic and non-democratic governments. For instance, the rulers or leaders of Myanmar were not elected by the people. People who controlled the army ultimately became the rulers of the nation. Another example is the dictators of Chile like Pinochet, whom the people did not elect.

Features of Democracy: 

Let’s understand the major features of democracy with some examples: 

  • In a democracy, the final decision-making authority must rest with those leaders elected by the people.

In the country of Pakistan, General Parvez Musharaff declared himself the president of the nation in 2002, further claiming a referendum to increase his term to 5 years. 

  • The elections held in a democratic country must be free and fair, wherein the ruling party has a fair chance of losing. 

In  China, every contesting participant must have permission from the National People’s Congress party to take part in the election. 

  • One person, one vote, and one value should be the motto of any democratic nation. It simply means that all individuals must have the right to vote, and each vote must have equal value. 

In Saudi Arabia until 2015, women did not have the right to vote. 

  • A democratic government must rule within limits prescribed by the constitution and citizens’ rule. 

In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe used malpractices to win the elections.

Major Decisions by Elected Leaders: 

Some countries, including Pakistan, do not follow certain rules. In Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the government through a military coup in October 1999. He declared himself the President of the country. In 2002, he passed a referendum that gave him a five-year extension. Moreover, after the passing of the ‘Legal Framework Order’, elections took place to select the representatives of the national and provincial assemblies. But the final power lay in the hands of military officers and General Musharraf. Hence, we can state that it was not a democratic election.  The same thing happened in various dictatorships and monarchies. Thus, we can convincingly state that in a democracy, the final decision-making power must rest with those representatives elected by the people.

Free and Fair Electoral Competition: 

In China, elections are held every five years. The National People’s Congress in China has the power to choose and appoint the President. However, before contesting in an election, the individual needs permission from the Communist Party of China, and only those members of the Chinese Communist party are allowed to contest in elections. Moreover, the Communist party always forms the government. Another example is Mexico, wherein, until 2000, a party known as the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the elections because of malpractices. Hence, in China, people are not offered any choice because they have to select the ruling party and its candidates. Moreover, though the elections took place every six years in Mexico, there were no fair elections.

One Person, One Vote, One Value: 

There are instances denying the equal right to vote in Saudi Arabia. Women did not have the power to select their leader or the right to vote until 2015. Furthermore, Estonia made its citizens rule so that Russian minorities find it very difficult to gain the power to vote. In Fiji, the vote given by an indigenous Fiji holds more value than the vote cast by Indian Fiji.

Rule of Law and Respect for Rights: 

Zimbabwe has been ruled by one party ZANU-PF since its independence in 1980. Robert Mugabe was the President of the nation and was very popular. However, he used malpractices after being selected as a leader.  For example, over the years, the party amended the constitution multiple times just to give more power to the President, opposition parties were harassed, and a law limited the right of media and people to criticise the government.

Why Democracy? What are the Merits of Democracy? 

  • A democratic government is always better than any other form of government due to its accountability: For instance, in 1958-1961, China and India were badly hit by a famine. More than three crore people died in China, but India did not face the same situation or food scarcity as China. This simply brings forth the point that a democratic government will take care of the needs and wishes of the people.
  • Democracy improves and enhances the quality of decision-making: Democracy is based on consultations within the party and discussions. A democratic decision involves the opinion of many people in discussions and meetings, wherein people can point out mistakes in any law or decision. This is a time-consuming process. However, the advantage of taking more time in important decisions is that it drastically reduces the chances of mistakes afterwards.
  • Democracy offers a method to solve various differences and conflicts: In any society, people are bound to have different opinions, interests, and viewpoints. However, these differences are more in a country like India, with wide social diversity. The preference and decisions of one group or section of society can contradict the decision of other groups. Democracy bestows a peaceful solution to this problem. In a democratic country, there are no permanent winners or losers.
  • Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens: Democracy is based on the principle of political and social equality. According to the definition of democracy, the poorest and the less educated have equal rights and status as the elite and the educated.

What are the Demerits of Democracy? 

  • Leaders keep  changing in a democracy which might lead to instability
  • Democracy is about political competition and a game of power, which leaves no scope for morality
  • Many people have to be consulted before taking any decision, which leads to delays in the decision-making process
  • Elected leaders sometimes do not care for  the interests of the people, which can lead to unfavourable decisions
  • Democracy breeds corruption as it is based on political and electoral competition
  • Ordinary people don’t know what is best for society and themselves; they should not be in a position to decide

The Broader Meaning of Democracy: 

Democracy can go beyond the government and be applied to any sphere of life. People often use the word democracy not just to describe any government but also to set up an ideal picture that all countries must aim to become. However, if we consider the ideals of democracy, then no country across the globe is truly democratic. It helps people understand an existing democracy and identify its weaknesses. It also enables people to differentiate between a minimal democracy and a good democracy. People’s elected representatives are ruling the most common form of democratic government in today’s world. However, there can be other ways of making democratic decisions for a small community. All people can sit and make decisions directly. This is an ideal manner in which the Gram Sabha should operate in a village.

These notes will help students grasp the CBSE syllabus of Chapter 1, Political Science, with ease and in less time to revise all the topics thoroughly.  Extramarks also provides NCERT book notes, including formulas, CBSE past year’s question papers, CBSE sample papers, and CBSE extra questions.

Did You Know? 

The Chinese Government restricted the free transfer of information on the Internet by placing several bans and restrictions on famous sites like Google and Yahoo.

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While practising these questions students will get used to the questions with varying levels of difficulty and some of them are tweaked to test the understanding level of the students, questions are also repeated to strengthen their understanding and even provide enough practice to improve their speed and help them get excellent grades in the examination.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Democracy?

Though Democracy has a broader meaning if we put it in simple words democracy means a government which is chosen by the people of the nation.

2. Describe some arguments against democracy.

  • Instability in the government
  • The game of power persuades people to become corrupt
  • Democracy is based on political and electoral competition which in turn breeds corruption.

3. Describe one person, one value, and one vote.

One person, one vote, one value means every person in a democratic nation has the right to vote and every vote is equally important to the nation.

4. Name some of the features of democracy.

  • The decision-making authority must be with the leader elected by the people
  • The election must be conducted in a free and fair manner
  • Rules and decisions should be taken keeping in consideration the constitution.
  • One person, one vote, and one value should be the agenda