Chapter 1

Lesson Analysis
r Power sharing Power sharing means sharing of power among different political institutions and groups. r Forms of power sharing In modern democracies power sharing arrangements can take many forms. Some of the most common arrangements are as follows.
Power sharing

The 14th SAARC Summit
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the 14th SAARC summit that India will allow zero duty access to least developed countries of the region by the year end and reduce the sensitive list for these nations. The duty exemption will help Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan. In an effort to advance the ‘dream” of full regional connectivity, the Prime Minister announced the unilateral liberalisation of visas for students, teachers, professors, journalists and patients from SAARC nations. He also proposed linking all SAARC capitals with direct flights. All the seven other head of state/ government, who spoke at the opening session, agreed on the need to take the grouping towards greater reeconomic integration. Observers from China, Japan, the United States, South Korea and the European Union were present for the first time at the SAARC summit.

Among different organs of government

Among different social groups

Among government at different levels Among political parties, pressure groups and movements r Prudential and Moral reasons of power

While prudential reasons stress that power sharing will bring out better outcomes, moral reasons emphasises the very act of power sharing as valuable. Ethnic: A social division based on shared culture. People belonging to the same ethnic group believe in their common descent because of similarities of physical type or of culture or both. They need not always have the same religion or nationality. ACTIVITY - 1
Communities and regions of Belgium

Of all the governmental systems that human genius could discover, democracy is the best. In a democracy all power does not rest with any one organ of the State. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy.

Brussels - capital region Walloon (French speaking) Flemish (Dutch-speaking) German - speaking

Look at the maps of Belgium and Sri Lanka. In which region do you find concentration of different communities?

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Judicial Activism - A short History
Ethnic communities of Sri Lanka
Sinhalese Tamil Indian Tamil Ceylon Muslim

In Belgium concentration of different communities are in Wallon and Flemish region. In Sri Lanka, the concentration of different communities is in the Tamil Ceylon region. Majoritarianism: A belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whichever way it wants, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority. ACTIVITY - 2 Question refer to textbook, page 7 If I had the power to rewrite the rules in Lebonon I would adopt the regular rules followed every where giving chance to anyone to occupy any post. We cannot stick to the old rules reserving some post to a particular section. Seats can be reserved to each communities according to their population. The top official posts can also be reserved on rotation basis so that each section can enjoy it for a specific period.

LIVELY CRITICISM of judicial activism encroaching on the powers of the legislature and the executive has been voiced by many including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. Such controversies are the lifeblood of democracy and must be welcomed. Judicial activism has flourished in India Supreme Court of India and has acquired enormous legitimacy with the Indian passed by the legislature was invalid public. Some glimpses from the past as damaging or destroying its basic and a peep into the future may be structure. The masterstroke was that rewarding. the judgment could not be annulled In 1608, England was ruled by the by any amendment to be made by Stuart King James I who claimed Parliament because the basic absolute power. On November 13, structure doctrine was vague and 1608, James entered the royal courts amorphous. and claimed that he could take any Today, as the Indian state comes case and decide it in his royal person. under growing pressures of Chief Justice Coke answered that the neoliberalism and globalisation, the case ought to be determined and gap between political aspirations of adjudged in a court of justice. the masses and the political leaders, In 1801, Chief Justice John Marshall and the attitude of the judiciary highlighted and reaffirmed the power towards issues of governance of the American Supreme Court to become all the more striking than ever invalidate Congressional statutes. before. Today, the judiciary appears to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. be a willing participant in the reforms was one of the great activist judges. process and views any kind of By his decisions he legitimised protective umbrella in favour of the affirmative action by the courts and weaker sections. enhanced the rights of poor accused The strength of the Indian Republic can be said to rest on the doctrine of and defendants. The judgment of the majority in the separation of powers between the Keshavananda Bharati case (the legislature and the executive on the fundamental rights case) was the one hand and the judiciary on the high-water mark of judicial activism other. Let’s hope for a better in India. For the first time a court held understanding and sharing of powers that a constitutional amendment duly among the three organs of democracy.

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Prudential: Based on prudence, or on careful calculation of gains and losses. Prudential decisions are usually contrasted with those decisions based purely on moral considerations. ACTIVITY - 3 Annette studies in a Dutch medium school in the northern region of Belgium. Many Frenchspeaking students in her school want the medium of instruction to be French. Selvi studies in a school in the northern region of Sri Lanka. All the students in her school are Tamil-speaking and they want the medium of instruction to be Tamil. l If the parents of Annette and Selvi were to approach respective governments to realise the desire of the child who is more likely to succeed? And why? The parents of Annette who wants the medium of instruction to be French is likely to succeed. Both Belgium and Sri Lanka are democracies, but the question of power sharing is different. There is power sharing in Belgium. Apart from the Central and State governments there is a third kind of government. This ‘community government’ is elected by the people belonging to one language community- Dutch, French and German speaking-no matter where they live. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues. These arrangements avoid a possible division of the country on linguistic lines. In Sri Lanka the democratically elected government adopted a series of majoritarian measures to establish Sinhala supermacy. Only Sinhala is recognised as the official language disreagrding Tamil. Buddhist Sinhala leaders are sensitive to the Tamil language and culture. There is no power sharing in Sri Lanka. cording to this cartoon, is the relationship between democracy and concentration of power? Can you think of some other examples to illustrate the point being made here? In this cartoon democracy is depicted as a horse pulling a cart controlled by two people. They are George Bush and Vladimir Putin of USA and Russia respectively. In other words, their power is controlling the democracy. According to this cartoon democracy is being controlled by the elected leaders neglecting the interests of the common people. In a real democracy, there is no concentration of power. The ultimate power rests with the people. Considering the case of India our Constitution also provides the above mentioned powers to the people. But at present, Indian democracy is being harnessed by money and muscle power of political parties. The common people are getting marginalised even though they are the controllers of democracy. ACTIVITY - 5 Here are some examples of power sharing. Which of the four types of power sharing do these represent? Who is sharing power with whom? l The Bombay High Court ordered the Maharashtra state government to immediately take action and improve living conditions for the 2,000-odd children at seven children’s homes in Mumbai. Power sharing - Judiciary with Executive l The government of Ontario state in Canada has agreed to a land claim settlement with the aboriginal community. The Minister responsible for Native Affairs announced that the government will work

ACTIVITY - 4 Recently some new laws were made in Russia giving more powers to its President. During the same time the US President visited Russia. What, ac-

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with aboriginal people in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation. Power sharing - Executive with groups l Russia’s two influential political parties, the Union of Right Forces and the Liberal Yabloko Movement, agreed to unite their organisations into a strong rightwing coalition. They proposed to have a common list of candidates in the next parliamentary elections. Power sharing - Between groups l The finance ministers of various states in Nigeria got together and demanded that the federal government declare its sources of income. They also wanted to know the formula by which the revenue is distributed to various state governments. Power sharing - Central government to State governments executive and laws made by the legislatures. This arrangement is called a system of ‘checks and balances’. American constitution is famous for separation of powers. (ii) Power sharing among governments at different levels - a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Sometimes the same principle is extended to levels of government lower than the state government such as municipality and panchayat. Eg. In India the general government or Federal Government is referred as central or Union Government and the government at the provinces or regional level are called state governments. There is also local self governments at the village level. But this system is not followed in all countries. (iii) Power sharing among different social groups such as religious and linguistic groups. In some countries there are constitutional and legal arrangements whereby socially weaker section and woman are represented in the legislatures and administration. This method is used to give a fair share in power to minority communities and diverse social groups. Eg. Community government in Belgium is a good example for power sharing among different social groups. (iv) Political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. Political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups share power. The interest groups such as traders, businessmen, inLabour India Brilliant Student (CBSE X)

1. What are the different forms of power sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these. In modern democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms. The most common arrangements are the following. (i) Power sharing among different organs of government such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. The seperation of powers ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power. Each organ checks the others. Eg. Though the executives exercise power they are responsible to the legislature. Though the judges are appointed by the executives, they can check the functioning of


dustrialists, etc also share in government power. Social movements also influence the decision making process. 2. State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power sharing with an example from the Indian context. SCs and STs of our country are socially and economically backward even after five decades of independence. As per the original Constitution the reservation system should be stoped in 1960. But considering the present status of those communities the provision is extended for some more time. This is a suitable example for prudential reason for power sharing. In India the moral reasons is applied in the case of reservation of seats to the AngloIndians if that community is not represented in the Parliament and state Assemblies. 3. After reading this chapter, three students drew different conclusions. Which of these do you agree with and why? Give your reasons in about 50 words. Thomman - Power sharing is necessary only in societies which have religiousm, linguistic or ethnic divisions. Mathayi – Power sharing is suitable only for big countries

that have regional divisions. Ouseph – Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions. I agree with the view of Ouseph. Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions. Power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Since social conflicts often leads to violence and political instability, power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order. The idea of power sharing has emerged in opposition to the notions of undivided political power. It was felt that if the power to decide is dispersed it would not be possible to take quick decision and to enforce them. But these notions have changed with the emergence of democracy. One basic principle of democracy is that people are the source of all political power. In a good democractic government, due respect is given to diverse groups and views that exist in a society. So power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. 4. The Mayor of Merchtem, a town near Brussels in Belgium, has defended a ban on speaking French in the town’s schools. He said that the ban would help all non-Dutch speakers integrate in this Flemish town. Do you think that this measure is in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power sharing arrangements? Give your reasons in about 50 words. The Belgium Constitution prescribes that the number of Dutch and French speaking ministers shall be equal in the Central Government. Thus no single community can make decisions unilaterally. Brussels has a separate government in which both the communities have equal representation. The French speaking people accepted equal representation in Brussels because the Dutch Speaking community has accepted equal representation in the central government. The arrangements helped to avoid civic strife between the two major communities and a possible division of the country on linguistic lines. Therefore the decision of the Mayor to defend the ban on speaking French cannot be justified. The actions of the Mayor will lead to linguistic divisions. 5. Read the following passage and pick out any one of the prudential reasons for power sharing offered in this. “We need to give more power to the panchayats to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the hopes of the makers of our Constitution. Panchayati Raj establishes true democracy. It restores power to the only place where power belongs in a democracy – in the hands of the people. Giving power to Panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase
Labour India Brilliant Student (CBSE X) Civil war: A violent conflict between opposing groups within a country that becomes so intense that it appears like a war.

administrative efficiency. When people participate in the planning and implementation of developmental schemes, they would naturally exercise greater control over these schemes. This would eliminate the corrupt middlemen. Thus, Panchayati Raj will strengthen the foundations of our democracy.” In the Panchayati Raj system the people participate in the planning, implementation and monitoring of development schemes. This should eliminate unwanted wastage of public money and the corrupt middle-men. Here the prudential reason for power sharing is considered. 6. Different arguments are usually put forth in favour of and against power sharing. Identify those which are in favour of power sharing and select the answer using the codes given below? Power sharing: A. reduces conflict among different communities B. decreases the possibility of arbitrariness C. delays decision making process D. accommodates diversities E. increases instability and divisiveness F. promotes people’s participation in government G. undermines the unity of a country

(a) (b) (c) (d)





Ans. (a) ABDF 7. Consider the following statements about power sharing arrangements in Belgium and Sri Lanka. A. In Belgium, the Dutchspeaking majority people tried to impose their domination on the minority French-speaking community. B. In Sri Lanka, the policies of the government sought to ensure the dominance of the Sinhala-speaking majority. C. The Tamils in Sri Lanka demanded a federal arrangement of power sharing to protect their culture, language and equality of opportunity in education and jobs. D. The transformation of Belgium from unitary government to a federal one prevented a possible

division of the country on linguistic lines. Which of the statements given above are correct? (a) A, B, C and D (b) A, B and D (c) C and D (d) B, C and D Ans: (d) B, C and D 8. Match List I (forms of power sharing) with List II (forms of government) and select the correct answer using the codes given below in the lists: List I 1. Power shared among different organs of government 2. Power shared among governments at different levels List II A. Community government B. Separation of powers

1 (a) (b) (c) (d) D B B C

2 A C D D

3 B D A A 3 4 A C

4 C A C B

Ans: (c) 1 2 B D

9. Consider the following two statements on power sharing and select the answer using the codes given below: A. Power sharing is good for democracy. B. It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Which of these statements are true and false? (a) A is true but B is false (b) Both A and B are true (c) Both A and B are false (d) A is false but B is true Ans: (b) Both A and B are true.

3. Power shared C. Coaliby different tion govsocial groups ernment 4. Power shared D. Fedby two or eral Govmore political ernment parties

Additional Questions and Answers
1. Differentiate between ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’ ; and ‘Indian Tamils’ of Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, there are two sub groups among the Tamils. Tamil natives of the country are called ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’. The rest whose forefathers came from India as plantation workers during colonial period are called ‘Indian Tamils’. 2. Enumerate the reason for the feeling of alienation of the Sri Lankan Tamils. In 1956 an Act was passed to recognise Sinhala as the only official language degrading Tamil. The governments followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. The new constitution stipulated
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that the State shall protect and foster Budhism. All these measures increased feeling of alienation of among the Sri Lankan Tamils. They felt that none of the major political parties led by the Budhist Sinhala leaders were sensitive to their language and culture. They felt that the constitution and government policies denied them equal political rights,

discriminated against them in getting jobs and other opportunities and ignored their interests. 3. What is known as ‘Community Government’ in Belgium? Apart from the Central and the State Government there is a third kind of government in Belgium. This ‘Community Government’ is elected by people belonging to one language community- Dutch, French and German speaking - no matter where they live. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues. 4. What is the difference between prudential and moral reasons of power sharing? While prudential reasons stress that power sharing will bring out better outcomes, moral reasons emphasis the very act of power sharing as valuable.

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