CIVICS – CH-1 ( Power Sharing)

Class – X Chapter 1 Power Sharing ( Available on different internet sources)
Page No: 2
  Q.1 I have a simple equation in mind. Sharing power = dividing power = weakening the country. Why do we start by talking of this?
Sharing of power does not always mean weakening the country. Sometimes, it may create the problem by delaying decisions which are for the welfare of the people but many times it creates the possibilities of better decision making.
a) It ensures that people coming from different spheres have ‘say’ in the government.
b) It also ensures that maximum people can participate in the government making decision more democratic.
c) It also helps in reducing conflict between different social groups hence, make country more powerful.
Page No: 4
  Q.1 What’s wrong if the majority community rules? If Sinhalas don’t rule in Sri Lanka, where else will they rule?
  Answer: Ruling by the majority does not mean oppression of the minority. Sinhalas which are in majority and in government in Sri Lanka disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority. In modern era, oppression is not morally correct to be in power. Democracy works on the majority of opinion, not by major community. A democratically elected government must be sensible to the people’s demands and protect citizen’s basic rights.
Page No: 9
  Q.1 In my school, the class monitor changes every month. Is that what you call a power sharing arrangement?
  Answer: This is not power sharing arrangement as the class monitor has all the power at a time and this power is shifted to another in next month. There is no check on his/her power. The power must be shared among others which is an important feature of power sharing.
Page No: 10
  Q.1 What are the different forms of power sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these.
  Answer: The different forms of power sharing in modern democracies are:

i) Horizontal Distribution of Power: The power is shared among the different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. Example: The distribution of power between Indian Parliament (legislature), the council of ministers headed by chief ministers (executive) and Courts of India.


ii) Vertical Distribution of Power: The power is shared among governments at different levels– a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Example: In India, power is shared among Central government, State government and local governments.

iii) Distribution of Power among different Social Groups: Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups.Example: ‘Community Government’ in Belgium.

iv) Distribution of Power among Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Movements: Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Movements control or influence those who are in power. Different political parties contest elections for power which ensures that power does not remain in one hand and shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. Pressure groups and movements influence the decision making process.
  Q.2 State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power sharing with an example from the Indian context.
  Answer: Prudential Reason: Prudential Reason: Power sharing helps in reducing the conflict between various social groups. Hence, power sharing is necessary for maintaining social harmony and peace. In India, seats are reserved for the weaker sections of society. Example: reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. This allows the weaker sections also to participate in the running of the Government.

MoralReason: Moral Reason: It upholds the spirit of democracy. In a truly democratic setup, the citizens too have a stake in governance. In India, the citizens can come together to debate and criticise the policies and decisions of the government. This in turn puts pressure on the government to rethink its policies and reconsider its decisions.

  Q.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 religious, linguistic or ethnic divisions.
Mathayi – Power sharing is suitable only for big countries that have regional divisons.
Ouseph – Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions.
  Answer: Ouseph’s statement is the most logical, and thus, should be agreed on. Every society needs some form of power sharing even if it is small or does not have social divisions. A democratic society is one where its members or citizens through participation acquire a stake in the system. Power sharing not only prevents conflict between various groups in the society but it also generates a sense of belongingness among them to the society. Power sharing helps to maintain a balance of power among various institutions and also keep a check on how it is exercised. Irrespective of the size of a country or the type of a society, people will be more satisfied where they have a say in the functioning and decision making processes of the system.
  Q.4 The Mayor of Mrchtem, a town near Brussels in Belgium, has defended a ban on speaking French in the town’s schools. He said that a 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.
  Answer: No, This measure is not in keeping with Belgium’s power sharing arrangements. The arrangements seek to maintain peace between the French and Dutch-speaking communities. By banning French, the mayor will cause civil unrest. Both the languages should be made acceptable in the town’s schools. This bilingual education system will be a better way to integrate the people of the town.
Page No: 11
  Q.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. Given power to panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase 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.”
  Answer: The prudential reason for power sharing offered in this passage is giving power to panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase administrative efficiency.
  Q.2 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) A B D F

b) A C E F

c) A B D G

d) B C D G

  Answer: a) A B D F
  Q.3 Consider the following statements about power sharing arrangements in Belgium and Sri Lanka.
A. In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking 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
  Answer: (d) B, C and D
Page No: 12

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
List II
1. Power shared among different organs of government A. Community government
2. Power shared among governments at different levels B. Separation of powers
3. Power shared by different social groups C. Coalition government
4. Power shared by two or more political parties 3. Federal government


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
  Answer (b) Both A and B are true