CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 10 Social Science SA2 Delhi-2014
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 90
- The Question Paper has 30 questions in all. All questions are
- Marks are indicated against each question.
- Questions from serial number 1 to 8 are Very Short Answer questions. Each question carries one mark.
- Questions from serial number 9 to 20 are 3 mark Answers of these questions should not exceed 80 words each.
- Questions from serial number 21 to 28 are 5 marks Answers of these questions should not exceed 100 words each.
- Question number 29 and 30 are map questions of 3 mark each from History and Geography both. After completion, attach the map inside your answer book.
Question.1. In which year and place did Mahatma Gandhi organise Satyagraha for the first time in India?
Answer. In 1916, in Champaran, Bihar.
Question.2. Which mineral is formed by decomposition of rocks, leaving a residual mass of weathered material?
Question.3. Give one characteristic feature of’a sectional interest group.
Answer. Sectional interest groups are organisational that undertake activities to promote the interests of specific social sections such as workers, employees, teachers and lawyers change etc.
Question.4. Which special privilege is given to recognised political parties by the Election Commission?
Answer. RPP are given a special election symbol. Only official candidates of that party can use the election symbol.
Question.5. With the help of an example each compare a single issue movement and a long-term movement?
Answer. • Single issue movements are those which seek to achieve a single objective within a :limited time period. Example, Narmada Bachao Andolan.
• Long term movements are those which seek to achieve a long goal in a very long term, e.g., environmental movements, etc.
Question.6. Which organisation lays stress on liberalisation of foreign trade and foreign investment?
Answer. World Trade Organization.
Question.7. What is collateral?
Answer. A collateral is an asset that the borrower uses as a guarantee to the lender until the loan is repaid. Collateral may include land, building, vehicle livestock, land documents, deposits with banks, etc.
Question.8. Mrs. Sharma bought a packet of dal from her local grocer. When she came back home and began cooking the dal, she could not find the best before date on the packet. So, she had to cook the entire packet of dal.
Which consumer right is being violated here?
Answer. Right to be informed.
The packet of dal has important information like date of expiry missing from it. Thus essential information required by the consumer is missing.
Question.9. Explain the idea of Satyagraha according to Gandhiji.
Answer. Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in 1915 from South Africa. Gandhiji’s novel method of mass agitation is know as ‘Satyagraha’. Satyagraha emphasised truth. Gandhiji believed that if the cause is true, if the struggle is against injustice, then physical force was not necessary to fight the oppressor. A satyagrahi can win the battle through non-violence. People, including oppressors, had to be persuaded to see the truth. Truth was bound to ultimately triumph. Gandhiji believed that dharma of non- violence could unite all India.
Question.10. Describe any three suppressive measures taken by the British administration to clampdown on nationalists.
Answer. Suppressive measures taken by the British administration were:
- The fear that the lines of communication, such as railways and telegraph, might get disrupted, the British Government started even stronger repressive measures. Local leaders were picked up. Gandhiji was barred from entering Delhi. On 10th April, 1919 the police in Amritsar fired upon a peaceful procession.
- This provoked widespread attacks on banks, post offices and railway stations. Martial law was imposed and General Dyer took command. The government replied with further brutalities. The people of Punjab were made to crawl on the streets and salute to all ‘Sahibs’. Some were put in open cages and flogged.
- Newspapers were banned and their editors were arrested. A reign of terror followed. Intellectuals like Rabindranath Tagore renounced their knighthood.
Question.11. How did the local people in the areas conquered by Napoleon react to Fianch rule? Explain.
Answer. The reactions of the local population to the French rule were mixed.
Initially, in many places such as Holland and Switzerland, as well as in cities like Brussels, Mainz, Milan and Warsaw, the French armies were welcomed as harbingers of liberty. As new administrative arrangements did not go hand in hand with political freedom, enthusiasm turned into hostility. Increased taxation, censorship, forced conscription into the French armies to conquer the rest of Europe, outweighed the advantages of the administrative changes.
Why did a major protest erupt in 1926 in the Saigon Native Girls School in Vietnam? Explain.
Answer. A major protest erupted in the Saigon Native Girls School when a Vietnamese girl sitting in one of the front seats was asked to move to the back of the class and allow a local French student to occupy the front seat. The girl refused and she was expelled by the Principal (also a local French). When the angry students protested, they too were expelled. This led to further open protests. Seeing the situation getting out of control, the government forced the school to take the students back.
Question.12. Why is energy required for all activities? How can energy be generated? Explain.
Answer. Energy is needed to cook, to provide light and heat, to propel vehicles and to drive machinery in industries. Energy is a basic requirement for economic development. Every sector of the national economy — agriculture, industry and transport-commercial and domestic needs inputs of energy.
Energy can be generated from fuel minerals like coal, petroleum, natural gas, uranium and from electricity. Conventional sources like firewood and cattledung cakes are most commonly used in rural India to generate energy.
Question.13. Give reasons for which foreign tourists visit India.
Answer. Foreigners visit India for various purposes. These are:
- Heritage tourism
- Adventure tourism
- Cultural tourism
- Medical tourism
- Business tourism
— Broadened cultural awareness of each others tradition.
— It is economically viable. India is a great value destination as tourists can travel cheaply and lavishly.
— Indian hospitality is famous worldwide—‘Atithi devo bhava’.
— India is an avenue to explore spirituality through yoga, meditation.
— Indian cuisine predominantly, North Indian is world famous.
— India has several historical and architectural attractions. Regional handicrafts and ethnic designs of traditional products attract tourists.
Question.14. ‘Environmental degradation has been seen everywhere/ Explain any three values that can help to prevent environment degradation.
Answer. Three values that can help to prevent Environment Degradation:
- We must ensure sustainable and equitable use of resources without degrading the environment or risking health or safety.
- We must raise awareness and consciousness among people about the importance of judicious use of resources to prevent degradation of land, water, vegetation and air.
- The following measures must be adopted to prevent environmental degradation:
— Minimising use of water for processing by reusing and recycling it.
— Smoke can be reduced by using oil or gas instead of coal in factories.
— Almost all machinery can be redesigned to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise:
Question.15. How is democratic government known as a responsive government? Explain with an example.
Answer. Over a hundred countries of the world today claim and practice some kind of democratic politics.
— They have formal constitutions, hold elections, have parties and they guarantee rights of citizens. Thus, in most countries, the democracy produces a government that is . accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. — No society can fully and permanently resolve conflict among different groups. But we can learn to respect these differences and evolve mechanisms to negotiate them. Democracy is best suited as it develops a procedure to conduct competitions. Belgium is a successful example of negotiating difference among ethnic population.
— Passion for respect and freedom is the basis of democracy and has been achieved in various degrees in various democracies.
— The support for democracy is overwhelming all over the world and is evident from South Asia, where the support exists in countries with democratic as well as undemocratic regimes.
— People wish to be ruled by representatives elected by them as a democratic government is people’s own government and makes them believe that it is suitable for their country as it is a legitimate government.
Question.16. Describe in brief the three challenges faced by democracy.
- Foundational challenge. It relates to making the transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government. It involves bringing down the existing non- democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional State.
- Challenge of expansion. It involves applying the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions. It pertains to ensuring greater power to local governments, extension of federal principle to all the units of the federation, inclusion of women and minority groups, etc. Most established democracies, e.g, India and US, face the challenge of expansion.
- Challenge of deepening of democracy. This challenge involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy. It means strengthening those institutions that help people’s participation and control in the government. It aims at bringing down the control and influence of rich and powerful people in making governmental decisions.
Question.17. ‘Democracy is seen to be good in principle, but felt, to be not so good in practice.’
Justify the statement with suitable arguments.
Answer. If we look at some of the democratic policies being implemented in more than one hundred countries of the world, democracy seems to be good. For example, having a formal Constitution, holding regular elections, guaranteeing the citizens certain rights, working for the welfare of the people, etc. make us advocate that democracy is good.
But if we look in terms of social situations, their economic achievements and varied cultures, we find a very big difference in most of the democracies. The vast economic disparities, social injustice based on discrimination, standard of life, sex discrimination, etc. create many doubts about the merits of democracy.
Whenever some of our expectations are not met, we start blaming the idea of democracy. Since democracy is a form of government, it can only create conditions for achieving our goals if they are reasonable.
Question.18. Define the term liberalization. Explain the reasons why the Indian Government started the policy of liberalization in 1991.
Answer. Removing barriers or restrictions set by the government on foreign trade and foreign investment is what is known as liberalization. The Indian Government removed these barriers because:
- Liberalization of trade and investment policies allows Indian producers to compete with producers around the globe leading to an improvement in performance and quality of products.
- After the barriers on foreign trade and foreign investment were removed to a large
extent, goods could be imported and exported easily and also foreign companies could set up factories and offices in India. This has led to an increase in trade with different countries.
- Businesses are allowed to make decisions freely about what they wish to import or export due to the liberal policies of the government.
- Doors of investment opened up for MNCs. They have been investing large sums of money in India and have been seeking to earn large profits.
Question.19. How does money solve the problem of double coincidence of wants? Explain with an example.
Answer. Money acts as a medium of exchange. Money can be exchanged for any kind of commodity or service of one’s choice or need. Before money was introduced, people practised barter system. They exchanged goods with each other.
Example: A farmer could buy a dhoti from a weaver or a pair of shoes from a cobbler in exchange of grains he produced.
The problem with the barter system was that both the parties had to agree to sell and buy each other’s product. This is known as double coincidence of wants.
In barter system, where goods are directly exchanged without the use of money, it is essential that there is a double coincidence. Double coincidence is a situation where two * persons need or desire to have each other’s product.
Money solves this problem as with money we can buy whatever we want and whenever we want, without having to exchange something in return.
Question.20. How has information and communication technology stimulated globalisation process? Explain with examples.
Answer. Information and communication technology has helped globalisation in the following ways:
- Rapid improvement in technology has contributed greatly towards globalisation. Advanced technology in transport systems has helped in the delivery of goods faster across long distances at lower costs.
- Development in information and communication technology has also helped a great deal. Telecommunication facilities —telegraph, telephone, mobile phones, fax are used to contact one another quickly around the world, access information instantly and communicate from remote areas. This is possible due to satellite communication devices. Teleconferences help in saving frequent long trips across the globe.
- Information technology has also played an important role in spreading out production of services across countries. Orders are placed through internet, designing is done on computers, even payment of money from one bank to another can be done through e-banking through internet. Internet also allows us to send instant electronic mail (e-mail) and talk (voice-mail) across the world at negligible cost.
Question.21. Explain any five social and administrative reforms introduced by Napoleon in regions under his control.
Answer. Napoleon had brought revolutionary changes in the administrative field in order to make the whole system rational and efficient. The Civil Code of 1804 is usually known as the Napoleonic Code.
- The first major change was doing away with all privileges based on birth, establishing equality before law and securing the right to property.
- Administrative divisions were simplified.
- Feudal system was abolished and peasants were freed from serfdom and manorial dues (abuse of manorial lords).
- In towns, guild restrictions were removed.
- Transport and communication systems were improved.
- Peasants, artisans, workers and new businessmen enjoyed a new found freedom.
- Businessmen and small-scale producers of goods in particular began to realise that uniform laws, standardised weights and measures and a common national currency would facilitate the movement and exchange of goods and capital from one region to another. [any five
“The measures taken by the French to control the spread of bubonic plague in Hanoi created a serious problem.” Explain the statement.
- The modern city of Hanoi got infested with rats in 1902 and was struck by bubonic plague. The large sewers in the modem part of the city served as breeding ground for rats.
- To get rid of the rats, a ‘Rat Hunt’ was started. The French hired Vietnamese workers and paid them for each rat they caught. Rats began to be caught in thousands. This incident taught the Vietnamese the first lesson of collective bargaining. Those who did the dirty work of entering sewers found that if they came together they could negotiate a higher prize.
- They also discovered innovative ways to profit from the situation. The prize was paid when a tail was given as a proof that a rat had been killed. So the rat catchers began clipping the tails and releasing the rats, so that the process could be repeated over and over again.
- Defeated by the resistance of the Vietnamese, the French were forced to scrap the bounty programme. Bubonic plague swept through the area in 1903 and in subsequent years. In a way, the rat menace marks the limits of French power and contradiction in their civilizing mission. This incident is also an example of the numerous small ways in which colonialism was fought by Vietnamese in everyday life.
Question.22. How could non-cooperation become a movement? Explain with examples.
Answer. Mahatma Gandhi felt that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of the
Indian people. If the Indians would refuse to cooperate, British rale would collapse.
- According to Gandhiji, non-cooperation could become a movement by unfolding in stages.
- It would begin with the surrender of titles that the government awarded, and a boycott of civil services, army, police, courts and legislative councils, schools and foreign goods. Then if the Government used repression, a full civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
- Throughout 1920, Gandhiji and Shaukat Ali toured extensively mobilising popular support for the movement.
- In the cities, the movement started with middle class participation. Thousands of students left government controlled schools and colleges. Headmasters and teachers resigned and lawyers gave up their legal practices.
- The Council elections were boycotted, foreign goods and foreign cloth was boycotted. Traders and merchants also refused to trade in foreign goods.
Question.23. What is trade? Why is ‘tourism’ considered as a trade and industry?
Answer. The exchange of goods among people, states and countries is referred to as trade.
- With increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting India, we earned foreign exchange worth ?21,828 crore in 2004.
- Over 2.6 million foreign tourists visit India every year for appreciating our heritage, our culture for medical purposes or for business purposes, etc.
- Over 15 million people are directly engaged in the tourism industry.
- Tourism promotes national integration, provides support to local handicrafts and cultural pursuits.
- Tourism also helps in the development of international understanding about our culture and heritage.
- Rajasthan, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir and temple towns of south India are the most popular tourist destinations. These states earn huge sums of money from tourism trade.
Question.24. “‘Agriculture’ and ‘Industry’ are complementary to each other.” Explain with five examples.
Answer. Agriculture and Idustry in India are inseparable or interdependent on each other:
- Agro-industries in India have boosted agriculture by raising its productivity.
- Industries depend on agriculture for their raw materials, eg. cotton textile industry.
- Industries provide many agricultural inputs like irrigation pumps, fertilisers,
insecticides, PVC pipes, machines and tools etc. to the farmers.
- Manufacturing industries have assisted agriculturists to increase their production and also made tfie production processes very efficient.
- Development of different modes of transport by industrial sector has not only helped farmers to obtain agricultural inputs but has also helped them trade their products.
Question.25. How is democracy a better form of government in comparison with other forms of governments? Explain.
Answer. Over a hundred countries of the world today claim and practice some kind of democratic politics.
- They have formal constitutions, hold elections, have parties and they guarantee rights of citizens. Thus, in most countries, the democracy produces a government that is accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens.
- No society can fully and permanently resolve conflict among different groups. But we can learn to respeqt these differences and evolve mechanisms to negotiate them. Democracy is best suited as it develops a procedure to conduct competitions. Belgium is a successful example of negotiating difference among ethnic population.
- Passion for respect and freedom is the basis of democracy and has been achieved in various degrees in various democracies.
- The support for democracy is overwhelming all over the world and is evident from South Asia, where the support exists in countries with democratic as well as undemocratic regimes.
- People wish to be ruled by representatives elected by them as a democratic government is people’s own government and makes them believe that it is suitable for their country as it is a legitimate government.
Question.26. Why do we need political parties? Explain.
Answer. To fill political offices and exercise political power, political parties are needed to perform a series of functions, which are the following:
- Parties contest elections. Elections are fought mainly among candidates put up by political parties. In India, top party leaders choose candidates for contesting elections.
- Parties put forward different policies and programmes. Political parties in a democracy group together similar opinions, to provide a direction in which government policies can be formulated.
- Parties make laws for a country. Laws are debated and passed in the legislature.
- Parties that lose elections play the role of the opposition. Opposition parties voice their views by criticising government for its failure or wrong policies.
- Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues and resolve people’s problems. Many pressure groups are the extensions of political parties.
- Parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes. For
an ordinary citizen it is easy to approach a local party leader than a government officer.
Question.27. Explain the role of multinational corporations in the globalization process.
Answer. Globalization is the process of rapid integration or inter-connection among countries.
MNCs have contributed greatly in the process of globalisation.
- MNCs have set up production centres in various countries and are supplying produced goods, services and technology to various countries.
- The countries of the world have come closer. It has also increased the movement of people between countries.
- The MNCs provide money for additional investments, for faster production. Also, MNCs bring with them the latest technology for enhancing and improving the production.
Question.28. How does exploitation of consumers take place in the market? Explain with any five facts.
Answer. Some common ways by which consumers are exploited by manufacturers and traders are
- Underweight and under-measurement. Goods sold in the market are sometimes not measured or weighed correctly.
- High prices. Very often the traders charge a price higher than the prescribed retail price.
- Sub-standard quality. The goods sold are sometimes of sub-standard quality, eg. selling medicines beyond their date of expiry, selling deficient or defective home appliances.
- Duplicate articles. In the name of genuine parts or goods, fake or duplicate items are sold to the consumers.
- Adulteration and impurity. In costly edible items like oil, ghee and spices, adulteration is common in order to earn more profit.This causes heavy loss to the consumers. They suffer from monetary loss as well as’damage to their health.
- Lack of safety devices. Fake or inferior electronic goods, electrical devices or other appliances, produced locally lack the required in-built safety measures. This may cause accidents.
- False and incomplete information. Sellers easily mislead consumers by giving wrong information about a product, its price, quality, reliability, life-cycle, expiry date, durability, its effect on health, environment, safety and security, maintenance cost involved and terms and conditions of purchase. Cosmetics, drugs and electronic
goods are common examples where consumers face such problems. (any five)
Question.29. Identify and label the following on the map of India:
(a) The place where the Indian National Congress session was held in September 1920.
(b) The place where the cotton mill worker’s Satyagraha was organised in 1918.
(c) The place where the movement of Indigo farmers was held.
Note: The following questions are for the BLIND CANDIDATES only, in lieu of Question No. 29.
(1) Name the place where the Indian National Congress session was held in December 1920.
(2) At which place did the cotton mill workers start the Satyagraha in 1918?
(3) Name the place where the movement of Indigo farmers was held.
Answer. (a) Calcutta (b) Ahmedabad (c) Champaran
Question.30. On the given political outline map of India:
A. Bhilai—Iron and Steel Plant; B. Coimbatore—Cotton Textile Centre
(b) Locate and label ,
(i) Raja Sansi—International Airport
Note: The following questions are for the BLIND CANDIDATES only, in lieu of Question No. 30.
(1) In which state is Bhilai iron ind steel plant located?
(2) Name the state where Coimbatore textile centre is located.
(3) In which city Raja Sansi international airport is located?
Answer. (1) Chhattisgarh (2) Tamil Nadu (3) Amritsar
Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in Set-I.
Question.2. Name the state where the largest wind farm cluster is located?
Answer. Tamil Nadu.
Question.13. Mention the six mail channels introduced recently to facilitate quick delivery of mails.
Answer. Mail channels introduced by the Indian postal network are:
- Rajdhani Channel
- Business Channel
- Metro Channel
- Bulk Mail Channel
- Green Channel
- Periodical Channel
The main purpose is to facilitate quick delivery of mail to large towns and cities.
Question.14. Why has ‘Chhota Nagpur Region’ maximum concentration of iron and steel industries? Explain any three reasons.
Answer. Reasons for concentration of iron and steel industries in Chhota Nagpur region:
- Low cost of iron-ore which is mined here.
- High grade raw materials in close proximity.
- Availability of cheap labour.
- Vast growth potential in the home market.
- Efficient transport network for their distribution to the markets and consumers.
- Availability of power because this region has many thermal and hydel power plants.
Question.16. Describe the three components of a political party.
Answer. Components of a political party are:
(i) The leaders, (ii) active members and (iii) the followers.
— The leaders are recruited and trained by parries. They are made ministers to run the government. The big policy decisions are taken by the political executives that come from the political parties.
— Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread over the country. Many of the pressure groups are the extensions of political parries among different sections of society. But since most of the members belong to a party, they go by the direction of the party leadership, irrespective of their personal opinion.
— The followers are the ordinary citizens, who believe in the policies of their respective party and give popular support through elections. Often the opinion of the followers crystallise on the lines parties take.
Question.18. Why had Indian government put barriers to foreign trade and.foreign investment after independence? Explain.
- The Indian government after independence had put barriers to foreign trade and investment. This was done to protect the producers within the country from foreign competition. Industries were just coming up in the 1950s and 1960s and competition from imports at that stage would not have allowed these industries to develop and grow. Imports of only essential items such as machinery, fertilisers, petroleum etc. was allowed.
- Another reason was to protect the Indian economy from foreign infiltration in industries affecting the economic growth of the country as planned. India wanted to move faster to catch up with the main industries in the world market and therefore had to keep an extra watch on its progress in international trade and give incentives to the more rapidly growing industries through fiscal tariff and other means.
Question.19. How is money used in everyday life? Explain with examples.
- Money plays a central role in our daily life. It is used as a medium of exchange to
carry out transactions.
- Money buys us food, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities of life.
- Money provides us social security. It is needed to procure services like transport, education, healthcare, entertainment, recreation, and so on. Money facilitates business and trade and is the basis of the working of an economy. .
Question.22. How did different social groups participate in Civil Disobedience Movement? Explain with examples.
- Rich peasant communities, like the Patidars of Gujarat and the Jats of Uttar Pradesh, became active in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
— Being producers of commercial crops, they were hard hit by trade-depression and falling prices.
— For them fight for Swaraj was a struggle against high revenues.
- Small tenants had been cultivating rented land of landlords. They were not interested in the lowering of the revenue demand.
— They wanted unpaid rent to be remitted.
— They often joined the radical movements led by the socialists and communists.
- Merchants reacted against colonial policies that restricted business activities. They wanted protection against import of foreign goods and wanted a rupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio that would discourage imports.
- Industrialsits formed the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress in 1920.
— They formed the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) in 1927.
— They refused to sell or buy imported goods. They gave financial assistance and supported the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- Another important feature of the Civil Disobedience Movement was large-scale participation of women.
— They participated in protest marches, manufactured salt and picketed foreign cloth and liquor shops. Many women went to jail.
— These women came from high-caste families in urban areas and rich peasant households in rural areas.
Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in Set-I and Set-II.
Question.1. Who is the author of the famous book ‘Hind Swaraj’?
Answer. Mahatma Gandhi.
Question.2. In which State are the ‘Balaghat’ Copper mines located?
Answer. Madhya Pradesh.
Question.13. Why is air travel preferred in the north-eastern states of India? Explain.
Answer. The north-eastern part of the country is marked with:
(i) Dissected relief, (ii) dense forests, (iii) frequent floods and (iv) big rivers.
Under these difficult conditions, the road and rail transport is not well developed. Journey through land transport is very tiresome and time-consuming. So, for all these reasons, air travel is preferred in this part of the country, where special provisions are made to extend the services to common people at cheaper rates.
Question.19. Explain with examples, how people are involved with the banks.
- Banks help people to save their money and keep their money in safe custody of the bank. Banks accept deposits from the public and also help people to earn interest on their deposits.
- People can withdraw the money deposited with the bank at the time of their need. As the money can be withdrawn on demand, these are called demand deposits.
- Banks also grant loans to people for a variety of purposes. In times of need individuals, business houses and industries can borrow money from the banks.
Question.22. Explain with examples the role of industrialists in the freedom struggle of India.
Answer. Role of merchants and the industrialists in the Civil Disobedience Movement:
- Merchants reacted against colonial policies that restricted business activities.
- They wanted protection against import of foreign goods and wanted a rupee-sterling foreign exchange ratio that would discourage imports.
- Industrialists formed the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress in 1920.
- They formed the Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries
(FICCI) in 1927.
- They refused to sell or buy imported goods. They gave financial assistance and supported the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- Industrialists like G.D.Birla and Purshottamdas Thakurdas attacked colonial control over the Indian economy.
Question.25. Suggest any five political reforms to strengthen democracy.
Answer. Broad guidelines for political reforms:
- As legal-constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy, democratic reforms need to be carried out mainly by political activists, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
- Any legal change must carefully look at what results it will have on politics. Generally, laws, that seek a ban on something are rather counter-productive; for example, many states have debarred people who have more than two children from contesting Panchayat elections. This has resulted in denial of democratic opportunity to many poor women, which was not intended. The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms; for example, the Fight to Information Act which acts as a watchdog of democracy by controlling corruption.
- Democratic reforms are to be brought about principally through political parties. The most important concern should be to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens.
- Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution, but also about who will implement it and how. Measures that rely on democratic movements, citizens organizations and media are likely to succeed.