CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing

Here I am going to provide you CBSE Notes for Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing. You can also Download PDF of these notes.This chapter deals with different forms of Power Sharing. In Class 9, you have studied that in a democracy all power does not rest with any one organ of the government. An intelligent sharing of power among the legislature, executive and judiciary is very important for the design of democracy. In this chapter, the idea of power sharing is explained in detail, drawing parallels between the stories of Belgium and Sri Lanka. I have tried to cover all important topics from this chapter in this notes. By going through Power Sharing Class 10 Notes you will acquire a better command on this chapter. So,use these notes and do your best!!

    Story of Belgium

    • Belgium is a small country in Europe with a population of over 1 crore, about half the population of Haryana. 
    • Ethnic Composition of Belgium : Of the country’s total population, 59% speaks Dutch language, 40% of people speak French and the remaining 1% speak German. 
    • In Belgium's capital, Brussels, 80 percent people speak French while 20 percent are Dutch speaking.
    • The minority French-speaking community was rich and powerful, so they got the benefit of economic development and education. 
    • This created tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s.

    CBSE Notes for Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing

    Accommodation in Belgium

    In Belgium, the government handled the community difference very well. Between 1970 and 1993, Belgian leaders amended their constitution four times and came up with a new model to run the government.

    Here are some of the elements of the Belgian model:

    1. The Constitution prescribes that the number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers shall be equal in the Central Government. 
    2. Some special laws require the support of the majority of members from each linguistic group. Thus, no single community can make decisions unilaterally.
    3. The state governments are not subordinate to the Central Government.
    4. Brussels has a separate government in which both communities have equal representation.
    5. Apart from the Central and the State Government, there is a third kind of government. i.e. Community Government
    6. Community Government : It 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.
    The Belgium model was very complicated but it helped to avoid civic strife between the two major communities.

    Story of Sri Lanka

    • Sri Lanka is an island nation, south of India having diverse population of about two crore people, about the same as in Haryana. 
    • Ethnic Composition of Sri Lanka :  The major social groups are the Sinhala-speakers (74%) and the Tamil-speakers (18%). 
    • Among Tamils, there are two subgroups
    1. Sri Lankan Tamils (13 percent) - Tamil natives of the country
    2. Indian Tamils (5 percent) - came from India during colonial period as plantation workers.
    • Most of the Sinhala-speaking people are Buddhists, while most of the Tamils are Hindus or Muslims.
    • There are about 7 percent Christians, who are both Tamil and Sinhala.
    • In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala community enjoyed the bigger majority and imposed its will on the entire country.
    CBSE Notes for Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing

    Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

    • Sri Lanka emerged as an independent country in 1948.
    • The Sinhala community was in the majority so they had formed the government. 
    • They also followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. 
    • These measures taken by the government gradually increased the feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils. 
    • Sri Lankan Tamils felt that constitution and government policies denied them equal political rights, discriminated against them in getting jobs and other opportunities and ignored their interests. 
    • Due to this, the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities become poor. 
    • Sri Lankan Tamils launched parties and struggles for the recognition of Tamil as an official language, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in securing education and jobs. 
    • But their demand was repeatedly denied by the government. 
    • The distrust between the two communities turned into widespread conflict and turned into a Civil War. 
    • Civil War : A civil war is a violent conflict between opposing groups within a country that becomes so intense that it appears like a war.
    • As a result, thousands of people of both the communities have been killed. Many families were forced to leave the country as refugees and many more lost their livelihoods. 
    • The civil war ended in 2009 and caused a terrible setback to the social, cultural and economic life of the country.

    What have you learned from the Stories of Belgium and Sri Lanka?

    Both countries are democracies but they dealt differently with the concept of power sharing.
    • In Belgium, the leaders have realised that the unity of the country is possible only by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions. This resulted in mutually acceptable arrangements for sharing power.
    • Sri Lanka shows that, if a majority community wants to force its dominance over others and refuses to share power, it can undermine the unity of the country.

    Why power sharing is desirable?

    Power sharing is desirable in democracy because:

    Prudential reasons:

    • It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability.
    • It is a good way to ensure the stability of political order. Imposing the will of majority, community over others may look like an attractive option in the short run, but in the long run it undermines the unity of the nation.

    Moral reasons:

    • Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise and who have to live with its effect.
    • People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed.
    • A legitimate government is one where citizens through participation, acquire a stake in the system.

    Form of Power Sharing

    In modern democracies, power sharing can take many forms, as mentioned below:

    Horizontal Distribution of Power 

    • Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. 
    • This is called horizontal distribution of power because it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers. 
    • Such separation ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power. 
    • Each organ checks the others. This arrangement is called a system of checks and balances.

    Vertical Distribution of Power 

    Power can be shared among governments at different levels – a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level which is called federal government.

    Among different Social Groups 

    • Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups. 
    • ‘Community government’ in Belgium is a good example of this arrangement. 
    • This method is used to give minority communities a fair share in power.

    Among Political Parties and Pressure Groups

    • Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. 
    • When two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections and if they get elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power.
    CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing

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