What Is Democracy? Why Democracy: NCERT Class 9 Political Science Textbook solutions

NCERT Class 9 Political Science Chapter 1 Solutions: Democracy is regarded as the best form of government when it comes to a valid government. The question arises as to why only democracy and how to define or comprehend the term democracy. The Chapter of Political Class 9 ‘What is democracy? Why Democracy?’ deals with the issue exploring the merits and demerits of democracy so that it can be confirmed as why Democracy is the best form of government for the people. Here are given solutions to the textbook exercises of the chapter ‘What is democracy? Why Democracy?’.

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‘What is democracy? Why Democracy? : Solutions Class 9 Political Science Questions given inside the text

Page – 2 (Activity)

Q. Let us take Lyngdoh Madam seriously and try to write down the exact definition of some of the simple words that we use all the time: pen, rain and love. e.g., is there a way of defining a pen that distinguishes it clearly from a pencil, a brush, a chalk or crayon.

(i) What have you learnt from this attempt?

(ii) What does it teach no about understanding the meaning of democracy?


(i) From this conversation, I have learnt that there is no shortest to our thinking about the matter ourselves, We have to think about its meaning and evolve a definition. Each and every thing has some specific features on the basis of which we can define that thing. 

(ii) We need a definition only when we come across a difficulty in the use of a word. We need a clear definition of democracy because there are different kinds of governments which are known as Democracy. Abraham Lincoln said that Democracy is a rule of the people, for the people and by the people.

We must not accept the definition, just because everyone accepts it. We do not know if this is the best way of defining democracy, unless we think about it ourselves. After thinking about it we can say that democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people. This is a common basic feature of democracy.

Page – 3 (check your progress)

Q. Ribiang went back home and collected some more famous quotations on democracy. This time she did not mention the names of the people who said or wrote these. She wants you to read these and comment on how good or useful these thoughts are

(i) Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor. 

(ii) Democracy consists of choosing your dictators after they, have told you what you think it is you want to hear. 

(iii) Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. 

(iv) Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. 

(v) All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy.


The first and second thoughts are about those forms of government in which the people have the right to elect their ruler without having options. It means they have to elect the candidate only from the ruling party.

In the third thought, it suggests that if man accepts justice, then democracy is possible. But when the man follows injustice, the democracy is necessary there to give justice to others.

In the fourth thought, it suggests that there must be a balance between the form of government and our need. The strongest argument for democracy is about what it does to the citizens. Democracy recognises our needs and enhances our dignity.

In the last thought, there is scope for changing the features and activities of democracy as per our need. There is no guarantee that mistakes cannot be made in democracy. The advantage is that there is a room for correction. Either the rulers have to change their decisions or the rulers can be changed. In this way, the ills of democracy can be cured.

Page – 9 (Check your Progress)

Q. Read these five examples of working or denial of democracy. Match each of these with the relevant feature of democracy discussed above.


King of Bhutan has declared that in future he will be guided by the advice given to him by elected representativesMajor decision by elected leader
Many Tamil workers who migrated from Indiawere not given a right to vote in Sri LankaOne person one vote one value
This king of Nepal imposed a ban on politicalgatherings, demonstrations and ralliesRespect for Right
The Indian Supreme Court held that thedissolution of Bihar Assembly was unconstitutionalRule of law
Political parties in Bangladesh have agreedthat a neutral government should rule thecountry at the time of elections.Free and fair electoral competition

Page – 12 (Check your progress)

Q. Rajesh and Muzaffar read an article. It showed that no democracy has ever gone to war with another democracy. Wars take place only when one of the two governments is non-democratic. The article said that this was great merit of democracy. After reading the essay, Rajesh and Muzaffar had different reactions. Rajesh said that this was not a good argument for democracy. It was just a matter of chance. It is possible that in future democracies may have wars. Muzaffar said that it could not be a matter of chance. Democracies take decisions in such a way that it reduces the chances of war. Which of the two positions do you agree with and why?

Answer I somehow agree with Muzaffar’s argument. In democracy, the decision is taken after discussion and keeping in view the welfare of the people. So, the chances of war are minimised in democracy, but we cannot say that it is not possible. Some wars were fought between two democracies like India and Pakistan, e.g., ‘Kargil War’ when both countries were democratic countries.

‘What is democracy? Why Democracy? : Solutions Class 9 Political Science Exercises Pages 15-17

1. Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries. Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.

(a) Country A: People who do not accept the country’s official religion do not have a right to vote

Answer: Undemocratic

(b) Country B: The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years

Answer: Not sure

(c) Country C: Ruling party has lost in the last three elections

Answer: Democratic

(d) Country D: There is no independent election commission

Answer: Undemocratic

2. Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries. Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.

(a) Country P: The parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army

Answer: Undemocratic

(b) Country Q: The parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary

Answer: Undemocratic

(c) Country R: The country’s leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighbouring country.

Answer: Not sure

(d) Country S: All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change.

Answer: Not sure

3. Which of these is not a good argument in favour of democracy? Why?

(a) People feel free and equal in a democracy

(b) Democracies resolve conflict in a better way than others

(c) Democratic government is more accountable to the people

(d) Democracies are more prosperous than others

Answer: Economic prosperity depends on many factors; like availability of natural resources, quality of human resources, finance, geopolitical scenario, etc. A particular form of government is some role to play, so it cannot be seen as a good argument in favour of democracy.

4. Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.

(a) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation.

Answer: The fact that the laws need to be passed by the parliament is democratic, while conformation to the WTO regulations is undemocratic.

(b) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large scale rigging was reported.

Answer: Re-polling is democratic, while rigging is undemocratic.

(c) Women’s representation in the parliament has never reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.

Answer: Poor level of women’s representation is undemocratic, while the demand for one- third seats is democratic.

5. Which of these is not a valid reason for arguing that there is a lesser possibility of famine in a democratic country?

(a) Opposition parties can draw attention to hunger and starvation.

(b) Free press can report suffering from famine in different parts of the country.

(c) Government fears its defeat in the next elections.

(d) People are free to believe in and practise any religion.

Answer: (d) People are free to believe in and practise any religion.

Question 6

6. There are 40 villages in a district where the government has made no provision for drinking water. These villagers met and considered many methods of forcing the government to respond to their need. Which of these is not a democratic method?

(a) Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of right to life.

(b) Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.

(c) Organising public meetings against government’s policies.

(d) Paying money to government officials to get water.

Answer: (d) Paying money to government officials to get water.

7. Write a response to the following arguments against democracy:

(a) Army is the most disciplined and corruption-free organisation in the country. Therefore, army should rule the country.

Answer: Army officers are not elected by people and hence an army rule would be undemocratic.

(b) Rule of the majority means the rule of ignorant people. What we need is the rule of the wise, even if they are in small numbers.

Answer: Democracy is based on the idea of universal adult franchise. Restricting the rulers from a small section comprising of ‘wise’ people would defeat the purpose of representational democracy.

(c) If we want religious leaders to guide us in spiritual matters, why not invite them to guide us in politics as well. The country should be ruled by religious leaders.

Answer: Religious leaders are not elected by people and hence a country should not be ruled by religious leaders.

8. Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?

(a) Father to daughter: I don’t want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family children marry where the parents tell them to.

Answer: In this case, the daughter does not have the freedom of choice, hence this is undemocratic.

(b) Teacher to student: Don’t disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.

Answer: The teacher may be involved in thinking about an important topic and hence is asking the student not to disturb her. It cannot be said with surety whether the teacher’s request is democratic or not.

(c) Employee to the officer: Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.

Answer: The employee is asking for a fundamental right and hence it is democratic.

9. Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision.

(a) All the citizens of the country have right to vote. Elections are held regularly.

Answer: Regular elections and universal adult franchise are two important features of a democracy and hence this is a democratic situation.

(b) The country took loan from international agencies. One of the conditions for giving loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health.

Answer: An international agency should not interfere in the internal matters of a country. Hence this is undemocratic.

(c) People speak more than seven languages but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 percent people of that country.

Answer: This is an example where majority view is being imposed and hence is undemocratic.

(a) Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. Government has arrested these leaders.

Answer: Democratic government should provide the right to protest. The government is denying such right to its citizens and hence is undemocratic.

(b) The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about government’s policies and protests.

Answer: Freedom of media is very important for a democracy. This is an undemocratic example.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. ThreadsBay

    Democracy is a system of government in which the people are allowed to choose their own leaders.

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