Read the given extract and answer following questions.
Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. In a democracy, the citizens must have freedom to choose among various contenders for power. In contemporary democracies, this takes the form of competition among different parties. Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. Sometimes this kind of sharing can be direct, when two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power. In a democracy, we find interest groups such as those of traders, businessmen, industrialists, farmers and industrial workers. They also will have share in governmental power, either through participation in governmental committees or bringing influence on the decision-making process.
1. ‘Power sharing is an essential component of democracy.’ Give one example to prove the statement.
2. How is alliance building an example of power sharing?
3. How Political parties, pressure groups and movements help in controlling or influencing those who are in power?
Ans: 1. (i) It helps in reducing the possibility of conflict between the social groups.
(ii) power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order
Ans: 2. (i) When two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections or to form a government is called as sharing of power.
(ii) Alliance could be between regional and national parties which is again an example of power sharing
(iii) Political ideas are shared
Ans: 3. (i) Freedom of choice entails competition among the different parties.
(ii) Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand, but is shared among different political parties representing different ideologies and social groups.
Q. Explain the role of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the rural society.
Ans: i. The idea is to organize rural poor, in particular women, into small Self Help Groups (SHGs) and pool (collect) their savings.
ii. A typical SHG has 15-20 members, usually belonging to one neighbourhood, who meet and save regularly. Saving per member varies from Rs 25 to Rs 100 or more, depending on the ability of the people to save.
iii. Members can take small loans from the group itself to meet their needs.
iv. The group charges interest on these loans but this is still less than what the moneylender charges.
v. After a year or two, if the group is regular in savings, it becomes eligible for availing loan from the bank.
vi. Loan is sanctioned in the name of the group and is meant to create self-employment opportunities for the members.
vii. Small loans are provided to the members for releasing mortgaged land, for meeting working capital needs
viii. Most of the important decisions regarding the savings and loan activities are taken by the group members.
ix. The group decides as regards the loans to be granted — the purpose, amount, interest to be charged, repayment schedule etc. Also, it is the group which is responsible for the repayment of the loan.
x. Any case of non-repayment of loan by any one member is followed up seriously by other members in the group.