NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 3: Democracy and Diversity YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 10 Political Science / Polity / Civics Chapter 3: Democracy & Diversity

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Response of democracy to social differences, divisions and inequalities

1968 Olympics in Mexico

  • Civil rights movement in USA (1954-68)

  • Racial discrimination – black gloves and clenched fists to support Black Power (emerged in 1966 and lasted till 1975)

  • Silver medalist, white Australian athlete, Peter Norman, wore a human rights badge on his shirt to show his support to the two African Americans (Tommie Smith and John Carlos)

  • Medals were taken back for violating Olympic spirit from two African Americans and Norman was not part of Australian Team for next Olympic

  • Recently, the San Jose State University, of which they were former students, honored them and installed their statue in the University campus.

  • When Norman died in 2006, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.


  • Caste is social division

  • Race is biological division but also legal and sociological category

  • Belgium – different regions and different languages

  • Sri Lanka – linguistic and religious differences

Origin of Social Differences

  • Based on accident of birth

  • Some differences are based on our choices (some are atheist, some choose to follow religion other than what they are born in; choice of study & occupation)

  • It divides people and also united different people

  • Carlos and Smith are similar but different from Norman – yet he supported the cause

  • Common for people from same religion to feel that they don’t belong to same community as their caste is different

  • We can have more than one identity and can belong to more than one social group

Overlapping & Cross Cutting Differences

  • Blacks tend to be poor, homeless and discriminated against.

  • In India, Dalits tend to be poor and landless & face discrimination and injustice.

  • Leads to social division

  • Northern Ireland and the Netherlands: Both are predominantly Christian but divided between Catholics and Protestants

    • In Northern Ireland, class and religion overlap with each other. Here Catholics were considered poor & sufferers of discrimination

    • In the Netherlands, class and religion tend to cut across each other. Catholics and Protestants are about equally likely to be poor or rich.

    • The result is that Catholics and Protestants have had conflicts in Northern Ireland, while they do not do so in the Netherlands.

  • Overlapping social differences lead to deep social divisions

  • Cross cutting social differences are easier to accommodate

  • Germany & Sweden – population is homogenous but influx of migrants is seen

  • Therefore, most nations are multi-cultural

Politics of Social Divisions

  • Democracy involves competition in political parties & divide society – creates conflict, violence and disintegration

  • UK – 53% Protestants (represented by Unionists who wanted to remain in UK) and 44% Catholics (nationalist party & demanded unification of North Ireland with Republic of Ireland)

  • Major war between Unionists and Nationalists killed many people

  • 1998 – UK Government & Nationalists reached peace treaty after which Nationalists suspended their armed struggle

  • Yugoslavia - Political competition along religious ending ethnic lines led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries (politics and social division must not be mixed)

  • Best – no social division, if it exists then it must not be revealed in politics

  • Social division also affects voting and yet this does not lead to disintegration of nation

Outcome of Politics on Social Division

  • How people perceive their identities – if they consider themselves singular, it is hard to accommodate. People accommodate easily if their identities are multiple (Belgian feel they are same as Dutch or German speaking people)

  • How political leaders raise the demand for community – accommodate the demand which are within the framework and not at cost of other community (demand for only Sinhala was at cost of Tamil community in Sri Lanka)

  • How government reacts to the demands (as in Belgium & Sri Lanka – if ruling party accommodates the social divisions are less threatening). Attempts at forced integration often sow the seeds of disintegration.

Sometimes social differences can take the form of unacceptable level of social inequality and injustice

However, history reveals that democracy is best way to fight for recognition and accommodate diversity

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