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Political Parties Class 10 Notes Social Science Civics Chapter 6
The Need For Political Parties
Political parties can be considered as one of the most visible institutions in a democracy. Common citizens look at them as synonyms of democracy. They are even more popular than the concept of democracy and the Indian Constitution in areas with less literacy. They are also considered as the representatives of democracy in the remotest parts of the nations.
However, they also invite a lot of criticism. Most people tend to be very critical of political parties. Political parties are blamed for the inefficient functioning of democracy and political life. Parties are identified with social and political divisions today. This raises a huge question about their relevance, efficiency and significance.
Political Parties Class 10 Notes Frequently Asked:
A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They have similar visions, policies and programmes for the development and welfare of the society and the country collectively.
Different parties have different ideas, goals and visions regarding the development of the country and society. To attain power to rule the nation, parties try to persuade people to agree with their ideologies and support them by voting. Popular support makes them victorious in the elections. This however means that parties reflect fundamental political divisions in society. Political parties involve division and partisanship. A party is recognised by the policies it supports, the sections of societies it identifies with and the interests it upholds.
Class 10 Civics Chapter 6 Notes Frequently Asked:
A political party has three components:
- the leaders,
- the active members and
- the followers
Political Parties Class 10 Notes Pdf Download Functions of a Political Party:
Political parties are very necessary because of the following reasons.
Political parties fill political offices and exercise political power by performing these functions:
1. Parties contest elections. They nominate their candidates who then fight for popular support.
2. Parties put forward different policies and programmes. The voters support the party they identify with the most.
3. Despite the fact that democracy gives recognition and attached significance to each opinion, a large number of similar opinions have to be grouped together to provide a general vision and aspiration based on which governments have to run the nation and formulate policies. A party reduces a vast multitude of opinions into a comprehensive vision and goal. The ruling party decides the course on which the country moves for the duration they are in power.
4. Parties play a decisive role in formulation of laws for a country. Laws might be debated and passed in the legislature. Most of the members belong to a political party, they go by the direction of the party leadership, irrespective of their personal opinions about the laws being formulated.
5. Parties form and run governments. Big policy decisions are taken by political executives which is also a product of political parties.
6. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.
7. Parties which lose in the elections play the role of opposition to ruling parties. They give a contradicting yet important perspective to the government’s ideology by voicing different views and criticising the government (ruling party) for its failures or wrong policies. Opposition parties also mobilise opposition to the government.
8. Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight important events, ideas, approaches and issues which plague the functioning and development of the country. Parties have members and activists spread all over the country.
9. Most pressure groups are the extensions of political parties across different sections of society. Parties launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by various sections of the society. Opinions of the parties essentially affect the opinion of the public.
10. Parties facilitate people, the access to government machinery and welfare schemes.
11. Despite the distrust, it is easier for a citizen to approach a party member than an office or Bureaucrat.
12. Parties have to be responsive to people’s needs and demands.
Class 10 Political Parties Notes Important:
There are different ways of choosing these candidates.
- In the USA, members and supporters of a party choose its candidates.
- In India, top party leaders choose candidates for contesting elections.
Class 10 Civics Ch 6 Notes Example 1.
Mention the function of the political party the following cases depict.
(A) Activists of BJP Mahila Morcha demonstrate against hike in prices of onions and LPG in Visakhapatnam.
Opposition parties criticise the government (ruling party) for its failures or wrong policies.
(B) Minister distributes Rs. one lakh cheque to the families of hooch victims at their houses.
Parties facilitate people, access to government machinery and welfare schemes.
(C) Activists of CPI (M), CPI, OGP and JD (S) take out a rally in Bhubaneswar to protest against POSCO, the Korean steel company for being permitted by the State Government to export iron ore from Orissa to feed steel plants in China and Korea.
Opposition parties criticise the government (ruling party) for its failures or wrong policies.
Political Party Class 10 Notes Significance of Political Parties:
The necessity of political parties can be understood by imagining a political system without them. If there were no parties, every candidate in the elections would be independent. There would be no aggregation of interest and consensus on one model of development of the society. The government may be formed, but its stability will be questionable.
Elected representatives will only be accountable to their constituency for what they do for development. No one will be responsible for how the country will be run- just like the non-party based elections to the panchayat in many states. Despite the contestants not contesting formally, the village gets split into more than one faction, each of which puts up a ‘panel’ of its candidates.
To prevent this, political parties are found in every political system.
The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies. Large societies require representative democracy because there is a requirement of an agency to gather different views on various issues and to present these to the government. A mechanism and ways are needed to integrate and gather views on representative governments to support or restrain the government, make policies, justify or oppose them. Political parties fulfill these requirements that every representative the government has.
We can say that parties are a necessary condition for a democracy.
Ch 6 Civics Class 10 Notes Important:
- Political parties are one of the least trusted institutions all over the world.
- Vet the level of participation in the activities of political parties was fairly high. The proportion of those who said they were members of some political party was higher in India than many advanced countries like Canada, Japan, Spain and South Korea.
- Over the last three decades the proportion of those who report to be members of political parties in India has gone up steadily.
- The proportion of those who say they feel ‘close to a political party’ has also gone up in India in this period.
Class 10 Civics Chapter 6 Notes Pdf Example 2.
Consider the following statements on parties.
(A) Political parties do not enjoy much trust among the people.
(B) Parties are often rocked by scandals involving top party leaders.
(C) Parties are not necessary to run governments. Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) (A), (B), and (C)
(b) (A) and (B)
(c) (B) and (C)
(b) (A) and (B)
Explanation: Parties are necessary for running the government.
Ch 6 Political Parties Class 10 Notes Example 3.
Read the source given below and answer the questions that follow:
He had argued that people’s movements should embrace politics openly. His argument was simple yet powerful. Movements focused on a single issue are suitable as long as we wish to achieve limited changes in a particular aspect of life. But if we wish to bring about a fundamental social transformation, or basic change even in one aspect of life, we would need a political organisation. People’s movements must establish a new political formation to act as a moral force in politics. This was an urgent task, he said, because all the existing political parties had become irrelevant for social transformation.
“But Kishenji never clarified what that organisation will be. He talked of an alternative political formation or a third force in politics. But did he mean a political party?’’ said Gracy. She felt that an old style political party was not the right instrument for social change. Sudha agreed with her. “I have thought about it several times. I agree that all the struggles that we are involved with – the struggle against displacement, against globalisation, against caste and gender oppression and for an alternative kind of development – all this is political. But the moment we form a party, all the goodwill we have earned all these years will be lost.
People will think of us as no different from other politicians.” “Besides”, added Karuna, “we have seen that a lot can be achieved by putting pressure on the existing political parties. We tried putting up candidates in panchayat elections, but the results were not very encouraging. People respect our work, they even adore us, but when it comes to voting they go for the established political parties.” Shaheen did not agree with them: “Let us be very clear. Kishenji wanted all the people’s movements to forge a new political party. Of course he wanted this party to be a different kind of a party. He was not for political alternatives, but for an alternative kind of politics.”
Civics Class 10 Chapter 6 Notes
(A) Why are single-issue movements not effective?
(a) Single issue movements only help achieve single benefits.
(b) Single issue movements end quickly.
(c) Single issue movements do not attract a lot of supporters.
(d) Single issue movements cannot be used for bigger reformation or change in society.
(d) Single issue movements cannot be used for bigger reformation or change in the society.
Explanation: Single issue based movements do not highlight greater or more fundamental issues in the system and cannot be used to cure these infirmities.
Notes Of Political Parties Class 10
(B) Which of the following issues have been highlighted by Karuna?
(a) People do not trust new political parties despite their hard work.
(b) People are focused on the leaders and not political parties.
(c) People do not trust political parties at alL
(d) Political parties cannot bring change in society.
(a) People do not trust new political parties despite their hard work
Explanation: Karuna says that people do not trust new political parties. They trust the established ones.
Political Parties Class 10 Ncert Notes
(C) Which institution could put pressure upon political parties?
Pressure Groups or Interest Groups
Chapter 6 Civics Class 10 Notes
(D) Assertion (A): To bring about a fundamental social transformation, or basic change even in one aspect of life, we would need a political organisation.
Reason(R): A political organisation is powerful.
(a) Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A).
(b) Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).
(c) (A) is correct but (R) is wrong.
(d) (A) is wrong but (R) is correct
(b) Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).
Explanation: A political organisation is the most visible institution in a democracy and very powerful in terms of popularity among the masses. It can directly control the state and introduce changes and reforms post-winning elections. It can play a direct role in helping society change for the better.
Chapter 6 Political Parties Class 10 Notes Party Systems Across The World
Any citizen can form a party in a democracy. Due to this, there are multiple political parties in each country. More than 750 parties are registered with the Election Commission of India.
Despite the large number, only some parties effectively contest elections.
Not all countries have the same number of political parties. In some, only one party is allowed to control and run the government. These are called one-party systems. For example in China, only the Communist Party is allowed to rule. Even though people are free to form political parties, the electoral system does not permit free competition for power. This is not a democratic approach.
For a functioning democratic system, at least two parties must be allowed to compete in elections. This provides a fair chance for the competing parties to come to power. These are called two-party systems or the Bi-Party systems.
Several other parties may exist, contest elections and win a few seats in the national legislatures. The two main parties have a serious chance of winning a majority of seats to form government. For example, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Systems where multiple parties exist and where more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming to power either on their own strength or in alliance with others, is called as a Multi-party system. For example, India has a multi-party system.
Notes Of Civics Class 10 Chapter 6 Frequently Asked:
When several parties in a multi-party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power, it is called an alliance or a front When such parties win the elections, they form Coalition governments.
Ncert Class 10 Civics Chapter 6 Notes Important:
India had three such major alliances in 2004 parliamentary elections- the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Left Front (LF).
The multiparty system has been criticised to be very messy and politically unstable. This system allows a variety of interests and opinions to enjoy political representation.
Party system evolves over a long period of time and depends on the nature of society, its social and regional divisions, its history of politics and its system of elections. Each country develops a party system moulded by its unique social and economic circumstances. Indian multi-party system evolved to accommodate the Large social and geographical diversity which could not have been absorbed otherwise.
No one system can prove to be ideal for all countries and all situations. It depends on the country’s history, social and cultural structure.
Class 10 Civics Political Parties Notes Example 4.
Let us apply what we have learnt about party systems to the various states within India. Here are three major types of party systems that exist at the state level. Can you find the names of at least two States for each of these types?
(A) Two-party system
Two-party system: Rajasthan and Gujarat
(B) Multiparty system with two alliances
A multiparty system with two alliances: Kerala and Maharashtra
(C) Multiparty system
Multiparty system: Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Democracies with federal systems have two types of parties—parties that participate in only one of the federal units and parties that are present in few or all units of the federation. India has some pan-India parties, which are called ‘National parties’. These parties have their units in various states. All the units follow almost similar policies, programmes and strategies that are decided at the national level.
Every party in the country has to register with the Election Commission.
The Commission offers some special facilities to large and established parties. These parties are given a unique symbol – only the official candidates of that party can use that election symbol. These parties are ‘recognised’ by the Election Commission. They are called recognised political parties.
The Election Commission has laid down detailed criteria of the proportion of votes and seats that a party must get in order to be a recognised party.
- A party that secures at least six per cent of the total votes in an election to the Legislative Assembly of a State and wins at least two seats is recognised as a State party.
- A party that secures at least six per cent of the total votes in Lok Sabha elections or Assembly elections in four States and wins at least four seats in the Lok Sabha is recognised as a national party.
- In 2018, about 7 National Parties were registered with the Election Commission.
All India Trinamool Congress (AITC):
- Mamata Banerjee launched the AITC on 1st January 1998 which was recognised as a national party in 2016. The party’s symbol is flowers and grass.
- It is committed to secularism and federalism.
- It has a strong presence in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura and has been ruling Bengal since 2011. It received a total of 4.07 per cent votes and won 22 seats, making it the fourth largest party in the Lok Sabha in 2019 General Elections.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP):
- Kanshi Ram formulated the party in 1984.
- It represents the interests of Bahujan Samaj (the dalits, Adivasis, OBCs and religious minorities) and aims to secure their welfare and development.
- It continues to draw inspiration from the teachings of Sahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, Periyar Ramaswami Naicker and Babasaheb Ambedkar.
- Mainly based in Uttar Pradesh, it has a significant presence in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Punjab.
- In General Elections 2019, it polled about 3.63 per cent votes and secured 10 seats in the Lok Sabha.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):
1. BJP was founded in 1980 by reviving the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh which in turn was formed by Syama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951.
2. BJP finds its inspiration to resurrect the glory and prominence of India in the world from India’s ancient culture and values; and Deendayal Upadhyaya’s ideas of integral humanism and Antyodaya. Cultural nationalism (or ‘Hindutva’) is one of its most important philosophical thoughts in its conception of Indian nationhood and politics.
3. It advocates for a uniform civil code for all people living in the country irrespective of religion and ban on forced religious conversions. Its support base has multiplied exponentially since the 1990s.
4. The party has expanded its base in the entire country today. It rose to power in 1998 as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) including several regional parties.
5. It has emerged as the largest party with 303 members in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It currently Leads the ruling NDA government at the centre.
Communist Party of India (CPI):
- It was formed in 1925. Its approach is heavily inclined towards Marxism-Leninism, secularism and advocates democracy.
- It opposes the forces of secessionism and communalism. Despite following Marxism, it has accepted parliamentary democracy as a means of promoting the interests of the working class, farmers and the poor.
- It went through a nasty split in the party in 1964 post which CPI(M) was formed.
- It shows a significant presence in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- It secured less than 1 per cent votes and 2 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections showcasing its loss of popularity.
- It advocates building an alliance involving all left parties as a strong left front.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M):
- It was founded in 1964 and has a firm belief in Marxism-Leninism. Like CPI, it supports socialism, secularism and democracy and opposes imperialism and communalism.
- It has accepted democratic elections as a useful and helpful means for securing the objective of socio-economic justice in India.
- It shows a promising presence in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, especially among the poor, factory workers, farmers, agricultural labourers and the intelligentsia.
- The party is critical of the free market policy and free flow of foreign capital and goods into the country. It ruled West Bengal for 34 years without a break. It won about 1.75 per cent of votes and 3 seats in the 2019 General Elections.
Indian National Congress (INC):
1. It is popularly known as the Congress Party and was founded in 1885. It is one of the oldest parties of the world.
2. It has undergone multiple splits. It has been one of the most dominant players in Indian politics at the national and state level for several decades before and after India’s Independence.
3. The Party aspires to build a modern secular democratic republic in India. The party ruled at the centre till 1977 and then from 1980 to 1989. Post that period, it has lost popularity but continues to maintain a strong presence, cutting across social divisions.
4. Congress in its ideological orientation is centrist. It espouses secularism and welfare of weaker sections and minorities.
5. The INC supports new economic reforms keeping in mind the welfare of all sections of the society. It led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2004 to 2019.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP):
- It was formed in 1999 following a split in the Congress party.
- It espouses democracy, Gandhian secularism, equity, social justice and federalism. It advocates that offices in government be confined to natural-born citizens of the country.
- It has a major significance in Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam. It is a coalition partner of Congress in the state of Maharashtra. Since 2004, it has been a member of the United Progressive Alliance.
Match List I (organisations and struggles) with List-II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:
|(1) Congress Party Democratic Alliance||(A) National|
|(2) Bharatiya Janata Party||(B) State party|
|(3) Communist Party of India||(C) United Progressive (Marxist) Alliance|
|(4) Telugu Desam Party||(D) Left Front|
Explanation: Congress Party is the leader of the United Progressive (Marxist) Alliance Bharatiya Janata Party is the leader of the National Democratic Alliance Communist Party of India leads the left front. Telugu Desam Party is a state party.
Who among the following is the founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party?
(a) Kanshi Ram
(b) Sahu Maharaj
(c) B.R. Ambedkar
(d) Jotiba Phule
(a) Kanshi Ram
What is the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party?
(a) Bahujan Samaj
(b) Revolutionary democracy
(c) Integral humanism
(c) Integral Humanism
State parties are also referred to as regional parties. However, they need not be regional in their ideology or outlook. They can also be all India parties which happen to have succeeded only in some states. Parties like the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal have national level political organisations with units in several states. Biju Janata Dal, Sikkim Democratic Front, Mizo National Front and Telangana Rashtra Samithi are conscious about their state identity. State Parties have risen in numbers from the past few years
making Indian Parliament representative and more diverse.
No party could achieve an absolute majority between 1990s-2014. To form governments, national parties had to form alliances with state parties. Since 1996, nearly every State party has had an opportunity to be a part of a national level coaLition government.
It strengthens federalism and democracy in our country.
Challenges to Political Parties
Political parties are crucial for the working of democracy. People blame parties for improper functioning of administration and political set up because they are the visible faces of democracy. People express strong dissatisfaction with the failure of political parties to perform their functions well. Popular dissatisfaction in working of political parties has been basically over 4 different problems areas. To maintain their image as an effective instrument of democracy, they have to work upon these infirmities.
1. The first challenge is lack of internal democracy within parties. In most political parties, power tends to concentrate in the hands of the topmost leaders. Proper registers of membership are not maintained and internal elections and organisational meetings are not conducted regularly.
Flow of information within the party is not fluid or regular. Members do not have the means or the
connections needed to influence the decisions. Leaders automatically assume greater power to make decisions on behalf of the party. Due to accumulation of paramount power in the hands of few leaders, dissenters find themselves out of the party, if they try to raise their voices. Personal loyalty to the Leader becomes a significant criterion for continuing the membership of the society.
2. The second challenge of dynastic succession is closely related to the first challenge Ordinary workers find it almost impossible to rise to the top in a party due to the lack of transparency in working or functioning of the party. Leaders favour their families and friends and often appoint them at topmost and important positions in the party. This is unfair to the members without influence- also bad for democracy because inefficient members are appointed without any adequate experience or support at influential positions. Even in the oldest democracy, this challenge can be seen.
3. The growing role of money and muscle power in parties, especially during elections is another challenge. Parties tend to use dishonest methods to win elections including nomination of those candidates who have or can raise lots of money. Rich industrialists and companies funding the parties have an undue influence on the policies and decisions of the party. Parties even support criminals who can win elections. This is concerning for advocates of democracy.
4. The fourth challenge is that parties do not seem to offer a meaningful choice to the voters. Parties must be significantly different in terms of ideology and approaches.
Recent years have seen a steep decline in the ideological differences among parties in most
parts of the world. For example, Labour Party and Conservative Party of Britain are not different ideologically. They differ very minutely only in details on how policies are to be framed and implemented.
In India, the differences among all the main parties on the economic policies have declined. Dissenters do not have many options to choose from. At times, even leaders keep shifting from one party to another, thereby reducing choice among candidates too. Shifting from one party to another is called defection.
The different challenges faced by a political party are different from each other but can prove to be confusing. Students must take extreme care to understand the concept of each challenge welL
The different challenges faced by a political party are not to be confused with challenges faced by a democracy.
Ways to Reform Parties
Political parties require reformation. The leaders who represent political parties are the final decision makers in a democracy. To reform them, the entire party has to agree and decide to reform.
Some recent developments and suggestion for reformation are:
1. The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from frequently changing parties. Defection had become a common practice for political leaders- either in hunger of political influence or cash rewards. If any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she is suspended and their seat in the legislature is lost. This amendment has helped to bring down the cases of defection. On the negative side, it has made dissent against the Leaders even more difficult. MPs and MLAs have to accept whatever the party leaders decide.
2. The Supreme Court passed several orders and laws to reduce the influence of money and criminals making it mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to file an affidavit declaring his assets- details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. This system has made several details regarding the candidate’s public stature. A mechanism to scrutinise this declaration and verify the details is yet to be developed. The trends and consequences of this law have not yet been released.
3. The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax returns. The implementation has not been rigid though. Thus it is unclear if this has made the situation good or worse.
Suggest some reforms to strengthen parties so that they perform their functions well?
Some other suggestions to reform political parties are:
1. A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political parties.
2. Registration of each member and proper regulation of membership, stringency to follow its own constitution, to have an independent authority and act as judges in case of party disputes, to hold open elections to the highest posts should all be ensured.
3. Reservation of one-third seats in political parties and decision making bodies for women candidates should be ensured.
4. State funding of elections should be ensured. The government should give parties support in cash or kind for their election expenses. Cash could also be given on the basis of votes gained during the elections.
These suggestions have not yet been accepted by political parties. Legal solutions to political problems should be carefully drafted. Over-regulation of political parties can be counterproductive. This could force parties to use the loopholes in these Laws. Political parties might not agree at all to pass such stringent laws.
Some More Ways to Reform Parties
Political parties can also be reformed through:
1. Pressure from the people: People can put pressure on political parties. This can be done through petitions, publicity and agitations.
2. Ordinary citizens, pressure groups and movements and the media can play an important role in this. The fear of losing support from the public can encourage political parties to reform themselves.
3. Political parties can improve if future participants make it a point to reform these parties.
The quality of democracy depends on the degree of public participation. Political participation alone can lead parties on a path of reformation. The problem of bad politics can be solved by better politics.
→ Omnipresent: Present everywhere, widespread.
→ Collective good: Interest of the society, community or a big group.
→ Partisan: Strong supporter of a party, prejudiced against something.
→ Political Executive: Executive at the head of the government or ministers.
→ Panchayat: Local self-governing bodies at the village.
→ Factions: Groups.
→ Antyodaya: Rise of the last man, development of the most vulnerable.
→ Humanism: A rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
→ Secessionism: The policy of those advocating secession.
→ Socialism: A political or economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community.
→ Leftist: Relating to left wing, left wing generally supports socialist tendencies- upliftment of the worker and labour class.
→ Rightist: Relating to right wing, right wing generally supports liberalism, free trade and free economy.
→ Centrist: Relating to central attitude- balance of two wings.
→ Paramount: Ultimate.
→ Dissenters: One who debates and disagrees.
→ Counterproductive: Harmful.
→ 1885: Indian National Congress was formed
→ 1925: CPI was founded
→ 1951: Bharatiya Jana Sangh was formed
→ 1964: Split in CPI, CPI M was formed
→ 1980: BJP was formed
→ 1984: BSP was formed
→ 1998: AITC was formed
→ 1999: Nationalist Congress Party was formed