NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 8 Challenges to Democracy

NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Political Science Chapter 8 Challenges to Democracy

Chapter 8 Challenges to Democracy NCERT Notes

Chapter Name

Challenge to Democracy Notes


CBSE Class 10

Textbook Name

Democratic Politics- II Class 10

Related Readings

  • Notes for Class 10
  • Notes for Class 10 Political Science
  • NCERT Solutions for Challenge to Democracy 


In the previous chapters of this book, we read about democracy, and it is working on its framework and its principles. After having read all this, two main questions strike our mind:

  1. What are the challenges faced by democratic countries around the world?
  2. How can we overcome these challenges?

This chapter, however, does not directly answer these questions. It only paves the right pathway to approach these questions. It ignites your thinking and your ability to understand these questions and find suitable answers.

Thinking about Challenges

In 9th class, we started our journey towards understanding democracy by its growing influence throughout the world. We learned the dominance of democratic governments around the world.

Ironically speaking, in present times, democracy is not facing being overthrown or being replaced by any other form of government. Therefore, it is not facing any serious challenges.

The dream of an ideal democracy is far from being realized around the world. The functioning of democratic politics has led us to conclude that ideal democracy does not exist anywhere. This has posed a challenge to democracy that is the center point of our discussion.

Since different countries have different governments, challenges to an ideal democracy differ from one country to another. Overall, the challenges are classified into three categories:

  1. Foundational Challenge: According to an estimate, one- fourth countries worldwide face the challenge of setting up a democratic regime. This requires making a change from the existing non-democratic form of government to set up democratic institutions.
  1. The challenge of expansion: Means imposing the basic principles of democracy across all government institutions in the country. It also includes strengthening local governments, smooth functioning of the federation, and giving equality to women and minority groups in all walks of life. Countries like India and the US face this challenge.
  1. Deepening of democracy: This means strengthening the fundamental essence of democracy and living up to its ideals. In democratic societies, different people in different countries face different problems. So, their expectations from democratic institutions vary widely. Democracy cannot be thriving until the citizens and governments share a common dream.

Thinking about Political Reforms

Although there is an ocean of challenges that need to be addressed in today’s politics, out of all these, we discussed the significant three challenges above. Now, we will discuss various suggestions that can be implemented to overcome the above-discussed challenges.

Political Reform

“Political Reform” is an extensive term that refers to various suggestions or reforms to overcome democratic challenges. As we know, each country has a different democratic framework. Therefore, political reforms are, no doubt, pervasive but the context of the reforms differs from place to place.

Therefore, it is impossible to discuss reforms for one country and expect them to apply differently. Even the reforms in one country cannot remain the same all the time. They need to undergo revision from time to time.

Instead of discussing what can be done, we will widen the concept and discuss some essential guidelines that need to be taken care of before thinking about any reforms. We are going to understand these guidelines specifically for India.

Only laws are not enough to bring reforms

  • The first suggestion that comes to mind when we think of overcoming challenges is to frame laws. Only bringing new laws and strengthening the existing ones will do very minimal to stop this crime. We need to change the mindset of society about women and inculcate values of gender equality and respect for women. Similarly, framing laws that discourage unfair political practices are not the only solution to overcome challenges. Democratic reforms require the participation of each citizen, politician, political party, and political activist.

Seeing the bigger picture

  • Though laws are not enough to bring about reforms, they cannot be neglected. Laws are necessary to lay the basic foundation to bring reforms, legally and constitutionally. Nevertheless, we cannot frame laws that seem to be attractive and fit. We need to analyze the effect of a new law on the politics of a country. Sometimes, some laws are framed with good intentions, but they have some counter- effects. For example, some states have passed laws barring people with more than two siblings to nominate for gram panchayat elections. This law has closed the door of opportunity to many low and women who have the ability and experience to lead people. Laws that give a window to the citizens to point out the shortcomings in the system are the ones that require the hour. The Right to Information Act, RTI is an example of such law. Through this, people can rightfully question the government’s policies, thereby keeping an eye on the system.

Strengthening democratic practices

  • Reforms can be bought principally by political practice. In simple words, strengthening democratic practices, like increasing the citizens’ participation in politics, should be our main concern.

Exemplary Implementation

  • It is not wise only to think about the solutions to overcome challenges. Everyone can write solutions on paper. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge is how and who should implement it. If solutions are reasonable and implementation is not, they are bound to bring chaos in the society.


Redefining Democracy

We started our journey of understanding the political system with a simple definition of democracy. We read in chapter two that in democracy, people elect their leaders. Moving on, we widened our understanding of this concept with some interesting points:

  1. Elected leaders have the power to make decisions.
  2. Elections must be fair and allow others with the ability to rule.
  3. There must equal opportunity available to all.
  4. The government is bound to work under the rules of the constitution.

Democracy is a vast concept. The points that we mentioned above are only the basics of democracy. These points offer a very minimal approach to understanding the democracy of our country.

Going further, we dived deep into this concept and further included some significant points:

  1. We learned democracy is not limited to mere elections, voters, and political parties. Also, democracy offers various rights to citizens, socially and economically.
  2. We learned about the power-sharing structure and discussed the importance of power-sharing between the government and social groups.
  3. We discussed the importance of minority voice in democracy.
  4. Apart from all these, we understood the importance of respecting citizens’ morals and not discriminating against anyone based on caste, religion, birth, etc.

Throughput our course, we learned our fundamental understanding of what an ideal democracy must look like. Nevertheless, we also need to adopt a practical approach besides applying the idealistic approach to democracy. We need to create our understanding of democracy and think of how to overcome the challenges.

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