NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 1 Power Sharing

NCERT Notes Class 10 Social Science Political Science Chapter 1 Power Sharing

Chapter 1 Power Sharing NCERT Notes

Chapter Name

Power Sharing 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 Power Sharing  


Having noted how all the power did not rest with anyone’s organ in democracy last year. We will learn about the power-sharing among the executive, legislature, and judiciary, which is essential in maintaining a democracy. We will carry this idea of power-sharing with these two countries from Belgium and Sri Lanka on how they handle demands in democracy. Moreover, we will discuss various forms and needs of power-sharing in democracy with these two countries.

What is power-sharing in a democracy? The case of Belgium and Sri Lanka

Case of Belgium

Belgium is a smaller country in Europe with Germany, France, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The ethnic composition is very complex due to the people belonging to the same group believing in common descent because of similarities as out of the total population, 59 percent speak the Dutch language in the Flemish region. At the same time, 40 percent say French living in the Wallonia region. Belgium’s city capital is Brussels, where 80 percent speak only French, leaving the other percent into the Dutch-speaking category.

Dividing power between two communities:

  • Here we see that the minority French community was relatively rich and powerful. On the other side, this was hated by the Dutch-speaking community, which later benefited from economic development and education.
  • This led to tension between the communities in Brussels as it presented Dutch-speaking as their majority.

Case of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island nation off the southern Indian Ocean. The averse population of about two crore people like any other South Asia region with the majority speaking is Sinhala-speakers with 74 percent and the Tamil speakers about 18 percent.

Two Tamil subgroups of the country:

  • The Tamil natives of the country are divided into two subgroups, such as Srilankan Tamils, who are mostly concentrated in the north and east of the country. They mostly are Buddhists who speak the Sinhala language.
  • While the rest are Indian Tamils whose forefathers came from India to work as plantation workers during the colonial period, most Tamil groups are Hindu and Muslim who speak the Tamil language. In contrast, 7 percent are Christians who speak both Sinhala and Tamil language.

Comparing both the countries with their communities:

  • Let’s imagine what could happen if Belgium’s majority Dutch community forces its will on the French and German communities. This would create conflicts between themselves and lead to partitions as both will fight for rights in Brussels.
  • Now Sinhala community, which is the most significant majority in Srilanka, can impose its will on the entire country. So let’s get into the chapter to see what happens.

What is Majoritarianism?

A belief by the majority of people who wish to rule a country on their terms without fulfilling a minority group’s needs.

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, most speaking Sinhala people sought to dominate the government by their virtue. As a result, it adopted a series of Majoritarianism measures to establish its supremacy over the minority groups.

Sinhala community’s tyranny on minority community

The elected government passed an act in 1965 to recognize Sinhala as a national language and favored the Sinhala applicants for government and university posts and took all the necessary measures to lead Sri Lanka as Majoritarianism Country, which created differences among the Sri Lankan Tamils as they felt Government policies and constitution denied their rights and discriminated among the communities which strained their relationship between both over the years.

Minority groups

The Srilankan Tamils launched parties to recognize their regional autonomy, equal opportunities, and official language. They were repeatedly denied their rights, which caused them to form an organization demanding the north and east part of the country as their independent Tamil Eelam state. This caused the conflict between the communities leading to a civil war where thousands of people were killed in both organizations and made people take refugees in other countries, which caused a setback in economic, social, and cultural life in the country in 2009.

Accommodation in Belgium

As we have seen in the above topic, due to differences between minorities, the civil war was started, leading to destruction in both the economic and social life of the people living in Srilanka.
  • In Belgium, the Government party recognized the existence of regional differences and cultural diversities. It amended its constitution four times from970 from 1993 to work out an arrangement that would end life for everyone. Belgium’s party made some innovative elements.

Elements of Belgium Model

Now we have seen how Belgium Government sort out their differences; here are their model elements.

  1. Their constitution prescribed that both French-speaking and Dutch-speaking ministers will have an equal share in the central government. Thus no single community can make the decision unilaterally without the support of majority members of each linguistic group.
  2. The state government has more power than the central government.
  3. Both the communities have equal representation in the separate government of Brussels.
  4. A third government called community government belongs to everybody where they have power over language, cultural, and educational issues.

These elements of a Belgium model have worked so far, even when it’s indeed complicated to find even by Belgium people.

But still, it has helped to avoid communal strife between both the communities. When the European Union was formed, Brussels was selected as its capital.

Why is power-sharing desirable?

So as we have seen how in a democracy, power-sharing is desirable for a country to live in harmony, and without power-sharing, it destroys the whole country. So why power-sharing is necessary, we may find in two reasons such as

  • Firstly it reduces the possibility of conflict between majority and minority groups and ensures the stability of political order.
  • Secondly, the deeper reason for power-sharing is the spirit in a democracy that involves people having the right to be consulted on how they want to be governed and acquire a stake in the system through their participation.

Forms of power-sharing

It was believed for a long time that all the power must reside within one group of persons. But with the emergence of power-sharing in a democracy, it changed with notions of undivided political power wi people being the source of energy to share their views in the government.

What is modern democracy

In a modern democracy, tical power is distributed to as many citizens as possible to have a voice in shaping public policies. It can take many forms in power-sharing. Here are some of the most arrangements.

  1. A power is shared among different organs in Government
  • It may be called horizontal distribution of control because different organs are placed at the same level to exercise different power.
  • Each organ balances the power among various institutions to ensure no one crosses the limits.
  • Like how we studied democracy last year here, we see judges can check the laws and executive functions of legislatures. However, an executive appointed a judge.
  1. Power is shared among governments at different levels
  • Power is shared on the entire country with a general government, and it is also shared among the different regional and provincial level in a government.
  • For example, In India, a general government is called a center or Union government, while in other countries, they are called by different names at a regional level.
  • But in India, it is called state government at a provincial and regional level.
  • There are many countries without state governments on the provincial level, l yet their constitution has power for different government levels.
  • It is called the federal division of power, which was accepted by Belgium and refused in Sri Lanka.
  • The same principle is followed for the lower government like panchayat and municipality below the state government.
  1. Power is shared on different social groups.
  • Community government, which includes a religious and linguistic group in Belgium, is an excellent example.
  • Legislatures and administration are some countries represented by legal arrangements and constitution in some countries to give space in administrating the government. Where otherwise the minority groups might feel alienated from the government for an equal and are in power.
  1. Power-sharing arrangements in some way.
  • It can be seen as political parties, pressure groups, and movements control those in power.
  • In a democracy, a citizen has the freedom to choose for the right contender among various groups of parties in the form of competition.
  • To ensure the power does not remain in one hand. Thus differ parties represent different ideologies.
  • Sometimes power-sharing can be direct by two parties’ allying to contest an election, and when they get selected, they form a Coalition government sharing power.
  • Some interest groups such as traders, business people, industrialists, farmers, and industrial workers will have an equal share in government power through participation in committee or influencing the decision-making process in a democracy.
Previous Post Next Post