NCERT Class 9 Civics: Chapter 1, Question Exercise Q.9
In an imaginary country called Happyland, the people overthrew the foreign ruler and brought back the old royal family. They said: “After all their ancestors were our kings before foreigners started ruling us. It is good that we have one strong ruler, who can help us become rich and powerful”. When someone talked about democracy the wise men said it is a foreign idea. Their struggle was to throw the foreigners and their ideas out of the country. When someone demanded freedom for the media, the elders thought that too much criticism of the ruler would not help them improve their living standards. “After all, the king is so kind and interested in the welfare of all the subjects. Why create problems for him. Don’t we all want to be happy? ”
After reading the above passage, Chaman, Champa and Chandru made the following observations:
Chaman: Happyland is a democratic country because people were able to throw out the foreign rulers and bring back the king.
Champa: Happyland is not a democratic country because people cannot criticise the ruler. The king may be nice and may provide economic prosperity, but a king cannot give a democratic rule.
Chandru: What people need is happiness. So they are willing to allow their new ruler to take decisions for them. If people are happy it must be a democracy.
What is your opinion about each of these statements? What do you think about the form of government in this country?
Chaman’s statement is incorrect because the overthrowing of a foreign power just amounts to gaining sovereignty.
Champa’s statement is correct. A democracy is a rule of the people. The people should have the right to question their ruler.
Chandru’s statement is incorrect. Happiness of the people is only one factor of a democracy. The people might be happy with the king, but he is not an elected representative.