Power Sharing Class 10 Civics Notes | Chapter 1 NCERT | Harshdeep Sir

Power Sharing Class 10 Civics Notes | Chapter 1 NCERT by Harshdeep Sir

Download PDF Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Power Sharing Notes

In a democracy all power does not rest with any one organ of the government. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy.

Belgium is a small country in Europe, smaller in area than the state of Haryana. 

The ETHNIC composition of this small country is very complex. Of the country's total population, 59% live in the Flemish region and speak Dutch language. Another 40% people live in the Wallonia region and speak French. Remaining 1% speak German

In the capital city Brussels, 80% people speak French while 20% are Dutch- speaking

Power Sharing Class 10 Civics Notes

The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich and powerful. This was resented by the Dutch-speaking community who got the benefit of economic development and education much later. 


This led to tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s. 

The tension between the two communities was more acute in Brussels. Brussels presented a special problem: 🙄🙄🙄

The Dutch-speaking people constituted a majority in the country, but a minority in the capital.

Let us compare this to the situation in another country🤗🤗


Sri Lanka is an island nation. It has about two crore people, about the same as in Haryana. Like other nations in the South Asia region, Sri Lanka has a diverse population. The major social groups are the Sinhala-speakers (74%) and the Tamil-speakers (18%). Among Tamils there are two sub groups. Tamil natives of the country are called 'Sri Lankan Tamils' (13%). The rest, whose forefathers came from India as plantation workers during colonial period, are called 'Indian Tamils'.  

Sri Lankan Tamils are concentrated in the north and east of the country. Most of the Sinhala speaking people are Buddhists, while most of the Tamils are Hindus or Muslims. There are about 7 per cent Christians, who are both Tamil and Sinhala.


Power Sharing Class 10 Civics Notes                 

Sri Lanka emerged as an independent country in 1948. The leaders of the Sinhala community sought to secure dominance over government by virtue of their majority. As a result, the democratically elected government adopted a series of MAJORITARIAN measures to establish Sinhala supremacy.


In 1956, an Act was passed to recognise Sinhala as the only official language, thus disregarding Tamil. 

The governments followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. 

A new constitution was stipulated that the state shall protect and foster Buddhism.

Reaction by TAMILS__________

  • All these government measures, coming one after the other, gradually increased the feeling of alienation among the Sri Lankan Tamils.  
  • They felt that the constitution and government policies denied them equal political rights, discriminated against them in getting jobs and other opportunities and ignored their interests. As a result, the relations between the Sinhala and Tamil communities strained over time.
  • The Sri Lankan Tamils launched parties and struggles for the recognition of Tamil as an official language, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in securing education and jobs. 
  • By 1980s several political organisations were formed demanding an independent Tamil Eelam (state) in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
  • The distrust between the two communities turned into widespread conflict. It soon turned into a CIVIL WAR, As a result thousands of people of both the communities have been killed. 
  • Many families were forced to leave the country as refugees and many more lost their livelihoods. The civil war has caused a terrible setback to the social, cultural and economic life of the country. It ended in 2009.                 
Power Sharing Class 10 Civics Notes

Between 1970 and 1993, Belgian leaders amended their constitution four times so as to work out an arrangement that would enable everyone to live together within the same country

The arrangement they worked out is different from any other country and is very innovative. 

Some of the elements of the Belgian model:

  • The Constitution prescribes that the number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers shall be equal in the central government. Some special laws require the support of the majority of members from each linguistic group. Thus, no single community can make decisions unilaterally.
  • Many powers of the central government have been given to state governments of the two regions of the country. The state governments are not subordinate to the Central Government.
  • Capital Brussels has a separate government in which both the communities have equal representation. 

The French speaking people accepted equal representation in Brussels because the Dutch-speaking community has accepted equal representation in the Central Government.

  • Apart from the Central and the State Government, there is a third kind of government. This 'community government' is elected by people belonging to one language community Dutch, French and German-speaking- no matter where they live. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language-related issues.

Why Belgium Model________

The Belgian model is very complicated. It indeed is very complicated, even for people living in Belgium. But these arrangements have worked well so far. They helped to avoid civic strife between the two major communities and a possible division of the country on linguistic lines

European Union's Headquarters situated in Brussels, Belgium 

two different sets of reasons can be given in favour of power sharing. 


Firstly(Prudential)           - power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups

Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order

Imposing the will of majority community over others may look like an attractive option in the short run, but in the long run it undermines the unity of the nation. Tyranny of the majority is not just oppressive for the minority; it often brings ruin to the majority as well.

Second (Moral)          These are deeper reasons why power sharing is good for democracy. Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects

People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed. A legitimate government is one where citizens, through participation, acquire a stake in the system.

Prudential v/s Moral________

While prudential reasons stress that power sharing will bring out better outcomes, moral reasons emphasise the very act of power sharing as valuable.

In modern democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms. Let us look at some of the most common arrangements that we have or will come across.

1. Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. This is horizontal distribution of power because it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers. Such a separation ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power. Each organ checks the others. 

This results in a balance of power among various institutions


System of Checks and Balances_________In a democracy, even though ministers and government officials exercise power, they are responsible to the Parliament or State Assemblies

Similarly, although judges are appointed by the executive, they can check the functioning of executive or laws made by the legislatures. This arrangement is called a system of checks and balances.

2. Power can be shared among governments at different levels - a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Such a general government for the entire country is usually called the federal government

In India, we refer to it as the Central or Union Government. The governments at the provincial or regional level are called by different names in different countries. In India, we call them State Governments


This system is not followed in all countries. There are many countries where there are no provincial or state governments. But in those countries like ours, where there are different levels of government, the constitution clearly lays down the powers of different levels of government. 

This did in Belgium, but was refused in Sri Lanka. This is called the federal division of power. The same principle can be extended to levels of government lower than the State government, such as the municipality and panchayat. 

Division of powers involving higher and lower levels of government is called vertical division of power.

3. Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups

'Community government' in Belgium is a good example of this arrangement

In some countries there are constitutional and legal arrangements whereby socially weaker sections and women are represented in the legislatures and administration. 

the system of 'reserved constituencies' in assemblies and the parliament of our country. This type of arrangement is meant to give space in the government and administration to diverse social groups who otherwise would feel alienated from the government. This method is used to give minority communities a fair share in power.

4. Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power. 

In a democracy, the citizens must have freedom to choose among various contenders for power. In contemporary democracies, this takes the form of competition among different parties. Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups

Sometimes this kind of sharing can be direct, when two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power

In a democracy, we find interest groups such as those of traders, businessmen, industrialists, farmers and industrial workers. They also will have a share in governmental power, either through participation in governmental committees or bringing influence on the decision-making process.

Download PDF Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Power Sharing Notes

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