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The Constitution in a Democratic Society
  • In a democracy the leaders we elect govern us. 
  • They have a lot of power and they can sometimes misuse this power. 
  • In the event of this misuse of power, the constitution safe guards the interest of the citizens.


    To understand the word ‘misuse of power’ let us take three incidences that happen in school, with which we are familiar.

In the Classroom

  • The class teacher has to leave the class to attend a meeting. 
  • She asks the class-leader to look after the class. 
  • The class –leader does not like one boy in particular. 
  • When the teacher returns to class the leader complains about the boy he does not like.
  • The teacher punishes the boy.

From this incidence we come to understand that the class leader has misused the responsibility given to him by the teacher. This has resulted in injustice to an innocent boy.


In the play ground


  • The boys in the class want to play cricket.
  • The girls want to play basket ball.
  • The teacher settles the dispute according to the majority. 
  • As there are more number of boys in the class, the decided to play cricket. 
  • The girls lose out only because they are a minority.

    From this incidence we come to understand that just because the girls are in minority their right to play the game they wanted is not fulfilled.

At Home – Watching TV

  • The daughter has an exam the next day.
  • The parents are watching TV and the daughter is tempted to watch too. 
  • In the better interest of the daughter it is decided that no one will watch TV.


    From this incidence we come to understand that certain decisions have to be taken to safe guard ourselves from wrong decisions.

From the above three incidences we have understood that.

  • Power can be misused. 
  • Majority can undermine minority. 
  • We need certain rules to save ourselves from folly.

Now let us apply all these three facts to a democratic country and its constitution.

Let us go one by one.

Power can be misused.

In a democratic country the people elect the leaders.

The leaders sometimes misuse the powers given to them.

A leader misusing his power may send his security guards to beat up his neighbors for a personal reason.

A leader may ask the police not to take action against a relative who has committed a crime.

  • The Indian Constitution provides safeguards against this misuse of power by our political leaders. 
  • The Constitution lays down rules that guard the citizens against misuse of power. 
  • The Indian Constitution upholds the Fundamental Rights of each and every citizen. 
  • No Indian citizen can be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender, and place of birth. 
  • The Right to Equality is one of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

A recap from last year’s lesson were a dalit was not given equal rights.

Caste Inequality in India
One of the most common forms of inequality in India is the caste system. The caste system is more common in rural India than in urban India. Even in big cities, the educated and rich people follow the caste system while fixing marriages.


In the Indian caste system, Dalit is a term used for the so called lower caste. A dalit is often called an untouchable, or outcaste or a harijan. Dalit means ‘broken’ and by using this word, lower castes are pointing to how they were, and continue to be, seriously discriminated against.


Omprakash Valmiki, a famous Dalit writer
Omprakash belonged to the dalit caste. He was treated very badly in school. He was not given the rights other boys of upper castes enjoyed. He was made to sit on the floor when other sat on a mat. He was made to sweep the school and the play ground when other boys were studying in the class room.

In spite of all these insults and differences shown to him, Omprakash became a famous writer. He has written about his experiences as a dalit in his autobiography, Joothan.

Today let us raise our voices against this inequality.

Majority can undermine minority.

  • In a democracy sometimes a dominant group uses its power over a less dominant group. 
  • Decisions are made that do not include the interests of the minority. 
Sometimes the minority are terrorized by the majority and put to a lot of hardship.
  • The Indian constitution ensures that the dominant group does not use its power against other, less powerful people or groups.​
  • The Constitution contains rules that ensure that minorities are not excluded from anything that is routinely available to the majority.
  • The constitution prevents the domination of the majority over the minority.

We need certain rules to save ourselves from folly.

  • In a democracy people may come to hate party politics. 
  • The citizens may feel that a different form of government will be suitable for them. 
The citizens may tend to support a dictatorship form of government not realising the adverse effects of that type of a government.
  • The Constitution helps to protect us against certain decisions that we might take that could have an adverse effect on the larger principles that the country believes in​.
  • A good Constitution does not allow the whims of a few citizens to change its basic structure.
  • The constitution does not allow for the easy overthrow of provisions that guarantee rights of citizens and protect their freedom.

Constitution plays a very important role in Democratic Societies.


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