Power Sharing | Chapter 1 | Political Science | Class X |
The term ‘Power sharing’ simply means ‘Share of power’. It refers to a political arrangement in which power is shared between different organs of government like legislature, executive and judiciary. It helps in bringing balance and stability for the smooth functioning of political system.
– Belgium is a country in Europe which is even smaller in area than the state of Haryana. – It shares it borders with countries like France ,the Netherlands ,Germany and Luxembourg – Belgium holds the population of little over one crore people which is even half of the total population of Haryana. – Ethnic composition of Belgium is like of the country’s total population 59 per cent of people lives in the Flemish region and Dutch language. – Another 40 per cent people live in Wallonia region and follow French. – The Left one percent of population speaks German. – Whereas in its capital city Brussels, around 80 percent people follow French language and 20 per cent are Dutch speaking. – The French speaking community, which was under minority, was rich and powerful. – This was disliked by Dutch- speaking community who got the benefit of economic development much later. – This created distrust between the Dutch speaking and French speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s. – The tension between the two communities was more serious in its capital city Brussels. – Special problem was traced in Brussels which was that the Dutch-speaking constituted a majority in the country, but a minority in its capital.
Sri Lanka, it is an island nation , which is a few kilometers off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu. – Sri Lanka holds the population of about two crore people which is same as the population of Haryana. – It holds a diverse population. – The main social groups are the Sinhala- Speakers (74%) and Tamil-speakers (18%) – There are two sub groups of Tamils in Sri Lanka. – Tamils who are living in Sri Lanka itself are called ‘Sri Lanka Tamils’ – The rest are known as ‘Indian Tamils’, who came from India as plantation workers. – Sinhala-speakers were Buddhists whereas most of Tamils are Hindus or Muslims.
Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka
– Sri Lanka came out as an independent nation in 1948 – Sinhala community’s leaders wanted to secure control over government with the help of their majority. – That’s why the government started series of Majoritarian steps to institute Sinhala supremacy. – Sinhala became the only official language, according to an act passed in 1956, ignoring Tamil. – People of Sinhala community were more preferred for government jobs and university positions due to the biased government policies. – A new constitution was laid down according to which the state shall follow Buddhism as religion. – Due to all these biased government policies Sri Lankan Tamils felt alienated. – They felt getting discriminated in getting jobs, equal political rights and other opportunities as well. – Due to this the relations between the Sinhala and Tamil communities got deteriorated. – The parties were launched and struggles were started by The Sri Lankan Tamils to make Tamil as official language. – Many political parties were formed by 1980s demanding independent Tamil state. – Civil war was started in the country due to the disbelief of two both the communities. – As result many people were killed. – Many families were now refugees as they were made to leave country forcefully. – Sri Lanka suffered a terrible loss of social, culture and economic life.
Accommodation in Belgium
– The Belgium took a different path. – The Belgian leaders traced the strains of regional differences and cultural diversities in the country. – The constitution was amended at least four times between 1970 and 1993 to make a kind of an arrangement which would enable everyone to live within the same country. – The arrangement came out to be known as ‘Belgian model’.
Elements of Belgian Model
– The very first thing which constitution prescribed was equal number of ministers of Dutch and French-speaking communities – Several powers of central government were given to the state government. – Belgium’s capital city Brussels has a separate government with equal representations of both the communities. – The third type of government known as ‘community government’ was to be elected by the people of one language community, regardless where they live. – Belgian model is quite complicated but the arrangements made by this model worked really well. – These arrangements avoid the conflict between both the communities. – Also due to this model country was well divide on linguistic lines. – Even its capital city Brussels was chosen as headquarters of European Union.
Why is Power Sharing Desirable?
– Power sharing is a nice concept of bringing stability of political order – It helps in reducing conflicts between two different social groups. – Power sharing is the soul of democracy. – A democratic rule includes sharing of power.
Forms of Power Sharing
– A country is democratic in true sense when it has good democratic government. – Before the concept of ‘power sharing’ it was believed that government’s all powers should be restricted to one person and group. – With the establishment of democracy this notion of undivided political power got changed. There are some very common arrangements of power sharing that we have or will come across: – The horizontal power distribution: In this, power is shared among different organs of government Like legislature, executive and judiciary. – Power is also shared among the governments at different level like the central government, and state government. – Sharing of power is also done with different social groups like the religious and linguistic groups’ – Power sharing ensures that power should not be only in one hand that’s why power is also shared among different political parties.
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