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Question

State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power-sharing with an example from the Indian context.

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Solution

Opposition to the notions of undivided political power led to the emergence of the idea of power sharing.

  • Power sharing will bring out better outcomes is the prudential reason.
  • Emphasising that the act of power sharing is valuable, is the moral reason behind power sharing.

Moral Reason for Power Sharing

  • A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects.
  • Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy.
  • This is a deeper reason which explains why power sharing is good for democracies.
  • Through participation, citizens acquire a stake in the system in a legitimate government.
  • People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed.
  • Example from India: Reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. This allows the weaker sections also to participate in the running of the Government.

Prudential Reason for Power Sharing

  • The possibility of conflict between social groups will be reduced if the power is shared.
  • Power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order, since social conflict often leads to political instability and violence.
  • Although minorities will be oppressed due to the tyranny of the majority, it usually brings ruin to the majority as well.
  • In the long run the unity of the nation will be undermined, if the will of the majority community is imposed over other minorities, although it looks like a good option in the short run.
  • Example: In India, the citizens can come together to debate and criticise the policies and decisions of the government. This, in turn, puts pressure on the government to rethink its policies and reconsider its decisions.



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