How do social divisions affect politics? give 2 example
A combination of social divisions and politics can be really dangerous. A democracy involves competition among various political parties. As their competition tends to divide society, if they start competing in terms of some existing social divisions, then it can convert those social divisions into political divisions, which can lead to conflict, violence and even disintegration of the country. An example of this is the disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries.
However, the combination of social divisions and politics is not always negative. The political expression of social divisions allows marginalised and disadvantaged social groups to express their grievances and ask the government to rectify them. The system of reservation of seats in Indian legislatures for the socially disadvantaged has allowed such social groups to have an adequate representation in the decision-making process.
The combination of politics & social divisions is very explosive and dangerous.
a) Democracy involves competition among various political parties. Their competitions tend to divide society.
b) If they start competing in terms of some existing social divisions, they can make social divisions into political divisions and lead to conflict, violence or even disintegration of a country.
c) Social divisions affect voting in most countries, people from one community tend to prefer one party more than others.
d) In many countries there are parties which focus only on one community.
--yet all this does not always lead to disintegration.
This has happened in many countries ---Examples (negative results)
1. As in the case of Northern Ireland, this region of UK has been for many years a sight of violence& bitter ethno- political conflict.
--Its population is divided into two major sects of Christianity: 53%--Protestants & 44%--Catholics.
--Catholics are represented by the Nationalist parties, who wanted Northern Ireland to be united with the Republic of Ireland, predominantly catholic.
--Protestants are represented by the Unionist who wanted to remain with UK.
--hundreds of civilians and militants were killed in the fight of political parties till 1998, the UK govt. & the Nationalists reached a peace treaty after which the latter suspended the armed struggle.
2. In Yugoslavia the political competition along religious and ethnic lines led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries.
--such examples lead some people to think that politics & social divisions should not be allowed to mix; if social divisions exists in a country they must never be expressed in politics.
Every expression of social division in politics does not lead to disasters. Social divisions of some or the other kind do exist in every society of the world and are reflected in politics.
--in a democracy it is only natural that political parties talk of these divisions, make different promises to different communities, look after their representation and policies to redress the grievances of disadvantaged communities.
There are three factors which are crucial in deciding the outcome of politics of social divisions.
1. Outcome depends upon how people perceive their identities. If they see their identities in singular and exclusive terms it becomes very difficult to accommodate. As in India we think of ourselves as Indians as well as belonging to a state or a language group or a social or religious community.
2. It depends on how political leaders raise the demands of a ny community. It is easier to accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community.
Example –the demand for only Sinhala was at the cost of the interest and identity of Tamil community in Srilanka; in Yugoslavia also the ethnic communities presented their demands in such a way that these could not be accommodated with in a single country.
3. It depends on how the govt. reacts to the demands of different groups. Example—In Belgium and Srilanka if the rulers are willing to share power & accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, social divisions become less threatening for the country. But if they suppress such a demand in the name of national unity, the end result can be quite opposite & such a forced integration can sow the seeds of disintegration.