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Redefining Democracy of India

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  • Last Updated : 21 Jul, 2022
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The term “democracy” comes from the Greek word demos, which means “common people” and Kratos, which means strength. Democracy is known as the “rule of the majority”, democracy is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives among themselves to form a governing body. Dislike the monarchy the power can’t be inherited in democracy. 

Even though democracy has been accepted as the best form of government all over and had replaced the monarchy. Yet it has its own problems. Some of them are:

Challenges Faced by Democracy

  1. Challenge of foundation, as many countries across the globe, aren’t yet democratic, therefore, these countries face a foundational challenge of making the transition to democracy and then instituting a democratic government. As many non-democratic governments are supported by the military in many nations around the world, because non-democratic regimes are backed by a substantial segment of society, overthrowing them is a challenging task.
  2. Challenge of expansion, the already established democracies face the challenge of expansion. It involves applying and extending the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, all social groups, and all government institutions, as well as the entire society at the root levels. It pertains to ensuring greater power to local governments, an extension of federal principles, and the inclusion of minority groups and women. India and USA often this challenge of expansion.
  3. Challenge of deepening democracy, is the challenge faced by every democratic government. This involves strengthening the institutions and practices of democracy, it requires an attempt to bring down the control and influence of the rich and powerful people in making governmental decisions. In many countries, the powerful and wealthy peoples exert influence over the various branches of government, as a result, deconstructing the current power system and transferring the power to the public is a difficult task.

Guidelines for Political Reforms

Political reform is a term that refers to various suggestions or reforms to overcome democratic challenges. Political reforms are persuasive but differ from place to place. 

  • Legal reforms: A law passed after careful deliberations in different forums can be helpful in solving an unhealthy political practice. However, total dependence on the law is not a way to overcome challenges to democracy. Democratic reforms need to be carried out mainly by political activists, parties, and politically conscious citizens.
  • Political reforms: The main focus of political reforms should be on ways to strengthen democratic practice. For instance, the most important concern should be to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens. Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how.
  • Democratic reforms: The best laws are the ones that would empower people to carry out democratic reforms. For example, The Right to Information Act is a law that empowers the people to find out what is happening in government and act as watchdogs of democracy. These types of laws help in controlling corruption and supplement the existing laws that banned corruption and imposed strict penalties. These results may be counter-productive.

Redefining Democracy

So far what we studied about democracy can be further expanded the definition to add some qualifications which include: 

  • The rulers are elected by the people
  • Elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the rulers.
  • This choice and opportunity should be available to all people on an equal basis.
  • The exercise of the choice must lead to a government limited by basic rules of the constitution and citizens’ rights.

Democracy is a vast concept. These above-mentioned points offer a very minimal approach to understanding the democracy of our country. Going further we learned that: 

  1. Democracy is not limited to mere elections, voters, and political parties, it offers various rights to citizens socially and economically, 
  2. The importance of minority voice in democracy, 
  3. The importance of respecting citizens’ morals and not discriminating against anyone based on caste, religion, birth, etc.
  4. The importance of power-sharing between governments and social groups is one of the spirits of democracy, it is a foundation on which democratic rule is based. The people have a right to be consulted on how they must govern and fair discussions must take place before decision-making.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Name the major challenges faced by the Indian democracy?

Answer:

The major challenges faced by the Indian democracy are communalism, regionalism, casteism, untouchability, gender inequality, economic inequality, corruption, illiteracy, and so on.

Question 2: How can education bring changes in a democratic country?

Answer:

Education is the most powerful tool to fight against any problem. Education can bring qualitative and quantitative change in any aspect. Through education, there would a growth of a new intelligent class and this will increase the political awareness among the poor and backward classes. They can understand the importance of equality, women empowerment, liberty, and social equality. Education builds skills besides giving information and increasing knowledge.

Question 3: What are the weaknesses of democracy?

Answer: 

The weaknesses of democracy are as follows:

  • The decision-making process is more time-consuming in Democracy.
  • They fall short of elections in providing a fair chance to everyone.
  • Most governments are corrupted, and the routine stories of corruption tell that democracies are not free of evil.
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