Why Do We Need Rights in a Democracy?
Democracy is the term that is opposed to autocracy, aristocracy or monarchy means a government by people. Democracy combines two words I.e. ‘Demos‘ means people and ‘Kratos‘ means government, overall it is a Greek word. The people irrespective of factors like caste, religion, economic status, etc are equal in the eyes of law and manage their own affairs themselves. They have an inalienable right to rule themselves. The concepts of justice, equality, liberty, and fraternity are an embodiment of democratic principles in the preamble. In India democracy is in the wider sense of political, economic, and social democracy. The institutions set up under the constitution shall seek to give effect to democracy in India which is to be sustained by adult suffrage, fundamental rights, and independent judiciary.
Why do we need rights in a democracy?
1. The democratic government is the government of the people, for the people, and by the people. The elected representatives rule the country and they are responsible to the people. The Supreme court in Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, held that democracy is a basic feature of the Indian constitution and free and fair elections are also impliedly a basic feature. So, for a democratic government, one of the main rights is the Right to Vote. In Union of India v. Association for democratic reforms, Supreme Court held that successful democracy means an aware citizenry democracy cannot survive without free and fair elections and informed voters.
2. It is very important to have checks and balances in the government’s power as, if there is no control over the state then it can work arbitrarily. Supreme Court in R.C. Pondyal v. The Union of India held that democracy is the people’s power and the State’s power vests in the people. People’s participation is a must in a democratic government and this has been guaranteed by the institution of Panchayati Raj and local Self Government which help to decentralisation of power and transparency at all levels of Government.
3. Right is an important part of the nourishment of democracy. Without rights, democracy in a country has no values and democracy becomes meaningless without rights.
4. Rights play a vital role to secure minorities from suppression of the majority. Suppression of minorities by the majority must be stopped and to achieve that goal, a democratic government must provide rights to every class of persons.
5. Rights are the reason to maintain the balance between state and people and law and order. It regulates citizens from harming another citizen by rights and duties imposed on them.
6. Public opinion is very important to control the government because people will give apt replies in the next election to the government. There is no legal force, only public opinion, a democratic force that can control the government to work for the people.
7. If there is no right in democracy then there will be a lack of dignified life of people and moral values in people will also be absent. So, to maintain a dignified life, rights are very necessary for a democratic government.
8. Citizens have the right to form political parties and take part in political activities for a fruitful democratic government or elections.
Lastly, we could see that Government always tries to abridge or to take away rights by way of amendments or by other ways. Executive responsible to the legislature is the edifice of the Indian Parliamentary democracy. It is Judiciary that always interferes between state and citizens to maintain a reasonable gap and to regulate the arbitrariness done by the state over citizens. Judiciary is one of the parts of democratic government. Rights must be secured and must be reasonably inherited by every citizen in a democratic government. So, it is necessary that there must be some rights that must be superior to the government’s rule.