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Is democratic form of government boon or curse for India?
As we are aware that India is a democratic country people here own the freedom that they want. India is a plural society in letter and spirit. It is rightly characterized by its unity and diversity. A grand synthesis of cultures, religions and languages of the people belonging to different castes and communities has upheld its unity and cohesiveness despite foreign invasions, and the Mughal and British rule.
National, and unity and integrity have been maintained even through sharp economic and social inequalities have obstructed the emergence of egalitarian and social relations. Foreign invasion ,immigration from other parts of the world, and the existence of diverse languages,cultures and religions have made India’s culture tolerate, on the one hand, and a unique continuing and living culture, with its specificity and historicity on the other hand.
Indian form of democratic government is a boon to the people of the country after a lot of deliberations in the Constituent Assembly; we have decided to adopt Democracy. For a country with multi level diversity like India, Democracy is best form of governance which gives equal opportunity for everyone for equal participation. In the present day, people’s participation is very nominal and limited.
The reasons being lack of citizen’s awareness and lack of platforms for meaningful contribution. Realizing the need for such platforms, the youth of the nation came together and launched “National Agenda Forum” (NAF). The aim of the forum is to facilitate active citizen’s participation by giving them an opportunity to set the agenda for the upcoming general elections, 2019. Apart from the agenda setting, we can choose the leader who will work on the people’s agenda.
In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
In the dictionary definition, democracy “is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.”
The dignity of man is recognized and respected, people are given ample opportunities to become strong and self reliant. To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness.
If In the words of Aristotle, “liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”
Therefore success and failure of democracy can be judged by measuring the pulse of common people. Their level of satisfaction is the true index of success or failure of democracy.
If we see the satisfaction level people of major democratic countries like USA and UK, we will find they are much more satisfied than other democratic countries like India which are still in developing stage.
Maturing of Indian Democracy
In 1947, India embarked on huge experimentation with democracy and within the past 60 years it has achieved a lot .India’s democracy, though not yet perfect, has it to be a reasonably good and functioning democracy. There was never a military rule or dictatorship, except for the forgettable days of the 1975-77 Emergency, in the past 60 years.
The Americans no doubt have one of the oldest democracies in the world, but Indian democracy is the grandest experiment of all times. For India’s low literacy and diversity of cultures and nationalities compound the difficulties of democracy .Further, Indian Union has a little over one billion people that accounts for approximately 20 percentage of the world population .All the facts make Indian democracy the largest growing inn the world.
As a matter fact, democracy came to India even before it could afford it. The financial support needed for the infrastructure of democracy in a fist World war Industrialized Nation is daunting Indeed. To maintain the infrastructure of a democracy in an already poor nation is,however,an economic crisis.Thus,though democracy sidetracks a large percentage of a developing nation’s financial resources, India has not only continued to maintain democracy but even managed to emerge as one of the rapidly growing economies of the world in the recent years.
India has the world’s largest electorate: the redistricted voter base is 620 million, and the voter turnout is approximately 65 percent. The number of people this represents is equivalent to 1/10 of the world’s population .Hence, every general elections prove to be most expensive exercise in the world.Yet, independent India has borne the cost stoically and succeed in maintaining the world’s largest “functioning democracy” with all its limitations. Thus while most of its neighbours and contemporaries have either opted out or failed miserably, India has stayed the full course for the past six decades.
India is not a country like Germany or France, with almost a continent bigger than all the West European countries put together. The problems in India are more diverse than those in any European Nation. Further, there cannot be a universal solution to nay problem, since each state in India is different from the rest. For example, the problem of family planning and control of population cannot have a universal solution in India, since the population growth is not the same in all states. In spite f the difficulties in governing such a large and diverse country, India has complied with the GATT and fulfilled its promise to the world by setting up one of the most stringent intellectual property law in the world.
Parliamentary Democracy has long been a source of pride for most Indians. The country as a whole may not yet match up to some of its more prosperous Asian neighbours, but Indians have always been able to boast of the vitality of their parliamentary system.
Hunger deaths were routine matter before and around 1947 or so. But Indian democracy has ensured food to all its citizens. The sons and daughters of poor and backward families are seen in high offices in all the three branches of democracy i.e.-Legislative, Judiciary and Executive.
Of course our democratic system also has loopholes but we can slowly move our foot forward to rectify them for our citizens of our diversified country.
In India, today, everybody is a critic by right. We only try to find faults ,but never take pain to ponder over them and come forward to correct them or suggest constructive ways and means to remove the ailment. Political parties are ,day by day, losing their national character and turning into religion ones. The proper maturing democracy in India demands the eliminations’ of local; and regional parties and evolved emit of Tri-party system based on reasonable social, economic and political principals.
As sensing Indian Democracy with the yardsticks of western democracy will be not only inappropriate and unwarranted but a futile exercise as well. Indian democracy has come a long way from the time of its inception, but continues to suffer from several debilitating features due to combination of several factors. The final question is not weather democracy has succeeded or failed, but how to make it healthier and mature to serve the people of India. Time has come to make people more aware about their role in understanding the functioning of the democratic institutions in India. It is impossible for any system to work without the participation of its constituent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Dega Ramya Tulasi is master’s student at University of Madras, Tamil Nadu. She is also preparing for civil services examination. Her area of specialization is financial economics.
In content picture credits : shutterstock