Democracy is a form of government in which people are governed by their own elected representatives. It is a government of the people, for the people and by the people. In this system of government, it is the people who are supreme and sovereign. They control the government. They are free to elect a government of their own choice. Freedom of choice is the core of democracy.
Democracy existed in ancient Greek and Roman republics but with little success. It had very little scope in ancient India. Democracy entered its golden stage in he twentieth century. Many countries in the world today follow the democratic form of government. Democracy depends on the following conditions (i) co-existence of ideas and of parties; (ii) the right to free discussion; (iii) universal adult suffrage; and (iv) periodic elections.
Indian is the largest democracy in the world. The Constitution of Indian was enforced on 26 January, 1950. It ushered in the age pf democracy. India became a democratic republic infused with the spirit of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. The Preamble, the Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Rights reflect the Indian ideology as well as the caste, creed, religion, property, or sex have the right to cast their vote. After and election, the majority party or coalition forms the government and its leader become the Prime Minister.
Political parties are the vehicles of ideas. Parties act as the bridge between social thought and political decision in democracy. The Indian politics system is a multiparty system. However, gradually politics has become a game of opportunism and corruption. Most political parties are only interested in coming to power. Every party adopts different caste politics. Some try to influence the people thought caste politics. Some try to raise the religious sentiments of the people. The Indian ideology today is replaced by caste and religion.
We enjoy every right in theory, but not in practice. real democracy will come into being only when the masses are awakened and take part in the economic and political life of the country. There is inequality in every sphere- social, economic and political. Illiteracy is the main cause of inequality. The illiterate masses get easily lured by money during such an event. Also some of our legislators have criminal records against them. The people who make the laws themselves break them.
Even after more than sixty years of Independence, one forth of the population today goes to bed with an empty stomach, live below the poverty line without access to safe and clean drinking water, sanitation or proper health facilities. Governments have come and gone, politics have been framed and implemented, crores of rupees have been spent, yet many people are still struggling for existence.
Casteism today is more pronounced that it even was. Untouchability remains abolished only in theory with frequent newspapers reports of Dalits being denied entry to temples or other public places. Violence has been taken a serious turn in country, Bandhs, strikes and terrorist activities have become a common affair. Every sphere of national life is corrupted. Our democracy is capitalistic. Here, the rich exploit the poor who have no voice or share in the democratic structure. For a successful democracy, all these need to be checked.
But India, as a democratic country, has progressed in many aspects. It has archived self-sufficiency in food grains as a result of the green revolution. People vote for change whenever a government fails to come up to the expectations of the people. India has been a successful democratic country only because the people are law-abiding, self-disciplined and have the sense of social and moral responsibilities.
For a democracy to be fully successful, the electorate should be literate and politically conscious. They should be fully aware of their rights and privileges. The illiterate masses of India should be given education so that they can sensibly vote for the right leaders. The U.S.A, Britain, Germany and Japan are successful democratic countries and gave progressed in every sphere because the masses are literate.
There should be quality in every sphere of life. The politicians should also respect the true sprit of democracy. They should refrain from corruption caste and communal politics. The citizens should elect leaders with good moral values and integrity. People should be guided to choose their representatives. They should not be influenced by anyone in this respect. Individuals should learn tolerance and compromise and understand that freedom in not unbridled but dependent on not harming another individual’s well being.
Democracy demands from the common man a certain level of ability and character, like rational conducts, an intelligent understanding of public affair, independed justice and unselfish devotion to public interest. People should not allow communalism, separatism, casteism, terrorism, etc to raise their heads. They are a threat to democracy. The government, the NGOs and the people together should work collectively for the economic development of the nation. Changes should come through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means. The talented youth of today should be politically educated so that they can become effective leaders of tomorrow.