Conditions Needed For the Success of a Democracy in a Country are as follows:
(1) Sound System of Education:
Where there is illiteracy, it becomes difficult to make democracy successful because many qualities are needed to make democracy a success.
The citizens can acquire these qualities only through literacy. The people should have the sense of understanding political problems.
They should possess such qualities as sacrifice, sympathy, selfless service of the country discipline, fraternity, etc. As far as possible, education should be free and the rich and the poor should be given equal opportunities for their development.
The citizens should strive for mental and physical development through education.
They should be able to earn their livelihood though education. Otherwise unemployment shall prove harmful for democracy. In short, ideal citizens are prepared through education without which democracy cannot become successful.
(2) Enlightened Citizenship:
People should have the knowledge of their rights and duties to make democracy as success. So long as the citizens do not perform their duties, the question of the success of democracy cannot arise. If the performance of duties is essential, it is equally essential for the citizens to become conscious of their rights, without which there is every possibility of the government becoming autocrat. Therefore, it is said that ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’
(3) Political Awakening:
It is essential to inculcate political awakening among the citizens to make democracy a success. Where there is no political awakening, the citizens fail to understand the political problems. They are also unable to elect their representatives properly. Political disinterestedness does not help the citizens to understand the economic and political problems of the day and contribute their mite to the implementation of various national plans defence efforts of the country.
Democracy guarantees the citizens th6 freedom of expression, freedom of profession, freedom of religion and freedom to form associations. A free and fearless press is the basic need of democracy in order to keep under check the autocratic activities of the government.
In the countries where press is not free, citizens cannot criticise the government with the result that they cannot fully enjoy much freedom. In Russia, China and other Communist countries, the press is not free to criticise the government. Press is also not free in the countries where there is military dictatorship.
Democracy does not recognise class distinctions. It is based on social, economic and political equality. In democracy all are equal before law and there is no discrimination on the basis of caste, colour, religion, sex and economic status. Economic equality does not mean that everybody should be given equal emoluments it means equality of opportunity, and a fair and open field for all. This kind of equality ensures social justice which is the very life-breath of a democracy. Equality thus means giving everybody right to vote and contest election irrespective of caste, religion, property, sex, colour and creed.
(6) Law and Order:
The maintenance of law and order in society by the government is another essential condition for the success of democracy. Anarchy prevails where government fails to maintain law and order and the people’s faith in government is shaken. They look towards dictatorship in order to get rid of anarchy.
(7) Spirit of Co-operation:
Every democracy has to face many economic, social, religious and political problems. In dictatorship, these problems are solved by the dictator according to his own whim. In absolute monarchy, the situation is similar to dictatorship, but it is different in a democracy.
In democracy the Prime Minister or the President cannot act arbitrarily but they have to find the solution of problems according to the wishes of the Parliament or of the people. These problems can be solved by the co-operation of the people. Further, a democracy can flourish only if there is no big gap between the thinking of the people and of the government and when there is a spirit of co-operation between them.
(8) Decentralisation of Powers and Local Self-Government:
For the success of a democracy, decentralisation of powers is essential. The concentration of power makes the government autocratic. With the division of power between the Centre and the provinces, the burden of the Centre is reduced and the provinces get autonomy which ultimately brings efficiency in the administration.
With the introduction of local self-government, people take interest in the administration and they give full support to the government. The French writer De Tocqueville has rightly said that, “Local institutions constitute the strength of free nations. A nation may establish a system of free governments but without municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty.”
(9) High Moral Standard:
The success of democracy also depends upon the high moral standard of the people as well as of the government. Where there is dishonesty, black-marketing, hoarding and smuggling and where the ministers and public servants are corrupt, the question of the success of democracy does not arise.
People should have the spirit of patriotism, discipline, self-control, honesty in payment of taxes and willing obedience to the laws of the land. The government should follow the ideal of service to the community, because a welfare state and a democracy are two inseparable things.
(10) Social and Economic Security:
Economic security is essential for the success of democracy. The people should be given the right to work and it is the duty of the government to provide them with suitable employment. In case the government is unable to provide it to the people, it should at least provide them with shelter, clothing and food.
In Russia and in many other Communist countries, the government has given this right to the people in their constitution. Our government should also recognise this right of the people for the success of democracy in our country.
Besides, social security is also essential. Now-a-days, the government fixes hours of work, salary, bonus, paid holidays and compensation for fatal accidents in order to save the labourers from exploitation by the capitalists.
The government should provide social security to the people m case of their being disabled due to old age, illness, accident or any other cause. Without this provision, democracy shall be considered useless. People in Russia have full social security. In India, too, some concrete steps have been taken in this direction.
(11) Tolerance and Spirit of Unity:
It is the responsibility of the people to make democracy a success. For this, the spirit of tolerance and unity is needed. In a country like India where we have a number of religions, languages and castes, and where we find a disparity between the rich and the poor, these qualities are very essential.
In spite of mutual disagreements, the people should join together to face a national crisis. In case of foreign aggression, the people should forget their differences of caste, religion, language and province and try to preserve the freedom of their country with a spirit of devotion and sacrifice.
(12) Sound Party System:
In a democracy difference in views is not only tolerated but it is encouraged, because constructive criticism has an important place in a democracy. For this reason, many parties crop up in a democratic set-up. In the countries where there is only one party, and where other parties are banned, democracy cannot develop, only dictatorship develops there.
It happened in Germany during the time of Hitler and in Italy during the regime of Mussolini. This type of dictatorship was found in Russia, China, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Poland.
In order to make democracy a success, a healthy and influential opposition is a must; otherwise the ruling party will become an autocrat alter winning the election. The Opposition keeps a check on the autocratic activities of ministers.
Without it, there is every likelihood of then being power-corrupt. Where there is a bi-party system the task of making democracy a success becomes easier because one party rules and the other keeps an effective check over its activities.
Where there are many parties, the legislature is divided into many small groups and no single party is in a position to form the government. The result is that coalition governments are installed which are not stable.
Therefore, bi-party system is better than multi-party system. There is a bi-party system in England and in the U.S.A. There is a multi-party system in France, Italy and West Germany. That is why democracy is more successful in England and the U.S.A., than in other countries where there is multi-party system.
In France during the Third and Fourth Republics the government was very unstable. As compared to France, there are fewer problems in Italy and West Germany, because certain parties are very powerful in these countries.
In India, after the Fourth General Elections, we witnessed political instability because the Congress Party was unable to secure majority in some states. In certain states opposition parties established coalition governments, which could not survive long.
In 1969, due to a rift in the Congress Party, Indira Government became a minority in the Parliament, which caused instability, but in the mid-term elections of March, 1971, Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s New Congress gained an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha. This gave stability to the government at the Centre. In the General Elections of 1972, the Congress also secured majority in most of the State Assemblies.
Smt. Indira Gandhi remained in power till 22nd March, 1977. After that Janata Party won 300 seats out of 542 seats of the Lok Sabha and ran the government till 15th July, 1979. So there was stability.
After that due to defections, there was instability and the government could not run smoothly. So there was dissolution of 6th Lok Sabha by the President on 22nd August. 1979 and fresh elections for Seventh Lok Sabha were announced which were held in January, 1980.
After the assassination of the Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi at the end of October, 1984, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister and won a massive mandate in 8th Lok Sabha elections.
(13) Written Constitution and Independent Judiciary:
For the successful functioning of democracy, people are given fundamental rights and written constitutions are introduced with a view to checking autocratic activities of the government. Where there is no written constitutions the government can extend and exercise its powers in an autocratic manner.
Judiciary is the guardian of Constitution and fundamental rights, and the independence of judiciary from the control of executive has been guaranteed. Where judiciary is not independent, there is no guarantee of the fundamental rights of the people and the constitution becomes useless. This is the condition in Russia, China and many other Communist countries.
(14) Independent, impartial and periodical elections:
Independent, impartial and periodical elections help in establishing faith of the people and the opposition in democracy, otherwise the opposition party will not get an opportunity for forming the government and there will be no respect for public opinion.
In the absence of independent, impartial and periodical elections, the opposition parties shall try to change the government by a revolution with the help of military or by the use of violent force. In Pakistan, elections were not held for many years. The result was that military dictatorship of General Ayub Khan was established in 1958 which gave a server blow to democracy.
(15) Political security, good administration, economic prosperity and wise leadership:
Efficient administration is another condition for the success of a democracy. In fact, the success of democracy depends upon efficient administration. People’s faith in democracy is shaken in a corrupt administration.
Political security is also essential because people start feeling the necessity of dictatorship, if a democratic government is unable to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country at the time of foreign invasion.
If a government fails to remove the scarcity of essential commodities, if the prices of these commodities are abnormally high and if people starve owing to abject poverty, the people’s faith in democracy is shaken and they start feeling the necessity of some other type of government.
Thus to protect democracy from being usurped by dictatorship, intelligent leadership is very essential. For example, when Hitler started invading other countries, England was not prepared to face the challenge, but under the able and enlightened leadership of Winston Churchill, not only democracy was saved but Hitler’s dictatorship was also smashed.
At the time of the Pakistani invasion in August-September, 1965 our late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri provided a very able leadership to the country. Similarly, at the time of Indo-Pak War in 1971, Mrs. Gandhi provided very strong leadership. It protected our country, and inspired our army to give a crushing blow to the Pakistani army.
An able leader can bring about economic prosperity in his country and give a clean administration to the people. Thus, he can make democracy very stable. Democracy has taken deep roots in our country, while it has not become strong in Pakistan because Pakistan had no leader of the stature of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi.