India is the largest democratic country in the world. Democracy is defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Democracy is considered the finest form of government in which every individual participates consciously and in which the people remain the sovereign power determining their destiny. So, in democracy the people are the ultimate source of power and its success and failure depend on their wisdom, consciousness and vigilance.
It is not possible for all the people in a big country like India to participate in the government. This is why they are required to exercise their franchise and elect their representatives at regular intervals. These representatives from the parliament legislate and form responsible government.
Such governments can be either unitary or federal. In India we have the federal form having both a government at the center responsible to the parliament and governments in the states elected and equally responsible to their legislative assemblies. But the people who participate in the election of their representatives must be educated enough to see what is good for them and who will be the right people to represent them.
India became free only in 1947 after many years of colonial rule. In the following years India had her constitution that declared India as a democratic federal republic. The first democratic election on the basis of universal adult franchise was held in 1952. However, during that election the people of India did not really had the necessary consciousness to understand democracy. They did not had the education to choose between good and evil. Many people were victims of age-old poverty, ignorance and superstitions. Many of them did not even understand the difference between the British and the new rulers. However, the entire election process were held through a democratic process.
Even to-day, after so many years, the people in India are not very much different, for many of them are illiterates. A large number of people are still below poverty level. In spite of efforts taken by the government, the Indian democracy could not the desired changes and to attain the goal of food for all, shelter for all, basic necessities for all and education for all.
There are certain conditions that are necessary for the success of Democracy in India. Those are:
- Empowerment of the poor and illiterates to enjoy and protect democracy;
- Willingness among the elected representatives to sincerely perform their duties and not to take advantage of the ignorance and poverty of the voters;
- Willingness among intelligent, educated, and efficient people to assume the leadership role;
- Willingness among the elected people not to misuse their powerful position and public wealth;
- Eradication of social evils and dangers from which democracy suffers;
- Fair, impartial, and efficient press to form public opinion;
- Presence of strong public opinion;
- Feeling of tolerance and communal harmony among the people;
- Awareness among the people of the fundamental rights that they are entitled to enjoy;
- Conscious check and vigilance on the working of the elected representatives;
- Powerful, and responsible opposition.
It is believed by some that democracy has been of in grave peril. For, it has failed to fulfill man’s expectations.
Every form of government, whether democratic or dictatorship, has both advantages and disadvantages. Indian democracy, without doubt, is very effective and proved to be very successful. It has successfully ensured individual freedom.
It is true that, in spite of various efforts, democracy has failed to fulfill human-being’s expectations. It has failed to completely eradicate poverty, injustices, social-evils and inequalities from the Indian society.
However, we must keep in mind that there is no better form of government than a Democratic government. It is, beyond doubt, a better form of government that aristocracy, dictatorship, and monarch. There is no better alternative to democracy. To create a better society and nation, the people of India along with the union and state governments should come together to fight against the miseries of human life.
Suggested External Readings
1. Democracy in India at Wikipedia
Category: Administration in India, Essays, Paragraphs and Articles