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.
Though India is one of the oldest civilisations in the world, as a nation, it is quite young. India is the world’s largest democratic country (second largest in area and second most populated country). Democracy was ushered in India when the Constitution of India was framed on 26th of January, 1950, the world’s longest written constitution. Democracy in India should ideally function as a well-oiled machine but certain detrimental factors throw the spanner in the works, the result of which is that the constitutional goals and democratic aspirations of India remains unrealised.
According to Samuel Huntington, Indian democracy as an institution was facing few crises at the eve of independence. They were: crises of national integration, crises of identity, crises of participation, crises of penetration and crises of legitimacy. Thus we see the number of challenges, which the newly independent and decolonised India was facing while adopting the system of democracy. The major problems before India were linguistic problems, caste system (which further took a new form of economic class system), poverty and illiteracy. To add to them malnutrition and poor health conditions, poor housing, poor work capability, lack of occupational adaptability and an inadequate level of savings reflected the clear picture of India.
So, from the above brief analysis, it appears that most of the conditions that make democracy a success are absent in India. But owing to a long struggle against imperialism, an anti-imperialist, anti-fascist and anti-authoritarian outlook has developed in India. The masses by and large seem to be aware that democracy is the only choice for them. Communism has proved to be a failure and, let alone India, it will not work even in Heaven.
For those who would give the example of the ongoing unrest in Jammu & Kashmir, my response would be quoting Jawahar Lal Nehru, ‘The sole problem with democracy is that it functions slowly’. It would thus not be a hyperbole if I say that the visit of the delegation to the place has had some positive implications and I strongly believe that it is only by adhering to our democratic rules that we will be able to fight this ideological battle. What we just need is a long term vision, an open minded approach and a spirit of learning from our mistakes. There is no denying to the fact that we as a democratic nation have grown and will continue growing till we reach the level of perfection and it is not without a reason that we are called the largest functioning democracy by leaders around the globe.
These are our views, do share yours and let us know what’s on your mind. 🙂