Democracy is more a way of life than a form of government. Defined by Abraham Lincoln as the government “of the people, for the people, by the people”, democracy is a form of government in which the sovereign power is in the hands of the people and is exercised by them directly or indirectly through their representatives. In a democratic form of government which we in India have adopted, each citizen, irrespective of caste, creed, sex or religion gets full opportunity for expressing his will and for developing his personality. He is assured justice- both social and economic.
India has been described as the largest democracy in the world with a population of over 127crore. However, it lags behind in many respects. It is a crying shame that nearly 30% of our people are still living below the poverty line even after about five decades of independence. There must be something wrong in our democratic system where the majority of the electorate wielding real power live and die in abject poverty, are malnourished, uneducated and unemployed. The hungry man is periodically to choose between the ballot and his daily bread; given a choice, he would any day prefer the latter. We may claim from rooftops that the country has achieved stupendous progress in agricultural and industrial spheres. But the fruits of this progress have been monopolized by only a handful and it is a fact that, with each passing year, the rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. This lopsided distribution of wealth has generated cynicism among the people-a protent signal that poses a threat to our democracy.
For the proper working of democracy, there should be a healthy opposition, educated electorate, independent judiciary, free press and, above all, unimpeacheable moral integrity. Does the Indian democracy possess all these essential attributes. The answer, unfortunately, is in the negative.
But, to our credit, it must be said that we have had ten general elections so far and have had a fairly representatives government as well as a viable opposition. Democratic values, enshrined in our constitution, are our beacon light and our leaders follow them to the best of their ability within the given constraints of economic, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity as well as their political considerations. In this sense, the future of democracy in India is very bright. Most post Second World War nations, that attained independence almost at the same time as india, have either become dictatorships or are under material law or have simply degenerated into anarchies. There is hardly any semblance of democracy in most of the third world nations today.
It is, however, a crying shame that we still fight over cast, color, creed or narrow sectarian considerations. In a secular country, with no official religions, communalism raises its hydra head time and gain with the result that people lose allsence of values in getting at one another’s throats. A new dimension has recently been added to the destabilization process of the world’s biggest democracy in the form of terrorism, which has now entered the hi-tech era. This must be stopped forthwith and all our energies be channelized towards nation building activites. We must all gear ourselves to work for the amelioration of the lot of our people suffering from grinding poverty that has become their destiny from the cradle to the grave.
In order to remove or at least reduce poverty, we must ensure adequate education and means of livelihood to all able-bodied citizens. Once this is done, india will be in the forefront of developed nations with an enviable growth rate and a stable economy. Along with it shall come other benefits of development and progress like education, healthcare, old-age homes, full or near- full employment, etc. in this pursuit of industrial and material progress, however, we must not lose sight of the latest advances in agriculture, for India is predominantly an agricultural country.  

    Orthodox democracy has proved itself unequal to the exigencies of India. The problem is to modify the traditional institutions of democracy to suit the present day conditions. The inefficiency of democracy first became noticeable in its economic aspect. One of the most important problems for democracy in India, therefore, is to manage economic system in such a way as to ensure for everybody a reasonable standard of living coupled with a reasonable amount of security and liberty.


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