Democracy is that system of government in which the citizens get to exercise their powers directly or elect their representatives from amongst themselves to form the governing body, like a parliament. Democracy in hindi is also known as ‘ganatantra’ and it can be described as the system that supports the rule of majority. Since people elect the leaders, power cannot be inherited in a democratic form of government. The representatives need to stand in the elections and the citizens cast their vote for the representatives. The political party that gets the most number of votes ultimately comes to power.
The types of democracy
There are two kinds of democracy, namely, direct and indirect. Direct democracy, as practiced in Switzerland, is where the head of the state gets directly elected by the citizens. Indirect democracy, as present in India, is where the government is formed by the representatives of people who are elected as the members of parliament, and those elected representatives choose the Prime Minister. The same thing is followed at the state level, where the members of the legislative assembly, who are chosen by the people, elect the Chief Minister.
The structure of democracy in India
India has the distinction of being the largest democracy in the world. When the Indian constitution was enforced on 26th January 1950, India was declared to be a secular, democratic republic. As a democracy, India abides by the ideals of fraternity, justice, liberty, and equality. As such, people of any creed, caste, religion, region, or sex have the equal right of casting their votes and choosing their representatives.
The structure of government: The parliamentary government present in India has been based on the patterns of British Government. There is a federal government in the country, which means there is the presence of governments at the state level and the center. The central government is accountable to the Indian parliament, while the state governments are accountable to the legislative assemblies. These governments at both these levels are elected democratically and they follow the pattern of the houses of parliament, namely, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The governments at the state and center come together for electing the President of India.
The elections of India: The elections are conducted on the base of Universal adult franchise, which means anyone above the age of 18 can cast their vote. The political party that wins the elections stays in power for five years and then the next election is conducted.
The role of citizens: The role of the citizens is a crucial aspect of democracy. The people of India have the responsibility to actively perform their role in the governance of the country. They are also duty-bound to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the law of the country. The citizens also need to be politically aware to make the right decisions when it comes to electing their representatives and voicing their opinions.
India has maintained a democratic form of government ever since independence. It is truly a matter of immense pride for an Indian that, in spite of all the hurdles and challenges, the country has been successful in functioning gloriously and prosperously.