The Idea of Democracy in India

Shikha Mishra

  Preamble of the Indian Constitution

“We, the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a [Sovereign Socialist  Democratic Republic] and to secure to all its citizens:

Justice, social, economic and political;

Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

Equality of status and opportunity; and to promote among then all;

Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and the integrity of the Nation.

In our Constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949 do Hereby, Adopt, Enact and Give to Ourselves this Constitution.”

The very first sentence is the main source from which the constitution of India comes that is We the people of India. Which itself declare that this Constitution is for all without any discrimination. Democracy would be indeed be hollow if it fails create the spirit of brotherhood among all sections of the people.

Gandhi Ji describe in “The India of My Dream”- “An India , in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice: an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony.

On 15 August, 1947 we became independent  Nation “Independent India”.  In this process the leaders had ideas of Independent India. Which was beautifully drafted by members of Constituent Assembly in the Indian Constitution.  The idea of democracy consist freedom. To get independence is not enough for one country it should democratic country. Democrats love diversity and see in it an expression of freedom. The moment when one person demands the privilege of shaping others to his image. The one track mind is always a dangerous guide.

“The right to dissent is at the heart of every democracy. This right becomes the duty of every knowledgeable and the right-minded citizen, when government acts in a manner detrimental to civil liberties or otherwise against the public interest.” – Nani A. Palkhivala

Historic Background of Democracy in India

If we trace the historic background of democracy in India we find that our Vedas refer to the democratic norms which were available in the Indian Society in our ancient society. Then came the British rule the charter act,1909, the reforms act, 1919 and the Government of India Act, 1935 create the way for the constituent assembly which was set for faming Constitution of  Independent India. Democracy in India, at the level of administration and governance does not represent the multicultural life of people of the land. The only way to make democracy participative is through to provide representation and freedom to all groups.

Democracy Guarantees its citizens a number of fundamental rights

Democracy is not only a process of governing the country, democracy is also a system of rights and duties. Take effective participation it is necessary to give right to express their views on political matters as well as matters of country, to hear what other citizens wants to say. Presently this right has not been restricted by reasonable restriction give in Article 19(2). It is regulated by political parties who have the powers. As I earlier mentioned that right to dissent is heart of the democratic country, and when any citizen oppose the government why he or she put behind the bars in name of sedition or conspiracy against India. Do our government restrict citizen to use their rights? Yes, probably on 5th august abrogation of Article 370 and 35A has been completed this year. And also there was lock-down in Kashmir valley since the day of its abrogation. Do our government really protect the fundamental rights of the citizens of J&K? No, in my opinion if the purpose behind this abrogation is to secure the lives of residents of J&K than this is not the way at all by infringing their fundamental rights. To main peace government cannot restrict their fundamental rights without any reasonable opinion. There was various ideological models of dealing with oppression of the poor and discriminated sections of society and protecting their freedom and dignity. Acts of brutality and terror continue to be part of the atrocities perpetuated on the dalits and lower castes. The entire communities are found to be in deep turmoil and facing constant humiliation of their identity. When many people often oppose the idea of reservation in education system and in civil services, because they think they are being oppressed by it. But the point is why it should be necessary? In the present situation dalits are being humiliated by their caste, their language not in one particular place but almost in every place. To speak of a minority caste is to refer not to numbers but to status. Indians generally regard ex-untouchables or schedule castes as a minority by virtue of their low social status, the discrimination to which they have been subjected by Hindus (upper class). The idea of equality has been given in article 14 of constitution but equality comes with sense of sensitivity for people apart from their caste, religion, sex etc. And if we follow Equality then why the riots have been happened in the name of religion and caste. The ideology of upper class and lower class always there since so long but when we as society want to progress than we should remove discrimination in our individual lives.

What do Minorities of India Want?

In the black power movement in the United States in the 1960, a black activist asked, ‘what do you people want?’  His recorded answer was: ‘What is it that you have?’

“The basic question which faces India today is whether it will ever be a nation, or continue to be merely a collection of communities.” – Nani A. Palkhivala

Conclusion Remarks

The survival of our democracy and the unity and integrity of the nation depend upon the realization that constitutional morality is no less essential than constitutional legality… National integration is born in the hearts of the citizens. When it dies there, no government, no law, no constitution, can save it. – Nani A. Palkhivala

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