Democracy is more than a set of .....

"Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
                                           -Winston Churchill


Democracy is a word familiar to most of the people, but the concept of democracy is still misunderstood and misused.

Democracy, literally mean rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratiā, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”) in the middle of the 5th century BCE to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens.

In the dictionary definition, democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Democracies fall into two basic categories, direct and representative. In a direct democracy, all citizens, without the intermediary of elected or appointed officials, can participate in making public decisions. Such a system is clearly only practical with relatively small numbers of people--in a community organization or tribal council, for example, or the local unit of a labor union, where members can meet in a single room to discuss issues and arrive at decisions by consensus or majority vote. Ancient Athens, the world's first democracy, managed to practice direct democracy with an assembly that may have numbered as many as 5,000 to 6,000 persons--perhaps the maximum number that can physically gather in one place and practice direct democracy.

Democracy is more than a set of constitutional rules and procedures that determine how a government functions. In a democracy, government is only one element coexisting in a social fabric of many and varied institutions, political parties, organizations, and associations. This diversity is called pluralism, and it assumes that the many organized groups and institutions in a democratic society do not depend upon government for their existence, legitimacy, or authority.

  • Sovereignty of the people.
  • Government based upon consent of the governed.
  • Majority rule.
  • Minority rights.
  • Guarantee of basic human rights.
  • Free and fair elections.
  • Equality before the law.
  • Due process of law.
  • Constitutional limits on government.
  • Social, economic, and political pluralism.
  • Values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise.

International Day Of Democracy
In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.

In September 1997 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy.That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the international scope of democracy.

The international conferences on new and restored democracies (ICNRD process) began in 1988 under the initiative of President Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines after the so-called peaceful "People Power Revolution" overthrew the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Initially an inter-governmental forum, the ICNRD process developed into a tripartite structure with participation of governments, parliaments and civil society. The sixth conference (ICNRD-6) that took place in Doha, Qatar, in 2006 reinforced the tripartite nature of the process and concluded with a declaration and Plan of Action which reaffirmed the fundamental principles and values of democracy.

Following up on the outcome of ICNRD-6, an advisory board set up by the chair of the process – Qatar – decided to promote an International Day of Democracy. Qatar took the lead in drafting the text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution and convened consultations with UN member states. At the suggestion of the IPU, 15 September (date of the Universal Declaration on Democracy) was chosen as the day when the international community would celebrate each year the International Day of Democracy. The resolution entitled "Support by the United Nations system of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies",was adopted by consensus on 8 November 2007.

Democracy According To Different Political Scientist

Democracy originates “when the poor win, kill or exile their opponents, and give the rest equal civil rights and opportunities of office, appointment to office being as rule by lot” 
“Democracies define freedom badly….everyone lives as he wants and toward whatever end he happens to crave.”

"Democracy is the road to socialism."
                                                  - Karl Marx

"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
                                                                                                               - George Bernard Shaw

"In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes."
                                                                                                               - Mogens Jallberg

"I understand democracy as something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong."
                                                                                                                           - Mahatma Gandhi

Democracy & India

India is the biggest democracy of the world. India's democracy is 71 years old and has strongly survived for such a long period of time. Democracy in India has only developed and has witnessed growth. People have understood the meaning and need of democracy and they value it.

Indian democracy is characterized by peaceful coexistence of different ideas and ideals. There is healthy cooperation and competition among exiting political parties. Since, ballot and not bullet is the essence of democracy, there exists multiple political parties and each parties have their own ideal. Indian democracy vests supreme power in the hands of entire community. It aims at the common welfare of the common people. It ensures universal suffrage, popular control, popular responsibility, and the elected government remain accountable to them.

Many military rules and dictatorship have come and gone in other countries but the democracy of India has stood strong holding the Indian national flag up-high.

Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World

"Democracy is showing greater strain than at any time in decades. That is why this International Day should make us look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers for the systemic challenges it faces."
            — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

This year’s International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers to the systemic challenges it faces. This includes tackling economic and political inequalities, making democracies more inclusive by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system, and making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges such as migration and climate change.

With this year’s 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Day of Democracy is also an opportunity to highlight the values of freedom and respect for human rights as essential elements of democracy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government” (article 21.3), has inspired constitution-making around the world and contributed to global acceptance of democratic values and principles. Democracy, in turn, provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addresses democracy in Sustainable Development Goal 16 recognizing the indivisible links between peaceful societies and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

"When we see the present scenario democracy on the global is developing and growing. Democracy exist in true sense and not just for the sake of existing. When we see the Indian scenario from 1947 to 2018 Indian democracy has grown a lot. People have understood the value of democracy and have become aware and educated. They know what is wrong and what is right. If the government becomes a dictator they will raise their voice. The future of the Indian democracy is bright."
                              -Mrudula Dewasthale
(HOD Political Science, VG Vaze Kelkar college: Mumbai.)

"At present time, the world is facing a "democratic recession". The movement of countries toward democracy has slowed in some places. When we discuss about this issue, President Trump's allegations on judges and free press came in the mind. But at same time, decline in core democratic norms, taking place in several parts of the world. Hence, authoritative rulers need to be democratically sensitized worldwide. They must understand that citizen's participation is one of the main ingredients of a successful democracy. Democracy requires informed citizenry and transparency of information for a better functioning."
                                                           -Manisha Mishra
(Assistant Professor political science, Vasanta college for women, BHU: Varanasi.)

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