Meaning and Definition of Democracy
Democracy is made up of two words, Lok and Tantra. Lok means people and Tantra means system or governance. Thus democracy literally means the rule of the people. Democracy is a method of governance in which the people themselves elect the ruler. In other words, it is the inverse of the dictatorial system. On the one hand, where the voice of the public does not matter in the dictatorial system, the public is paramount in democracy. According to former US President Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is the rule of the people, by the people, by the people.” International Democracy Day is observed on September 15 all over the world. The true nature of democracy is determined by the electoral process and democratic provisions. The four revolutions, England’s Bloodless Revolution of 1688, the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, and the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century are major contributors to stabilizing the present form of democracy. The revolution of England ensured that Parliament should be approved against the backdrop of administrative policy and state laws. The American Revolution nurtured the principle of sovereignty. The French Revolution propounded the principle of freedom, equality, and fraternity. The Industrial Revolution inspired the application of the principle of democracy in the economic sphere. The Renaissance and Reform movements in Europe have contributed significantly to the development of democratic principles.
History of Indian Democracy
The history of the ancient republics of India is more than 3500 years old. Along with the rise of human society, many political institutions have been formed since ancient times for their operation. Of these, the monarchy was the oldest political system. No concrete evidence has yet been found regarding the political system of India’s oldest human civilization, known as the Harappan or Indus civilization, but evidence of both monarchical and democratic governance in the Rigvedic society from the then texts. Get. The system of democratic governance in India started from the pre-Vedic period. A strong democratic system existed in India since ancient times. Evidence of this comes from ancient literature, coins, and inscriptions. Like the present Parliament, councils were formed in ancient times (Vedic period, Mauryan period, Gupta period, etc.) which resembled the present parliamentary system. The policies of the Republic of the Union were governed by these councils. Before any issue was decided, it was openly discussed among the members. Only then a unanimous decision was rendered. In the absence of everyone’s consent, a majority process was adopted. The decision taken by a majority was called ‘Bhuisikkim’. Like the Election Commissioner, there was an officer overseeing this election called ‘Shalakagrahaka’; Used to say A number of ministries were also created to govern orderly governance. The officers of these ministries were selected on the basis of good qualities and merit. The major departments of the ministries were-
It was believed to be the Guru of the king. This position was given only to a person skilled in both politics and religion.
Its function was to administer the system of governance in the absence of the king.
Pradhan or Prime Minister was the most important member of the Cabinet. He looked after all the departments.
Like the present defense minister, his job was to look after the work related to the security system of the state.
It was his task to keep an account of the state’s income expenditure. Chanakya called it an Accountant.
The work of Amatya was to regulate the natural resources of the entire state.
Like the present-day intelligence, the task of the envoy was to organize the intelligence department.
There were many ups and downs in the journey of democracy from ancient India to modern India. Meanwhile, there was a time when democracy was killed and a dictatorial system was established. From pre-medieval to the establishment of modern independent India, we can say that in most parts of India, a monarchy was established in place of democracy. Over time, the monarchy began to transform into a tyrannical dictatorial system. At this time, the need for democracy started to settle in the mind of the public, and democracy was established as a result of the mass revolution. After independence, we are the only nation in the world that has given every adult citizen the right to vote from day one and India is the largest democracy in the world based on the number of voters. Until 1900, New Zealand was the only country where every adult person had the right to vote. It gave this right to citizens only in 1893. Citizens received universal adult suffrage in 1965, in Britain in 1928, in France in 1944.
Types of Democracy
Generally, democracy-governance is to be considered of two types:
(1) Pure or direct democracy
(2) Representative official or indirect democracy
(1) Pure or Direct Democracy
The democratic system in which the citizens of the country directly participate in state functions is called direct democracy. This type of democratic system is possible only in countries with very limited populations. The famous philosopher Rousseau considered such democracy to be the norm. This type of democracy is prevalent in many city-states of Greece in ancient times and in Switzerland at the present time. But slaves, foreign residents, and women who settled in the city-states of Greece were denied political rights.
(2) Representative Authoritarian or Indirect Democracy
The increasing population has made the possibility of a pure or direct democracy almost impossible. In this situation, currently representative or indirect democracy is the most prevalent democracy in which public sentiment is expressed by representatives elected by the public. In this type of democracy, the public participates in state functions through its elected representatives.
Depending on the election method, it is of two types –
(a) Parliamentary Democracy
In a parliamentary democracy, the public elects members of Parliament for a fixed term. Members of Parliament constitute the Cabinet. The Cabinet is answerable to the Parliament and the Members of Parliament to the public. In the Parliamentary system, the Executive and the Legislature are interrelated. In this system, the constitutional head of the country (President) and the head of government (Prime Minister) are different people. A similar democratic system exists in many countries of the world including India. In the parliamentary system of India, the President is the nominal executive, and the Prime Minister and his cabinet are the real executives.
(b) Presidential Democracy
In the presidential system, the public elects the President and the President of the Executive. Both of them are not directly responsible for each other but directly and for different people respectively for legislative and administration. Under this governance system, the President is the de facto head of the country. In the executive governance system, the executive does not depend on the legislature for its democratic legitimacy. In this system, the President is the de facto executive head. In this system, the head of the state and the head of the government are the same people. An example of presidential democracy in the United States and almost all Latin American countries.