The oldest account of democracy can be traced back to 508–507 BCC Athens. Today there are over 50 different types of democracy across the world. But, what is the ideal form of democracy? Why is democracy considered the epitome of freedom and rights around the globe? Let’s explore what self-governance is and how you can write a creative and informative essay on democracy and its significance.
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What is Democracy?
Democracy is a form of government in which the final authority to deliberate and decide the legislation for the country lies with the people, either directly or through representatives. Within a democracy, the method of decision-making, and the demarcation of citizens vary among countries. However, some fundamental principles of democracy include the rule of law, inclusivity, political deliberations, voting via elections, etc.
Did you know: On 15th August 1947, India became the world’s largest democracy after adopting the Indian Constitution and granting fundamental rights to its citizens?
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Sample Essay on Democracy (100 words)
Democracy where people make decisions for the country is the only known form of governance in the world that promises to inculcate principles of equality, liberty and justice. The deliberations and negotiations to form policies and make decisions for the country is the basis on which the government works, with supreme power to people to choose their representatives, delegate the country’s matters and express their dissent. The democratic system is usually of two types, the presidential system, and the parliamentary system. In India, the three pillars of democracy, namely legislature, executive and judiciary, working independently and still interconnected, along with a free press and media provide a structure for a truly functional democracy. Despite the longest-written constitution incorporating values of sovereignty, socialism, secularism etc. India, like other countries, still faces challenges like corruption, bigotry, and oppression of certain communities and thus, struggles to stay true to its democratic ideals.
Did you know: Some of the richest countries in the world are democracies?
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Sample Essay on Democracy (250 to 300 words)
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.” There is undeniably no doubt that the core of democracies lies in making people the ultimate decision-makers. With time, the simple definition of democracy has evolved to include other principles like equality, political accountability, rights of the citizens and to an extent, values of liberty and justice. Across the globe, representative democracies are widely prevalent, however, there is a major variation in how democracies are practised. The major two types of representative democracy are presidential and parliamentary forms democracy. Moreover, not all those who present themselves as a democratic republic follow its values.
Many countries have legally deprived some communities to live with dignity and protect their liberty, or are practising authoritarian rule through majoritarianism or populist leaders. Despite this, one of the things that are central and basic to all is the practice of elections and voting. However, even in such a case, the principles of universal adult franchise and the practice of free and fair elections are theoretically essential but very limited in practice, for a democracy. Unlike several other nations, India is still, at least constitutionally and principally, a practitioner of an ideal democracy.
With our three organs of the government, namely legislative, executive and judiciary, the constitutional rights to citizens, a multiparty system, laws to curb discrimination and spread the virtues of equality, protection to minorities, and a space for people to discuss, debate and dissent, India has shown a commitment towards democratic values. In recent times, with challenges to freedom of speech, rights of minority groups and a conundrum between the protection of diversity and unification of the country, the debate about the preservation of democracy has become vital to public discussion.
Did you know: In countries like Brazil, Scotland, Switzerland, Argentina, and Austria the minimum voting age is 16 years?
Sample Essay on Democracy for UPSC (500 words)
Democracy originated from the Greek word dēmokratiā, with dēmos ‘people’ and Kratos ‘rule.’ For the first time, the term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Classical Athens, to mean “rule of the people.” It now refers to a form of governance where the people have the right to participate in the decision-making of the country. Majorly, it is either direct democracy where citizens deliberate and make legislation while in representative democracy, they choose government officials on their behalf, like in a parliamentary or presidential democracy.
The presidential system (like in the USA) has the President as the head of the country and the government, while the parliamentary system (like in UK and India) has both a Prime Minister who derives its legitimacy from a parliament and even has a nominal head like a monarch or a President.
The notions and principle frameworks of democracy have evolved with time. At the core, lies the idea of political discussions and negotiations. In contrast to its alternatives like monarchy, anarchy, oligarchy etc., it is the one with the most liberty to incorporate diversity. The ideas of equality, political representation to all, active public participation, the inclusion of dissent, and most importantly, the authority to the law by all make it an attractive option for citizens to prefer, and countries to follow.
The largest democracy in the world, India with the lengthiest constitution has tried and to an extent, successfully achieved incorporating the framework to be a functional democracy. It is a parliamentary democratic republic where the President is head of the state and the Prime minister is head of the government. It works on the functioning of three bodies, namely legislative, executive, and judiciary. By including the principles of a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic, and undertaking the guidelines to establish equality, liberty and justice, in the preamble itself, India shows true dedication to achieving the ideal.
It has formed a structure that allows people to enjoy their rights, fight against discrimination or any other form of suppression, and protect their rights as well. The ban on all and any form of discrimination, an independent judiciary, governmental accountability to its citizens, freedom of media and press, and secular values are some common values shared by all types of democracies.
Across the world, countries have tried rooting their constitution with the principles of democracy. However, the reality is different. Even though elections are conducted everywhere, mostly, they lack freedom of choice and fairness. Even in the world’s greatest democracies, there are challenges like political instability, suppression of dissent, corruption, and power dynamics polluting the political sphere and making it unjust for the citizens. Despite the consensus on democracy as the best form of government, the journey to achieve true democracy is both painstaking and tiresome.
Did you know: Countries like Singapore, Peru, and Brazil have compulsory voting?
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Democracy is a process through which the government of a country is elected by and for the people.
Yes, India is a democratic country and also holds the title of the world’s largest democracy.
Direct and Representative Democracy are the two major types of Democracy.