Democracy is a form of Government. It has been described in different ways by different thinkers.
Abraham Linlcon, the first President of U.S.A., called democracy, the Government of people, by the people, for the people. According to Mahatma Gandhi that form of Government is democracy in which the weakest has the same opportunity as the strongest.
Since India’s new Constitution came into operation, we have had twelve general elections. These elections are held on the basis of universal adult franchise. They show our people’s faith in democracy. Democracy in India is quite young.
Indian democracy still suffers from many ills. They are likely to continue for some time before they are completely removed.
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The greatest ill of our democracy is that a large number of people in India are illiterate. They do not understand the functioning of democratic institutions.
They are not aware of the great value of vote. These illiterate people are easily deceived by cheap propaganda.
Empty slogans and attractive promises mislead them. Cunning politicians misguide them by their tall talks for their personal interests. They exploit their ignorance and illiteracy for their selfish ends.
Among many weaknesses of our new democracy another is that people have not been able to overcome the feelings of casteism and communalism and regionalism. In the days of propaganda of elections, castes considerations are put before illiterate people to get their votes.
So communal feelings play very important role in the election and selection of candidates in different constituencies. Here the leaders arouse communal feelings in ignorant people.
The third weakness of Indian democracy is the influence of money in the elections. Hence in our country elections have become very costly.
All the political parties spend large sums on elections. In every election huge amount of money is spent like water on different items of propaganda to influence the voters.
Recently we have seen the downfall of democracy in the East and West and also in our neighbourhood.
These instances had created alarm and people thought that perhaps India was also going the same way.
In the light of our previous elections we can conclude that the functioning of democratic institutions in our country has been satisfactory so far. There is a good scope for improvement.