DEMOCRACY AND CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

DEMOCRACY:

 The word “democracy” is obtained from two Greek words, “demos” denoting the people and “cratia” denoting power. Therefore, the word democracy means the power of the people or the government of the people. It represents a government in which the will of the majority of people prevails. In a democracy, the sovereign power of the State is in the hands of the common masses and they are the real source of state power. The common people take part in the formation of the government directly or indirectly through their elected representatives. As it is not possible for the people to have unanimity of opinions in political matters they cannot run the government themselves thus, democracy is needed. 

     Democracy is a mode of appointing, controlling, and dismissing a government. As people appoint a new government every five years through elections, it is government by consent, public opinion, and criticism.

  Therefore, through democracy, the will of the majority of the people remains supreme and sovereign over all the social, political, economic, and other affairs of the State.

DEFINITION OF DEMOCRACY:

Abraham Lincon defined Democracy as a government that is of the people, by the people, and also for the people.

Bryce stated that Democracy is that form of government in which the ruling power is legally vested in the members of the community as a whole and not in any particular class or classes.

Dicey defined Democracy as a form of government wherein the governing body is a comparatively large fraction of the entire country.

INDIAN CONSTITUTION CONTAINS VARIOUS PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY:

Representative or Indirect Democracy has become the norm of the day. In most democratic countries, the Constitution has formed that inherent various Articles aiming at the protection and promotion of the rights of the people. 

Some basic principles of democracy that find expression on the rights given by the Constitution of India are as follows:

  • LIBERTY-: The people of a democratic State, enjoy maximum liberty because criticism of the people is not only tolerated in this system but is also encouraged.

Protected in the Indian Constitution

Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees to every person the right to life and personal liberty and can be deprived of this right only according to the procedure established by law.

  • EQUALITY-:

In a democracy, there is no room for disparity among the people based on caste, creed, religion, and status. The object is to establish political, economic, and social equality.

Protected in the Indian Constitution-

 Article 14 of the Constitution of India guarantees not only equality before the law but also equal protection of law shall not be denied to any person in India.

Article 15(1) forbids any kind of discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

Article 17 abolishes Untouchability and forbids its practice in any form.

Article 18 prohibits conferring of a title by the State except for any title of military or academic distinction.

  • FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS TO THE PEOPLE-:  

In a democracy certain essential and basic human rights are conferred to the people for their development and well-being. These basic rights are called Fundamental Rights. 

Protected by the Indian Constitution-

Fundamental Rights are one of the most important aspects of the Constitution of India. They are guaranteed under Articles 14 to 32 of the Constitution. Some of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution are the Right to Equality to all, the Right to exercise various kinds of Freedom, Right against any kind of Exploitation, Right to enjoy Freedom of Religion, enjoyment of Cultural and Educational Rights, Right to enjoy Constitutional Remedies.

  • PROTECTION OF ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RIGHTS-:

Democracy aims at the protection of the Economic, Political, and Social Rights of the people that are essential for individuals to live a secured and free, and dignified life.

Protected by the Indian Constitution

 Political Rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India are as follows:

Freedom of Expression and opinion

Freedom to form a peaceful association

Freedom to assemble peacefully

Right to vote in elections

Right to contest elections and represent the people

Right to hold a public or government office

Right to criticize the political leaders and policies of the government.

Economic and Social Rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India are as follows:

Right to Work

Right to just and fair conditions of work

Right to Social Security

Right to Education

Right to form and join any trade union

Right to go on Strike

Right to physical and mental health.

  • INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY-:

For the smooth functioning of a Democracy, Independent Judiciary is a very important requisite. In a democracy, Judiciary is responsible for the protection of the Fundamental Rights of the people. The judges of various Courts need to be unbiased, fair, and free in giving their verdicts. The independence of the Judiciary should not be threatened by anti-social elements.

Protected by the Indian Constitution

 The Constitution of India provides for an independent and integrated judicial organization.

 The salary, method of appointment, removal, leave and allowances of the judges have been provided by the Constitution to guarantee the independence and impartiality in making judgments. In the hierarchy of Courts in India, Supreme Court is the Apex Court, after that comes the High Courts and after that District and Session Courts. The Supreme Court of India is free from the control of either the Executive or Legislature. The power of Judicial Review is also exercised by the Supreme Court and High Courts in India.

  • FREEDOM-:

Every Democracy emphasizes the freedom to be given to the citizens. Freedom to follow and practice one’s religion is the essence of Democracy. In today’s times, a free and fearless press is the most important aspect of democracy to check the autocratic activities of the government.

Protected by the Indian Constitution-

Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees various freedoms such as freedom of speech and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom to form unions and associations, freedom to reside in any part of the Indian Territory, freedom to acquire, hold and dispose of any property.

Article 25 entitles the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice, and propagate any religion.

  • WRITTEN CONSTITUTION AND PERIODICAL ELECTIONS-:

For a successful democracy, a written Constitution is required to check the autocratic exercise of powers by the government. 

Periodic elections help in preventing the control of power in the hands of a particular group of people or a particular political party. This strengthens the opposition party and the faith of the people in a democracy.

Protected by the Indian Constitution

  The Constitution of India is the lengthiest written constitution in the world. It specifies the sphere of power and influence exercised by the government and restricts it from violating the rights of the people.

The Constitution of India provides for periodical elections every five years. It allows the common masses to enter politics by contesting elections. The Constitution lays down various methods and procedures for free and fair periodical elections.

  • PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY WITH AN ELECTED PRESIDENT-:

  Parliamentary Democracy provides for an elected President who stands as a nominal executive and he is also the head of the State. The Council of Ministers is led by the Prime Minister who is the real executive.

Protected by the Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India follows Parliamentary Democracy. Thus, the President is the constitutional head of the State and is indirectly elected by the Electoral College. All his powers are exercised by the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The real power is thus exercised by the Prime Minister. 

CONCLUSION:

From the above discussion, we can conclude that the Constitution of a democratic country not only contains the basic principles of democracy but also helps in implementing them. All the rights and freedom provided by democracy are protected by various provisions of the Constitution of a country. Whenever the government violates the rights of the people the Constitution acts as a supreme safeguard of those rights thereby restricting the power of the government to act within the scope of power given to it by the common people.

2 thoughts

Leave a Reply