Traversing back to 1947, the speech of Pt. Nehru, ‘the tryst of destiny’ is still afresh in the ears. India was declared as the largest democracy in the world. Much has changed since then. India has seen many political ups and downs and has achieved significant milestones in its political life. But, are we the same democratic country our forefathers and the framers of our constitution thought and left us to be? Certainly not. Beyond doubt, changes have taken place, growth has been accomplished, the economy has been developed, but still, we have missed out the essence of a democratic government of early 1948s. In the heat of events and with the growing time, few trends and the comprehensive view has been lost and degraded.
Democracy which was once the binding force of the country is now synonym and leading to multiplicity. What our constitution laid was that the political parties might be against each other, fighting for different agendas but at the end, they are a part of Indian Democracy. Back in 1947, when the country was declared Democratic, it was regarded as one of the most robust democracies. A force-full democratic nation India was.
India is not all just about flaws. The country has successfully achieved some milestones to strengthen its democratic framework.
- Delocalisation of the government: Indian political system is a federal one, i.e., one lying at the Centre and the other at State level but with time, the biggest democracy allowed the local government to settle pity disputes in compliance with the third tier. The local system of the country is very large, and the number is growing every day.
- Women Participation: the Indian Democracy though regarded as a patriarchal one, has taken numerous steps to initiate and accelerate women participation at various levels. At the Centre as well as the State and the local level, women participation in the decision making has increased manifolds over the years. Because of its development in women participation, the Indian Democracy is competing well with its Asian counterparts. Undoubtedly, women participation is to be enhanced more with the feature of women security.
- Secularism: Indian secularism is not about the dictionary meanings it is about the profusion of various cultures and religions. The essence of the Indian Democracy is secularism with diversity. Indian secularism is better than the Western counterparts as it allows its citizens to be free to dress up and function peacefully as they want.
At first observation, it might look quite excellent, but with the advent of time, we lie in the decade where the democratic nation like India is all decayed. Indeed, the Indian democracy is all flawed now. We do have positive points for namesake to term us Democratic, but in a broad sense, we have lost the democratic India which was planned by the fathers of the country. Reasons for the downgrade, manifolds they are:
- The rise of conservative ideologies: The primary reason for the downfall of Indian Democracy is the constant rise of conservative ideologies over the years. The country which is on papers regarded as democratic is merely democratic. The increase of few communities and group has successfully lead to the domination of others. Hence, killing the essence of democracy completely.
- Partially free Media: Freedom of speech and the freedom granted to press and media has almost declined in the recent years. Are we getting back to the times of Vernacular Press Act? Not that strict though but the Indian press has faced a downfall. Attacks on a journalist in past years have also increased. Cases of Gauri Lankesh and Kishore Dave are known to all. In regions like Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir, several vernacular newspapers were shut, heavy restrictions are imposed on the mobile internet services, and the media is never allowed to show the real face.
- Dishonest Balloting: In recent decades, what we thought was advancement turned out to be a significant tool to dishonesty and corruption. Change of balloting to EVMs, it was felt by many that the electric mode is excellent and a step forward. Honest polling, the cornerstone of the Indian Democratic framework has lost its place.
- Women Security: The heading does not need any further explanation because the state of women security in Indian Democracy is known to all. It seems that the country which worships ditties as Laxmi and Durga has forgotten about its women. The Indian democracy has wholly ignored the fact of women security. The increasing cases of rape and molestation are a clear sign of the ignorance.
- Judicial Corruption: Not just the judicial corruption, every sort of crime is deteriorating the country’s democratic ideology. If the judiciary is to be considered, except for a few, the court is now run by money under the table. Cases of corrupt officers and politicians are shunned and shut easily without the media getting its knowledge.
- Social Equality still in a dilemma: the Indian population has been stratified into different castes making the social equality a dream to date. The crux of democracy, social justice is just missing in the nation. Social justice is still a wrong word in the country.
- Income disparities: Though there is constant economic development in the country, still the income disparities are continually expanding. The rich go on gaining while the poor here is steadily losing. The vast income difference has also resulted in is a flaw in the democratic framework.
Other things considered, illiteracy, unemployment, lack of patriotic culture, psychological negativity, weak education system are all hampering the greatest democracy of the world, adding on to its flaws.
Anything has multiple perspectives and reading them all will lead to the best conclusion. To conclude in broad, we can say that India was once a healthy democracy, but over the years, it has lost its essence and has turned out to be flawed. It still has features which are well-enough to name it a democratic nation. If giving the voting rights is a democracy, India has achieved that well. The demerits are resulting in hampering the typical workflow. Indian democracy can now be termed as a flawed one. Steps and measures should be taken to restore the democratic political enfranchisement.