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    OpputunityLaw Student CornerCHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA

    CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA

    Introduction

    [1]“A Man’s Capacity for Justice Makes Democracy Possible,
       But A Man’s Inclination to Injustice Makes Democracy Necessary” -Reinhold Neibuhr

    Era has finally come, when political leaders stand between the crowd and promise to make heaven on earth. Rhetoric flows with full force and the allegations are flung like a missile on rivals. Intellectuals have the premonition that the death of democracy is near. Taunting memes filled with the airwaves and the fake news travels like a bullet train. Digital thugs trouble the insane and the Police are the audience in this puppet show, smiling and clapping.

    The Press which was supposed to be the fourth pillar of our government is now sold with the hands of big political parties who are using them for their so-called benefit and spreading fake news. As Quoted by Nelson Mandela “A Free Press is one of the pillars of the Democracy”. Freedom of the press is not necessary to democracy but it’s a democracy. It is the power of the Press and media that the Modi government used in 2014 and 2019 elections for politicizing their election campaign through social media to the right audience. Media is bringing a change in India’s politics and Democracy.

     Most of the media houses and channels, renowned business leaders, and even some bureaucrats have openly aligned with the ruling party.

    Indian political leaders are using the same policy as used by the Britishers to rule over India, “DIVIDE AND RULE”. In the name of patriotism and religion hatred is generated among two religions, two castes, two groups, and two creeds.

    Before I start my topic, I would like to share with you that what does Democracy means?

    Democracy

    The notion of democracy is built on the basis that all the citizens of a State are equal and members of the society are provided equal opportunities in the process of self-governance. Democracy is rule of the people, for the people by the and people. Democracy is considered the best way to govern a nation and it succeeds only when all citizens of the nation take part in the process in equal measure. It is the beauty of democracy that each and every vote matters. If we would not vote then how could we expect that we could get the right leader for us? John Kennedy has once remarked that the Ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of the whole nation. It is the power of Vote that could change the rulers of a nation.

    Changing Face of Democracy

    So, what I am going to discuss is the “Changing Face of democracy in India”. After independence, Indian democracy has gone through some major political, social, and economic changes. The change was a result of the evolution of major political parties in India and their development. Their chance of winning was majorly dependent on the support of even small sections of society. Due to the introduction of western education in India, the ideas of liberty, fraternity, and democracy came to be recognized. It is democracy’s inherent characteristic that it will undergo continuous changes and when it comes to a nation with a huge diversity, it becomes a need.

    After Independence, when the first elections were held the congress party was the only major political party. Although peoples’ trust continued in the Congress Party for about 15 years in the post-independence jubilation but by the late 1960s, regional and caste-based parties had started to come up and ruled in the states. Congress was still in majority in the central elections. Politics of coalition deepened its roots in the Indian Politics by 1990s which resulted that the national party could not get a majority to claim power and rule the nation single-handedly. Coalition government lacks clear objectives and it is difficult to agree on a common objective for so many representatives, it resulted that Indian politics turned out to be a circus whose audience was the whole public.

    In the 2014 elections, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) won 282 seats out of 543 and 550 million voters exercised their voting rights. This was the major changing face of Indian democracy, Indian public started to recognize that they need a strong Central government for them, and centralization of power is necessary. People lose their credibility from regional parties at the state level. This was the first time when the whole campaign was in the name of a person; Mr. Narendra Modi. Party slogans like “Sbka saath sabka vikas” or “Ache din aayge” filled the voters with hope.

    In a recent article, it was argued that the “Modi government demolished the secular foundations of Indian Democracy by replacing it with a Hindu state.” Many international political organizations and famous political thinkers believe that India’s democracy is in its changing face where one party could not rule, people exercised their rights, and change the government that would not stand on their expectations. BJP itself has been defeated many times in the state elections of various states. Indian voters are not emotional that they would easily be influenced in the name of their religion.

    Conclusion

    Although there is growth in public awareness among people but there is a visible trend of cynicism which restricts them to take active participation in their country’s political processes and government. The middle-class of the country who are the most educated class does not want to involve itself in the election process due to the feeling of “Nothing would change”.

    In a mature nation, the election must be campaigned on the issue of national importance and the challenges faced by a nation but in India, elections are campaigned on narrow sectarian and communal issues.  India continues to be its own worst adversary. If India wants to develop it has to set up an egalitarian democracy which could only be achieved when the socio-political issues of the nation are addressed and raised properly. India’s democratic journey is bound to be long and difficult.

    References:

    1. https://www.developmentnews.in/changing-face-democracy-india-analysis/
    2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB107084829971873700
    3. www.google.com

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