Can Indian Democracy Be Called - A Successful Democracy

How successful is India's democracy

India's position in the Democracy Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit, based in London, issues a Democracy Index for countries around the world every year. This index of 167 countries was released for 2018 and India has been ranked at 41 in this. India has gained a rung as compared to last year, but despite this, India has been placed in the category of Flawed Democracy. As far as the score is concerned, In the last 11 years, India received the lowest score in both 2017 and 2018 alike. The report praised the improvement in the situation in Asia. However, the concern is that most countries in Asia are categorized as defective democratic countries.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is a part of the London-based Economist Group which was established in 1946. It keeps an eye on the changing situation of the world and by forecasting the economic-political situation of the world, it warns the government of the country of the dangers.

Ranking is given on five scales

The report assesses the state of democracy in the world's countries on five parameters - electoral process and pluralism, government functioning, political participation, political culture and civil liberties. It is important to note that all these scales are related to each other and on the basis of these five parameters, the status of free and clean elections and democratic system is determined in any country. Norway ranked first in this report with 9.87 points and North Korea with 1.08 points.

Key Points of the report

The report ranked 167 countries in the world on four types of parameters based on governance, including absolute democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid governance, and authoritarian rule.

Of the 167 countries, only 20 countries are described as fully democratic countries and only 4.5% of the population comprises 167 countries.

The maximum 43.2 percent of the population lives in defective democratic countries and covers a total of 55 countries.39 countries are included under hybrid rule and 53 under authoritarian rule.

Costa Rica is the only country in Central America that has moved from the category of defective democracy to the category of full democracy.

In Nicaragua, Central America, the trust in democracy has decreased and it has gone from defective democracy to the category of authoritarian rule.
While the total score of 42 countries has decreased in 2018 as compared to 2017, there are 48 countries whose total score has increased.

India's position on various parameters of democracy
In this report, India has been ranked 41st in the list of 167 countries. But India is ranked sixth in the Asia and Australasia group. India has got a total of 7.23 points. On different scales, India has been given 9.17 marks in electoral process and pluralism, 6.79 in government style, 7.22 in political participation, 5.63 in political culture and 7.35 in civil liberties.
According to the report, identity politics is a major feature of Indian politics. That is, the practice of casting votes on the basis of one face of any party is in effect. This is the reason why a normal candidate who does not belong to any party has to struggle a lot to ensure his victory.

The report also praised India's free and independent election process. This is because India has got 9.17 marks in the election process. But on the other hand, 6.79 marks have been given regarding the functioning of the government.

The report also raised concerns over clashes between the Indian government and constitutional bodies. At the same time, the functioning of the government has also been questioned in terms of farmers, employment and institutional reforms. This is the reason that India has been placed in the category of countries with flawed democracy.

How successful is India's democracy?

To see how successful India's democracy was in its 71 years of journey, it is necessary to look at the history of these years, achievements of the country, development of the country, socio-economic condition, prosperity of the people, etc. India's democracy is based on the notion of pluralism based nationalism. The diversity here is its beauty. Taking South Asia alone, the difference between India and other countries in the region is that their distinct religious communities dominate Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. However, secularism has been a very strong side of India. This is a big reason for India being better than neighboring countries in the index.

In the last 71 years, the country has progressed, has developed a lot. The standard of living of the countrymen has improved. People of all religions, castes and classes live together in the same society. India has achieved success in many fields like agriculture, industrial development, education, medicine, space science. We are the sixth largest power in the world in terms of economy. Today we have huge reserves of foreign exchange. But these are not sufficient to measure the success of any democracy.

There is no doubt that the country has developed, but it will have to be seen which sections of the development took place. How accurate is this claim of development on the level of social harmony. Indeed, the success of a democracy depends on the extent to which the government has eliminated poverty, illiteracy, communalism, gender discrimination and casteism. What is the social and economic condition of the people and what efforts have been made to reduce social and economic inequality.

India's performance on all these fronts has not been very remarkable.

What is the current situation?

According to a recent report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), about 36 crore of India's population is still deprived of health, nutrition, schooling and sanitation. On the other hand, there is a section of the country that has no shortage of anything.

According to the World Inequality Report, only 1 percent of people occupy 22 percent of India's national income and this inequality is steadily increasing. According to the international rights group Oxfam, this 1 percent group in India has captured 73 percent of the country's wealth.

Gender discrimination is also emerging as a big problem. India is ranked 108 in the Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum and India is ranked 127 in the Gender Inequality Index-2017 released by the UNDP.

The freedom of media, which is considered the fourth pillar of democracy, is also under the question. In fact, in the World Press Freedom Index-2018 released by the Paris-based non-governmental organization 'Reporters Without Borders', India has dropped two places from the first and it was 138th.

In these 71 years, among other things, communalism, regionalism and fundamentalism also got encouragement. Due to this, the tendency of intolerance has also increased. The roots of casteism are getting deeper.

Undoubtedly, such circumstances hamper the success of democracy.

There is a lot to do

For the success of democracy it is necessary that the government should rise above its vested interests and try to fulfill the aspirations of the people. Despite all the claims of development, poverty, hunger, unemployment etc. are very serious problems in the country. Even after 71 years of independence, crores of people are forced to live miserable lives.

The legislature, executive and judiciary are part of democratic governance, but all three are dominated by chaos and work under immense pressure.

Due to the lack of public participation, our democracy has become just an 'electoral democracy'. In elections, voting is being used as a duty, not as a right.

The basic questions about the democratic system have been left behind and in order to develop the public's participation and democratic culture in the democracy, the basic problems need to be solved first to make the democratic system successful.


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