What is democracy?

There are many definitions. But the simplest definition was given by “ABRAHAM LINCOLN” i.e. “DEMOCRACY IS OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE“.

What it means is: in a democracy the ruling strata is chosen from the people, it works for the people and belongs to the people. The leaders come from the bottom, not imposed from top.

India was declared a democracy in 1950. Though on paper, it was a democracy, in reality it was not. Why? The most powerful person (i.e. the Prime Minister) who is supposed to lead the nation was imposed from the top. Out of 15 elected PCC leaders (who were supposed to elect the PM), only 1 had voted for Nehruji and 12 for Sardar Patel. But Nehruji became the PM.

Whatever good or bad Nehruji did, since he was not chosen to lead from the bottom, and rather imposed from top, I would argue that India was not a democracy in true sense. Then another person (Shastriji) becomes the PM. BUT, he was murdered soon. Indiraji then became PM. Though she was elected in a democratic manner from within the Congress party, she made all efforts to destroy democracy. Remember the Emergency, 39th and 42nd Constitutional Amendments.

Rajiv Gandhi came to power following the divine monarchical principles of dynastic succession. During 2004-14, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia held the true power simply because of being the departed Majesty’s holy widow.

In nutshell, Nehru, Indira, Rajiv and Sonia were not the people who were chosen and rose form the masses. Rather, they were appointed from the top OR appointed themselves. Is this democracy? No.

Lets understand, what are the most reckoning years in Indian democracy?

  1. 1977: For the first time Indians dared to vote the Gandhis out of power. A Govt. is formed, but it quickly collapses. IN spite of being in office for short time, it can be credited to be the first Govt to have been chosen by people. The Govt should be credited for reverting the Constitutional Amendments done by Indiraji which would have eventually destroyed democracy.
  2. 1989: Rajiv Gandhi Govt loses power due to the widespread discontentment. A person named V. P. Singh becomes PM. VP Singh is criticized for many reasons, but I consider 1989 a year of reckoning for Indian democracy as a deeply entrenched monarchy is thrown out and a person is chosen from masses at bottom rather than being imposed from top to rule India.
  3. 1999: AB Vajpayee is elected as PM. Vajpayee is a person chosen from the masses at bottom to lead the nation.
  4. 2014: After a 10 year span, where her Majesty ruled India through her proxy, a Govt with absolute majority takes Oath. The leader of the Govt. is a person who sold tea in his childhood and his mother washed dishes. Again in 2019 nearly 50% of the population repose faith in him and re-elect him with a bigger majority.

Going by the basic definition of democracy, Since the leader got elected to the top by the people, works for the people, Indian democracy is getting truly matured as any humble person can even aspire to be the PM, (s)he need not be the son, daughter or wife of the earlier PM.

Why there are reports that India has become less democratic starting 2014? The reason is simple: the entrenched dynasties are on the cusp of losing their hold and are sponsoring such news by paid media with the hope of getting back to power.

Lies spoken repeatedly appears to be true - Goebel's principle.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.