Skip to main content

How political party-based governance is violating democratic rule in India

By Harasankar Adhikari 

The gestures and posture of the government of democratic India remind us of the warnings of Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage."
Thus, Lord Tytler, identified "eight stages of democracy," as mentioned above, as the life cycle of democracy. Del Dickson (2014) critically explores the life cycle of democracies. He opined that the People's Government is premised on the idea that democracy is based on two fundamental rights: freedom and liberty. He discusses ‘five dimensions to define and distinguish democratic societies: rights, participation and representation, inclusion, equality, and power. Liberal democracies emphasize individualism, negative rights, representative government, inclusive citizenship, equal opportunity, and limited government. Free democracies stress community, positive rights, direct participation, exclusive citizenship, equal outcomes, and robust government.' Then, is Indian democracy liberal or free democracy? In fact, in India, the right to vote has become the most important. So, people in India live theoretically (particularly during election time) in a democratic country. It reflects truly that Indians (voters) have any control over government employees, government funds, or government policies. Is it only a democracy of elections to elections? Indian democracy is determined by the relationship between elections and electorates. ‘After winning an election, the parties become brazen and arrogant. They participate in the formation of a government. Is this democracy? Just vote once every five years and then plead your case before the same people who you elected to power? Or plead before the officials who take the salary out of your taxes? The government works according to its political will. Is it a people's government?
But this political party-based government violates its own democratic rule. We see that it ignores its responsibilities toward people. It usually forgets its democratic nature. It makes people reliant on political parties rather than independent popular governments.
Abraham Lincoln viewed "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." But ‘democracy has become such a sacrosanct concept that evens the harshest dictatorships’, while it is a living system of government. Here, ‘politicians believe that voters cannot be trusted with the truth, and democracy is seriously at risk.’ Respect for the people is essential to a government. In recent times, the BJP-led government of India has taken no initiative to control price hikes while trying to reach its revenue collection target. The economic recession of the country is being suppressed by the government, which deliberately presents wrong information and makes false promises about it.
In India, it has been observed that the political accountability of the government is confined to the particular political parties that ruled the government. Members of specific political parties have no say in opposing anti-people programs. They are committed to supporting their parties even when the party takes anti-people’s acts. They must publicize and campaign for it among the general public. Opponents usually get fewer privileges, and opponents always raise their voice against the government, and it is their policy to revive for establishing another people's government, while the same things repeat. It is a democratic misfortune. No party does its rightful duty towards the nation and its people. That is why, after more than seven decades of independence, the majority's suffering has increased due to a lack of political accountability in the people's government.
Further, the social accountability of the people's government gets less priority. Here, political party workers play a major role, and the common masses have no participation because they don't feel important; rather, if they share an opinion against any work, they have to face unnecessary harassment. Therefore, various programmes from construction and repair of roads, drainage and other local level public works are mostly draining public revenues compared to the quantity and quality of the works for which budget allocation is made. If people's government fails to strengthen public monitoring or social accountability, may it be considered a function of the democratic government?
At last, it could be seen that Indian democracy ‘must die’ and that Tytler's prediction would come true in the very near future.



Eight years of empowering tribal communities through water initiatives in Chhattisgarh

By Gazala Paul*   In the heart of Chhattisgarh, amidst the echoes of tribal life, a transformative journey has unfolded over the past eight years. The Samerth organization has diligently worked to elevate the lives of indigenous communities in the Kawardha district through the project, "Enabling Baiga Community to access safe drinking water." 

Towards 2024: Time for ‘We the People of India’ to wake up before it is too late

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is Constitution Day once again! We, the people of India, gratefully remember 26 November 1949 when the Constitution of India was passed and adopted by the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly comprised women and men of distinction, who were able to represent the heart and soul of the people of India without fear or favour. They gave of their best, so that we may a visionary Constitution, which would be the mainstay for and of democracy in India!

Regretful: Kapil Dev retired not leaving Indian cricket with integrity he upheld

By Harsh Thakor  Kapil Dev scaled heights as an entertainer and a player upholding the spirit of the game almost unparalleled in his era. In his time he was cricket’s ultimate mascot of sportsmanship On his day Kapil could dazzle in all departments to turn the tempo of game in the manner of a Tsunami breaking in. He radiated r energy, at a level rarely scaled in his era on a cricket field. Few ever blended aggression with artistry so comprehenisively. Although fast medium, he could be as daunting with the ball as the very best, with his crafty outswinger, offcutter, slower ball and ball that kicked from a good length. Inspite of bowling on docile tracks on the subcontinent, Kapil had 434 scalps, with virtually no assistance. I can never forget how he obtained pace and movement on flat pancakes, trapping the great Vivian Richards in Front or getting Geoff Boycott or Zaheer Abbas caught behind. No paceman carried the workload of his team’s bowling attack on his shoulders in his eras muc

Critical factors that determine, contribute to the success and effectiveness of NGOs

By Rohit Rakshit  Over the last few years, I have been fortunate to work with numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across various states in the country. This experience has allowed me to gain insights into their diverse areas of work while also enabling me to analyze the key attributes that contribute to the success of a good NGO. According to my observations, the following are the critical factors that determine the effectiveness of an NGO.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

Martin Crowe played instrumental role in making New Zealand a force in world cricket

By Harsh Thakor* Late Martin Crowe was the perfect manifestation of how mere figures could not convey or do justice to the true merit of a batsman. Crowe was arguably the most complete  or majestic batsmen of his era or the ultimate embodiment of batting perfection, or the classical batsmen. He perished 7 years ago, due to a rare and aggressive form of cancer, follicular lymphoma, which originated in 2012. In September, we celebrated his 60th birthday but sadly he left for his heavenly abode.

Raising temperature of frozen foods by 3 degrees from -18°C to -15°C can slash carbon emissions: Study

By Payel Sannigrahi  Frozen food temperatures could be changed by just three degrees to save the carbon dioxide emissions of 3.8 million cars per year, research suggests. 

Odisha leadership crisis deepens: CM engages retired babus to oversee depts' work

By Sudhansu R Das  Over decades, Odisha has lost much of its crop diversity, fertile agriculture land, water bodies, employment potential, handicraft and handloom skills etc. The state has failed to strike a balance between the urban and rural sector growth; this leads to the migration of villagers to the urban areas leading to collapse of the urban infrastructures and an acute labor shortage in rural areas.  A large number of educated, skilled and unskilled Odia people have migrated to other states for higher education, quality jobs and for earning livelihood which plummet the efficiency level of government departments. Utmost transparency in the recruitment and promotion in the state government departments will improve governance mechanisms in the state.  "No near and dear one approach" in governance mechanisms can only achieve inclusive growth for the state on payment basis. This is a moral hazard. When so many educated young people seek employment outside the

Ceasefire a tactical victory for Palestinian resistance, protests intensify across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  The Zionist leadership and Netanyahu’s government were compelled to concede the defeat of their first attempt after almost 50 days of daily fighting in the Gaza Strip.  Netanyahu was forced to concede that he was unsuccessful in suppressing the Palestinian Resistance; and that the release of the prisoners was only plausible because they accepted Hamas’ terms.

1982-83 Bombay textile strike played major role in shaping working class movement

By Harsh Thakor  On January 18th, 1982 the working class movement commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Textile Workers Strike that lasted for 18 months, till July 1983. It was landmark event that played a major role in shaping the working class movement. With more than 2.5 lakh workers from 65 textile mills joining in this strike for almost two years, this strike became one of the most significant strikes in terms of scale and duration All democrats should applaud the mill workers’ united battle, and their unflinching resilience an death defying courage continues to serve as a model for contemporary working-class movements. Many middle class persons harboured opinions that the Textile workers were pampered or were a labour aristocracy, ignorant of how they were denied wages to provide for basic necessities. The Great Bombay Textile Strike is notably one of the most defining movements in the working class struggles in Post-independent India. Bombay’s textile industry flourished in