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What is Democracy

What is Democracy:-

The word democracy is a variation of the Greek word Democracy, which means ‘the people of the state or nation’, and Tantra, which means to rule in moderation. Therefore, democracy means that the sovereign power of the state should be in the hands of the people. Therefore, in this system of governance, the reins of governance are in the hands of the subjects or their representatives. Pro. In the words of Seeley (Prof. Seeley), “Democracy is the government in which everyone participates.”
The form of democracy in the modern world is quite different from that of ancient democracy, which was prevalent in ancient Greece about 2500 years ago. Athens was the city of Greece where democracy was considered to be the most stable, rigid, and ideal. In the ancient Greek system, three main categories of men were barred from membership in the body, they were- (1) slaves, (2) women, and (3) matrix. Thus the members of the body were very limited citizens. The struggle for democracy was a struggle against these inequalities such as birth, property, or political inequalities.
Citizens had direct participation in Athenian democracy. This assembly used to work for about 300 days a year. In this, all policy matters were discussed and decided. Citizens were selected for various official, administrative and judicial posts for specified work. In fact, they were also direct participants in the government.

historical background

Democracy is one of the “characteristic institutions of modernity” which is the result of continuous study of many complex social, economic, political, and ideological processes.
 Britain is the most modern democracy, as its powers are vested in the two houses of Parliament – the ‘House of Commons, an elected synod, which was formerly in the hands of the Crown. The special rights conferred by the state had reached the alliance of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. In the Reform Act of 1932, the suffrage of the upper middle class expanded. At the end of the nineteenth century, after three reform acts, two-thirds of men became candidates for suffrage. Before 1929, women did not have the right to vote. Universal suffrage was introduced in 1948 with the support of the principle of one person, one vote.
Democracy in France began with the Revolution of 1789.  ‘The Declaration of the Rats of Man and Citizen called for the rights to personal liberty,  freedom of religion and thought protection of property, and political equality declaration.  According to the Constitution of 1791,  the right to vote was on the basis of property,  according to which domestic servants, homeless persons, and beggars could not vote.  Thus in  1791, four million men voted. Four years later, the conditions of the property became more restrictive, leaving only one lakh affluent taxpayers included in the voter list.  After the revolution of  1848, universal male suffrage and finally women got suffrage in 1946   
Women did not get suffrage until the 20th century after the Civil War in the United States.  The document  ‘Declaration of Independence, issued in 1776, implemented democracy in that country. In fact, it was the American Revolution that gave the modern world the first democratic government and society. Republic government was brought in place of a monarchy and aristocracy, in which all citizens were theoretically equal. power between the three branches of government—the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary Was also divided.  The political ideas of Lavlers, John Locke, and Tomas Penn and the French Declaration of the  Rights of Man (1789) and the American Declaration of  Independence (1776) led to modern Expressed ideas and principles that strengthen democracy in the world.  In seventeenth-century  England, lavlers set in motion a radical conception of people’s autonomy and civil liberties. 
John Locke, in his book ‘Second Treatise on Government (1681  ), writes about the imaginary state of nature governed by the law of creation,  according to which One should not harm the other person in terms of life, health, freedom, and ownership.According to him,  naturally all human beings are equal and free.  The reason for this similarity is that all are children of God.  For this reason, the person can apply this rule to prevent or take revenge from forcibly entering his jurisdiction.  If the government fails to meet the objectives with which it was created, the people have the right to oppose and change it.  This is the basis of liberal democracy.
For Rousseau ” representative government was not enough and the only form of independent government was direct democracy, with direct participation of citizens.  The following obstacles to direct participation of citizens in governance were: (1)  inequality of property, (2) large political community, while democracy in the context of a small state  There were ideal conditions.
Liberal democracy links liberalism as a theory of the state to democracy in the uniformity of government.  Democracy was seen in detail in the 20th century.  Women’s suffrage in old Western democracies by the name “Waves of Democratization  ”  described the elimination of ethnic discrimination in South Africa.


First wave –  Democratization in many European countries in the 19th century  |Second  Wave-First World War, many countries of Europe became democratic with the countries of Scandinavia.Third Wave- After  World War II, with the end of Nazism and Fascism, a new democracy in Germany and Italy was established.  Fourth Wave-Democracy was reorganized in Eastern Europe and American countries that had turned away from democracy.  Conceptual Family Autonomy, Rights,  Equality, and Freedom of Democracy 

The Conceptual Family of Democracy Autonomy, Rights, Equality, and Liberty

rights within the purview of the concept of democracy, Concepts of liberty, equality, etc.                               


Autonomy is the independent existence of man. He is an intellectual being, so he himself can determine what is right or good and what is wrong or bad. The principle of autonomy deals with the value that we have of having control over our individual, individual, personal decisions and life choices.Just as a person himself takes decisions in his own life and in many personal matters, in the same way, he has an equal right to participate in decisions as a member of associations, because he decides to be taken in these, Decisions also affect the life of the individual as members of the associations. 


The basis of liberal theory in democracy is autonomy, freedom, and equality in liberal political theory. According to John Locke, the government has to protect the life, liberty, and property of the individual from being damaged by other persons or the state. So, the Government should guarantee the rights of the individual and his personal liberty. According to Locke, being human beings, all individuals are equal.

Direct equality-

when every citizen equally affects the outcome of a democratic process. Indirect similarity when we can say that such a decision was taken equally by all, while the decision has already been taken. Due to being different personally, individuals are rarely able to take any decision unopposed. In such a situation, decision-making by the majority is the highest process while maintaining the dignity of democracy, because every person gets an equal opportunity for decision. In this sense, it fulfills the condition of direct equality. At the same time, it is also best in the form of indirect equality, because most people made decisions more than everyone else, which became unanimous.   

Direct equality-

  1. when every citizen equally affects the outcome of a democratic process
  2. Indirect similarity when we can say that such a decision was taken equally by all, while the decision has already been taken.
 Due to being different personally, individuals are rarely able to take any decision unopposed. In such a situation, decision-making by the majority is the highest process while maintaining the dignity of democracy, because every person gets an equal opportunity for decision. In this sense, it fulfills the condition of direct equality. At the same time, it is also best in the form of indirect equality, because most people made decisions more than everyone else, which became unanimous.

Democracy: Procedural and Authoritarian

In the ancient Greek democracy, people used to sit together and discuss to make decisions to solve problems. But in a complex and vast society, it is not possible to sit together for every case decision. Democracy, therefore, functions through representative institutions. People choose their representatives, who have the right to take decisions on their behalf. If they prove eligible, then precisely, otherwise they may refuse to re-elect them in the next election. Thus sovereignty is in the hands of the people. Representative government is synonymous with the notion of present democracy. Democracy is responsible for free and fair elections, legislatures, and constitutional governments.

Authoritarian Democracy:-

A society of citizens that is politically committed and comfortable with different opinions comes under authoritarian democracy. These citizens work equally to elect their rulers and make them accountable. This kind of democratic process seeks to fulfill the interests of not only a few individuals or groups but everyone by respecting them. Democracy is the organizational principle of the collective life of all the persons of the society, not only of the Government. 

Types of Democracy

Democracy is a way of life. It is a well-accepted form of different ideologies. Democracy can be presented in the following different forms in addition to governance(1)Representative Democracy (2) Participatory Democracy (3) Ministerial Democracy (4) Social Democracy (5) Universal democracy

Representative Democracy and Its Critics-

Direct democracy is not possible in very large and complex societies, because not all citizens are able to participate directly in the decision-making process. Therefore, they choose their representatives to fulfill their desires and needs. For Hobbs and Lock, the representative government is a government authorized by the people to act on their behalf. In Rousseau’s view, the opinions and interests of the representatives can never be separated from their own people, so the entire power over the state must be in the hands of the citizens and their common will. At present, the best measure of implementation of democratic motivation is a representative government based on the majority principle. But representative democracy has also been criticized by some thinkers.

Schumpeter and elite theorists –

Representatives who believe in this view consider the government to be unrealistic. According to him, sovereignty is in the hands of those who choose people for a meeting where their desires can be fulfilled. They argue that democracy is not popular sovereignty. Its main purpose is to choose leaders.

Partner Democrats –

Believers of this view consider democracy inadequate. In fact, those who believe in representative democracy argue that its main objective is to choose some leaders from a large group of candidates who struggle for the votes of individuals. People only give their support to a particular leader. In reality, leadership is the main driving force. This is the “realistic” principle of democracy.

Participatory Democracy –

Rousseau’s theory is based on interdependence among citizens. According to him, any political decision depends on the participation of citizens. The partnership is important as a means to protect the interests of citizens and form a good government. Mill’s ideal raj regime is a democratic government, which activates citizenship. A person comes out of his selfish interests and takes care of the public interest, taking decisions. Thus, local democratic institutions are schools of political competence. Direct participatory democracy is not possible in a large public society, yet Carol Petman and Benjamin Barber support participatory democracy. This can strengthen local

Ministerial democracy-

Ministerial democracy sees people as free persons but ignores the social relations between them. It emphasizes public consultation on issues of public importance. It assumes that people relate to each other through clear reasoning and trust and influence each other instead of social connection. It gives importance to the capacity of the people for self-government. It recognizes the political division of labor between citizens and politicians. Ministerial democracy believes in strengthening the best foundation of political power.

Social Democracy –

Social democracy is more egalitarian than liberalism, yet less revolutionary than Marxist democracy. It rests on a firm pledge towards equality. Social democracy, along with believing in the liberal institutions of representative democracy, is also aspiring to link them with social justice. In fact, this is the arrangement between democracy and socialism. It basically seeks to create conditions for equality, so that all citizens can exercise their rights equally. If people are not able to complete their private schemes for any reason of poverty, incapacity, or minority, then it is also the duty of the State to remove these obstacles. Social democracy creates an environment for the welfare of women, the elderly, the workers, and cultural minorities. 

Universal Democracy:-

the development of economic and cultural globalization, the field of democracy also expanded. Universal democracy has evolved due to globalization by political theorists. This refers to the ‘globalization of civilized society which is being created by the phenomenon of ‘globalization’ from below. Two examples of this are the women’s movement and the environmental movement. Telecommunications and the Internet have connected the world. Most of the WTO members are developing countries. Therefore, this organization is constantly aware of the more prosperous nations and their interests.

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