Day 41 – Q 5. Do you think India’s democratic institutions got further strengthened post emergency? Analyse.
5. Do you think India’s democratic institutions got further strengthened post emergency? Analyse.
क्या आपको लगता है कि भारत के लोकतांत्रिक संस्थानों को आपातकाल के बाद मजबूती मिली? विश्लेषण करें।
- India alone among the post-colonial countries has sustained democracy since its inception. Paradoxically, even the experience of the Emergency underlined the strength of democracy in India.
- Emergency was a test of democracy, and India cleared this test with ever growing success as the largest democracy in the world.
There were many historical events that occurred in India since after Emergency of 1970s. These historical developments further strengthened the democratic institutions in India. To mention few, these events are as follows:
- Constitution: The most basic unit of democracy, Indian Constitution got its strength with enactment of 44th and subsequent constitutional amendment acts. These amendments further strengthened the fabric of democracy in India.
- Parliament: Being an assembly of elected representatives, Parliament should be more important than any autocratic leader. Powers of Parliament were further strengthened by 44th amendment act and subsequent measures.
- Judiciary: By the end of 1970 and in the beginning of 1980s Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a new instrument of justice got developed in Indian judicial system, making it easier for people to fight for their common rights and interests. And such many other measures strengthened one of the most important the democratic institution of India, i.e. Judiciary.
- Election commission: It was made a multi-member body with more powers to conduct free and fair elections. State Election Commissions were also established on the similar lines to conduct elections for local bodies.
- Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs): PRIs are one of the milestones in history of Indian democracy. 73rd and 74th amendment acts in early 1990s, with its provision for reservation of one third seats for women, gave constitutional status to these most important institutions of grass-root democracy.
- Expansion of fundaments rights and Press: Fundamental Rights under Article 19 and Article 21 expanded into much bigger set of rights. With expansion of Right to Speech, Press or Media became an important pillar of democracy. Similarly, Right to information Act of 2005 became an important instrument of democracy.
With all the above developments and strengthening of regional parties, formation of coalition governments led to strengthening of democratic institutions in India. But recent developments in India are cause of concern.
Threats to democratic fabric of India
- Populist appeals or appeals on grounds of caste, region or religious community
- Role of caste in electoral politics has increased in recent years
- Communalisation of politics
- Growing intolerance and hatred
- Restricted powers to PRIs
- Insufficient representation of women in Parliament and Judiciary
- Use of governor to dictate states
- So on…
- It can be concluded that in the post-emergency period, there has been the steadily growing political awareness among the people and their greater direct and indirect participation in the democratic processes.
- The disadvantaged—women, agricultural labourers, small peasants, the urban poor—have increasingly come to believe that the desired change can be brought about by the assertion of their democratic rights.
- Though democratic institutions are strengthened but communalism and caste-ism are some of the gravest threats to India’s fabric of democracy.
Best Answer: Chetan R