This opinion by Jaydev Jana is from Statesman News Service. Here is an excerpt:
There is no system of government more popular and prevalent, and yet more controversial than democracy. It is a form of government based upon the fundamental assumption of equality of all individuals and of their equal rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Literally, in the memorable phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people. According to Mahatma Gandhi: “In its totality, democracy implies that any democratic structure entrusted with the task of development and administration is expected to be not only democratically constituted according to the principle of election but should also reflect people’s free will and function according to the element of democracy both in their constitution and in their day-to-day functioning.”
Hence, the idea behind democracy is that it involves a large number of people in the decision-making process. Its political authority is based on the will of the individuals who by a process of co-operation make decisions that are binding on the whole community.
The essential feature of any democratic decision is that it is taken through discussion and persuasion In Gandhi’s words, “There is no human institution but has its dangers. The greater the institution the greater the chances of abuse.
Read the full article here.