Is India Really A True Democracy
The other night my eleven year old daughter asked me what does democracy mean. I told her that the term ‘democracy’ has been derived from the Greek words ‘Demos’ meaning people and ‘Kratis’ meaning power. I told her that democracy means people’s power and that in the current context it meant that people had the right to choose how they would like to be administered and governed. Then she asked me, Dad, is India a democracy?
Just to satisfy her curiosity, I told her that India is a Parliamentary Democracy where people have the right to choose their representatives and send them to the parliament to take care of two of democracy’s biggest pillars, Equality and personal liberty.. This satisfied my daughter but did not satisfy me one bit.
I asked myself, is India really a true Democracy? I felt the best way to answer this question was to understand what is enshrined in the Constitution of India as our Fundamental Rights and do a quick rain check on them and find out whether the Government of India has been successful in protecting our fundamental rights as per the constitution.
The Fundamental Rights of the Indian citizen is covered by Articles 12 to 35 of the Indian Constitution. These rights are enumerated in Part 3 of the Indian Constitution and can be broadly classified into seven segments. These segments include:
a) Right to Equality
b) Right to Freedom
c) Right Against Exploitation
d) Right to Freedom Of Religion
e) Cultural and Educational Rights
f) Right to Constitutional Remedies
g) Right to Education
Without going into the entire Fundamental Rights, let us just pick the first two since these rights are the most basic requirement of any functioning democracy.
a) Right to Equality: Covered by Articles 14 to 18, the Right to Equality states that the Government will ensure that all the citizens will be treated equally without any discrimination based on caste, creed, sex, or...