MULTIPARTY VS TWO-PARTY Stakeholders: India, USA, two-party democratic systems, multi-party democratic systems Background Key Points Why a multi-party system is better Why a two-party system is better Group Discussion Topics For Against The stability of multi-party democracy in India The Roots and Specifics of Indian Democracy
For nearly four decades now democracy in India has appeared somewhat of an anomaly. India is a multinational, agrarian society with a rigid and hierarchical social structure. This existence in such a setting of periodic elections, constitutional government, and freedom of expression and association has posed an intellectual puzzle. In a world where most stable democracies have industrialized and capitalist economies, some observers have felt that India’s democracy is either not genuine or that it is likely to falter soon.
Democracy in India is understood better by examining India’s modern political traditions. Colonialism was the crucible of India’s democracy. Early manifestations of colonial influences included the democratic inclinations of Western-educated leaders like Nehru, internal democracy within the Congress-led nationalist movement, and the participation of Congressmen in elections and legislatures prior to independence.
Considering the fatality rate of democracies in post-colonial settings, the political traditions inherited from the colonial past are clearly not a sufficient explanation.
The democratic commitment of India’s leaders since independence has also made a major contribution to the survival of democracy in India. Immediately after independence, India’s democracy could be characterized as a “gift” of the elite to the masses.
The leaders of India's independence movement are often accused of wrongly choosing democracy in 1947. In fact, they had little choice. Democracy was the only system that could possibly provide political cohesion in a society with little tradition of political centralism,...