Chapter 1. What is Democracy? Why Democracy?

What is Democracy?
• Democracy is a form of government in which rulers are elected by people.

Features of Democracy
• Rulers elected by people take all major decisions.
• Elections offer a choice and fair opportunity to people to change current rulers.
• This choice and opportunity are available to all people on an equal basis.
• exercise of choice leads to a government limited by basic rules of Constitution and citizens’ rights.

Why Democracy?
• A democratic government is a better government because it is a more accountable form of government.
• Democracy improves quality of decision-making as it involves many persons, discussions, and meetings.
• Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.
• Democracy enhances dignity of citizens as it is based on principle of political equality, on recognising that poorest and least educated have same status as rich and educated.
• Democracy is better than other ways of running government because it lets mistakes be fixed. There is a place where people can talk about these mistakes in public. And there is still room for change. Either government needs to change what it does, or it can be changed. This can’t happen in a government where people don’t have a say.
• most common form of democracy is a representative democracy.
• In a democracy like India, all people do not rule. A majority of elected representatives are allowed to take decisions on behalf of all people.
• A democratic decision involves consultation with and consent of all those who are affected by that decision.
• Other forms of government like monarchy, dictatorship, or one-party rule do not require all citizens to take part in politics, but democracy depends on active political participation by all citizens.

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