Table of Contents I. Introduction««««««««««««.....««««««««.«.3 II. Lessons 1. What is Democracy 2. How Does Democracy Work 3.

Democracy in India Democracy has achieved the status of a universal good, considered to be such the ultimate expression of human political will (when combined with a robust free-market) that some political scientists heralded the United States¶ victory in the Cold War as the ³end of history.´ Yet the practice of democracy is hardly so clearly defined. Recent years have witnessed violent plebiscites in East Timor, difficult post-war nation building in Kuwait, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, chaotic lurches between dictatorship and democracy in Venezuela and Peru, and charges of fraud and vote-counting mayhem even in an American presidential election. Clearly, students expected to appreciate the virtues of democracy must be challenged to define its nature more precisely. Through this unit, students will encounter multiple perspectives on the practice of democracy in the world¶s most populous and diverse democracy, India, and will create a system by which to evaluate the practice of democracy around the world. The unit is written with enough background information that it can be used within either a unit on India or a unit on political systems. OBJECTIVES: · To identify the components necessary for the effective practice of democracy; · To identify the various perspectives within a democracy on the goals and issues facing the nation; · To read and use primary source documents to build content knowledge; · To practice the critical reading of newspaper articles to reveal perspectives and biases; · To engage in an authentic process of evaluating the practice of democracy in order to chart a course for future improvements; · To recognize obstacles to democracy in India as an example for democracies around the world. SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES: Day 1: What is democracy, and why is it something to measure? Students read statements by Indian citizens, and work to identify the critical attributes and potential obstacles to democracy. Day 2: Students compare the practice of democracy in India with the goals for democracy identified by the 2000 Warsaw Declaration on Democracy. Day 3: Students create a scorecard for Indian democracy using the Indian constitution and almanac information. Days 4-5: Students conduct research on recent elections and issues using Indian newspapers available on the Internet. Day 6: Students use their research to prepare an evaluation of Indian democracy Day 7: Students conduct a democracy conference to present their findings and make recommendations for the future. Introduction Democracy in India 3 Goal: The purpose of today¶s lesson is to prompt students to identify what they already know about the ideal of democracy and to raise questions about how democracy is actually practiced. Materials: Reading A, Reading B, and Reading C (Descriptions of Democratic Practice in India to be distributed to one-third of the students.) Warm-up Activity Begin the first day by prompting students to identify what they already know about democracy. After they have provided a basic definition, present the following quote by Winston Churchill: ³Democracy is a bad system but infinitely better than any of the alternatives.´ As a class, brainstorm what Churchill might have meant by this. What are the alternatives? Why might somebody consider democracy ³infinitely better?´ Why might democracy still be considered a ³bad system?´ Explain that the purpose of this unit is to define how democracy works in reality so that we might better understand how the practice of democracy around the world can be strengthened. Doing so is in everybody¶s interest: history shows that strong, mature democracies have never instigated wars of aggression against other countries. We will use India as our sample country because it faces a huge array of challenges that help to provide lessons for most countries in the world. It¶s the largest democracy in the world, in which elections take a week to administer, sixteen official languages are spoken, and the population is marked by deep religious, economic, social and cultural divisions. Lesson Distribute the three introduction readings, giving Reading A, Reading B and Reading C each to a third of the class. Explain that each of these provides a young Indian citizen¶s perspective on the practice of democracy. When students are done reading, form groups of three in which each student has read one of the readings. Instruct the partners first to tell each other about what they read and then to make a comprehensive list of examples from the readings for two categories: 1) Examples of democratic practice (we¶ll call

such as illiteracy. using their examples to compile on the board a master class list of critical attributes and obstacles that can be used by the next time the class meets. engineers. When the partners have finished. And a bath of ritual purification. poets ± respected people in society ± who are nominated by the parties.). The President of India is the Speaker of the Upper House. a [religious] festival threatens to overshadow the [secular] general elections. Lesson 1: What is Democracy? Democracy in India 4 Democracy in India 5 Nallakkan S. and they discuss political issues (and movie stars) constantly. they are writers. the members of the Upper House of Parliament are not politicians at all! Instead. sentiments like Savitri Giri¶s are not rare in rural India. In our state. ³How will a government be formed otherwise? Besides. but in Chalanti village of Balasore district. Nothing eye-catching by urban standards. decorating it with ritual patterns of flowers and vermilion. Every party holds huge rallies for their supporters and often distributes food or blankets to everyone who attends. she had bathed and donned a new sari. etc. social divisions. although Shohini is originally from Calcutta. she was hurrying through her devotions like thousands of other women in the neighboring villages. which may have been originally set aside for a religious festival. Posters are hung on every inch of space. Even though it¶s illegal now in India to discriminate according to caste. ³People here think it¶s a sacred duty. not elected by the people.) and 2) Obstacles to democracy (aspects of political activity seen in the Indian examples that might interfere with the free and fair practice of democracy. the government ordered that every village must have at least one television. including. Here they describe how elections are held in India. Why should I lose out on all the importance? Why should I kill my rights?´ After four decades of democracy. Political parties know how important television is. ³Yes. Arvind and Shohini Ghosh are both graduate students in Chemistry at the University of Washington. This helps to bring people together because no group feels shut out even though their party may not be in power. appears to take elections more seriously than his urban brethren. At the lowest level are the Untouchables. The act demands careful preparations. 72. Banners are hung across every street. it¶s festival day. and they might include participation in voting.´ affirms Thakkar Charan Giri. When we reached the village about 10 km from the nearest town of Jaleshwar at 7 a. often one person who can read will read the newspaper out loud to a group and then they discuss the issues. for example. People in these rural villages can watch programs in their own regional languages. it stood out. Loudspeakers blare campaign slogans constantly. For example. freshly starched. and most have created their own cable TV stations. Reading A: Indian Students Describe Elections in India Democracy in India 6 Reading B: Voting in the Villages By five in the morning on June 15. etc. of course. India during election times is like no other place in the world. doctors. a set of the new clothes so precious to villagers. Despite the importance of this local festival of the new moon. who has made it a point to get to the polling booth in his .m.´ says Giri. making them ³untouchable´ to others. however.these ³critical attributes´ of democracy.. The key to the change has been awareness. but I have to somehow make time to go to the booth. not just local news. family background is still very important in India. Even though local politicians and their supporters can sound very extreme. hereditary levels in society that have determined a person¶s occupation and role in Hindu society for thousands of years. The caste system is a ranking of traditional. And by the time the rest of the family were stirring. And he performs it with almost the same solemnity as the rituals of a religious ceremony. if anything. When people are illiterate. on par with the one you take before going to a temple. My vote will determine whether a hopeful gets to rule or not. Everybody is very interested in the news. even though new laws were passed that say that the loudspeakers must be lowered to a certain decibel and must be turned off at 10 pm. free speech demonstrations. this is one day when us small people get to play kingmakers. contains a lot of news about the rest of the world. multiple parties and candidates. he is the Commander in Chief of the military The most difficult aspect of democracy in India is the caste system. Things have improved a lot in the last 10 years. especially in the rural areas. vivid and beautiful even among the bunting and flowers put up for the festival. Every newspaper. Indeed. who are generally the poorest people and hold the dirtiest jobs. usually. exercising one¶s franchise [right to vote] has assumed the aura of a sacred duty. Tamil Nadu. Savitri Giri had finished her cooking and put her house in order. Giri was already setting up a small altar at the foot of the tree in her courtyard. To him (and her). The most important factor that helps awareness. India has many systems in place to make sure that the most powerful leaders are more moderate. Both grew up in the city of Madras. The whole look of a city changes. a retired clerk from the Orissa Revenue Board. For this year. compared to the Prime Minister. the Indian villager. is absolutely mandatory. Although he does not have much power. Printed with permission of the authors. is the television. even in rural areas. Orissa. call on pairs to report.

´ he says. Today¶s kings don¶t understand.m. maybe more. Now it remains for the womenfolk to eat and bathe before they are ready to vote. And the road (a dirt track which is the only link to the highway 5 km away) dates back to the times of the kings. 28. ³Elections are supposed to be held every five years. ³Those who want to vote come anyway. if they are so disgusted with the system? ³Mahatma Gandhi had said: µNow that you are free men. impugning the very basis of democracy. but it¶ll take another three hours before they are through.´ says Aniruddha Kasta. Shyam Sundar Nakar. though most of them hurried to vote as early as possible. A little behind him. ³Of course. Sudham. ³Of course. about 2 km down the dirt track from Olinda. I don¶t know whether this is good or bad.´ says Madhu. you have a leader.´ But are elections necessary at all. a Congress Party worker at the polling booth at Muhammadnagar.´ he says. the cold water could well kill him. however. the kinds and zamindars [landlords] ruled the country. who are party workers.village of Olinda the moment it opens for business in every election right from Independence.´ Then why are they voting. according to the dictates of their sons. He may not have attended any poll meetings. who has to make do with weaving baskets and fishing from his little pond. Lakshmidhar Muklu is clearly displeased with the failure of the last government and is probably voicing his disappointment by turning up in seedy work clothes. But then.´ His sister Dukhi Mandal.´ agrees Uriha Baske. ³We¶re expecting about 50-60% of the people to vote. And while Gharai protests that he will only change out of his work clothes²³I¶m too poor to afford a new shirt´²the constraints of poverty obviously do not apply to his wife. his wife and his brother Madhu have been transplanting the new crop from before dawn. At Olinda. especially if they are so expensive? In rural India today. the problems at the Centre [in the capital] have disappointed us. but the radio and TV tell us that it¶s very expensive. you need a leader to run a country. That¶s the real point. you must vote.´ he says gloomily. but it¶s not all that special for us«we have to eat. 63.´ That¶s most of the people. [who] as he talks to us« sidles up to her husband in a sparkling new sari. ³We¶ll make it to the [voting] booth by noon. whose age is ³beyond reckoning.¶ It¶s a duty and a right. Padmalochan Majhi.´ is exempt: she is blind.´ says Bhanucharan Majhi. he cared. says proudly. At his age and with the monsoons setting in. maybe five.´ ³We didn¶t even have to inform the voters. but then perks up: ³At least I¶ll be casting my vote. ³Personally. ³But the villagers are pretty wellinformed. ³Yes. they don¶t exactly do a puja [Hindu prayers] or anything like that. a carpenter. who has also been voting right from our first general election. 55. of course. may have no idea when the last elections were held²³Maybe three years ago. cannot afford to go to the booth before the morning¶s work is done. he decides to exercise the prerogative of age and dispense with his new shirt: ³What will an old man like me want with a shirt?´ It is more fitting that he sees that his family of 12 makes it to the booth in time. In his house about 1 km from the Olinda booth. is feeling almost guilty because he can¶t take a bath. The kind understood our problems. ³A rubdown with oil will have to do.´ Even the politicians are admitting a distinct fall in the vote turnout in this election. down to the halt and the lame. 22. ³There won¶t be time for a bath. The old Rajas [princes] are gone. isn¶t it?´ Having identified the point. Democracy in India 8 Reading C: ³Why So Much Fuss to Choose a Leader?´ In a rice paddy field in Chakara village. this thing is a lot like a festival. the people¶s enthusiasm is not too high. about 5 km from Jaleshwar. sees that we are not quite convinced and spells it out for us: ³If you want to run a house. 50. ready to go voting. who is not yet of voting age but will go to the booth anyway. but he definitely wants to be instrumental in forming the new government.´ The Saturday Statesman (Calcutta: 29/Jun/01). why have they bothered to turn up in the first batch of voters? The answer comes from . they¶re only interested in making money at our expense«. but the affair is not very different from a religious occasion. but this time.´ his mother-in-law Gelamoni Democracy in India 7 Boru. 86year-old Arjun Rana. Printed with Permission from the author. holding elections within one year. Nityananda Gharai. ³I even went to Bhubaneshwar to attend Bijubabu¶s (Biju Patnaik¶s) meeting two years ago. Only the grandmother. but in almost every village we entered. There¶s not even a tubewell in our village. and they ran it no worse than today¶s leaders. p6. ³But why so much fuss to choose a leader? In the old days. His sons.´ But not all go through the ritual purification. The zamindar would visit every village in his palanquin [hand-carried sedan chair].´ But in this election. Ten minutes walk down the road. so now we have to elect a Raja.´ Despite that. for it is criminal to let a vote go to waste. every member of the household will vote. of Chakrara village.´ ± but he has arrived in a sparkling new shirt. we found 20-30 BJP supporters already there. his family is quite motivated. In fact. but he has carefully decided whom to vote for. He always makes it a point to get to the booth with the first set of voters and brings him family along with him. but we¶ll be wearing new clothes. ³I¶ll have to wait until 10 in the morning. there were 10 voters already in the queue [line] when the booth opened at 7 a. have already gone. Pira. We¶re still forming our organization here. admits Padmalochan. some villagers are posing that question. ³The Ballot in Rural India. BJP block president of Jaleshwar and vicepresident of Balasore district.

Azerbaijani Republic. Republic of Finland. in the Community of Democracies Ministerial Meeting convened in Warsaw. Republic of Mali. Hellenic Republic. Republic of the Niger. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Republic of Seychelles. the class needs to decide why it matters that a country is a democracy. Italian Republic. Commonwealth of Dominica. Democracy in India 11 Reading D: Final Warsaw Declaration: Towards A Community of Democracies We the participants from Republic of Albania. based on what they already know about India. These are critical notes that the teacher will probably want to require that students copy. Kingdom of Morocco. Slovak Republic. To do this. Japan. Every eligible member of Behra¶s family will turn out. Republic of Madagascar. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Papua New Guinea. Czech Republic. Republic of Haiti. Swiss Confederation. the United States of America. Republic of Moldova. Republic of Yemen. Kingdom of Spain. State of Israel. Kingdom of Nepal. Republic of South Africa.Kausalya Behra. Republic of Botswana. Lesson Distribute the Warsaw Declaration. Poland 25 . Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Democracy in India 10 Lesson 2: How Does Democracy Work? Goal: The purpose of today¶s lesson is to challenge students to expand their view of what political practices constitute democracy. It identifies nineteen ³core democratic principles and practices´ that these countries have pledged to ³promote and strengthen. Kingdom of the Netherlands. ³but we won¶t go dancing and rejoicing and beating drums. Republic of Tunisia. 52. Bosnia and Herzegovina. and call on pairs to report critical attributes and potential obstacles that they discovered in the Warsaw Declaration that should be added to the class chart. Printed with Permission from the author. Republic of Colombia. Federal Republic of Germany. Romania.27 June 2000: Expressing our common adherence to the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada.´ Sudham. Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Mongolia. 2000. Russian Federation. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Republic of Panama. Kingdom of Sweden. or the teacher may want to provide a copy of the list for the class to work from for the rest of this unit. former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Republic of Cyprus. Once the pairs have concluded this discussion. Ireland. Republic of Slovenia. ³The Ballot in Rural India. Saint Lucia. partners should work to identify the points from the list that they consider to be essential to the practice of democracy. Kingdom of Lesotho. Republic of Nicaragua. Republic of Cape Verde. Kingdom of Norway. Republic of Benin.´ Is she enthusiastic about this election then? Not really. Republic of Ecuador. But we must carry out our kartabya. State of Qatar. Republic of Senegal. United Republic of Tanzania. Republic of Turkey. Republic of the Philippines. work as a class to brainstorm what advantages a democracy brings its citizens and what disadvantages citizens experience under other regimes (totalitarian. Federative Republic of Brazil. . monarchy. Republic of Mozambique. ask partners to discuss which of the points might be especially challenging for a country like India. Some people understand what¶s going on. p6. Eastern Republic of Uruguay. Dominican Republic. this is our kartabya [duty]. Republic of Austria. a document that was signed by most of the world¶s democracies in Poland on June 27. State of Kuwait. Republic of Estonia. Principality of Liechtenstein. Reaffirming our commitment to respect relevant instruments of international law. Kingdom of Belgium. some don¶t. People¶s Republic of Bangladesh. Republic of Guatemala. Republic of Bolivia. democracy itself brings certain disadvantages and other forms of government provide certain advantages. Republic of Armenia. Arab Republic of Egypt. Republic of Korea. This is our Democracy in India 9 only link with the rulers. Republic of Kenya.´ Divide the class into partners to read the Warsaw Declaration together. Republic of Malta. but the focus of this curriculum is only democracy itself. People¶s Democratic Republic of Algeria. at Rajpur village: ³This is our adhikara [right]. Republic of Poland. Federal Republic of Nigeria. Obviously. Republic of Peru.). return the class to the chart produced at the end of Day 1. theocracy. Once the basic aspects of democracy are established. etc. Republic of Malawi. Republic of Lithuania. Republic of Paraguay. Republic of Latvia. Republic of Hungary. Principality of Monaco. that knowing that a country does not guarantee the given practice would lead us to conclude that the country was not a democracy. Republic of Bulgaria. Republic of Croatia. Burkina Faso. New Zealand. Belize. Republic of El Salvador. When they have read the document. Ukraine. Kingdom of Thailand. Republic of Mauritius. Argentine Republic. Mexico. Portuguese Republic. Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. instructing them to stop after every one of the nineteen points to check for understanding. dictatorship.´ The Saturday Statesman (Calcutta: 29/Jun/01). Kingdom of Denmark. Australia. Republic of Chile. Republic of Costa Rica. Republic of Iceland. Georgia. Pira. Republic of Indonesia. Materials: Class set of Reading D (Warsaw Declaration) Warm. Republic of India.up Activity Start today¶s lesson with a brief discussion of what students consider to be the definition of democracy. Second. Republic of Namibia.

subject only to restrictions necessary in a democratic society and prescribed by law. 5. regardless of frontiers. sex. which corrodes democracy. Recognizing the universality of democratic values. recognizing that we are at differing stages in our democratic development. trafficking in human beings and money laundering. drug trafficking. cultural. The right of the press to collect. conscience and religion. 7. 4. conducted by secret ballot. That the aforementioned rights. open to multiple parties. which are essential to full and effective participation in a democratic society. That government institutions be transparent. The right of every person to respect for private and family life. and to do so in accordance with respect for human rights of all persons and for the norms of international law. development. political and social ² be promoted and protected as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. monitored by independent electoral authorities. civic groups. free and fair elections with universal and equal suffrage. We will promote discussions and. The right of every person to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. including to exchange and receive ideas and information through any media. 18. 9. The right of every person to equal access to education. illegal arms trafficking. where appropriate. create forums on subjects relevant to democratic governance for the purpose of continuing and deepening our dialogue on democratization. free of arbitrary or unlawful interference. established and protected by law. We will encourage political leaders to uphold the values of tolerance and compromise that underpin effective democratic systems. and to support one another in meeting these objectives which we set for ourselves today. including to establish or join their own political parties. and free of fraud and intimidation. trade unions or other organizations with the necessary legal guarantees to allow them to operate freely on a basis of equal treatment before the law. 15. inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The right of every person to equal protection of the law. while bearing in mind evolving international practices in this field. We resolve jointly to cooperate to discourage and resist the threat to democracy posed by the overthrow of constitutionally elected governments. The right of every person to freedom of thought. 17.Emphasizing the interdependence between peace. 6. without any discrimination as to race. to be free from torture and other cruel. The right of those duly elected to form a government. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. crossborder and other forms of terrorism. national or social origin. political or other opinion. directly or through freely chosen representatives. We reject ethnic and . 3. That the legislature be duly elected and transparent and accountable to the people. and to relinquish power when its legal mandate ends. and to receive due process of law. We will cooperate to consolidate and strengthen democratic institutions. participatory and fully accountable to the citizenry of the country and take steps to combat corruption. and at the same time maintain stability and social cohesion. such as state-sponsored. assume office and fulfill the term of office as legally established. report and disseminate information. The right of every person to be free from arbitrary arrest or detention. We will focus our deliberations on our common principles and values rather than extraneous bilateral issues between members. be enforced by a competent. independent and impartial judiciary open to the public. Our goal is to support adherence to common democratic values and standards. corruption. as outlined above. To that end. We will seek to strengthen institutions and processes of democracy. The obligation of an elected government to refrain from extra-constitutional actions. organized crime. our governments hereby agree to abide by these principles in practice. news and opinions. That civilian. 19. 12. Democracy in India 12 11. language. 13. We resolve to strengthen cooperation to face the transnational challenges to democracy. The right of every person to freedom of opinion and of expression. 16. to allow the holding of periodic elections and to respect their results. property. including to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 2. 14. human rights and democracy. economic. religion. That elected leaders uphold the law and function strictly in accordance with the constitution of the country concerned and procedures established by law. Hereby agree to respect and uphold the following core democratic principles and practices: 1. color. birth or other status. We appreciate the value of exchanging experiences in the consolidation of democracy and identifying best practices. home. with due respect for sovereignty and the principle of noninterference in internal affairs. democratic control over the military be established and preserved. correspondence and electronic communications. The Community of Democracies affirms our determination to work together to promote and strengthen democracy. 8. and to promote respect for pluralism so as to enable societies to retain their multicultural character. That all human rights ² civil. as expressed by exercise of the right and civic duties of citizens to choose their representatives through regular. The right of every person to equal access to public service and to take part in the conduct of public affairs.

enthusiasm. civil society and governments to coordinate support for new and emerging democratic societies. and to use their own language. It is next to impossible to find a young leader with no political family background in the furor of politics. including by persons belonging to minority groups and women. we will seek to assist each other in economic and social development. the geographic.Democracy is the buzz word for our political system. How can we give those illiterates the key to our country whom we can not give the key to our house? People with serious criminal background should not be allowed to contest elections. cultural. economic and historical experience of a country deeply affect the practice of democracy. Much can be done in areas like educating people. labor and business associations. Old people should realize that proper development can take place only when they make way for younger people to take control of the activities. and the freedom to enjoy their own culture. Nowadays we have only a handful of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi. There are a few things which I would like to suggest. There should also be some educational qualification for politicians. What is wanted is that they should be there but for guidance because they are treasures of invaluable experience. This reason seems to be more logical seeing the monopoly of old leaders in almost all the major political parties of the country. Youth in this context is meant to refer people in their 30¶s or early 40¶s with a good mix of energy and experience. morality. One that youngsters do not mean people who are 20 years old with no experience at all. Democracy in India 13 life. Democracy in India Goal: The purpose of today¶s lesson is to guide students to look at the particular profile of India so that they will be able to find specific perspectives and practices when they do their research. including women¶s organizations. No doubt we have progressed a lot in the last 62 years but the development pace would have been completely different had some young torchbearers led this process of development. But this is not the case now. In these ways we will strengthen democratic institutions andpractices and support the diffusion of democratic norms and values. This is why we must look at the conditions in India in order to determine how effectively democratic institutions function there. Given a chance they would be ready to change the political condition of the country for better. 1 . including education for democracy. but they are in the political scenario because they belong to influential political families. We recognize the importance our citizens place on the improvement of living conditions. There should be a retirement age for politicians as well which may be around 65 years.violence and other forms of extremism. At the time of independence. Two. it is not intended to mean that old people should leave the political scene and rest. There can be two reasons for this deplorable scene of Indian politics. We will collaborate on democracy-related issues in existing international and regional institutions. The youth of modern India are aware of the problems facing our country and the world at large. As for the youth of our country. We can just wish that the next time we go to vote we find more names of youngsters who can make our country a better place to live in. Second reason may be that young people are not given opportunities to prove themselves claiming that they are not equipped with experience to participate actively in the governance of the country. But this reason seems to hold no ground seeing the discontent shown by the youngsters towards cases like reservation. they can contribute in more ways than just contesting elections. The right of persons belonging to minorities or disadvantaged groups to equal protection of the law. Young leaders likes Nehru came to his reckoning and led the movement. But is it really so? Is it democracy that a nation where a majority of population is below 40 elects a majority of people above 60 to power? Are we really satisfied with the way our country is being governed? Should it not bother us that at the age people generally take retirement and rest. as an essential contributing factor to the promotion and preservation of democratic development. One may be that the youth today are not interested in actively participating in the political field. Sachin Pilot. and many other areas. We will work with relevant institutions and international organizations. Jessica lal murder case etc. to profess and practice their own religion. We will also promote civil society. forming coalitions and caucuses to support resolutions and other international activities aimed at the promotion of democratic governance. raising awareness about various social ills.We will help to promote government-togovernment and people-to-people linkages and promote civic educationand literacy. our politicians actually become eligible to be at the helm of affairs? Why is it so that people below 50 years are considered as political µkids¶? The country desperately needs some young leaders who personify energy. including eradication of poverty. Gandhi called upon the youth to participate actively in the freedom movement. To thatend. and independent media in their exercise of10. We also recognize themutually-reinforcing benefits the democratic process offers to achieving sustained economic growth. and diligence. There are few things which need to be clarified.religious hatred. Because democracy requires widespread participation. Varun Gandhi etc. is fundamental to a vibrant and durable democracy. They are content with what they are doing and how the country is being governed. non-governmental organizations.

India is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries. responsive and accountable). This lecture is also very relevant in the present context of coalition politics and globalisation (liberalisation. Dix 1992. political parties functioning. states and local) have also enabled to articulate the contesting interests of small groups and parties (Muslims. Strong party institutions are vital for the long-term stability and healthy functioning of democratic regimes. weak competition among parties. So is also criminalismand corruption. and other ethnic) within the democratic framework unlike ourneighbours. Moreover. Rueschemeyer. Gibson 1996.technologies). Democracy has also facilitated persons with humble background and from disadvantaged groups to occupy highest positions (President. caste. language and so on) tensions and conflicts are widespread. this lecture is mainly aimed to highlight the significance of political parties for promoting inclusive governance. Venkatachaliah. which might lead to low legitimacy (Scott Mainwaring. SC/ST. Stable parties are necessary condition for democratic consolidation (Kreuzer and Pettai.Roberts et. space and bio. two party and multiple parties). according to the Transparency International. strong and integrative party institutions have been identified as important actors in the political consolidation of economic reforms in emerging democracies (Haggard and Kaufman 1995) (Kenneth M. training. the selection of leaders. Relevance of this Public Lecture: This public lecture analyses Indian party system and internal democracy of major political parties in India. The analysis of the political parties is very relevant in the present juncture when major political. . A stable well-institutionalised party is a key element for effective political representation and governance (Kreuzer and Pettai.Roberts et. The mobilisation of electorate. the formulation of agendas and passing of legislation 2 are conducted through parties. administrative and economic reforms are being initiated (Constitutional Review Committee headed by sri. Unrestricted freedom for political parties. Sadly. Human rights violations are on rise. interest groups and press enable to reflect and articulate diverse views and interests. 2004: 626). all sections of society (irrespective of religion. recruitment. interest aggregation ineffective. and governance would be in this process would becomes inefficient (Kreuzer and Pettai. region. privatisation). political parties and insurgent groups and separatist movements (like Punjab. religious. . and many such other Commissions on Electoral and Economic Reforms) to promote inclusive growth and governance (efficient. caste. Finally. sex. Kashmir) to fall line with mainstream thinking (Democracy has been partly responsible for making India world leaders in areas of information.. 2004: 623). India¶s significant chunk of population is poor. 202:13 cited in Kreuzer and Pettai. Without stable parties. ideology and internal democracy. norms of co-operation. Political parties are seen as primary vehicles for integrating diverse social forces within democratic institutions.. which has opted and sustained democracy for the last six decades. Human development index is very low when compared to semi-democratic countries like China and South-East countries. and holding government officials accountable to the citizenry (Mainwaring and Scully 1995. Nagas) through their elected representatives. Parties are.PM. 1998).Justice M. unemployed and illiterate. 2004: 623). 1999: 575). the mechanisms through which power is exercised in a democracy (Mehta. in short. CM). democratic decentralisation (73rd and 74th Amendment) and civil society assertions (Narmadha to Nandhigram). Internal party organisational issues such as membership. defining public policy alternatives. nuclear. and Lipset 1989. Women and Election Commissions are given autonomy to act independent of governments to safeguard civil and citizens¶ rights. Linz. Parliamentary democracy and federal form of government (sharing power among centre. weak party roots in society. see also Diamond.al. socialisation. ideologies. Weakly institutionalised party system is responsible for political instability. Christians. Internal organisational factors (recruitment strategies. Unlike many other countries. 200:38). Disparities among regions and classes are increasing. Furthermore. 1999:575). In spite of sixty years of democracy.Indian Democracy at Crossroads: Role of Political Parties in Inclusive Abstract India is one of the few post-colonial countries. centralisation. Second Administrative Reforms Commission by Sri Veerappa Moily. party discipline. Institutions like Judiciary. it has helped to moderate the extremist persuasions. Minority. Elections are conducted regularly and governments changed with different political parties. Stephens and Stephens 1992 cited in Roberts Kenneth M. Radicalism and fundamentalism are spreading to a number of districts. and political skills) are responsible for responding to the powerful environmental factors (Gryzmala-Buss. North-East. malnourished. The failure in promoting inclusive governance can be attributed to the improper institutionalization of political party system (single dominant. This has enabled India to survive as a nation (disproving the hypothesis of Western scholars) and resolveconflicts (language. Bodos. Political Parties and Governance (Brief Conceptual and Theoretical Review) Political parties are critical for effective functioning of democracy and inclusive governance. Scholars like Atul Kohli attributed the crisis of India¶s governance in 1970s to the decline of congress party. Intra-party democracy of political parties has a significant impact on democratic consolidation and representation. resolving socio-political conflict. electoral accountability limited. regional. Ethnic (religion. equitable. channelising and processing societal demands. 2004: 614).N. and education) are given voting rights to select responsive leaders. Human Rights. the public opinion would remain unstructured. discipline and resources of the party have profound influence on the outcome.al.

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