“Democracy is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people.”
Democracy may be defined in the words of Abraham Lincoln:
“Government of the people, for the people and by the people.”
Democracy derived from two Greek words Damos and Kratos.
- Damos means “the people.”
- Kratos means”to power.”
So in literal meaning, we can describe democracy in this way;
“Power to the people” which means the people who decide the institutions and law and regulations which may govern them and their lands.
It is multidimensional thoughts of people. It started its journey from greek times. From that time to the present time, it is developed in socio-economic term and political aspects of society.
Today, every country claims that they are a democratic country.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY:
- Principles of tolerance
- Individual’s Rights
- Rules of law
- Principles of majority rules
- Welfare of all
- Principles of Concerts
- Principles of majority rules
Thus democracy is a public kind of government. All classes of people from a layman to a lord take part in democracy.
That is why this form of government is widely liked by nations all over the world.
It is the most favourite form of government of this age.
Many people like democracy for its favourable features. They are as follows.
Barriers to a cruel king:
Democracy impedes the way of cruel rulers. As people themselves elect their rulers, they do not vote for stern savages. They try to elect those people who are polite and cultured. Then these kind rulers ever try to solve the problems of their voters. They work for the welfare of the state.
Preventions of war:
Democracy prevents wars. War is a necessary evil. But in this age of nuclear weapons, a war would mean a wholesale killing of humans. The democratic rulers do not take the risk of wars.
Rather they try to resolve their disputes through diplomatic dialogues. Thus democracy indirectly prevents wars.
Cause of prosperity for a nation:
Democracy brings about the prosperity of the state. The elector members of the ruling class know that they have come to the throne by the votes of the masses.
Therefore, they try to satisfy their voters otherwise they know that people would not cast their votes in favour of them in the next election.
Tends of Human development:
Democracy tends to foster human development. It works for the better health of the masses. It generates opportunities for education. It tries to enhance human facilities. It tries to promote better living conditions
Promotion of political culture and democratic values:
Democracy promotes political culture and democratic values. People know the power of their votes. They participate effectively in the political process.
They make their views about the political policies of various political parties. They have got full right to accept or reject a policy.
Thus the democratic process is decided by the people and not by the political organizations.
Democracy safeguards the fundamental interests of the people. It helps people exercise their legal and political rights.
It creates a sense of pride among the masses that they are living under the laws of their own choice. Thus people become law-abiding. Democracy also creates an environment of political quality. All the citizens enjoy equal rights and privileges.
MISUSE OF DEMOCRACY:
Being popular is no guarantee for a thing to be asserted as good. So, we cannot say that
democracy is the only form of good government.
It has also advantage as well as disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages of democracy are discussed below.
Inequalities in economic and social resources:
Democracy brings about inequalities in economic and social resources. People with greater resources naturally win the election and come to power.
They influence the political system and the economic policies of the state to their advantage. Thus they hinder a satisfactory level of political equality.
They try to oblige the workers of their political party. Thus democracy causes inequality and injustice.
Misuse of powers and authority:
Democracy is also dangerous when the majority of corrupt and dishonest people come to power. They misuse their powers and authority. They have won the election by dint of their social status and wealth.
Thus their first preference is to earn money many times greater than the money they have spent during
THE ROLE OF DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN:
If we analyze democracy in Pakistan, we come to know that it has never been successful in Pakistan. The main reasons are lack of education, lack of political sense and interruption from the non-political elements.No government has ever been given a chance to run its affairs smoothly. But in spite of all this, if our political leaders pay some heed to the golden rules of the Islamic democracy, they would be successful rulers indeed.