Major Challenges to Indian Democracy. Role of Education in Deepening Democracy in India.
In spite of its strength and belief in democracy and being the fastest-growing democracy in the world, India faces many obstacles and challenges to Indian democracy. However, constant efforts and struggles are being put in to overcome the problems and obstacles.
Despite the struggles and efforts made, problems exist in the society. The standards of democracy are being interpreted differently in different ways. Today’s’ democracies are being applied only to the privileged classes and more opportunities ones. These are also very big challenges to Indian democracy.
Democracy demands general interests, a constant conscious effort for public interest. It also requires consideration for other people, particularly for their needs, well-being, and views.
Unfortunately, there has been a gradual decline in respect of the above traits on the part of the citizens. There is growing disappointment with general politics. It is matched by a growing unresponsiveness towards public interests. This can be seen in the declining trend in voter participation in elections. There has also been an erosion of fellow feeling.
Indian democracy has many weaknesses and is not easily surmountable. The first thing that a democracy demands is equality. Such equality is undermined by inequality and discrimination. Unfortunately, India suffers from many kinds of discrimination and inequalities – like political, social, and economic. There is a great deal of lack of knowledge, illiteracy, and superstitious beliefs.
The major challenges to Indian Democracy are discussed in the following points:-
- Huge Population: It continues to be a great challenges to Indian democracy. India has a population of about 130 million at present. In spite of several public and social campaigns, and awareness programmes, the population continues to grow at an alarming rate.
- Problems of poverty and unemployment: Both problems are interrelated. Several poverty alleviation programmes have been launched during the past few years to eradicate from the country but still around 30% of people live below the poverty line. These are also the other challenges to Indian democracy.
- Communalism and casteism: This kind of practice and problem present in our society raises their ugly heads every now and then, to disrupt normal life and activities. The politics of the vote bank have made these problems difficult to overcome. We need to appreciate India’s pluralistic society and be tolerant. As we know India is a secular country and also a democratic country.
- Regionalism and Linguism: There are no feelings for regionalism and Linguism. We must understand that in India people belonging to different geographical and climatic regions, practice different traditions and speak different languages. We are Indians first and foremost. We need to imbibe the spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ in full measure and forget our regional and linguistic differences. These are also very big challenges to Indian democracy.
- Illiteracy: This is another problem and challenge that needs to be overcome. We need to catch up and must try to attain 100% literacy. We must realize that illiteracy breeds ignorance, poverty, and many social evils. If not possible let’s try to attain and give everyone an education and knowledge.
- Terrorism and insurgency: These are also very big challenges to Indian democracy. Democracy provides for various mechanisms to resolve our disputes. Hence, resorting to violence is illegal, unethical, and immoral.
- Corruption: This is one of the major challenges to Indian democracy which is eating away at our social and economic fabric. We need to limit our undesirable needs and not succumb to greed at any cost.
- Low status of women: Considering women as inferior to man were always a bad practice for many people. Such an act of mind must be getting ridden off. The low status of women of our womenfolk continues to be another challenge. We need to improve the status of women by education and empowering them. This is again the other challenges to Indian democracy.
Other than the above points there are many challenges to Indian democracy like nepotism, dynastic succession of party posts, defection of parties, class discrimination, gender discrimination, etc.
The roles of education in deepening democracy in India are given in the following heads:-
Education has a very important role to play in deepening democracy in India. It is the first step that must be looked at and taken care of. Every citizen of India must be educated and aware of the institution of democracy.
- Creating a literate society, enlightened masses, and tolerant people who have only one goal – the unity, and development of the country as a whole. Only education can bring about such qualitative and quantitative change in society.
- Freedom, equality, humanism, and denial of dogmas should be the subject matter of education. Only through education there would be the growth of a new intelligence or intellectual class, taking to modernity. Intellectuals are those people who contribute directly to the foundation, transmission, and condemnation of ideas. Education paves the way for the development of science and technology.
- Modern education has the ability to change the attitude and outlook of people. It can and has brought about modifications in customs, traditions, morality religious beliefs, and the whole value system. India must target achieving universal literacy. Education also leads to political awareness among the people mainly – the poor and backward classes. It helps people to cast out outdated ideas and customs.
- Education builds skills besides giving information and increasing knowledge. One must have legal literacy or knowledge also. One needs it to have information about legal provisions and processes. Lack of proper education and a poor rate of literacy have led to a low level of legal awareness. Legal literacy means legal education. Legal literacy helps in seeking legal remedies against exploitation and injustices. Legal education reminds us of our rights, duties, and legal obligations toward society. In a democracy legal literacy makes us responsible citizens of a civil society – a society which is just and orderly – a society where one can live with dignity and honour.
Education has played a very important and big role in deepening democracy in India. It is because of education, a citizen is able to live their lives with dignity and honor, in a society that is just and orderly. Lack of proper education and a poor rate of literacy have led to a low level of legal awareness.
Education reminds us of our rights, duties, and legal obligations towards society. Education gives us every kind of knowledge and literate us with vast knowledge. It is because of education that we know our rights, duties, and legal obligations towards our society.