Democracy is generally defined as government by the people. It is
assumed that the in democracy all the people in a country, state, province
or region collectively govern themselves. But this is a theoretical concept
rather than reality. What happens in reality is that the people elect a small
number of representative to govern them. It is assumed that in this way the
elected representative will act in the collective interest of all the people
leading to a government in best interest of the people.But there are several
challenges or problems in achieving these ideal and objectives of the
government. Representatives elected bypeople may not really be the most
capable for forming the government. Not all people know what is the best
way of government, or who are most capable and willing to run the
government in that way. Realizing this limitation, the right to elect or vote
for the representative for forming the government is restricted to majors, or
people who have attained the minimum prescribed age to become eligible
for voting. Though this does eliminate voting by minors, who are not
considered mature enough to decide on the matters relating to government,
still there are usually many other people who may not really not able to take
sound decision in this matter. Basically, election results in a government by
a majority rather than government of all the people. The people elected to
govern may compromise the interest of the public to serve their own
3. The Main Challenges to Democracy
Although democracyhas been accepted as the best form of Government in
the modernworld. Yet it has its own problems. Some of these are as under:
(i) Growing economic and social inequalities among the people:
The most important problem in democracy is the growing social and
economic inequality among the people. Although all the citizens have the
right to vote and fight elections only rich people have a chance to win the
The poor are sometimes even forced to sell their votes to fulfill their basic
necessities of life like food, clothing and shelter. So rich people are elected
representativesin the legislature who make laws and frame policies which
(ii) Role of anti-social elements:
The role of anti-social elements has increased very much during the
elections. Voters are coerced to vote for a particular candidate or party.
Rigging also takes place during the elections.
(iii) Corruption and inefficiency:
In many democratic countries of the world, political leaders and
government officials are corrupt, dishonest and inefficient. As a result,
people do not take interest in elections and have no faith in government
officials. This affects the working of democracy in the country very badly.
4. (iv) Casteism and communalism:
Are other big challenges in many democratic countries like India? During
elections, a large number of voters give weight to the caste and religion of
the candidate. Political parties also keep in mind the caste or religion of a
person while distributing ticketsfor the election. Representativeselected on
the basis of caste or religion work for the welfare of the people belonging
only to their caste or religion.
Remedies for the Removal of Drawbacks of Democracy:
Drawbacks in democratic form of government can be minimised by
adopting the following methods:
(i) Efforts should be made to reduce the social and economic inequalities
among the citizens.
(ii) People should be educated. Only educated people can realise the
importance of the right to vote and other political rights. They should be
politically awakened to elect the right of representatives who are honest,
selfless and efficient.
(iii) Democratic values should be cultivated in the families and the society
at large. Every citizen should respect the rights and freedom of others.
(iv) Use of caste and religion during the elections should be banned.
Organization of political parties on the basis of caste or religion should be
checked. Candidates making use of caste or religion during the elections
should be disqualified.
We are proud to be the largest democracy in the world. For more than sixty five
years we have witnessed the conduct of successful elections, peaceful changes of
government at the Centre and in the States, people exercising freedom of
expression, movement and religion. India has also been developing and
transforming economically and socially. At the same time we, quite often, listen
complains about prevalent inequalities, injustice or non-fulfillment of expectations
of certain sections of the society. These people do not feel themselves participative
in the democratic process. You may ask why it is so. You have already read in
earlier unit that democracy means ‘government of the people, for the people, and
by the people’. It means democracy is not limited to just a process of election, but
also fulfilling social and economic aspirations of the people. In India we keep on
debating these various aspects of democracy and its achievements and challenges.
For a better understanding of the same, we discuss this in this lesson.
6. Objective Type Questions
1. The challenges of deepening of democracy involves.
a) Applying basic principalof democracygovt. across all the regions.
b) Strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy.
c) Inclusion of women and minority grow indecision making
d) Challenges of expansion.
2. The challenges of expansion
a) Keeping military a way from the govt.
b) Less decision should remain out side the democratic control.
c) Bringing down the influence of the rich.
d) Establishing a functional state.
3. Name of low which empowers people to carry out democratic
a) Right to Information Act.
b) Companies Act.
c) MRTP Act.
7. d) None of these.
4. Which kind of laws areconsidered the best for democraticreforms.
a) Laws that seek to bar something.
b) Laws that seek to promote the benefit of a particular section of
c) Laws that empower people to carry out democratic reforms.
d) None of these.
5. Which of the following countries disregards the UN and lakes
unilateral in the world off airs.
a) France b) India c) U.K. d) U.S.
6. Which factor in necessary for the development of democratic
a) Strong military forces
b) Respect for individual rights
c) A one-part system
d) An agricultural economy
8. 7. “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts Absolutely”
Based on this quotation, why type of government would Lord Act
on most likely support.
b) Absolute monarchy
c) Totalitarian state
d) Representative democracy
8. Following in the challenge to democracy.
a) Corrupt leaders
b) Illiterate citizen
d) All of these
9. Which of the following countries disintegrated due to the ethic
tension b/w serbs and Albanians.
a) Srilanka b)Belgiun c)Yugoslavia d) Bolivia
10. Studieson political and social inequalities in democracy shoes that.
9. a) Inequalities exist in democracies
b) Development under democracy is not much different from
that of dictatorships
c) Democracy and development go together
d) Dictatorship is better than democracy