New Delhi: Today is International Day of Democracy. It is believed that the first democracy was established in Greece two and a half thousand years ago. But today India is the largest democracy in the world. There are many democratic countries and other forms of governments in the world and they all come in diverse hues.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Wednesday (September 15) presented an overview of various democracies around the world and questioned whether there is too much democracy in India.
Recently, in the name of democracy, people in developed countries like Greece, America and France started opposing COVID-19 vaccines. At the same time, in India, people keep breaking the queues thinking that they are entitled to do so as part of their democratic rights. This shows that sometimes there can be too much democracy.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were only 11 democratic countries in the world. In 1920, the number increased to 20 and in 1974 it rose to 74. By 2006, this number reached 86 and today out of 167 countries of the world, 96 have the democratic form of government.
Apart from these, 21 countries have some kind of dictatorship, while there are 28 countries that have the characteristics of both dictatorship and democracy.
According to the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, there are only 20 countries in the world where there is a true democracy, while there are 55 countries that despite being democratic have many. This list of democratic countries with shortcomings includes the world’s oldest democracy, America and the world’s largest democracy, India.
Overall, the countries of the world are currently divided into four categories. The first category belongs to those countries where there is democracy. In the second category are the countries where there is ‘Hybrid Democracy’. For example, in Pakistan, although there is a democratic government, the control is with the army. The third category is of those countries where there is complete dictatorship such as North Korea and China. Whereas the fourth category includes countries where there is democracy and also monarchies such as Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway Netherlands, Japan and Thailand.
There are some countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea which have made extraordinary progress without having democracy or having very little of it. These countries attained independence around 1950. But they made rapid progress and became leading economies of the world. Only after they became developed nations they were introduced to democracy.
Today these countries have democracy. The people there have more rights than compared to many democratic countries. But these people got these rights after they learned to perform their duties with discipline.
The disadvantage of unlimited rights and excessive democracy is that it sometimes harms the nation. The communal rights in Delhi last year were an example of that.
Many people in our country do not care about the freedom of the neighbours. They don’t hesitate to park their cars outside other people’s houses or shops. They break traffic rules, play loud music without concern for their neighbours. They believe these are their democratic rights. In our country, people remember their rights but forget their duties.
However, the true meaning of democracy is to perform one’s duties while respecting the rights of other people. There has to be a balance between too little democracy and too much democracy. Too little democracy can make the lives of citizens difficult while too much democracy can put the whole country in trouble. Today, in India, there is a need to strike the right balance between the two.