Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision. a) All the citizens of the country have the right to vote. Elections are held regularly. b) The country took loans from international agencies. One of the conditions for giving loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health. c) People speak more than seven languages but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 per cent people of that country. d) Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. Government has arrested these leaders. e) The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about the government’s policies and protests.

a)Yes, this country is definitely a democracy.

  • As per the principle of Universal Adult Franchise, everyone should have one vote and equal value should be given to each and every vote.
  • Without a strong reason no one can be denied their right to vote. It is important for democracy.
  • People vary from each other, some may be unkind or kind, some may be illiterate or highly educated, some may be poor or rich; but all of them are human beings and they are entitled to their views and needs.
  • As the result of elections will impact everyone, all the citizens deserve the right to vote.
  • In India, regardless of the gender, religion, caste; all the citizens above the age of 18 years have the right to vote.

b)No, this country cannot be considered as democratic.

  • The Governments are elected by the citizens of the country and not by international agencies.
  • The Governments are accountable to the people, it is their primary duty to bring upliftment of people through education and the health sector. 

c) No, the country is not democratic.

  • The different languages and cultures need to be respected. One language cannot be promoted at the expense of the other languages.

d) Yes, action of people is demoratic but actions of Government is not democratic.

  • The citizens have every right to peacefully assemble and protest against the policies of the Government.
  • If the protesting people are not violent and if they are protesting peacefully without disrupting the public, then Government should not arrest the leaders, instead they should be called for talks and resolve the issue.

e) No, this country is not democratic.

  • There should be press freedom. Freedom of speech and expression cannot be violated through censorship.
  • People have the right to access the information and the press should have the right to disseminate information without taking permission from the Government.

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