YB WEB DESK. Dated: 9/14/2021 2:43:36 PM

MAHADEEP SINGH JAMWAL When we visit the charter of celebrations of days around the world, having been mandated by the United Nations, the most important such day in the charter is the ‘International Day of Democracy’, established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy so as to raise public awareness about democracy. Democracy is a universal value based on the freely- expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full involvement in all aspects of life. It is a system of government where representatives are voted into office by the voters. Simply Democracy means rule by people. The people elect their leaders. These leaders take the decisions about laws for the common man. This is commonly called representative democracy. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. On the day various activities and events are held around the world to promote democracy. ‘International Day of Democracy’ is honored annually on the 15th of September to audit the state of democracy around the globe, to embolden democratic movements, to mobilize political will and resources to reinforce the achievements of humanity and advocate freedom, peace and human rights. Democracy gives the right to vote, to elect the government of choice. When we speak of India, the way political parties behave and act during elections, have pushed Indian Representative Democracy to Autocracy (a form of government where one individual automatically assumes all enforcement authority). We have seen it during 2014 Parliament Elections, when a particular party has campaigned not to strengthen democracy but to bring one face in power on alluring commitments. Democracies are characterized by lively but peaceful debate between a variety of political parties and interest groups. If we visit the theme of the ‘The International Day of Democracy’ for the year 2018, "Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World” was a very alarming one and how far we headed towards this concern is a million dollar question? But, what we have observed in Parliament is, the majority group (Treasury Benchers) exclusively pursue their own objectives at the expense of those of the minority group (Opposition). According to the ‘Economist Intelligence Unit’ (EIU) report, "With mounting pressure on India’s democratic norms, India’s score fell from a peak of 7.92 in 2014 to 6.61 in 2020 and its global ranking slipped from 27th (in 2014) to 53rd (in 2020) as a result of democratic backsliding" under the current regime”. It can be argued that Democratic backsliding is likely when the political elites are not committed to democratic principles. These are the alarming reasons that in India on the ‘International Day of Democracy’, the prime motive of this day is to hold debates, conferences, discussions etc, are required to be carried to the last village and to the last voter to apprize them, what does Democracy actually mean? And to sensitize them that democracy and human rights are closely linked. Where, Democracy needs the participation of all citizens’, to motivate the people to work collectively to fix the Government for a fairer output and to make it more representative in form. At the same time we have to emphasize the importance of democracy, what it involves, the challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it offers. The more responsibility is of our elected representatives in the Parliament that is the key academic of democracy. It is a ripe time to examine and discuss how well parliament performs its democratic functions, possibly on the basis of ascetic analysis, and identify what steps it may take to strengthen its effectiveness. If there is no democracy, then there will be lack of rights or a voice and these power lust political parties will be playing with the sanctity of the Democracy. Democracy is an ideal recognized by an overwhelming majority of countries, and is one of the basic values of the United Nations. However, in recent years this political system seems to be undergoing one of its greatest challenges. How to understand the current situation? What is the way forward? We come across very heavy weight themes for the promotion of Democracy such as: "Strengthening Voices for Democracy", "Engaging youth on democracy", "Space for civil society", “Democracy and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development”, “Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World” “participation” and “COVID-19 - A Spotlight on Democracy” but the way Democracies are trailing behind is a clear indicator that we believe in ‘Voices that Resonate’ and not in ‘Actions that Speaks’.


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