Key Elements of A Democratic Government

Elements of a Democratic Government

India is a democratic country! We all know that. As a democratic nation, the Indian constitution has some basic key elements. Without these elements, any democratic government including that of India would fail to be a democracy in its truest sense. Let us look at these in brief in this chapter. We will explain the topic by using the example of the continent of South Africa.

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Ending the Process of Racial Discrimination

  • The continent of South Africa is in nearby proximity to the Asian subcontinent.
  • For over nearly 60 years in the later part of the 20th century, South Africa was in the news for the practice of apartheid or racial discrimination.
  • Majority of the South African population consisted of the blacks. The white settlers followed a policy of ruthless and merciless suppression towards the black majority.
  • After several decades of unending struggle and fights, the policy of racial discrimination towards the blacks came to an end in 1994. Nelson Mandela was sworn in as a black President.


  • For a successful democracy, it is mandatory for all the citizens to participate in its governance.
  • This participation must take place through voting in elections. This is how the true spirit of a democracy is reserved.
  • In India, general elections are held after every five years to keep a check on the democratic government.

Other Ways of Participation

  • In addition to the election, there are various other ways of participation in the governance.
  • A few of such methods include dharnas, rallies, strikes, signature campaigns and other forms of protests.
  • Mass media like TV, newspapers, magazines and other agencies also play a major role in highlighting public issues and moulding public opinion.

Need for Resolving the Conflicts: Role of Democratic Government

  • In any country, problems could lead to conflicts and result in unpleasantness and disharmony.
  • There could be situations when two people or two groups feel that they are not being treated fairly or are being discriminated on grounds of culture, region, religion, economic background, caste, race, etc.
  • The government is responsible for resolving these conflicts.

Examples of Rivers as a Source of Conflict

  • The water flowing between two states or countries could lead to a serious conflict.
  • For example, Tamil Nadu in India would get water only if Karnataka releases it and this leads to conflict.
  • It has led to the creation of a tribunal to see sharing of river water in these states.

Democratic Government

Equality and Justice

  • One of the main responsibilities of a democracy is giving impartial justice and equality to all.
  • Equality and Justice are two different sides of the same coin and are inseparable in democracy.
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had waged a long struggle for getting rights to Dalits or untouchables.
  • Laws were made to abolish untouchability.
  • Without justice and equality, there could be no basis for democracy.

Question For You

Q. How would a person’s life be different in South Africa today?

Ans: Today, South Africa is a free nation. The apartheid law is dead in this country. There is no more discrimination on the basis of skin color. So, Maya can enjoy equal status in today’s South Africa. She no longer has to suffer the insult of being treated as the second class citizen.

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Key Elements of A Democratic Government
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