April 20, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

HOW WE, THE CITIZENS, MUST SEE THIS ELECTION

image_printPrint

THE CONTEXT: India’s general elections, involving 969 million voters, have begun and will span 80 days. The world is watching India’s democracy, which has been both uplifting and contentious in the past decade. Consensus-based processes have weakened, leading to a breakdown of dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition. Nonetheless, India’s democracy remains strong and defies theoretical perspectives.

ISSUES:

  • The Essence of Pluralism in Indian Democracy: Pluralism and tolerance define Indian civilization and form the foundation of its democracy. India’s strength lies in its diversity, which includes multiple languages, religions, and cultures. Unfortunately, the selfish interests of some individuals threaten to undermine this fabric. It is crucial to preserve our pluralistic heritage and stand firm against any compromise.
  • Addressing the Normative Deficit in Constitutional Framework: India’s constitution recognizes group-specific rights but lacks normative fraternity. Leaders must respond to the challenges of secularism and religious pluralism to maintain goodwill among communities.
  • Socioeconomic Deprivation and Intersectional Oppression: India’s growth towards global power must be accompanied by a sense of responsibility. Intersectional oppression affects people across class, caste, gender, and religion, leading to deep-seated deprivation. A new social contract is needed, where the state plays a pivotal role in income distribution and risk management to ensure progress benefits everyone.
  • The Imperative for Scientific Temper: A modern and progressive society requires scientific temper, open-mindedness to new knowledge, critical thinking, and discarding superstitions. Education liberates society from oppression and injustice, but we must overcome unscientific thought patterns that still influence significant populations.
  • Electoral Democracy as a Reflection of Public Will: India’s democratic elections are characterized by high voter turnout, frequent changes in incumbents, and robust political competition. Upholding the values of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity is crucial. The general elections allow citizens to shape their country’s future, reinforcing India’s reputation as a progressive and pluralistic society.
  • The Role of Education in Shaping Democracy: Education is crucial in shaping a democratic society. It fosters individual and community agency, which is fundamental for freedom of choice. The democratization of knowledge is necessary to overcome the barriers of unscientific thought and superstition that impede societal progress.

THE WAY FORWARD:

  • Fostering Inclusivity and Tolerance: India must actively foster an environment of inclusivity and tolerance to preserve its precious heritage of pluralism. Educational institutions should emphasize the importance of diversity and civic engagement programs can bridge divides. Celebrating diversity and encouraging open dialogue can strengthen India’s democracy and promote mutual understanding among different groups.
  • Strengthening Constitutional Values: India’s Constitution has a normative deficit, particularly in terms of fraternity. We need to reinforce values of fraternity, equality, and justice through legal reforms, public awareness campaigns, and engaging civil society organizations. Together, we can ensure that the constitutional framework is a living embodiment of India’s democratic ethos.
  • Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities: India needs a multifaceted approach to combat socioeconomic deprivation and intersectional oppression, including policy reforms, social welfare programs, and inclusive economic development strategies. Land reforms, increased access to quality education and healthcare, and targeted economic policies can reduce inequalities. Public-private partnerships can provide opportunities for marginalized communities. Prioritizing social justice and equitable growth will help India become more inclusive.
  • Promoting Scientific Temper and Rational Thought: To advance scientific temper, education reform, public awareness, and critical thinking skills are crucial. Prioritizing scientific literacy and critical thinking from an early age is essential. Media and public awareness campaigns can also promote rationality and evidence-based decision-making. Cultivating a society that values scientific temper can lead India towards progress and innovation.
  • Enhancing Electoral Participation and Representation: To strengthen India’s electoral democracy, we need increased voter participation and representation. Voter education campaigns can inspire higher turnout, while electoral reforms can guarantee fair representation of all segments of society. By fostering an engaged and informed electorate, we can ensure that our political system remains responsive to the needs and aspirations of its citizens.
  • Leveraging Education for Democratic Engagement: Education promotes democratic engagement. Programs that emphasize civic responsibility, democratic values, and active participation can empower citizens to shape society. Critical thinking skills and debate platforms prepare students for democracy. India can build a stronger democracy by investing in education for an informed, responsible, and active citizenry.

THE CONCLUSION:

India’s democracy excels in voter turnout, incumbents’ turnover, and political contestation. The upcoming general elections are a chance to carefully choose leaders for a just, fair, and constitutional society. Every citizen’s small effort can contribute to a more inclusive and modern India. Let’s approach the elections with positivity and shape a brighter future for the country.

UPSC PAST YEAR QUESTIONS:

Q.1) The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss. 2016

Q.2) Are tolerance, assimilation, and pluralism the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism? Justify your answer. 2022

Q.3) It is believed that adherence to ethics in human actions would ensure in smooth functioning of an organization/system If so, what does ethics seek to promote in human life? How do ethical values assist in the resolution of conflicts faced by him in his day-to-day functioning? 2022

MAINS PRACTICE QUESTION:

Q.1) Analyze the challenges faced by India’s democracy in preserving pluralism, fostering equitable growth, and transitioning to a modern, rational society. Suggest measures to address these challenges.

SOURCE:

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/how-we-the-citizens-must-see-this-election-2949221

Spread the Word