Meaning of democracy

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Meaning of democracy

There is maximum difference of opinion on the meaning of democracy. Many definitions and interpretations have been given to it. It has been called from being pompous to the best. Sartori did not hesitate to say that “democracy can be defined as a pompous name for something that does not really exist.” Therefore, it would be futile to try to reach a general agreement on the meaning and definition of democracy. . At present every governance system is called democratic.

Abraham says that ‘the democratic ideal consists of the notion that man is a rational being capable of deciding upon principles to act upon and of subordinating his personal desires to those principles. In fact, this concept is very important in itself, because if people do not listen to the call of conscience, then democracy will never become a stable system of governance. The conflicting claims, aims and interests of persons can never be reconciled by dispute and negotiation unless there exists generally accepted rules on the basis of which the party to the dispute shall be considered victorious. Can’t be done The simplest and clearest of these rules is that the decision and opinion of the majority should be accepted. It has to be noted here that the blank principle of majority is also as irrational as the notion of ‘whose stick is his buffalo’. Man is not only a rational machine, but he is also an effigy of emotions. Therefore, the democratic ideal has to be assumed that by efforts man can be brought from the level of emotions to the level of conscience so that he can decide his differences by negotiating or taking the support of some principles. In this way, the concept of rationality of man should be embedded in the democratic ideal. If the matter of rationality of man is left out, then an anarchic society will be established in place of a democratic society.

Even once Hitler preferred to call his rule ‘German democracy’ while talking about democratic rule. Today the name of democracy has been made so sacred that no one can dare to call himself undemocratic. Broadly speaking, democracy is that type of governance, in which the power of governing the state is not vested in any particular class or classes, but in the members of the entire society.

While defining democracy, Dicey has written that “Democracy is that form of government in which the sovereign power remains in the hands of the people as a whole, in which the people have their final control over the matters related to governance and determine that in the state.” What type of governance should be established. Democracy as a type of state is not only a method of governance, but it is also a method of appointing, controlling and removing the government.

If we take Abraham Lincoln’s definition, “Democracy is the government in which the government is of the people, for the people and by the people.”

Rejecting these definitions, some thinkers ask to see democracy in a broader sense, not confining it to governance. Giddings says that “democracy is not only a form of government, but also a form of state and society or a mixture of all these three.” Taking it in a wider sense, Maxi writes that “democracy in the twentieth century means a Political law is not only the method of governance and the structure of society, but it is the search for that way of life in which conformity and integration can be brought about on the basis of free and voluntary intelligence of human beings. Considered a way of

Democracy seems to be a broad and ambitious idea from the above mentioned definitions, but instead of clarifying the meaning of democracy from the above discussion, some confusion has increased. Democracy does not have one meaning as a concept or concept, but it has three interrelated meanings. It means-

(a) It is a method of decision-making, (b) it is a set of principles for decision-making, and (c) it is a set of ideal values.

This means that in a democratic system, the broad objective of the values and decision-making process that guide democracy should be the day-to-day execution of all public works within the ideal ethics of the present. In every political society, the final destinations have to be determined. What should this destination be? Who and how to determine these destinations? These are the fundamental questions before every political society. The ultimate objectives of these destinations are named as the ideals of the society. In every society, there are structural arrangements to protect and achieve these ideals. It lives not only in democracies, but also in dictatorships. But the processes related to these structural systems are different in democracy and different in dictatorship. If the whole society


Principles and methods of making decisions to be taken

If the policies are such that the whole society participates, then that political system is called democratic, but if only one person or group of people takes decisions for the whole society, then that system is considered a dictatorship. Therefore, the important aspect of democracy is the method or method of decision making.

Here the question arises as to how and by whom

Should the decisions taken by the government be considered as the decisions taken by democratic law? The answer to these questions was also given by Aristotle about two thousand years ago, which can be said to be valid even today. Aristotle said that “in a democratic form of decision-making, the office-bearers are elected by all of all, and all over each and each over all,” i.e., a democratic decision is a decision made by the entire society. Can be called. This means that democracy in nature has a special way of decision-making in a political society and its special pre-conditions. It can be understood only by discussing them that what is the meaning of democracy in the form of decision making? That is, only those decisions are said to have been taken in a democratic manner, in which-


Exchange of ideas and persuasion,

Public participation,


Constitutionalism and

The interests of minorities are protected.


Decisions taken in a democratic manner are based on open exchange of views. Persuasion plays a big role in the decisions made for the entire political society. In a democracy, decisions are taken at any level, instead of the element of coercion, the element of discussion, debate and persuasion remains predominant. Election is also a way of taking decision by exchange of views. Therefore, elections based on free and open campaigning are considered an important basis of the democratic decision-making process. In this way, democracy as a method of decision making means taking all decisions related to political society by discussion and consensus.

The involvement of some or most of the people in the decision-making process of discussion and consensus does not make any decision-making process democratic. For this, it is necessary to have the participation of the entire public in the decision-making process, that is, the direct participation of all the citizens of the political system in decision-making.

or indirect insertion is required. If most of the people have been deprived of any decision method, then that decision process cannot be called democratic. It is to be noted here that even after having the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of the people, if a large section of the public remains indifferent to it, then it is not considered as a threat to the democracy of the decisions. The important thing here is not how many people of the society participate in the decision making process, but the fact that how many people have the means and opportunities to do so is important. Democracy is another name for making the whole society a participant in the decision making process. Periodic elections and adult franchise are tools of public participation.

Equal opportunities for discussion and public participation make the decision-making process democratic, but perhaps it is not possible that all the people participate in every decision related to the society.


would have agreed. In the absence of this consensus, which method of decision making should be adopted so that the democratic nature of the decision process remains and decisions can be taken quickly. By the way, the decision taken with the consent of the entire public can be called ideal, but in practice, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to agree on all the decisions. Therefore, in the absence of everyone’s consent, decisions are taken on the basis of majority. In this way, decisions made on the basis of majority are considered democratic, because the consent of the majority of the people is included in these decisions. It is to be noted here that decision making on the basis of majority, after everyone’s consent, is said to be the best method of decision making. If decisions are not taken on the basis of majority, then the decision making process is called undemocratic. Along with this, abandoning the basis of majority in decisions can be called abandonment of the democratic decision process itself.


This is the reason why in democratic systems, decisions are taken on the basis of majority from election results to legislatures and councils of ministers. So far man has not been able to find a better option than this for taking decisions. Therefore, it is an essential condition of the democratic decision making process that decisions at every level should be taken on the basis of majority. It is also to be noted here that there is a serious dispute on the meaning of majority. Without getting into this controversy, we will only say that in a democracy, the one which has a relative majority among the various options is considered as the decision.

The above facts are related to the procedural aspects of decision making, but there should also be a structural basis to provide practicality to the decision making processes. That is why in every democratic society the structural basis of the decision making processes are determined by the constitution. For example, it can be said that in order to make public participation possible, periodic elections are arranged in all democratic constitutions. The decision taken in a democratic manner is done only within the ambit of the means arranged by the constitution. strike,

Forcing the rulers to take special decisions through violent sabotage and picketing is actually considered an undemocratic method of decision making due to the use of unconstitutional means. In order to make the decision-making process democratic, it is necessary that the constitution should have the following arrangements- (1) Multiple options of competing choices before the public, (2) Complete equality of franchise, (3) Complete freedom to elect and be elected, and ( 4) There should be maximum symmetry of representation.

In this way, to make the method of decision democratic in any political system, constitutionalism is the only basis of decisions. When decisions are taken on the basis of majority in a political society, there is a possibility that some people may not agree with these decisions.

In such a situation, the decisions of the majority should not be such that it harms the minorities. Many classes, religions, castes and cultures co-exist in many societies. Decisions can also be taken against the interests of people of certain religions, castes or languages on the basis of majority. of the majority

The rights and freedoms of minorities can also be violated by the decisions taken by them. The decisions of such majority are considered against the spirit of democracy. Therefore, it is necessary for the democracy of the decision-making process, that such decisions should not be taken on the strength of the majority, in which the legitimate interests of some people are disregarded. This is possible only when the decisions taken by the majority have provisions for safeguarding the interests of the minorities as well.


It is necessary for the democratic decision-making process that there should be freedom of discussion, debate and debate to a certain extent and in the end decisions should be taken on the basis of majority and such decisions taken by majority should be accepted by all. Minorities will also accept such decisions of the majority, because there is no possibility of harming their interests. But the decisions made on the basis of majority are considered against the democratic decision process when they are harmful to some people. Due to this, the consent and basic unanimity in the society ends and the way for the breakdown of the society opens. This destroys the basis of democracy. Therefore, looking deeply, it is known that the democratic political process is actually a process of discussion, debate, coordination and transaction. The political society in which the decision-making method remains in accordance with the above facts, then that political system will be called democratic and the decisions taken by the people of that society will be called decisions taken in a democratic manner. Neglect or absence of any one of these facts brings fundamental changes in the nature of the entire system. Therefore, it is essential for a democratic system that decisions are taken on the basis of mutual discussion, public participation and majority. If such decisions are constitutional and nutritious to the interests of the minorities, then they become a strong pillar of democracy. Thus, democracy as a mode of decision-making is a system in which norms of behavior are established for society and a definite pattern of political activity of the individual appears.




Whatever political decisions are taken, it is necessary to be based on some principles, otherwise there will be no uniformity in the decisions, nor will the decisions become directional unity. That’s why in every political society there is a perimeter of certain principles within which only the decisions taken can reflect the sign of directional unity.

A certain principle is essentially found in democracies and autocracies. The fundamental dissimilarities of these principles in both the systems do not only make them different, but make them opposite systems to each other. Democratic system can exist in that political system where some principles are used in practice as the basis for taking decisions regarding the society. Decisions based on these principles can only be called decisions taken in a democratic manner.






Principle of representative government.

Principle of responsible government.

Principle of constitutional government.

Theory of competitive politics.

The principle of popular sovereignty.



Any ruling system is called democratic only when the decision making work in the political system is performed by the representatives elected by the people, that is, the formation of government in a democratic system should be based on the principle of representation. In modern democracies, policy-makers or governance representatives are elected by the public for a fixed term. At the end of this fixed period, the government representatives again have to appear before the public and


People can re-elect them after taking account of their work or can bring another set of leaders in their place. Therefore, periodic elections make arrangements to maintain the people’s representatives in the true sense of governance. In a democratic system, the ultimate power resides in the public. This power of the people is given to the representatives through elections. Thus, having a representative government makes for a democracy, because decisions are made in a political society.

The doers are only people’s representatives.

The representative form of government alone is not enough to call a political system democratic. For this, it is also necessary that the holder of the governing power is received as the public’s heritage for his every decision and work and he has to use this power only in the interest of the public, for the progress and progress of the public. . If the rulers do not do this, then they can neither remain true representatives of the people nor can they be called responsible. Only those political societies are considered democratic. Where the rulers continue to carry out the responsibility. If the rulers do not fulfill their responsibilities, then there is a system to remove them. Periodic elections provide an opportunity to effectively control the rulers. This is the reason why free and periodic election system is called the lifeline of democracy. Elections play the role of democratizing a system in a dual way. Firstly, it provides a system of popular control and secondly, only the representatives of the people remain as rulers.

In a democracy, every person has political freedom. He can become a member of any party to protect his interests and can vote to elect any person as his representative. The practicality of political freedom is called competitive politics. For competitive politics in a political system, it is necessary that many organizations, parties and groups remain active in that system in a competitive manner. In the state of political independence, by becoming a political party, different types of viewpoints and policy options can be presented to the public. Through them, many options are arranged in front of the public in the elections and the public can choose any of them.

Expresses her mind by liking one. If there is only one option in a society and because of this option the public has to support it, then such politics cannot be called competitive politics and in its absence there cannot be democracy. So democracy

‘Lifeline’ is competitive politics. The essentials for a system of competitive politics in a political society are (1) complete freedom of political activity, (2) the existence of alternative choices in the form of two or more competing parties or groups, (3) complete equality of suffrage i.e. system of universal adult franchise, (4) maximum uniformity of representation, and (5) periodic elections.

In the absence of the above arrangements, the politics of any country cannot become competitive. Structural systems of representative government, responsible government and constitutional government exist in communist states or other one-party systems, but the absence of competitive politics does not allow them to come under the category of democratic systems. For example, periodic elections are held in communist states and the voting percentage also remains almost 100 percent. But there is no option left before the voter due to having only one person as election candidate. this same candidate


Who is standing as the sole candidate, is not a correct publication of his choice. For this it is necessary to have many candidates. It is clear from this that competitive politics is the ‘sanjeevani’ of democracy.

It has been clarified in the definition of democracy that the source of power in this system is the public. When we say that the people can make the constitution according to their will by exercising their right to vote or they can control their representatives through it, it means that the sovereign power remains in the hands of the people. This means that the public is paramount and sovereign in the state. Because according to his will, the state uses the power. Due to suffrage, the final power related to governance remains vested in the public. That’s why we call the people sovereign and the power vested in them is called the sovereignty of the people. The identity of a democratic society is the sovereignty of the people. It is only through this that the Janata government has been considered as an effective system to keep the representative, accountable. Therefore, in a democratic system, the principle of sovereignty of the people is of utmost importance.



In human societies, due to the system of some ideals and values, even higher ideals become available. There are some such values in every society, which are arranged only so that the society can move forward on the path of achieving even better values than them. A person has faith in freedom and social equality only because with the help of these the best environment is presented for the development of his personality. For the development of individual personality, it is essential that individual personality is respected so that each person can move forward on the path of his perfection in his own way, unhindered. This ideal or value of a democratic society is considered to be of utmost importance. Opportunities and means of self-expression are important for every person. In the development of man, his internal aspects are more important than the physical and external aspects of personality. Man wants to be perfect. for this

It is necessary that his individual personality should be respected. In its absence, despite having everything a person has, he feels emptiness or some lack. Hence, from the point of view of democracy, the highest value and the ultimate goal of politics is the emancipation of the individual and respect for personality. It has to be noted here that the value of respect for individual personality does not negate the existence of other values in politics. Individuals and groups can have even better ideals. These values are not really opposed to them. In fact, it essentially frees a person to pursue other ideals and values. Therefore, the most important value of a democratic system, which paves the way for the attainment of other values, is respect for individual personality. In fact, this is such a base pillar of the democratic system, with the help of which other values can also be achieved.


Freedom is another important value of a democratic society. In the history of the idea of democracy, the term has been used in several senses. Freedom as a political ideal is considered to have two aspects, negative and positive. In its negative aspect, freedom means the absence of bondage, and in its positive form, it is taken to mean the existence of those circumstances and conditions of life in which a person can achieve his true nature. The negative and positive aspects of its meaning are mismatched. Therefore, this meaning of freedom, lack of all kinds of restrictions, prepares the way for anarchy and disorder, which makes its second meaning impractical. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the true meaning of freedom in democratic values.

According to Seale, ‘Liberty is the opposite of over-rule.’ Laski believes that liberty is a condition in which a person can choose the way of development of his life without any external constraint. Therefore, freedom is not the absence of all kinds of restrictions, but rather a system of appropriate restrictions in place of inappropriate, that is, freedom does not mean the absence of controls, looseness, but the controlled freedom which is limited by reasonable restrictions. This is the meaning of freedom in a democracy. In this sense, it is adopted as a universal value in democratic societies. Therefore, freedom as a democratic value refers to the regularity and dignity of individual behavior. It is necessarily concerned with the development of the individual’s personality as a unit of the society, so that individual personality can be respected.

It is said that liberty is inextricably linked with equality. Perhaps this is why Ashirwad has said that ‘when the French revolutionaries raised the slogan of liberty, equality and fraternity while declaring war, they were neither mad nor fools. This indicates that the existence of the value of equality is necessary for the implementation of the value of liberty. Equality is one of the main elements of the establishment of democracy. Its general meaning is taken from the absence of disparities due to which inequality flourishes. Two types of inequality are found in the society. a type


Inequality is the one whose origin is natural inequality of individuals, but no solution to this type of inequality can be possible. That’s why no one has complaints about this equality. On the other hand, inequality is that which has its origin in the inequality generated by the society. We see that in spite of being good in terms of intelligence, strength and talent, the children of poor people are not able to develop their personality in the same way, in spite of being of a lower level of development in terms of intelligence, strength and talent,

The children of the rich do it. The reason for this type of inequality is the disparity of the conditions created by the society, due to which all people do not get equal opportunity for personality development. Therefore, equality in political society means the existence of such conditions, due to which all individuals can get equal opportunities for personality development.

Political aspect of equality is important from the democratic point of view. The political form of equality means that equal civil and political rights are available to all adult citizens in a political system. Political equality does not mean that every person in the state can exercise equal political rights. This side of equality considers the system of including the citizens of a society in the process of governance. This gives an opportunity to all the people to participate equally in the governance. In this, voting, being a candidate for an elected post and getting a government post are important. In all these, giving equality of opportunities to all is called political equality. It is considered the basis of democracy. The other side of equality is civil equality. It means that everyone should get equal opportunity of citizenship. In the state of civil equality, the basic rights of the person should be protected and everyone should get the protection of the law equally.



Everyone accepts the superiority of democratic governance. Perhaps that’s why today every state in the world claims to be democratic.

Started doing Scholars have presented long lists of the merits of this system. From practical arguments to moral and psychological arguments have been given in its favor. Prof. W.E. Hawking, while affirming the favor of democracy, has even said that




C. D. Burns has written while praising democracy that democracy is the best means of self-education. It is clear from this that everyone accepts the superiority of the democracy system and its benefits. In short, the merits of this system of governance can be considered as the following-

(1) Rulers remain alert, responsive and aware of public welfare.

(2) Mass is the best medium of education.

(3) Proper environment is arranged for social, economic and political reforms.

(4) It is helpful in developing high quality national character.

(5) Develops a sense of self-reliance and personal responsibility.

(6) It is the source of patriotism.

(7) Provides protection from revolution.


(8) Government makes arrangements for public participation in works.

(9) Presents the ideal of equality and respect for the dignity of the individual.



The above mentioned qualities of the democracy system make it clear that in this system no person can complain that he has not got the opportunity to speak his mind. Because the first task of a democratic system is to give maximum opportunities to the people to express their views and to satisfy the curiosity of the people. Herman Finer says that ‘In a democratic system of government, the development of the standard of living is unusually high. This is due to two reasons- First, there is freedom to do new adventure business with government control and activities under democracy instead of forcefully imposed plan. Second, it is also true that some political parties, possibly all necessarily, continuously teach the usefulness and importance of high standard of living. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the democracy system is very successful in creating a suitable environment for social, economic and political reforms.

These qualities of democratic governance systems mostly remain theoretical. In practice, their achievement is difficult if not impossible. Mere opportunity or environment is not enough. Then the question arises whether equality, justice and public participation can be arranged in a democracy? In this regard, it can be said that there is no fault of the democratic system in this. If a theoretical system does not become practical, then the fault lies with the people who implement it and not with that system. It is not enough for the citizens to be honest, dutiful and sensible so that the benefits of democracy can be achieved in practice. For this, absence of economic disparities, social equality, political freedom and tolerance are also necessary.



Some thinkers consider only its opposition as strong due to practical difficulties in making the democracy system work. Due to these practical difficulties, democracy has been severely criticized. Some scholars have even started saying that there is no use of democracy now because democratic system is not found anywhere in the true sense. It is true that despite its theoretical superiority, the implementation of democracy creates many defects. Lord Bryce has pointed out its following defects-



(1) Use of money power to pervert the administration or constitution.

(2) Inclination towards making politics a profession of earning.

(3) Unnecessary expenditure in governance.

(4) Wastage of the principle of equality and underestimation of the proper value of administrative acumen or ability.

(5) Excessive emphasis on factionalism or party organization.

(6) Keeping votes in mind while passing laws by members of legislative assemblies and political officers and tolerating the breach of proper order.


Because of the difficulties in giving practical shape to the theoretical system of democracy, Plato and Aristotle had described this system as a perverted form of governance. Any idea does not remain superior in practice just because of its theoretical superiority. Due to the impracticality of democracy, critics say that the principles of democracy are highly idealistic and imaginary. In practice, democracy becomes ‘governance of the poorest, most ignorant and most inept people’ by basing the burden of governance work on the entire public, because the general public is not only ignorant of the intricacies of governance, but is also not capable of governing.


This is the biggest irony of the democracy system that in this the most qualified persons – the elite class, who are active in the implementation of the ruling power, are controlled by the most unfit persons – the masses. If that control becomes effective in practice, then democracy becomes mobocracy in true sense. Therefore, the faults are not in the democracy system, but in the rulers and the ruled involved in implementing this system. In fact, these defects come in democracy in practice because the people who practice it are not able to keep themselves at that level, which is required for the success of democracy. But the critics of democracy must agree on one thing.

It must be that in spite of these defects of this system, this system is superior to all other systems. This is the reason why in many states of the world, even after the overthrow of the democracy system by some ambitious politicians, efforts are being made to establish it again. In many societies, citizens have been re-establishing democratic rule by resorting to revolution.


The critics of democracy also cannot deny the fact that in spite of all the defects, perhaps the democratic system is the best means of making possible the dignity of man, the respect of his personality and his participation in the work of governance. It is not only a form of governance, it is a way of life. In this the intention of the completeness of the person is implied. This is a system that provides opportunities for development of various aspects of a person’s life, not separately, but jointly. The superiority of democracy is indicated by Mill’s conclusion in which he has said that ‘inspite of giving full importance to whatever improvement appeared in the tactics given against democracy, I gladly decided in favor of it’.



The totalitarian system is completely opposite to the democratic system from the point of view of goals, means and policies. It is based on the wishes and concepts of a dictator or powerful group. In this there is centralization of political power i.e. political power is in the hands of one person, group or party. It exercises complete control over economic activities. In this, the entire system is controlled from an all-powerful center. In this, cultural diversity is abolished and an attempt is made to bring the whole society under common culture. In fact, such an effort is made to end the diversity of attitudes and by doing so, the orders and orders given by the center are obeyed. Efforts are made to remove the obstacles that come in the way. The totalitarian system is related to an all powerful state. In this, considering the whole or the whole as real, it is organized to fulfill its interests. What goods will be produced, when, where, how and by whom and who will be benefited from it, it is decided only by a political party, group or individual. It has room for individual courage and action.


Does not happen. The state has the right over all the property and all the means of production. The element of pressure occupies a special place in this system.


It has two main forms which are as follows-

(1) Dictatorship

(2) Communist system



The modern age is called the ‘age of democracy’. But perhaps the truth is that this era is becoming an era of ‘dictatorship’. Although we have concluded while evaluating democracy that democratic systems will be popular in the far future, yet today many states of the world are seen stuck in dictatorial system contrary to democratic governance model. Latin America, Africa and

Autocratic systems are prevailing in many states of Asia these days. Wherever democratic systems are visible in these continents, the seeds of autocracy seem to be growing in them too. Dictatorship also has many meanings and forms like democracy. In brief, its meaning, purpose and characteristics are being discussed.


Dictatorship has always existed in one form or the other, but in ancient times its meaning was completely different from what it is today. For the sake of clarity, we are discussing the ancient and modern meanings of dictatorship separately.




In ancient times, the dictatorship system was not seen from the point of view of malice. Such a system was adopted either to successfully combat special crises or to achieve the goals of public welfare quickly. In the Roman Empire, sometimes special officers were appointed in times of crisis and to maintain law and order. These officers were given special powers to deal with the crisis and were called ‘Adhaniyaks’. He was called by the name of dictator because he had unlimited powers to give orders. Thus, the word dictator basically means one who commands. In Rome, supreme powers were given to the dictator only to face the crisis. When the crisis ended, the post of dictator also ended. Therefore, dictatorship in Roman used to be only a temporary experiment. The dictator was elected by legal method and legal restrictions were imposed on him so that he does not become a tyrant. It was necessary for him to submit the exercise of his power to the scrutiny of ‘permanent authority’.

The use of dictatorship in this sense can be considered prevalent till the middle of the last century.

Ferrini, the ruler of Emilia, in 1859 and Garibaldi, the ruler of Sicily, had declared himself a similar dictator in 1860, but the purpose of becoming dictator was to do public welfare in his country. Karl Marx also took the same meaning of it while rendering the dictatorship of the proletariat. Mention some of the characteristics of this type of dictatorship.

It is necessary to differentiate it from theocracy. In ancient dictatorship, the following characteristics can be considered as major-



(1) The dictator was limited by the laws.

(2) The goal of public welfare was paramount.


(3) The dictator used to get legitimacy.

(4) The dictator was responsible.

(5) The post of dictator could also be temporary.

(6) All the powers were vested in the dictator.

In relation to the above characteristics, it is to be noted that dictatorship systems were law-governed systems and government power was used for the welfare of the people. In such systems, the responsibility and legitimacy of the dictators remained in such a way that the public opinion remained favorable to them. Generally, the majority of the public was helpful and supportive in the exercise of their rights. In true sense, governance was only for the people.



In modern times the meaning of ‘dictatorship’ has completely changed. Nowadays, it gives the sense of autocratic and tyrannical rule. In this, the state power is vested in one person and the government runs according to the will of the ruling person. There is no control or restriction on such a dictator. Modern dictators are not elected at the time of national crisis, but they often gain power as a result of sudden coups. The basis of their political authority is the use of force. They remain in power only so long as the use of force helps them to remain dictatorial. They are not responsible to anyone. In dictatorship, the entire power of the state is vested in a single person who considers himself the embodiment of the state.

Understands form.

There are two views of modern dictatorship. The rise of communist regimes

One-party systems have been established. Due to this, a party, which is actually animated by an ideology, monopolizes the power and the supreme leader of the party, with the support of the party, exercises power like a dictator in a way. In this type of dictatorship, the ruler is not self-serving and tyrannical. While at present such rulers are also found who come to power with the help of service and after coming to power, exercise powers in an autocratic manner.



Allen Child has considered two forms of modern dictatorship. He has addressed one by the name of sovereign rule and the other by the name of autocratic rule. Here it is necessary to explain the symptoms of these two in detail-

(1) Totalitarian regimes have mainly come into existence in the twentieth century due to advancements in modern technology and communication. Most authoritarian regimes are revolutionary regimes committed to modernization and reform. Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany and Italy during Mussolini’s time are examples of this type of rule. All three examples had one symptom in common. In all this, the leadership of an individual was emphasized, but after 1945 only collective leadership is found in authoritarian systems. This system is now found in Russia and China as well as in the communist states of Eastern Europe.


Ellen Bal has discussed the characteristics of authoritarian regimes on the following points-


(a) In principle, the government is politically associated with all aspects of individual and social activity.


(b) Only one party is politically and legally effective. All political activism passes through it and the party provides the only institutional basis for competition, appointments and opposition.

(c) There is, in principle, only one distinct ideology which underlies the entire political activism within that system. It is an instrument of governance and manipulation.

(d) There is tight government control over the judiciary and mass media and civil liberties as defined in liberal democracies are severely curtailed.

(e) It lays emphasis on mass activism with the objective of providing a democratic base of governance and to gain widespread public support for governance. Government is legitimized by public participation and public acceptance.

It is clear from the above characteristics that ideology has the most importance in authoritarian regimes and there is a political party with monopoly for the implementation of ideology. This team controls and directs all the activities.


Therefore, political party of one ideology, absence of competition and completely controlled life are its main features in authoritarian regimes.



(2) Autocratic rule



It is very difficult to have a clear definition of autocratic rule, because generally such regimes are temporary. It is to be noted here that the regimes which are not classified in liberal and authoritarian regimes cannot automatically be included in the category of autocratic regimes. Similarly, authoritarian regimes should not be synonymous with ‘third world’ or ‘developing states’. By the way, most of the remaining states can be included in these governance systems, except for the liberal and authoritarian states, because the difference of symptoms in them is not characteristic but only minor.

It is tritical only. The following characteristics of authoritarian regimes are noteworthy.


Allen Ball has enumerated the following characteristics:


(a) Significant restrictions on major political competition (i.e. political parties and elections).

(b) Absence of dominant political ideology like communism or fascism.

(c) The things addressed by the word ‘political’ have a limited scope because in these systems of governance, the government is unable to give political color to everything in the absence of modern administrative and industrial methods.

(d) The political authority often places more emphasis on coercion and use of force in order to obtain political conformity and obedience.

(f) Civil liberties are rarely allowed and there is direct government control over the media and the judiciary.

(g) The rulers are either political elites from traditional point of view or new elites with modern outlook. Often it is the military that seizes power as a result of a sudden regime change or a colonial war of independence.

(h) One group has monopoly control over politics.


The above list of symptoms cannot be said to be complete. There is so much variety in the regimes included in this category that it is extremely difficult to list all the symptoms. This category can include states with traditional ruling classes, such as Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Nepal, and modernized states with military governments, such as Nigeria, and modernized states with civilian governments, such as Algeria or Egypt.

There is a lot of difference between authoritarian and autocratic governance systems. This difference becomes clear from the above discussion. Thus, the modern form of dictatorship has become very different from its ancient form. In modern authoritarian systems, it becomes easy to interpret the symptoms of these systems due to the restriction on individual’s liberties and controlling every aspect of human life. In short it is as follows.


The authoritarian and autocratic forms of dictatorship have been discussed earlier. The study of their characteristics indicates that despite the differences in both the systems, there are strong similarities. There are certain features which are found in both the types of dictatorship. Peter Merkle in his book

I have pointed out the following features of dictatorship-


(1) A leader of extraordinary authority, a demigod.

(2) A Janpanji Dal with specially organized and emotional dedication as the controller of government administration and all the organizations of the society.

(3) Monopoly of propaganda on education system and all means of public relations.

(4) Sophisticated system of terror and intimidation.

In spite of having a lot of dissimilarities regarding their roles in the destinations, ideologies and modernization in authoritarian and autocratic governance systems, the above features are found equally in them.


By discussing them in brief, the common features of both these systems can be well understood.

(1) Generally, by autocratic systems, the meaning of a dictator who is omnipotent is taken. But there is not a single such example found in history when a dictator used all the state powers alone. He has also been an advisor, supporter and ally of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Because in a dictatorial system, the basis of supremacy and extraordinary power of the leader is the leadership of the party. In these systems, the leader is either the originator of an ideology, or a major modifier of a prevailing ideology. He is considered to be the sole interpreter, protector and implementer of the ideology. Therefore, for the members of the party who are completely dedicated to the ideology of the party, that leader becomes godlike and an object of reverence and the same power becomes ultimate and supreme. This leader is not responsible to anyone, does not take orders from anyone and can remain free from the shackles of circumstances. In order that no one can challenge the power of the leader, every dictator takes support of three means- (1) He keeps eliminating all possible enemies and opponents from the party on time by using barbaric methods. (2) Spreads fear and terror in the hearts of all his associates and followers. (3) Does not allow the power structure to be stable.


In this way, in order to maintain the supremacy and power of the leader in dictatorship, the leaders use two of the above three methods, but through the third method, they do not allow the institutional system to challenge them to flourish. The biggest danger to the leader in dictatorship is the establishment or development of such institutions which start taking decisions on their own. Such a condition is a sign of the weakening of the power of the leader, which essentially keeps on changing in the leadership. The coming to power of Brezhnev and Yahyakhan respectively after Khushchev in Russia and Ayubkhan in Pakistan can be understood on this basis.


(2) In dictatorial systems, whatever be its form, the pretense of a monopoly political party is definitely found. This political party is the controller of the whole life. Governmental, social and personal life remains under the control of such a party. In communist systems, the parties are the real mass of the people, but they are self-employed, military or civilian, and the traditional ruling classes.

Parties are also formed in the states for the legitimacy of power. President Ayub Khan in Pakistan, General Nevin in Burma

(Nowadays the President of Burma) and Emperor Mahendra in Nepal had taken the support of the party to achieve this objective. In such regimes, the dictator becomes revered as the leader of the party.


(3) In order to provide a permanent basis to his power, the autocratic ruler tries to generate immense faith in the leader through educational systems. All means of communication are used to praise the superiority of the leader. All means of public relations are strictly monitored and the public is kept alert again and again to fight with internal and external enemies. All propaganda is done only to accept the fact told by the leader as correct. Any other form of propaganda, even listening to radio broadcasts outside, is considered an offence. At the time of the Second World War, the law of giving death penalty to those who listened to foreign radio broadcasts was even in force in Germany. The principles related to ideologies are repeated again and again through broadcasts so that its indelible mark is imprinted on the minds of the people and locks are put on the minds of the public to think further. In this way, the monopoly of public relations means is used to provide stability to the power of the leader.



(4) An empire of terror and fear is spread by the leaders to maintain the authoritarian systems. This makes the person so fearful that he feels his existence in danger all the time. For this even baseless propaganda is resorted to. government in autocratic systems

It is the symbol of a continuous revolution. In these arrangements, the entire governance system is kept tied in one thread so that there is no hindrance in the struggle to achieve a highly ambitious and golden future. Terror is being spread in advance so that there is no effort against this effort. For this, the intelligence departments are equipped with full authority and unexpected powers. In such systems, rather than persuasion, the mind is eliminated.

In the end, it can be said that modern dictatorship is directly or indirectly the product of militarism. In this, the power of national self-esteem, hopes and aspirations gather around the flag of a party or leader or army. Dictatorship suppresses internal opposition and struggle harshly. He acts as if he is an idol of national unity. dictatorship to the people


Tries to mix in tone. No opposition from the public is tolerated in this. It believes that the whole nation should think, speak and act in the same way. It is clear from the interpretation of the meaning and characteristics of dictatorship that there are some merits in this governance system and there are some defects as well. Brief description of these is necessary for evaluation. Therefore, they are being discussed briefly.






There are so many benefits in the practice of dictatorship system that people in many democratic states start wishing for dictatorship system after being fed up with the freedom of some people to do whatever they want in democracy. If the reasons for the rise of dictatorship are searched, then it will be known that in every country where there was despair, chaos, dissatisfaction and lack, dictatorship has emerged. In the countries where the democracy system became the cause of despair and scarcity among the people, this system was established there.


Even today, in many states, people are seen giving full support to autocratic rulers considering dictatorship as good. It is clear from this that there are some qualities in dictatorship which are responsible for the motivation to adopt this system despite the theoretical superiority of other systems. In short, the following are the advantages of such governance-


(1) There is efficiency in governance in dictatorship. Due to all the governing power being vested in one person, not only decisions can be taken quickly, but the implementation of the decisions is also well organized. In a dictatorial system, everyone is afraid of the ruler, that’s why they cannot delay or procrastinate in the work. The entire administration is not only responsible towards the autocratic ruler but also remains alert, alert and active all the time. This brings efficiency in governance.



(2) The second quality of this system is the rapid development of the country. Only one leader in the country, only one plan and

By having only one development goal, the entire power of the country is used to pave the way for this goal. Proper development and use of economic resources is possible. Unity, peace and order are needed for the development of the country. Due to their solid system in dictatorship, all the resources of the country can be used for development.

(3) Dictatorship is very helpful in establishing unity in the country. Due to the establishment of the rule of one party and one leader in the country by suppressing various parties and opponents, all the people become loyal to it. Around the leader, all the systems get intertwined and the country is tied in a thread of solid unity. The party or the leader becomes a means of binding in unity and in that everyone starts to feel a sense of belonging. Hitler and Mussolini germ in the same way

He was successful in uniting Neo and Italy.



It is helpful in awakening the feeling of nationalism. Having one ideology, one party and one leader is enough to bind the citizens of the country in reciprocity. All citizens are animated by the spirit of fraternity. The slogan of one nation makes everyone stand under one flag. Patriotism is so strong that citizens are ready to make sacrifices for their country and leader.



Dictatorship system is best in times of crisis. In this, there is unity of command because all the decisions and ideals are given by one person to face the crisis. This makes it easy to take appropriate action on time. In wartime crisis, this system gives victory.



The multifaceted development of the country takes place in a dictatorship system. There is also a system of rapid development in the economic sector. Due to unity, discipline and dutifulness, the best system of development is made.

The history of Russia, Germany, China, Italy, Turkey and Spain so far is witness to this fact. Jackson has rightly written in his book ‘Europe Sins the War’ – “This is the first time in the history of the Spaniards that the trains have run on time.” Trade and industry prospered under the dictator. Agriculture is flourishing. The labor crisis is gone.” In India, authoritarian measures in some parts have recently turned the country around.



Some scholars also consider dictatorship to be compatible with human nature. In favor of this, he says that human beings naturally have the desire to protect their interests. he wants to protect himself

This should be done by someone. Wants to solve his problems. It doesn’t matter to the general public that who arranges for its security? She wants security, wants fulfillment of her interests. Due to this being possible in dictatorship, it is also considered to be a system favorable to human nature.

Dictatorship has also been considered useful in transitional situations of political and economic development for developing states. The problem of disciplined expression of public will has been very strong in developing states. In an attempt to cross the various stages of development, the budding nation awakens public aspirations, but the faster the public aspirations are awakened, the faster they are not able to fulfill them. Due to this, the tension on the state system increases and there is a fear of its breakdown. In such a situation, dictatorship may be more useful for maintaining political discipline. Huntington has rightly said that ‘the first task in budding nations should be the creation of basic, institutional structure instead of increasing political participation, education etc. and for this one-party rule or military dictatorship can also be suitable.’



Despite the merits of dictatorship, this system does not remain prevalent in any country for a long period of time. History is replete with such proofs. Wherever dictatorship is established, there comes such a situation when the public does not hesitate to resort to violent revolution to overthrow the ruling supreme ruler.

It is clear from this that there are some shortcomings in this system. In short, the disadvantages of this system are as follows-

Due to lack of respect for the personality of the person in this system, despite having all the facilities, the person does not get the environment to develop his personality as per his wish and he is forced to keep his life incomplete. A person does not have freedom in any way. Due to this his personality remains suppressed. No importance is given to fundamental rights and personal freedom in a dictatorial system. Therefore, the biggest demerit of the dictatorial system is to create an atmosphere of suppression of the individual’s personality.

Tyranny and incest prevail in a dictatorship regime. The dictator spreads terror to maintain his power. Opponents are eliminated by barbaric methods. Due to this, a person becomes fearful and gets locked in the teachings of the jail. If the thing said in the interest of the country is against the wish of the dictator, then it is rejected and the person who speaks against it is put to death as a traitor.



Dictatorship system is harmful for the country. In this system the decision is taken by one person who does not accept any kind of opposition or suggestion. Due to this, all the subjects have to suffer the harmful effects of the wrong decisions taken by the dictator. Every instruction of the dictator has to be obeyed by the people, whether that instruction is in the national interest or not. In this type of dictatorship, there is no proper protection of national interests.



In dictatorship, the sense of self-reliance, activity and freedom in ordinary people completely vanishes, because they do not have any kind of freedom to speak or think etc. In this system a person’s body, money and even mind becomes for the dictator and he has to be forced to walk wherever the dictator leads.

It is clear from the discussion of the merits and demerits of dictatorship that this system does not make man a man and does not allow him to live as a man. human person in

The skin remains pressed. Even after fulfilling all his material needs, he still feels something lacking. His life becomes like that of a prisoner. That’s why in spite of many advantages of dictatorship, no one likes to live under this system. Everything remains for a person in this regime, but still he starts feeling suffocated in such a system, because a person does not survive only for bread. Apart from this, he wants to achieve and do many things which only

This is possible only in an environment of freedom of thought and expression.



Therefore, in spite of all the attractions, the dictatorship remains invalid by the common people due to the restriction on the means to satisfy the hunger of the mind. After discussing the merits and demerits of this regime, it becomes easy to indicate its future. Therefore, we can consider it relevant to briefly discuss its future.


The communist view of democracy has become important only in the present century. The communists have accepted democracy in a new sense. The regimes of Soviet Russia and China are called democratic democracies. The main basis of these regimes is communism based on the ideas of Marx, according to which the governance system of liberal democracies is only a show of democracy. Supporters of communist approach say that in western democracies, due to the control of only the resourceful class on governance, the machinery of governance is used to nurture the interests of this class. Therefore, they believe that the state in which governance system is used as a means of resourceful class cannot be called democratic. Communists believe that democratic system should be called only that system where it is used for the benefit of such a society and it is classless. For this, the establishment of the democratic rule propounded by him is necessary and that is the true democracy according to him.


Because in such a situation, when this ruling class is abolished under the leadership of the proletariat, the state as an instrument of exploitation comes to an end and true democracy emerges.


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