Democracy is a system of government by the people, for the people and of the people, especially the majority. Today’s democratic systems represent the Roman and Greek models where the supreme power was held by the people. There are two basic forms of democracy concerning how the citizens execute their will. One of the form is direct democracy where citizens have active participation in the political decision making. Whereas, the other form is representative democracy where citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives. The United States of America is often regarded as the oldest democracy whereas India with a population of 1.27 billion is the world’s largest democracy.
Understanding the importance of people’s participation in governance, democracy is promoted among countries or regions where power is held by a few. In order to promote and uphold the principles of democracy, the UNGA passed a resolution to observe September 15th as the International Day of Democracy. The theme for the year 2016 is ‘Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The theme aligns with the development agenda for achieving a better future for all and calls for mobilising efforts to end all forms of poverty, inequalities and injustice.
Highlighting the importance of a vibrant democracy in achieving the sustainable development goals, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressing the global leaders said, “People will look to you to hold your governments accountable for achieving the goals, and to write the laws and invest in the programmes that will make them a reality.”
Being associated with social development and human rights issues, Fiinovation understands that the International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. The values of freedom, democratic principles, respect for human rights and holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. Fiinovation understands that as per the new development agenda (SDGs) no one should be left behind. It will require an effective democratic governance to enhance quality of life for all people.
Achievement of the human development goals must be underpinned by a strong and active civil society that includes the poor and the vulnerable. As per as India is concerned, it is the responsibility and duty of every Indian citizens to uphold the constitution and protect the democratic rights.
Let us hope that in the future, India plays an important role in establishment of democratic governance systems in all the nations.
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation