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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Democracy in India

India is the seventh largest (by area) and the second most populous country in the world, with roughly one-sixth of its population, of about a billion and a quarter. India is one of the world's oldest civilizations, yet a very young nation. Under Mughal and Rajput control for much of its history until its colonisation by European powers in the mid-eighteenth century. The world's largest democracy by electorate was created after independence in 1947 under the leadership of its nationalist movement, the Indian National Congress.

Elections to its Parliament are held once every 5 years. Currently, Prime minister Narendra Modi is the head of the government, enjoying a majority in the Parliament, while President Pranab Mukherjee, is the head of state. India is a constitutional republic governed under the world's longest written constitution, federally consisting of 29 states and seven centrally administered union territories, with New Delhi as the nation's capital.

The country has six main national parties: the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). At the level of its states, many regional parties stand for elections to state legislatures, every five years. The Rajya Sabha elections are held every 6 years.

Democratic Principles

India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic.
Sovereign means an independent nation.
Socialist implies social and economic equality for all Indian citizens. This guarantees equal opportunity and equal social status. The government attempts to reduce economic inequality by reducing concentration of wealth.
Secular implies freedom to choose your religion. The state gives every citizen the right to practice and propagate a religion of his choice, and also right to reject all religions. The state treats all religions as equal and there is no official state religion.
Democratic means the government is a democratically elected, head of the government(Prime Minister) is elected by the people.
Republic means head of the state(President) is not hereditary King or Queen but indirectly elected by the people.

Factors affecting democracy

Factors such as education, corruption, women's issues, student politics, leadership strategies and the design of political institutions affect national and local politics.
Some other factors such as the caste issue, environment policy, new long-term investment in the economy by foreigners etc., also have a bearing.