New Delhi: Today is International Day of Democracy i.e. International Day of Democracy. It is believed that democracy was established for the first time in Greece two and a half thousand years ago, whereas today India is the largest democratic country in the world. Understand how the nature of democracy changed in these two and a half thousand years with only two pictures of India and Greece.
The people of Greece have been opposing the corona virus vaccine for the past several days. In the name of protest, arson is being done, sabotage is being done. On the other side is India, where you must have seen many pictures of stampede for vaccination in the last few days. In the name of democracy, people in developed countries like Greece, America and France start opposing the necessity of vaccine.
How democracy progressed
In a country like India, people consider democracy as the only way to not stand in line. That is, the democracy of these developed countries and India turns into ..Too Much Democracy many times, while at this time there are some countries in the world where there is only a nominal democracy and the people of those countries are suffering because of it.
For example, you look at the pictures of Lebanon, where people are getting a packet of bread for thousands of rupees due to unstable democracy and government policies and there are ten kilometer long lines to fill petrol and diesel in vehicles. We will analyze Lebanon’s weak democracy further, but first let’s see what is the state of democracy in the whole world at this time.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were only 11 democratic countries in the world. In the year 1920, their number increased to 20, in the year 1974 the number of democratic countries in the world was 74. In the year 2006, this number reached 86 and today out of 167 countries of the world with a population of more than 5 lakhs, 57 percent i.e. 96 countries call themselves democratic countries.
It took thousands of years to celebrate Democracy Day
Apart from this, there is some kind of dictatorship in 21 countries, while there are 28 countries which have the characteristics of both dictatorship and democracy. The United Nations started celebrating the International Day of Democracy in the year 2007, now you imagine that the world saw the first example of democracy in Greece two and a half thousand years ago, while hundreds of countries of the world took thousands of years to dedicate a day to democracy.
According to the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, there are only 20 countries in the world where there is true democracy, while there are 55 countries which are democratic but there are many shortcomings in the democracy of these countries. The world’s oldest democracy America and the world’s largest democracy India are also included in the democratic countries with shortcomings and the situation in both the countries is very bad.
Today we are talking about correcting these shortcomings of democracy. But here you have to understand one thing and that is that the opposite of democracy is not always dictatorship. In countries where there is dictatorship, people sometimes change the power and in countries where there is democracy, sometimes leaders stick to power for years.
For example, in the year 2010, a big revolution was started in many Arab countries against their regimes. But most of the countries did not get anything special from it. In 2013, there were large-scale demonstrations against the government in Egypt (Egypt), meanwhile the army overthrew the then President Mohamed Morsi on the basis of these demonstrations, and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was involved in this coup, became the new President of Egypt. But in Egypt, only the President did not change the dictatorship, Morsi was removed and Sisi sat on the chair.
The impact of the Arab Spring also took place in countries like Libya, Yemen and Syria, and there were also large-scale demonstrations against the government. But today all these countries are burning in the fire of civil war. America fought such a fierce war to remove Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But Iraq could not get democracy in the true sense, in 2011 the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was killed. But the civil war that started in Libya since 2014 continues to this day.
11 years ago, the Arab Revolution started in Tunisia, when a vegetable vendor set himself on fire protesting unemployment, inflation and corruption. After this, there were tremendous demonstrations against the then President in Tunisia for the next 28 days and the President was removed from power. But Tunisia is still struggling to become a true democracy.
The road to democracy is not easy
The same is the case with India’s neighboring country Myanmar, where a democratic government came to power in 2015 after 53 years. But now there is once again the rule of the army. That is, the path for any country to become a democracy is not easy and to achieve this success, the governments and people of that country have to work tirelessly.
Overall, the countries of the world are currently divided into 4 categories. The first category is of those countries where there is democracy, in the second category are the countries where there is Hybrid Democracy. For example, Pakistan, although there is a democratic government, but the control is with the army. The third category is of those countries where there is complete dictatorship such as North Korea and China. Whereas in the fourth category those countries come, where there is democracy and there is also a monarchy, such as Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Japan and Thailand.
Countries progressed without democracy
Most of these countries are much higher than many countries on the parameters of democracy. But still the highest constitutional post of these countries is with the people of the royal family. This post is transferred from generation to generation. But in this world there are also countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, which have made extraordinary progress without democracy or in spite of very little democracy. Most of these countries became independent around the year 1950 and till the year 1990, either one person was ruled by these countries or the command of these countries was with the army.
The special thing about these three countries is that when these countries started competing with countries like America on the scale of development, their economies were fully developed and when the income of the people of these countries is equal to or more than developed countries. Then they were introduced to democracy.
The first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, was the Prime Minister of Singapore for 31 consecutive years. During this time there were many restrictions on opposition leaders, press, labor union and protests in Singapore. That is, there was a democracy in name only. Nevertheless, Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore one of the developed countries of the world from Third World Country.
Singapore proved it
Although Singapore was a democracy at that time, but many conditions were applicable with this democracy. Because Lee Kuan Yew had different views on the participation of the general public in the government. He said that countries like Rwanda, Bangladesh and Cambodia also have democracy. But despite democracy, the society there is not civilized. The economic development of the people of any country should come first. Whatever their leaders say, citizens need homes, medicines, jobs and schools.
In 1980, the pilot union of Singapore Airlines went on strike. Lee Kuan Yew then warned him to return to work if the strike did not end immediately, and that he was ready to shut down Singapore Airlines and start anew if the strike did not end immediately. After this the strike was over.
India needs to strike a balance
Here we are not saying at all that democracy should be confined to such limits. We are just saying that there has to be a balance between too little democracy and too much democracy. Because Too Little Democracy can put the citizens in trouble while Too Much Democracy can put the whole country in trouble and today India needs to strike this balance of democracy.
Today there is democracy in countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. The people there also have more rights than many countries. But these people got these rights when they learned to perform their duties with discipline.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that those rights have no meaning, whose clause does not emanate from the sense of duty. For example, you go to a doctor and he tells you that if you want to be healthy, then you have to eat bitter medicine and take a diet with discipline. Now it is your choice whether you believe the doctor or not. You can say that there is democracy in this country and it is my right not to listen to the doctor. But this will harm your health, not the doctor. The disadvantage of unlimited rights and excessive democracy is that it harms the health of a nation.
meaning of excessive freedom
For example, there were communal riots in Delhi in February 2020. Then the mob had reached the roof of the house of one of the accused of these riots and from there this mob started throwing petrol bombs at the policemen standing below. In the same year, there were protests in Delhi against the new citizenship law and even then the mob attacked the policemen. Today we have shown you these pictures once again so that you can understand what happens when democracy and freedom become more than necessary.
There are many such countries in the world, where the scope of freedom has been woven according to the rules. Here freedom is limited but there is also discipline. Like people in Singapore cannot eat Chewing Gum. These rules are so that people do not throw Chewing Gum on the streets and it does not spread filth. In Singapore, if a person is using a public restroom and he comes out without flushing, then it is considered illegal. For doing so, there is a fine ranging from 150 to 500 dollars i.e. one thousand rupees to three thousand rupees.
Strict rules applicable in these countries
Apart from this, making any kind of noise after 10 o’clock in Singapore, using other person’s Wifi and feeding pigeons is also illegal. Similarly, in Denmark, people can name their children only out of 7 thousand pre-decided names. If a person wants to keep any other name, then permission has to be taken from the government there for this.
In Mexico, it has been a rule since the year 1892 that people there will not take their feet off the pedals while cycling. The government there believes that doing so spoils the balance of the cycle and can lead to accidents. In Switzerland people cannot climb mountains without clothes. This rule was made in 2009 so that people living on the mountains are not uncomfortable.
Feeding birds is banned in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. Those who do so are fined 700 dollars i.e. 52 thousand rupees. This rule is to protect people from diseases caused by birds and to maintain cleanliness there. In a Canadian city of Petrolia, people cannot shout at any time due to noise pollution, cannot sing songs in a loud voice and cannot even whistle. Is it possible to implement such rules in India?
People are not allowed to wear high heels in the national monuments of Greece. In Germany, if a vehicle is stopped on the highway due to running out of petrol, then a heavy fine is imposed on the owner of that vehicle. There is no speed limit for vehicles on the highway in Germany, so this rule has been made. Whereas our country is still deciding that what should be the maximum speed of trains on the expressway. Yesterday, the Madras High Court quashed the notification of the Central Government, in which the maximum speed was fixed at 120 kilometers per hour.
In Australia’s bars and pubs, no one can force another person to drink too much. Those who do so face heavy fines. But this is quite a common thing in our country. Many people in our country do not even care about the freedom of the neighbors. Park the car outside anyone’s house or shop. Do Wrong Side Driving. Throw the garbage of your house on the roof of another house. We listen to songs in loud voice and when neighbors object to this, many people say that we should do anything in our house, what to you?
Freedom to break the line is not democracy
Similarly, people consider their pride in doing dirt on the roads and consider breaking the line as their freedom. But breaking the line is not democracy and democracy does not even mean standing in line and casting vote every five years. The true meaning of democracy is to perform one’s duties while respecting the rights of other people. But in our country people remember their rights but forget their duties.
Overall, you are all very lucky because you live in a democratic country, where you have freedom. In the context of a country like India, it is said that the beauty of our country is its democracy. But many people also say that the shortcomings in our country are due to excessive freedom in democracy. Today, there is a need to understand the damages caused by this freedom given more than necessary.