To understand the key elements of a democratic government there is no better example than our nation India. We all know that the elements of democracy in India have some essential features that are outlined in the constitution. Without these basic elements of democracy, any government, including that of India will fail altogether. Some of the key elements in a democracy include people’s participation, equality and justice, the need for resolving conflicts and others. Further, we will understand the perspective of democracy from the example of a continent called South Africa. The Apartheid law of the country was racially discriminating against the black Africans of the country who were treated as slaves.
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Ending Process of Racial Discrimination in South Africa
South Africa is a nation that belongs to people of several races comprising the African-American population, whites who came and settled there, and Indians who came as labourers and traders. Previously, the country was governed by Apartheid laws.
The Apartheid laws divided the people on the basis of race. The South African people were segregated into African Americans, whites, blacks, Indians, and so on. These laws didn’t allow the people to mingle with each other, live together, and even use common facilities.
In the later part of the 20th century, for nearly over 60 years South Africa was in news for practising Apartheid laws based on racial discrimination.
The majority population consisted of the back people. The white population of the country followed a brutal policy with merciless suppression of the black community.
After several decades of continuous fights and struggles, the policy of racial discrimination towards the black came to end in 1994. Nelson Mandela introduced the elements of democracy and was sworn as the Black President.
State the Relevance of Equality and Justice
The basic elements of democracy believe in the relevance of equality and justice for the people. It includes the following facts.
The government elected in a democracy has the responsibility of giving impartial justice and equality to all.
In a democracy, equality and justice are just the two sides of the same coin and are an inseparable concept.
Dr B.R Ambedkar brings the foundational elements of democracy to India. He had a long struggle in fighting for the rights of the Dalits or untouchables.
He established laws that were meant to put an end to untouchability.
Democracy will cease to exist if there are no concepts of equality and justice in it.
Role of Democratic Government: The Need for Resolving Conflicts
There are basic rules that are laid down by the Constitution of India, which needs to be followed by the government and citizens.
In a democratic country, problems and a clash of interest can lead to conflicts in the country. It can lead to disharmony and a riot-like situation in the country. In such a situation, the government needs to intervene through different measures to bring a peaceful and best possible solution to the conflict.
Conflicts can arise between two individuals or groups where they might feel they are not fairly treated or discriminated against on the grounds of religion, culture, region, organisations, economic backgrounds, caste, race, etc. The government needs to intervene and see that there is a fair address of the issue on both sides and solutions need to be provided to resolve the conflicts.
What are the Key Elements of Democracy?
If you are thinking about what are the key elements of democracy then they are stated below.
In a democracy, the citizens get the equal right to choose the government through a fair and free electoral process.
There is an active participation of people through civic and political life.
There is a rule of law where all the laws are applied equally to every citizen.
It also ensures that the rights, freedom, and justice of people are protected.
Citizens should have the right to freely express their opinions to the government.
In critical situations, the government should have resolutions for ending the conflicts.
Peace and harmony should be maintained to uphold the concept of democracy.
Did You Know
In addition to elections, there are other means through which people participate in democracy. Some of these are popular methods of protest where people conduct strikes, rallies, signature campaigns, and others. Moreover, to promote the voices of people, press and media houses also organise debates, highlight public issues and opinions through news channels, magazines, newspapers, and other agencies.