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Key Elements of a Democratic Government

Last updated date: 27th Feb 2024
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State Key Elements of a Democratic Government

Ever wondered how a country like India works in a systematic way and what are the procedures for the government to handle each and every citizen of such a vast country?

To know, let's discuss the key elements of a democratic government as follows:-

Democracy is a government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by the adult citizens or exercised through their freely elected representatives. Individual rights and majority rule are the principles upon which democracy rests.

The government is entrusted with responsibility and power by the Constitution of India, to see that its laws are followed by various groups and individuals within the political, social, and economic spheres.

When people of different regions, religions, and cultures of economic backgrounds do not get along with each other then conflicts appear. To settle their differences, people use violent means which leads to tension and fear among them. This is where a government steps in such cases in any of its forms to bring the best possible resolution and to bring peace.

Ways for People to Participate in Democracy

There are various ways  in which people in a democracy participate in the process of government  mentioned as follows :

  • Developing and taking interest in the working of the government

  • Voting in the elections for electing the leaders

  • By making the government understand and expressing their views on what actions need to be taken in which includes dharnas, campaigns, signatures, and rallies.

  • By involving themselves in groups that challenge the functioning of the government.

Actions by Government

There are certain actions taken by the government that is mentioned  as follows:

  • Banning discrimination on the basis of creed, region, religion, language, wealth gender, and caste.

  • Making special provisions for underprivileged people.

  • Making available the basic requirements for proper clothing, shelter, food, employment, and education for all.

  • Taking pecuniary actions if laws are not properly followed.

  • Obstacles like weakening reproductive rights, unequal educational rights, and gender pay gaps hold women back. These practices must be prevented at all costs for the financial and social development and the Nation.

Key Ideas of Democratic Government:

  • Ban on discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, caste, and creed.

  • Elections are to be held at regular intervals.

  • Equality and justice for all.

  • Resolution of the conflicts.

  • Providing people the right to vote.

Key Elements of Democracy

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 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 inseparable concepts. 

  • 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 need to be followed by the government and citizens. 

  • In a democratic country, problems and a clash of interests 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. 

Explanation of 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 the 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.


This is all about the key elements and responsibilities of a democratic government. Learn how a democracy chooses its government and what are its functions in detail to develop your conceptual foundation perfectly. 

FAQs on Key Elements of a Democratic Government

1. What is a legitimate government?

A legitimate government has the authority to rule. This usually means support by frequent and electorate elections. It is a type of government under which the action and laws of the government are revealed to the people. During elections, a legitimate government is elected by the people of the country, which is held in a fair and free manner.

2. How can justice be achieved?

When citizens are treated with respect, dignity and are treated equally in all aspects then justice is said to be achieved. This generally occurs in  A represented democracy that is tempered by restraints on power, free elections, and constitutionalism. The connection between Social justice and human rights has strengthened over the years, as human rights are recognized globally. Participation must be encouraged and awarded so that everyone can speak who never had a chance before.

3. What is a democratic framework?

A liberal democracy( that is, one that champions the well-being and development of the individual) defines and limits the power to promote legitimate government within a framework of freedom and justice. The four elements to justice, legitimacy, framework, power, and freedom.

4. What are the major functions of a Modern Government?

A modern government has major functions like military defense, foreign diplomacy, administration of justice, maintenance of domestic order, protection of civil liberties, regulation of the conduct of periodic elections, provision of goods and services to alleviate existing poverty.

5. How Do People Participate in Democracy to Ensure the Government is Functioning Properly?

The elements of democracy make it mandatory for people to participate in governance.

  • The participation of people needs to be done through voting in elections. This is how the true spirit of democracy is kept alive. 

  • The elements of democracy in India gave the right to its citizens to vote after every five years to keep the government in check.

  • When the elected government comes into power, they take decisions on behalf of the people. 

  • It is believed that the elected representatives keep in mind the interest and ideas of the people while executing the policies during their fixed tenure.

6. Mention the Steps Taken By the Government So that All People are Treated Equally.

A government elected by the people in a democracy is responsible for the equality and justice of all its citizens. With the key elements of democracy, the government can address the twin issues related to equality and justice. 

  • It needs to implement laws that ban discrimination based on creed, religion, region, caste, colour, gender, wealth, language, etc. 

  • The basic necessities should be made available to people like proper food, shelter, clothing, education, and employment. 

  • It also needs to provide facilities for the underprivileged and backward classes in society which includes the scheduled caste and tribes, backward classes, below poverty line people, religious minorities, marginal farmers, women, children, laborers, etc.