Liberal Democracy – UPSC GS1

Liberal democracy rests on three distinct sets of rights: property rights, political rights, and civil rights. In the light of these rights, critically comment whether India can be called a truly liberal democracy. (200 Words)
India has proved to be a robust and a vibrant democracy, with a strong yet flexible constitution and high electoral participation.
Property Rights: Even though Right to property was removed from the fundamental rights to correct the historical inequalities present during the time of independence, it was made into a legal right through article 300A, to bring together right to property and equality. However, on the ground level, usurpation of common property rights of tribal, a shambolic land record system, claims of unequal compensation plague our democracy.
Political Rights: India has a system of universal adult franchise, where each individual above 18 is entitled to vote. Elections are held properly and transparently, with the Election Commission of India being the independent, autonomous overseer with a strong track record. However, cleavages based on primordial identities such as caste create a hindrance for the true articulation of grievance.
Civil Rights: Our constitution enshrines various provisions to ensure civil rights to minorities. Art. 17 which abolishes untouchability, Art, 25 to 28 which protect the rights of religious minorities, etc. ensure unity in diversity and prevent the tyranny of the majority. Judiciary has also played a proactive role (e.g. section 66A of IT act) However, there are frequent incidents of violence against women, Dalits, and religious minorities
Though various steps have been taken by the government, Supreme Court rulings, Legislature acts have achieved significant progress, the continuation of violence in the name of religion, caste, ethnicity etc., prevalence of high inequality, lack of equal opportunities, suppression of Dalits etc. have highlighted that for India to be called as a true liberal democracy is still a half way through and destination is yet to arrive.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top