Citizen Participation – UPSC Ethics

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.” Elaborate. (200 Words)

This is a famous quote by Charles de Montesquieu, a French philosopher (translated in 1734). Montesquieu judged the Roman Empire by the moral and political standards of the republic, thereby making clear the general human decline that, in his view, occurred with the transition from one to the other. The Roman Empire fell because of the apathy of the people.
He defined ideal system of Government where an administrative or executive, a judicial and a legislative branch, for the most part are independent the one from the other.
Our nation was founded as a constitutional democratic republic. That means all the power our union and state government has been delegated by the citizens. It also means that all government officials are chosen and fired by election, and are expected to represent the will of the majority while protecting the rights of all citizens. The biggest threat to our national survival is not illegal immigrants, economics, global warming, or lack of health care. The biggest threat is citizen apathy. Apathy in the people is the beginning of Corruption, a decline in values and a return to tyranny and eventually fatal to the democratic idea. It is through interaction that a cross culture will emerge and public opinion will play a major role in shaping the nation. Apathy, indifference and undernourishment will kill democracy than an ambush.
Voting in an election is not only a duty of every citizen but an act of worshiping and keeping faith in our democratic ideals. If participation in elections becomes meagre then governments becomes weaker and tend to take decision which further deteriorate political scenario in the country.
Democracy means government by people i.e. all power is derived from people itself. Apathy will lead to loosening of hold on this power and entities like political executives, bureaucracy, corporates etc will develop vested interest. Will lead to erosion of trust in state and ultimately destruction of state.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Scroll to Top