Survival Of Indian Democracy
According to a Polish American Professor of Political Science, democracy cannot survive in poor countries. But India is an exception to it. Then what is the reason for the survival of democracy in India?
According to Pranab Bardhan, the survival of democracy in India is not so much to the strength of liberal values in the belief system of the Indian population. Then what is the alternative explanation for the survival of democracy in India.
Here, we can get some clue from the democracy of European society. Democracy in European history emerge as a compromise between the economic elite and the organized working class and peasants. The economic elite were interested in protecting their property rights from mass upheaval. This led to the bargaining between the economic elite and the organized working class and peasantry. Bargaining led to the extension of the franchise and political representation and the right to express, assemble and organize. It ultimately led to a welfare state of varying strength. The workers in their turn accepted some limit in their demands so that capitalists’ property rights and opportunities are essentially preserved. In this democratic settlement, the economic elite had the strength of their wealth and the workers, the strength of number. This led to equilibrium and flourished democracy in Europe. Thus bargaining between these two classes keeps democracy surviving.
In this context. the survival of Indian democracy can be understood. The economic elite and working class of India agree on some minimum democratic rules in their transactional negotiation. Thus, negotiations regarding political rights and civil rights were established between these two groups. Both groups were not strong enough to fight for themselves or make any credible threat to the other group and led to flourishing democracy in India.