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Challenges to Democracy

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Democracy is derived from the Greek words “demos”, which refers to “common people” and Kratos which means strength. Democracy refers to a system of governance in which the citizens exercise the power directly for electing their representatives to form a governing body like the parliament. The representative who secures the most votes would be selected to get in power.

Challenges to Democracy

Challenges to Democracy

What is Democracy?

Democracy is referred to as the government of the people, by the people, and also for the people. The people form an important part of the government and the government in turn is runned by the elected representatives. It is one of the most popular forms of government and is also followed by most countries worldwide.

Majorly, there are two types of democracy which include Direct democracy and Representative democracy. The citizens elect their representatives to vote on laws on their behalf o them.

Challenges to Democracy

Despite having these advantages, in a democratic country, challenges to democracy are found in abundance. Some of them are portrayed below.

  • Corruption and Inefficiency: One of the most significant challenges of democracy is that many democratic countries have corrupt, dishonest, and ineffective political leaders and personnel. They demand a bribe. Citizens lose trust as a result of this.
  • Role of Anti-Social Elements: The role of the anti-social elements would arise due to elections and many people are forced or at times also bribed to vote for a particular candidate or party.
  • Dishonest Voting System: During elections, anti-social elements play an important role. Many people are coerced or bribed into voting for a specific politician or political party. During elections, rigging is also common.
  • Misuse of Powers: Inequality, biasedness, and misuse of power are other challenges to democracy. There are considerable socioeconomic disparities among the population. Even though all residents have the right to vote and contest elections, only the wealthy have a chance of winning.
  • Castes, and Communalism: During elections, a considerable proportion of voters consider the candidate’s caste and religion. When distributing election tickets, political parties also consider a person’s caste or religion. Representatives elected based on caste or religion work for the welfare of solely their caste or religion’s members.
  • Delay in Justice: The tough, far-reaching, and protracted judicial process in India has brought the country to a state of justice. Due to misrule, the fairness of justice has been called into question on several occasions. Injustice is frequently associated with delays in justice. In our judicial system, there are more than 3 lakh cases outstanding. While talking about the challenges of democracy, it is a major problem.
  • Changed Role of Public Roles in a Democratic Society: In a democracy, both the civil service and the police service perceive themselves to be masters, whereas, in a colonial society, both are regarded as service providers.
  • The flaw in Basic: Furthermore, ideologies such as patriarchy and khap panchayat are the bitter challenges to democracy in the country. There is also fear that the family and society, India’s basic social unit, are no longer democratic.

True, India has made significant democratic progress; however, after independence, the high ideals that we should have established in this country and society have gone in the exact opposite direction, and corruption, dowry, human hatred, and problems such as violence, obscenity, and rape have all become commonplace. But, because our country has been plagued by issues from ancient times, and because India is now the world’s most populous country, youth will be expected to help democratize the country, community, and family by increasing their participation.

Challenges Faced by Different Countries

Democracy faces a number of challenges differing from one country to another. Some important types of challenges which is faced universally are as follows:

Foundational Challenge

 Almost one-fourth of the world is practicing a democratic form of government and is facing troubles in the establishment of a democratic government. Foundational challenge refers to the challenge which is faced while the establishment of democracy and transition from the current government to democracy. This includes bringing the existing democracy down and restricting the interference of government and sovereign states.

Challenge of Expansion

The application of the basic principles to the democratic government across different regions and institutions is another problem, It includes ensuring higher power to a local form of government, an extension of federal principles, and also fewer choices to stay outside the regime of democratic control.

Deepening of Democracy

It refers to the strengthening of institutions and also the practice of democracy and should occur in such a way that people are being able to acquire the expectations of democracy. Empowerment of those institutions helps in the participation of people and also an attempt to pull down the control as well as the influence of powerful people.

Political Reforms

Making laws and constitutions more in line with public expectations and developing a form of an electoral system that allows for empowerment within the apparatus of the state and the need for political reforms for the conduction of free and fair elections.

Guidelines to Devise Political Reforms in India

Following are certain guidelines that can be followed to devise political reforms:

  1. Democratic reforms are to be carried out by political campaigners, parties as well as movements. Careful analysis of any legal change is also important.
  2. Results accounting from legal change can also be counterproductive.
  3. Laws that give political persons incentives for good work.
  4. Best laws are those which strengthen the people for carrying the democratic reforms.
  5. Increase the level of political participation.

Related Links

  1. Redefining Democracy of India
  2. Outcomes of Democracy
  3. Broader Meaning of Democracy
  4. Rights in a Democracy
  5. Key Features of Democracy
  6. Merits and Demerits of Democracy
  7. Equality in Indian Democracy

FAQs on Challenges to Democracy

Q 1. What are the major challenges to Democracy?


The major challenges to democracy include:

  • Corruption and Inefficiency
  • Role of Anti-social elements
  • Growing social and economic disparities
  • Casteism and communalism

Q 2. Which 3 challenges are faced by political parties?


The 3 challenges which are faced by political parties include a lack of internal democracy, dynastic succession, and the growing role of money.

Q 3.What are the foundational challenges of democracy?


Foundational challenges refer to the keeping of away military from the control of the government, bringing down the non-democratic regime, and also establishing of a sovereign state.

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Last Updated : 12 May, 2023
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