Democracy is the Government of the people, by the people and for the people. In a democratic set-up, a common man of the street has his voice in the administration. Democracy may be of two types-Direct Democracy and Indirect Democracy. The form of direct democracy can be seen in Switzerland while in most other countries of Europe, there is indirect democracy. In India, we find indirect democracy. The representatives of the people are the law-makes of the country. We find in our country the adult franchise. After every five years, there are general elections. 7th General Election has amply proved that roots of democracy and parliamentary form of government are deep in Indian soil.
Nature of Indian Democracy up to 6th General Election
As we have already said, our constitution makes have adopted the parliamentary form of democracy for this country. In our country, there is supremacy of Constitution and even the parliament cannot make any law which is against the will of the constitution. The new constitution was enforced on 26th January, 1950 and the first general elections were held in 1951 Since then and up to 7th general elections, the Principle of universal adult franchise was adopted in our country. In the first general election, Indian National Congress got the absolute majority and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was elected as our Prime Minister. Since then upto 6th General Elections, Congress was always the Ruling Party at the Centre. After Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri and Shrimati Indira Gandhi remained the Prime Minister. Shrimati Indira Gandhi held this post for 11 years. In 1975, Emergency was amalgamated and opposition leaders were arrested. In 1977 when Shrimati Indira Gandhi declared the general election, most of the opposition leader sunder the banner of Janta Party gathered jointly. They claimed that they were fighting for the restoration of democracy, as Congress under the leadership of Shrimati Gandhi represents the dictatorship. J. P. also came forward. for the help of Janta Party. The result was that the Indian National Congress was defeated in the general elections of 1977. Mrs. Gandhi who had led the nation in a dynamic manner, was defeated Mrs. Gandhi relinquished her office immediately on her defeat in the general elections and Morarji Bhai, the Leader of the Janta Party in Lok sabha became Prime Minister. Thus even the 6th general elections proved that the democracy was safe in our country. The way in which Mrs. Gandhi handed over her charge, shut the mouths of all those Western journalists who were claiming that she would never quit her office and restore her rule on the barrel of gun. They were declaring that there would be no elections in India after the 6th general election and the democracy would not be there at all. The entire world said at that time that there is the real democracy in India.
Background of 7th General Election
In the Sixth General Election, for the first time in the history of Indian Democracy, the Janta Party came in power at the Centre. Almost all the members of the Janta Party won on only one score and that was to punish the former Prime Minister. Morarji Bhai took over the charge as Prime Minister. A large number of Commissions were appointed to examine her so-called miss-deeds during emergency. Janta Party had come to power only on the negative vote of anti congressmen but their leaders thought that the public has given them positive vote. Internal ranvles between Morarji Bhai and Charan Singh and Babu Jagjivan Ram began. Day by day, these internal rankles went on increasing. Internal crises of the party reached at the top when Mr. Charan Singh left the Janta Party and formed a new party named Lok Dal. Now the Janta Party was not in majority in Lok Sabba and Morarji Bhai had to relinquish his office. Mr. Charan Singh with the support of the Communist Party and Congress (U) etc. became the Prime Minister. He was hoping that Congress (1) would also lend him support but he was soon disillusioned and Congress (1) declared that it would not support Mr. Charan Singh’s Government. The result was that Mr. Charan Singh suggested the disillusion of Lok Sabha and holding of the fresh general elections. and consequently the President of India declared Lok Sabha dis solved and holding of 7th General Elections.
It is true that the rule of the Janta Party is the most painful chapter of the history of free India. There were dissentions in the party and chaos all over. It was the first time that the politics of floor crossing took such a form inside the Parliament that a leader of the party who had separated from the Janta Party, became the Prime Minister of the country. In spite of all these things, it connot be said that democray was in danger at any time and it was the reason that in the 7th General Elections, the slogan Democracy versus Dictatorship’ proved to be a failure.
7th General Election and its result
In the Seventh General Election, the source of all the parties were again towards Mrs. Indira Gandhi because the leaders of all the political parties were thinking that she was the potent force. She was drawing the huge crowds and her party was contesting the general election on almost all the seats. In the 7th general elections Lok Dal, Communist Party and Congress (U) had the election adjustment at the most of the places. Janta Party had also filed her candidate for almost all the seats. The leaders of the Janta Party were claiming that they had Tertored the democracy, and Mrs. Gandhi represents the dictatorial tendencies and so they deserve the vote of the public. The Janta Party claimed that after coming in power. Mr. Jagjivan Ram, a Harijan would be the Prime Minister of the country for the first time. Leaders of Lok Dal were claiming that they were apostles of the farmers. Mr. Charan Singh, the Prime Minister were of the opinion that only a son of a farmer can solve the problem of the farmers. The attacks of the Lok Dal against Mrs. Gandhi were also very bitter. Same was the condition of Congress (U). On the other hand, Congress () under the dynamic leadership of Mrs. Gandhi was claiming to form the stable government at the Centre. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was sim ply telling that under the Janta Government the prestige of the country was greatly hampered, economy had dwindled and the respect of India in foreign countries had gone to low ebb. She promised that if she came to power, she would work hard for the prosperity the country and would try to raise prestige of the country in foreign countries. She would check rising prices and protect the rights of Harijans and minorities. Indian public was not attracted at all by the slogans of Janta Party and Lok Dal and once again bestowed the laurels at the head of Mrs. Gandhi Elections were held in 525 constituencies out of 542 constituencies, Congress under the leadership of Mrs. Gandhi got the absolute majority. The following was the position-Congress (1) 51, Lok Dal 41, CPM 35, Janta Party 31, Communist Party 10, DMK 16, Cong ress (U) 13, ADMK 2, Akali Dal 1, Kerala Congress 1, Muslim League 3, National Conference 3 and others 14.4 independence were also elected to the Lok Sabha. Mrs. Gandhi was able to restore her confidence in the South. She got 42 out of 43 seats in Andhra Pradesh, 27 out of 28 in Karnatak and 39 out of 48 in Maharashtra. Kerala was the only province where her party was not able to get majority. In Tamil Nadu, Congress (I) and DMK alliance annexed 19 of the 20 seats. In the northern belt too, where she was routed in the 6th General Elections, she got thumping majority. Congress (1) won 7th of the 8 seats of Delhi, 25 of the 26 seats of Gujarat (home province of Mararji Bhai). She was also successful on all the 3 seats of Himanchal Pradesh. Even in the Madhya Pradesh and Rajas than where Janta Party was hoping to get absolute majority, Cong ress (I) trounced the poll. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress (1) got 45 of 48 seats. In Uttar Pradesh, the greatest of the provinces of India, where there were 85 seats, Congress (1) got 51. Only in West Bengal Karishma of Mrs. Gandhi was checked, where CPM got most of the seats. In nut shell in 7th General Election, Mrs. Gandhi once again came out as she most beloved leader of the nation and once again became out Prime Minister. Even at this time, the change over of the government was also in the most democratic manner. There were reports of tempering of votes here and there. Names of many persons were not included in the electoral lists. This is a wrong thing for the democracy. But only on account of this, we cannot say that the elections were not held in the democratic manner.
End of Democracy A baseless idea
The results of the 7th General Elections have amply proved that Democracy in India is sound. The views of the leaders of the Janta Party. Lok Dal and Communist Party that Mrs. Gandhi would bring a end to democracy does not appear to be sound. In fact, the Democracy in India shall be restored at all costs as already been announced by Mrs. Gandhi is able at so many times. The Western press which has doubts about the Indian democracy, does not know the Indian mind. We are proud of our democratic set-up but we also want progress in a swift manner. Indian public is of the opinion that a person who public is to take quick decision, may form a stable government and be able to solve the divergent problems of the country and can lead the nation. So the laurels were bestowed upon Mrs. Indira Gandhi who had a long experience of 11 years at Prime Minister of India We have already said that Mrs. Gandhi has repeated again and again that very idea that the end of the democracy is baseles. She has also said that emergency shall not be there now. Her declaration of the 6th General Elections, when she was at the peak, also reveals that in hearts of the hearts, she believes in democratic values. Even after the declaration of the results of 7th General Elections, she had declared that there is no alternative to democracy. Her very deliberation the she would never adopt their evengeful attitude towards the opponents, fully justifies that she is democrat. Now, even the Western press has again started to pronounce that roots of the democracy are sound in India. Our democracy is safe provided we all work in the spirit of national development. We have every tight to criticize, every right to protest but this protest should be there in the democratic way. The concept of democracy is “What one feel is right but it may be wrong.” It is only this feeling in practice which can make our democratic institution more and more effective.
The anger to the democracy in a country where Gandhi was born, where Ambedkar, Rajendra Babu where the makers of the Constitution and where democrats like Nehru, Patel, Azad and Lal Bahadur were at the helms of the affairs and were Mrs. Gandhi, the illustrious daughter of illustrious father is the Prime Minister, can never be. We should not about the end of democracy in our country. Our only task is to work hard for the progress of our great country and its democratic institutions. May God bestow upon us the strength and energy to work hard for this task.