Athens was one of the city – states of Greece. It was also a democracy. The Athenian democracy awarded death sentence to Socrates who was known for his wisdom and gentleness. This was considered as the greatest injustice ever committed, by the democratic rulers of Athens. This happened as the rulers could not appreciate ‘dissent’. They also thought that the popularity of Socrates particularly among the youth of Athens will spell the doom of democracy.
Hence they charged Socrates with ‘corrupting the youth’ of Athens. This act of injustice could have been avoided if they had understood that the real basis of democracy is debate, discussion and dissent. This implies that the people should be given the right type of political education. No democracy can survive when people remain illiterate or when they are not given the right type of education. To a great extent besides other causes, the ignorance of the Indian voters is responsible for the failure of Indian democracy.
Only citizen who have adequate knowledge of the rights and responsibilities can help the survival of democracy. Otherwise it will lead to anarchy or monocracy. There is also a need for perfect discipline and hard work in democracy.
Take the examples of Japan and Germany where democracy has succeeded. People of Germany and Japan work hard. They obey laws and carry out their responsibilities towards the State and then claim their rights. That is why those countries are progressing. There is no discipline either in our individual lives or in political parties. There is no political party, perhaps in our country, which is totally disciplined.
In India nearly 49% are illiterates. They do not know what their rights and duties are. Many Indians are not hard working and are not willing to contribute their share to the welfare of the State. They expect the government to do everything for them. Evasion of tax is a common practice with many.
We had accepted socialism as our economic policy. Socialism implies state control in many matters and econo0mic equality among all. Democracy guarantees freedom to pursue any vocation of the individual’s choice and earn as much as one can. India had nationalized many economic institutions and started many public enterprises. The results of these experiments have not been proved to be positive as expected. This failure made the government to adopt the policy of economic liberalization.