Hindrances to Good Citizenship:
There are various hindrances which do not allow the growth of good citizenship. Lord Bryce considers indolence, narrow self interest and party spirit as the main hindrances.
In our country, ignorance, poverty, disease, communalism, caste system and social distinctions are equally great obstacles. These arc discussed as follows:
Indolence, indifference, apathy and inactivity are great enemies of good citizenship. Active interest in public affairs is the foundation stone of good citizenship.
2. Ignorance and Illiteracy:
According to Laski, citizenship consists in the contribution of one’s instructed judgment to the public good. An ignorant and illiterate person is unable to make any such contribution.
A citizen cannot have an enlightened interest in public affairs in the absence of education. Democracy degenerates into a mob rule in the hands of ignorant and illiterate people.
Poverty is the root cause of all evils. Good citizenship cannot develop in a country where gross inequalities of wealth exist. Poverty stems the growth of personality and develops apathy and indifference towards public life.
For building up the character of a nation, poverty must be rooted out and some economic minimum must be guaranteed to all.
Ill health is a great weakness in a good citizen. Society expects the contribution of one’s mite to the public good. No contribution of any nature is possible if the citizens are unhealthy.
5. Party Spirit:
Political parties and democracy go hand in hand. But political parties create rivalries and hostilities among the people. Sometimes the interests of the community are sacrificed for the sake of the party.
6. Communalism and Caste System:
Communalism and caste distinctions are serious handicaps in the path of good citizenship. These distinctions hamper social and political, solidarity in India.
Communalism, caste system and class distinctions arc especially responsible for bringing about a discord among the people.
Remedies of hindrances to Good Citizenship:
In order to remove these hindrances, all out efforts on the part of the public, the state, political parties and the press are necessary. Bryce suggests mechanical and ethical remedies for the removal of hindrances. Mechanical remedies seek to reform and improve the machinery of the state to make it more useful to the public.
The entire social structure has to be built up anew on the principles of equality, justice and democracy. Citizens should be allowed ample civil and political rights.
Ethical remedies seek to reform and improve the general character of citizens of the state. Ignorance, party spirit and disease must be removed. A vigorous programme of social reform must be undertaken.