Meaning of Democracy
The word democracy is derived from two Greek words 'Demos' and 'Kratos' which means 'People' and 'Power' respectively. Democratic ideals simply respect for the individual, freedom to all, equality of opportunities, believing in the methods of peace, dealing with all individuals on the principles of justice, co-operative living and fair play.
Basic Assumptions or Values of Democracy
1) Respect for everyone
Everyone in the society has his worth and importance. In a democratic set up of life, the dignity of an individual is held in high esteems.
Freedom is the soul of democracy. Each individual enjoys freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, movement and so on. It is freedom with definite limits.
3) Equality of opportunity
There are equal opportunities given to everyone irrespective of caste, colour and creed. Men are socially equal and have the right to remain so. It does not mean that identical education should be given to all, but it simply means that education should be given to according to one's ability.
Everybody in the democracy has fellow-feelings. They understand their own duties and share their feelings of oneness with the other fellows. Every body believes in mutual co-operation and the policy of give and take relationship.
The quality of toleration exists in everyone. Everybody tolerates well the leader and the other fellow-beings who are together followers of the same leader.
6) Good Citizenship
In a true democracy, every human being happens to be a good citizen. They understand their duties and responsibilities as a true citizen.
7) Group Living
It encourages formation of multiple association and groups. All the citizens live together, hence they have common interests and common purposes. They have faith in the brotherhood of man.
8) Faith in change
Democracy has a liberal attitude towards change. It welcomes change if and when it is needed for evolving a better society. A true democrat does not resist any change because he/she knows that change is natural and it may be for betterment. Standardization and stagnation is the enemy of democracy.
9) Faith in Peaceful method
It affirms its faith in the dictum – 'Peace hath its victory more glorious than war'. It also believes that human jealousies conflicts and rivalries can be settled through peaceful measures.
Thus democracy is the popular way of life. It is the basic philosophy of life on the basis of which our nation exists and is to make progress.
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