Friday, January 25, 2008

Initial RePublic Offering

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC blah blah...

So what is this sovereign (self ruled, thats ok) socialist(added by Indira, under debate) secular(Indira, again debatable) democratic republic ?

Going by pure definition :

A Democracy is rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy,the majority can make any rules , self beneficial or otherwise without any regards to the minority.In fact in direct democracies, the citizens gather & decide the matters themselves by majority.

A Republic, on the other hand, is rule by law. There is a certain charter which the ruling class adheres to, in this case the constitution which guarantees equality to all citizens.Although its not necessary for the representatives to be elected, the selection must not be hereditary.

So in case of India, the words democratic republic imply that even though there is a government formed by majority, the elected have to abide by the constitution & play fairly. On the other hand the US constitution , if i have the correct text here, doesn't even have the word democracy ! So the US is a republic** assumed to be so in a democratic way.The word may have been excluded for its connotations of a mob rule. Our constitution understands that & tries to makes it fool proof, but seems our leaders are more than fools, thus large areas of the cow belt are still under mobocracy & not republic. We need to make the rule of law sacrosanct & above everything else to achieve the ideals of the लोकतांत्रिक गणराज्य that we claim to be.

** Article IV Section. 4. of the US constitution
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.


vishal said...

A republic is not rule by law or charter! its definition says a political system, where the head of the state is elected by public(ie not a monarch). India is a republic indirectly, while US is a proper republic. Democracy, eaither can claim full marks for :)

Confusious said...

By its simplest definition, theres not much difference between a democracy & a republic, only in the degree of direct representation. Yes the head of state part part is correct but the more important distinguishing point is that Republic is popular representation based on control. The control being exerted on the ruling class normally through a charter.