What is Democracy?
# Democracy is a form of government that allows people to choose their rulers.
# Only leaders elected by people should rule the country.
# People have the freedom to express views, freedom to organise and freedom to protest.
Meaning of Democracy
Democracy is a system of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people of a country and people elect their representatives either directly or indirectly through fair and free elections, which are usually held periodically.
The term ‘democracy’ is derived from two Greek words:
DEMOS meaning people and cratia meaning power. Thus, literally democracy means “the power of the people”.
Features of Democracy
1. Elected representatives of people and
final decision-making power to the
2. Free and fair elections
3. voting right is with equal value to
those who have attained the age of 18
4. Fundamental rights and protection of
Types of Democracy
There are two types of democracies:
1. Direct democracy
2. Indirect (representative) democracy
The types of democracy refers to the kind
of government or social structures which
allow people to participate equally.
When the people themselves directly express their will on public affairs, the type of government is called pure or direct democracy.
Example: Ancient Greek city-states,
Indirect Democracy /
When the people express their will on public affairs, through their elected representatives, the type of government is called indirect or representative democracy
Example: The prevailing system of democracy
in India, USA and UK
Merits and Demerits of Democracy
1. Responsible and accountable
2. Equality and fraternity
3. Sense of responsibility among common
4. Local self-government
5. Development and prosperity for all
6. Popular sovereignty
7. Sense of cooperation and fraternal feeling
1. Indirect or representative nature of
2. Lack of interest in democratic process
and hence lower turnout in elections
3. Instability in governance due to
4. Delay in decision-making process.