The Nature and Functioning of Democracy

Swaha Das and Hari Nair

It is often claimed that India is the world’s largest democracy. This claim is based on the fact that there are more eligible voters in India than in any other country. But, if there are more eligible voters, it is largely because of the overwhelming size of the Indian population. Nonetheless, would this one statistical detail make our country effectively democratic? We shall, in the following pages, attempt to answer this question by discussing the nature of Indian democracy and its functioning. In other words, the aim of this chapter is to broadly map certain outstanding aspects of Indian democracy at the turn of the century. These issues will be discussed in detail in the following ...

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