Back to

Democracy in India

India is known as having the biggest democracy in the world. Its official term is federal parliamentary democratic republic, and it clearly shows its roots from British rule while still looking towards a modern, more Western democracy. Having both a president and prime minister, the power is split into state and government and even further separated into central authority and state authority. The bicameral legislature includes the upper house, Rajya Sabha, and the lower house, Lok Sabha. Finally, there is an independent judiciary ruled by the Supreme Court.

Since 1951, elections have been held every 5 years. The first election marked a period of domination by the Indian National Congress until 1977. After 1977, a non-Congress government formed for the first time in India and the single-party system lasted until the 1990s. Up until 2014 a coalition government arose and succeeded until the single-party rule returned with the election of the sixteenth Lok Sabha representing the Bharatiya Janata Party. This election marked the “Hindu Awakening,” meaning the return of Hindu leaders after 1200 years of outside ruling.

In recent years, issues have risen from a lack of unification because of too much diversity. As there are hundreds of religions, cultures, languages, and backgrounds in India, many people are not able to connect together into a few political parties. In fact, there are masses of political parties, and groups often use symbols to represent parties instead of names, in order to include the illiterate. Since 2014, Narendra Modi has been the prime minister of India. He is known to be charismatic, an impressive foreign policy leader, and an advocate for women’s rights on top of other things. He is bold in his changes and hopes to make India much safer and more prosperous before he leaves office. So far, many believe Modi will be able to create the change that India needs.