The English word `democracy’ is derived from two Greek words `demos’ and `kratia’ or 1cratos’. Demos means crowd and `kratia’ or `cratos’ means power. This is why the critics of democracy have described it as monocracy. But in reality Democracy is not monocracy but rule by majority of the people according to certain rules and regulations which are accepted by the people of a country.
In the beginning there was direct democracy. Foe example in our country the villagers used to elect their representatives for village `panchyats’ by raising their hands in favor of their candidate. But no people cast their votes in favor of their candidates who stand for parliament or legislative assemblies of states. The most famous definition which is generally quoted is Abraham Lincoln, the great president of America according to Lincoln ``democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people’’.
The system of democracy has following merits:-
·    It gives equal opportunities to make progress to all the people.
·    It is above kind of undue favor to any religion, cast creed or color.
·    The people are supreme and cannot be exploited by any dictator or group of persons.
·    It gives freedom of expression to the masses. It develops the intellectual level of the country.
·    In a democratic country a citizen is free to follow any kind of religion, trade etc. this helps the citizens to develop their inherent capabilities which contribute to the progress of the country.
Demerits of the democracy
·    Government by popular majorities means rule by the average man, who is generally unintelligent, controlled in his conduct more by emotions than by person, of limited knowledge. Wheat standard of judgment can make us believe the opinion of 51% of the people to be wiser than 49 percent.
·    It is necessary to make long range plans and polities to achieve any great success. But in a democratic system the representatives of the people are bound to face the electorate after every 5 years. The general publics do not want to make sacrifices for the good results which will be available only in future. So a country cannot make real progress by following democratic system.
·    The capitalists, industrialists, bosses of mafia type groups and religious leaders play dominant part in influencing voters in general elections. So the honest and capable leaders do not get opportunity to from the government.
·    Democracy needs educated, enlightened and patriotic people to make are a success. So in a country where the percentage of literacy is less than 50%, a democracy system is useless and harmful for the welfare of the people.
In a democracy system of government, the principle of balance of power is used and consequently legislature, judiciary and executive, the tree branches of government are separated. So the power of the government is limited by the laws of the constitution. It helps in smooth running of the system. But only a state of literate, well disciplined and patriotic people can enjoy the real fruits o democracy.

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