Dictatorship can be defined as the form of government in which executive, legislature and judiciary is in the hands of a single person. This form of government never is accountable to people and there is no transparency and accountability. Under dictatorship, the dictators can’t be removed by the common people. They do not give heed to the aspirations of people. They live according to their own whims. In contrast to this, democracy is that form of government in which people are the actual source of power. All the government institutions are subordinate to the rule of law. This form of government is accountable. There is greater transparency in the functioning of the government. The leaders can’t act according to their choices. There is a proper mechanism that is to be followed. There can be no leniency on the part of the leaders. If they are caught sleeping at the appropriate time, they will be kicked out. So, in this regard, democracy looks the best form of government. On the paper, it means that there will be only development and nothing else. But when we remove the layers of democracy and peep deep into it, the reality begins to come on the surface. The dirt that is settled at the bottom , is clearly visible. Now, we are in a position to have some knowledge of both the forms of government. Before saying anything else, let us know how democracy becomes dictatorship. In democracy, the decision-making body is legislature. In India it is called the Parliament. The decisions are made for the public. So, it becomes necessary that people are taken into account. People are taken into account through elections. After the election process, they are never consulted again. It is here where the door for dictatorship opens. When people are the real source of power, they should be consulted at every step. Recently Article 370 was abrogated. The Parliament didn’t consult the stakeholders of this article, i.e., the natives of Jammu and Kashmir. The elected government trespassed all the laws and regulations and repealed the article that is still enshrined in the Constitution of India. It is the best example of dictatorship where the state is kept under curfew, internet is snapped, non-locals are advised to go to their homes, the annual Yatra is curtailed, the forces are brought up in large numbers, hysteria is found among people, etc., to name a few. The Parliament is for the welfare of people. When this very institution is used for a particular thought, there remains no scope for accountability, transparency, demonstrations, etc.
In the recent months, dissent has been more suppressed. So, there should be a line of demarcation between the two. Democracy and dictatorship are opposite concepts. In the garb of democracy, dictatorship must not reign.
The second example of this can be found in the case of executive. In India, the executive works under the shadow of the legislature. The executive whether the Prime Minister or the President has to act according to the laws and regulations of the Constitution. It means that the Parliament is above the executive. But when the Parliament is subordinate to the executive, it clearly demonstrates that it is no longer a democracy. How can an executive dictate the words to the Parliament when there are more than 500 members of different thoughts? Or how can an executive choke the voice of other members in order to manipulate any event for the party or himself/ herself? There are some instances where the executive pressurizes the Parliament for the benefit of some mean benefits. It then paves the way for dictatorship. The third in this line is judiciary. It is the soul of any constitution. Without it, a country never develops in any real sense. Democracy stands on this third pillar. It is also called the Right to Constitutional remedies ( Article 32) in the Indian Constitution. In short, it is the last hope of those who have met injustice. But the tragedy falls when the independence of Judiciary is compromised. When the other two organs of the government use this organ for the petty gains, democracy loses its value. The last in this line is the suppression of dissent. Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. It is one of the most important characteristics of democracy. It provides life to democracy. Suppression of dissent is the death of democracy. If dissent is not allowed, the real purpose of democracy is lost. This situation is seen every nook and corner of the country. In the recent months, dissent has been more suppressed. So, there should be a line of demarcation between the two. Democracy and dictatorship are opposite concepts. In the garb of democracy, dictatorship must not reign.
(The author is a freelancer. Views are his own) [email protected]