Universal Democracy SATYAMEVAJAYATE


"The State represents violence in a concentrated and organised form. The individual has a soul but as the state is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned away from violence to which it owes its very existence". --- Mahatma Gandhi

Political science has failed as a discipline; it analyses democratic experiences but does not define democracy. Democracy can best be defined as how the common people would like to be governed. Given the choice, the people would first retain resources with local governments for handling all local matters including justice, police, education, healthcare, water systems and forests.

To prevent abuse of authority, they would institute their sovereign rights to information, consultation, participation and referendum.

They would devolve the remaining resources to the state and national governments for providing higher level infrastructure, support to regions with inadequate resources, and to coordinate, but not interfere in local decision-making.

The people would make the elected executives at all levels directly accountable to them, and not via the elected body, with the right to recall those elected. Legislators would perform watchdog functions, not assume executive authority.

The people would also institute effective mechanisms, such as departmental heads appointed on contract with the approval of the elected body, to make the bureaucracy directly accountable to them.

Along with certain rights regarded as fundamental to democracy, this can be said to be the basic structure of universal democracy.

Gandhi advocated such a democracy. He added some powerful features for containing consumption and promoting social justice and equity. These have today become highly relevant for global sustainability.

 

HOME