What is the difference between Democracy and Republic?
Democracy is considered the finest form of government in which every individual participates consciously and in which the people remain the sovereign power determining their Government. It is best defined in the words of Abraham Lincoln- Democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In this article, we will try to understand the difference between Democracy and Republic.
There are two kinds of democracy – Direct and Indirect. In Switzerland, there is direct democracy where the head of the State is directly elected by the people. In the case of indirect democracy, like in India, the Government is formed by peoples’ representatives elected as members of Parliament and such elected representatives choose the Prime Minister of the country.
The basic features of Indian democracy are liberty, equality and fraternity. The freedom of thought, speech and expression form the cornerstone of this democratic nation. India has practised democracy on a scale that even put the United States of America in the shade. India is the lighthouse of the democratic movement in the third world. The entire Afro-Asian world derives its democratic model of government from India. We conclude with the observation of Lord Clement Attlee – “Whenever there is a democratic movement in Asia and Africa too, they look to India because India is the spear-point of democracy in Asia. India might have taken the torch from Europe, but it is burning brightly in India’s hands.”
What is Republic form of government?
A Republic could be defined as a political system that has some form of mixed constitution that is not fully democratic and not controlled by a monarchy. The powers of sovereignty are dependent on the people. One of the main ideas of Republicanism was that of “political participation”This is a standard form of government. According to the law, government rules are followed here. In this, the government allows people to choose their leaders, it comes in the category of liberal and socialist.
The common understanding is that a republic, derived from the Latin respublica (res ‘entity’ + publicus ‘of the people, public’), is ruled not by a king but by the public. It is thus a state governed by elected representatives, not hereditary monarchs, not by decree or dogma, but according to the rule of law.
The meaning of republic as given in most dictionaries and other valid documents is ‘a state in which supreme power is held by the people and is exercised through their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.’
Democracy, on the other hand, is defined as ‘A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives under a free electoral system”. So in nutshell one can safely say that Democracy is the route a Republic state follows to ensure power to its people. It allows them to elect their leaders from among themselves who in turn form the government and exercise power on behalf of those who elect them. So it is impossible for a state to be a republic without being a democracy and vice versa.
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