India’s Democratic Triumph: A ‘People’s Victory’ for Now!

India’s Democratic Triumph: A ‘People’s Victory’ for Now!

India, we have risen. A hugely autocratic government has finally fallen! In the 2024 General Elections, we have elected a strong and empowered opposition, a crucial pillar of democracy. Our ‘new government’ is now built on consensus rather than the whims of a single autocrat, embracing shared power over concentrated control. This marks a profound understanding of democracy, a rejection of autocracy in favor of democratic and constitutional principles.

As most civil society organizations realized over a year ago, this would be a defining moment. The 2024 elections were not just about choosing a party or alliance. They were about the very soul of India, the idea enshrined in our Constitution. The people have decisively rejected the fascist, corporate-driven governance of the Modi regime, which thrived on polarization, populism, and post-truth politics. Instead, the Indian people have chosen to reaffirm our commitment to democracy and constitutional values.

Our Constitution is founded on principles like democracy, equality, fraternity, unity, diversity, comprehensive justice, socialism, and secularism. These values, shaped not only by the independence movement but also by various social movements for equality led by visionaries like Mohandas Gandhi, Sant Ravi Das, Narayana Guru, Jotirba Phule, and Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, form the bedrock of our nation. The voters who resisted rejected the ‘Modi Magic Mantra ‘ exposed and rejected autocracy in defense of these principles.

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Since Independence, our democratic governance and constitutional ideals have driven India’s development. The socio-economic and political mobility of those at the bottom, although partial, has been possible due to democracy and egalitarian principles. No other model of governance can ensure the wellbeing of all Indians.

India’s diversity—in culture, language, origin, and religion—is at the heart of our identity. Our unity stems from this diversity, forged during our freedom struggle and social equality movements. This consensus on unity and diversity is central to our republic. Respecting this consensus is crucial for India’s governance, ensuring we remain committed to democracy, secularism, and egalitarian principles.

The victory of “We the People” is unique and significant. Defeating the incumbent fascist regime was nearly impossible, but we achieved it through democratic elections. Unlike many countries, India overthrew an undeclared dictatorship under the guise of democracy. This election has shown that democracy is about electing a strong opposition as much as it is about choosing a government. By empowering the opposition, we have restored governance based on democratic principles.

Moises Naim’s “The Revenge of Power” discusses how modern autocrats use polarization, populism, and post-truth to sustain their regimes. India could have succumbed to this, but we recognized the threat early, compromising our self-interests for the larger cause of upholding constitutional democracy. This unparalleled achievement is a testament to the democratic roots protected by ordinary citizens.

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May the values of Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore and Ambedkar live on in countless leaders and citizens. The road ahead is not without challenges. Civil Society must come forward to ensure active dissemination of the basic tenets of Indian Constitution, as the one sacred book of India.

For the time being, the secular forces in India have affirmed their commitment to democratic principles, ensuring our nation’s governance remains by the people, for the people. But the emboldened fringe elements remain in key positions, and they are not going to give up their efforts to undermine secular India.