From Gandhi to Lincoln to Camus, prominent personalities over the ages have extolled on the virtues of democracy while attempting to define it
Every year, the member countries of the United Nations observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy to reflect and take account of the condition of the democracies around the world.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on International Day of Democracy Tuesday said, “As the world confronts COVID-19, democracy is crucial in ensuring the free flow of information, participation in decision-making and accountability for the response to the pandemic.”
Well before #COVID19, frustration was rising & trust in public authorities was declining.
Governments must do more to listen to people demanding change.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 15, 2020
Several leaders across the world, including the Indian vice president M Venkaiah Naidu, stressed on the need to strengthen the foundations of democracy.
India has been a democracy since its independence in 1947. As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, democracy is a type of government in which the “supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections”.
Over centuries, many revolutionary figures have defined democracy, highlighting its important aspects and stressed on the need to adapt this form of government. Here are the top ten quotes on democracy:
- “Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal” — Aristotle
- “To give the victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.” — Abraham Lincoln
- “I understand democracy as something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
- “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato
- “The only way to practice democracy, is to practice democracy.” — Hu Shih
- “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” – John F Kennedy
- “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill
- “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” – Ronald Reagan
- “Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” — Susan B. Anthony
- “Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.” -Albert Camus
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