Ujjain: Participatory system is goal of democracy, says Dr Verma

Ujjain: “The ultimate goal under a democratic system is to establish participatory, peaceful and progressive system,” Director of Center for Study of Society and Politics, Kanpur Dr AK Verma said. He was delivering a key-note speech at the inaugural session of 2-day national symposium on “Elections in Democratic India: Expectations and Actualities”, organised by School of Studies in Political Science and Public Administration, Vikram University.

He said elections are bound to happen in a democracy as they are like heartbeat. “It is dangerous for democracy if elections are held in frequent intervals or after much delay,” he emphasized. Highlighting aims and objectives of elections, Dr Verma said elections are the medium of change but they cannot be treated as synonymous with democracy.

According to him, people want change through elections and these can be categorised in two ways— visible and invisible. Experience of the first category of change suggests that people want to change their representatives, political parties and government. Invisible changes are undercurrents which reflect that identity politics heading towards inclusive politics; marriage relationship with political parties changing into share market model of relationship; emergence of multi-party system; growing importance of regional, state and marginalised parties and ideological contestation is shifting from politics to economics.

Dr Verma further observed that amid elections, the fundamental question remains to be asked is whether nature of democracy has changed; whether democracy and election are means or an end. He said that democracy and election make change and for fulfillment of electorates’ expectation. Democracy is one of the forms of value-system through which people want to reach a fruitful and cordial society.

He said these goals can be achieved only when electorate participate in political discourse after elections and participate in execution of laws, rules, policies and programmes. Vikram University vice-chancellor in-charge Prof Bal Krishna Sharma chaired the programmes. Prof Dipika Gupta gave guest introduction and outline of the symposium. Dr Megha Pande conducted the proceedings while Dr Virendra Chavre proposed a vote of thanks.

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