Democratic Socialism in India
Democratic Socialism is an ideology of attaining socialism through the path of democratic process. In the 42nd amendment, the term ‘socialist’ was added to the preamble of Indian Constitution. Hence, India became a “democratic socialist” country. India’s socialist pattern of society will be classless and casteless. Her socialism will be based on noble means, ensuring freedom of thought and conscience.
Above all India’s socialism is a declaration of faith in the ingenuity of men and women of India who are inspired to build up a new society through an adventurous path of Truth and Non-violence. India dislikes regimentation and application of force, which she learnt under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘to march forward without compromise, without turning from the path’.
India is the biggest democracy in the world. People of India have the right to vote and elect their government. The people of India enjoys political, social and economic democracy. After the attainment of independence, India was also faced with the problem of building her country and society anew. The ethics of Socialism left no doubt in the minds of the Indian people that socialism was the only road for India’s progress and prosperity.
Accordingly, India framed her Constitution guaranteeing certain ‘Fundamental Rights’ to her citizens. They were motivated by the belief that ‘Liberty is never real unless the government can be called to account’. This very belief in the fundamental rights of the people led them to abhor the path of dictatorship and they declared their faith in democratic Socialism.
A minimum of social security is the primary need of the vast masses of people in India. With the goal of building up socialist pattern of society where people will have new opportunities for richer and more varied life, India is proceeding through a democratic path.
The general elections have amply proved that Indian people have complete faith in the democratic ways of life. To pave the way for Socialism, India has abolished Landlordism. A comprehensive policy of social reorganization has been taken up in the form of Panchayat Raj, Co-operative Farming and community Development Projects to accelerate her progress towards Socialism and strengthen parliamentary democracy.
Why socialism? Socialism is protest against the theory of laissez faire, which gives the individual right to exploit others in the name of freedom.
It is a protest against too much concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals. It is a universal call for social justice and fairness in the matter of distribution of wealth, which usually goes into the pockets of a few.
Socialism advocates, that wealth is the product of both labor and capital, but capital takes away the lion’s share at the time of distribution, depriving the labor of its due. Socialism is defined as a social system where the society will be based on equal opportunity for all and ‘to pay one according to his work’.
- Property, disease and ignorance shall be eliminated.
- Property and privilege in any form shall occupy a strictly limited place,
- All citizens shall have equal opportunities and
- Ethical and spiritual values shall contribute to the enrichment of the individual and communal life.
Socialism outside India: The movement of Socialism gained momentum under the patron age of many social reformers who advocated a society where there would be no exploitation and no oppression. But it was Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, who asked the working men of all countries to unite, for bringing a communist revolution. Equipped with the theory of Marxian Socialism, Lenin, one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century seized power in Russia and established a dictatorship of the Proletariat.
Conclusion: It must be remembered that socialism has always been associated with some type of dictatorial rule. India is an exception and she is trying to build up socialism within a democratic set up. India believes Socialism is road to progress and Democracy is the breath of her life.