Democracy has been defined as ‘the Government of the people, by the people, and for the people’. It is the only form of Government in which the will of the people is reflected in the administration.
In other forms of Government such as monarchy, oligarchy, etc. all the power is concentrated in the hands of one person or group of persons who carry on the administration irrespective of people’s wishes. Even if those types of Government are conducted in the interest of the people, since the people have no connection with the administration, they cannot feel very happy under them.
But though the masses are connected with the Government in a democracy, they cannot, obviously all of them, take an active part in the conduct of the Government.
There was, of course, a time when the number of people in a State was limited and then such a method was possible and people could assemble in one place and take decision on all important matters by majority vote. This was the rule in the city-States of ancient Greece.
But now with the phenomenal increase of population in each State, it is not possible for each and every person in a State to take an active part in its administration. So people have to be represented by persons of their choice, to speak for them in the House of legislature and to keep watch over the activities of the Government.
The next question that arises is, who are the people who can be safely entrusted with leadership in a democracy. A leader should identify himself with the people whom he professes to serve. It is his business to reflect the wishes and frustrations of the people in the council of the nation. Rich or poor whatever he may be, devoted service to the people is the first requisite for leadership in a democracy.
The historical evolution of democracy is an interesting study. In most of the cities in early Europe the Government seems to have been at first monarchical also. But arrogance and oppression provoked rising which in many cases ended by vesting power ion all the free voters.
The weakness of democracy should not be left out of consideration. This form of government attaches greater importance to quantity than to quality and since every person does not possess the same amount of political talents, a democratic government cannot ensure better administration of public affairs.
Further this form of government lacks stability and is not favorable to the development of art, science and culture. But whatever good or evil is the outcome of democracy, people, being more politically conscious nowadays, favor a democratic Government.