EXPLORING THE THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS UNDERLYING THE CONCEPT AND NATURE OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA
Abstract One salient characteristic of Indian democracy is its reliance on the collaborative efforts of all states in topics pertaining to finance, legislation, and administration, hence facilitating effective government. The primary objective of Nehru in shaping India's democracy and constructing a socialist pattern of society was to ensure the protection of rights, liberty, and freedom for all citizens, with the aim of achieving the greatest good for the largest number of people. Over time, India's democratic system has exhibited characteristics of authoritarianism, characterised by a concentration of power at the central level and a flawed federal structure. This has resulted in a significant disconnect between the central government and state governments, leading to the infringement of civil and political rights during emergencies and under the pretext of state security. Additionally, the presence of centralised institutions and bureaucratic mechanisms further exacerbates this situation. The emergence of regional elites and their pursuit of political power and dominance throughout the liberal era, along with the progressive integration of these capitalist elites into Indian democracy, resulted in the bourgeois character of Indian democracy. The primary objective of NITI Aayog is to foster the development of robust states that can together contribute to the formation of a strong and unified India. This endeavour seeks to address the tendencies of authoritarianism and elitism prevalent within Indian states, with the ultimate goal of enhancing governance and establishing a genuinely democratic society.