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2) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s view on representative democracy?(250 words)

Topic– struggle for independence : significant personalities.

2) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s view on representative democracy?(250 words)


Why this question

The article explains Gandhi’s view on representative democracy and would enable us to understand his views on democracy and hind swaraj more deeply.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out Gandhi’s views on representative democracy while explaining about his own idea of hind swaraj. Finally, we can discuss how democracy in current time can be made more representative using Gandhi’s ideas.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain about the idea of representative democracy


  • Discuss Gandhi’s view on representative democracy
    • Gandhi’s view of British style parliamentary democracy can be guaged from his view that parliamentary form of democracy was ill-suited for India, when he wrote in the Hind Swaraj, “I pray to God that India may never be in that plight”.
    • Gandhi supported the idea of direct democracy instead of representative democracy.
    • dislike for representative democracy sprang from his conviction that it would in no time degenerate into an anti-people institution in a multicultural and multi-religious context like India.
  • Explain about the form of direct democracy that Gandhi advocated – talk about the idea of village republics and Hind swaraj
    • Gandhi envisaged the creation of interrelated self-sufficient non-hierarchical socialist village communities called “swaraj”, with each of them functioning as a direct democracy.
    • Gandhi devised his constructive programme for the implementation of “swaraj”. He believed that “swaraj”, if implemented through the constructive programme, would help people conceive development as freedoms instead of economic advancement.
    • He also needed, a non-violent interim arrangement during the transition from a capitalist state to a stateless socialist society. Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship, like Marx’s idea of dictatorship of the proletariat, was intended for that purpose. He believed that this was the only way India could escape the threat of becoming a nation state and being forced to choose between the two evils.
  • Give your views in Gandhi’s ideas

Conclusion – Explain how third tier of government can be strengthened in line with Gandhi’s vision.