Debate on Democracy Cannot Survive Without Education

Democracy cannot survive without education’. Express your views either for or against this statement.

Democracy Cannot Survive Without Education

For the Statement

Modern people worship a number of idols: private property, freedom of choice, entertainment, the global economy, and many other domains of life. Perhaps the most powerful of these idols is democracy: a made-up god responsible for many war conflicts, ineffective governments, and the ignorance of common people. Though people worship democracy as a self-valuable phenomenon that can protect them from all evil exclusively, this form of government is useless without the efforts and responsibility of these people.

Democracy is believed to be the best way for realizing human rights. Democracy is a form of government which implies that citizens are given the power to propose, develop, and create laws either directly or through representatives. Unfortunately, democracy can be fairly called utopia suitable only for a perfect world which is a make-believe. The former president Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

The total adult literacy rate around the world in 2010 was 84.1%. This means that nearly 785 million illiterate adults can due be found all over the world. Considering the words spoken by President John F. Kennedy, that in democracy, the ignorance of one voter impairs the security of all, imagine what the ignorance of 785 million voters could do. For instance, let us take a look at plebiscites. For example, it asks the voters only one question that can be answered only “yes” or “no”. Would all voters be aware of the possible consequences for the whole nation? How do they make decisions? Only when every single voter is properly educated will democracy succeed.

We push for democracy, as they believe all other options are worse. This is commonly not true-a society is not a rigid and conservative structure, unable to adapt to changes and find new ways of development; on the contrary, it is highly fluid and flexible, and forms of social organization that seemed impossible several decades ago are now the part of everyday reality. For example, one needs to look no further than the Arab Spring: a sequence of revolutionary transformation that had its origin in, online social network. What people need to understand is that, voting, elections, freedom of speech, and other highly valued idols of every “democratic” society are useless and even harmful if not used properly. Modern democracies sometimes look like ignorant crowds ruled by a minority, competent enough to make everyone believe, it is the common people who run everything. Granting the educated representatives, the right to rule is an act of idleness: people become educated themselves, so they can be responsible for the life of their society and personal community.

The key to a rich, progressive country is not democracy by itself, but education. An ignorant crowd which has a right to choose from a number of options can inflict more damage to the state than a well-educated monarch or dictator. Only when people are totally prepared to be responsible for their actions, democracy will prove itself as the most efficient way of running a nation. Until then, it remains a false utopia.

Against the Statement

In today’s era, just imagine about ancient Greek Democracy which only considered its citizens to be Athenian men of age (thus excluding women, children, slaves and anyone who was not Athenian). And compare it with today’s democracy, where everyone has a right to vote and get represented in the Political Party as a candidate to fight in elections. During often days great philosophers and thinkers like Aristotle and Plato thought about educating the masses by educating their mind, and by giving them the power through education. For that they had to democratized the governments.

Democracy is a process which was not immediately achieved, but we are now closer to this goal, where everyone could be represented equally, for that we have to be educated to understand the political structure of our government (and we can’t do that without education). I do agree to all these points. But, this does not apply an Indian Democracy where literacy matter, but not education.

How can we judge a politician by his or her educational qualifications? There have been many great leaders who were uneducated but did fantastic work for the country. Mr. Modi himself isn’t highly educated but today he is our great Ambassador to the world. He is the person India chose for the period of five years as their Prime Minister. Doesn’t he works hard? Doesn’t he dreams high? Doesn’t he has a far-sighted vision to improve Indian economic growth globally? Take another example of late Mr. Jayalalitha, (former C.M. of Tamilnadu) she was not only loved, but was respected as ‘Amma’ (mother) of Tamilnadu’s people. She was a leader who only got basic education of Xth Standard, she was a leader who had not only made an unrepeatable history in India and also became a true model for million of women to realise their power in public service. ‘’She was like the legendary bird, Phoenix. Bounced back from every challenge, she worked on her dreams and vision to make them a reality’’. She was an exemplary and extraordinary leader for the poor and middle class people. She worked for the welfare programmes and a legacy of the Dravidian Parties. Her charisma and connection to people enabled her to achieve this.

Let us now consider example of Anna Hazare, who is just IXth passed out, he overshadows Harvard educated politicians with his hard efforts and simplicity. He got Jan Lokpal Bill passed for the betterment of ordinary people of India on the contrary, his disciple Arvind Kejriwal, who is an Iitian Kharagpur, who worked for the Indian Revenue Service as a joint commissioner of the Income Tax Department in New Delhi, who is also the C.M. of Delhi, he is unable to prove his abilities in democracy of India. Even consider the example of Rahul Gandhi (Congress), though he is M. Phil from Trinity College, Cambridge. He belongs to a royal ‘Gandhi family’, but he is a very unsuccessful leader of India, he is the stand-up comedian of India, often called ‘Pappu’ by the Indian public.

So, according to me democracy can survive without education. If a person is hard working, simple, honest, devoted, to his service and who also dreams high, and has a far–sighted vision of future, then also democracy will outshine without education.

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