Meaning of DEMOCRACY, POLITICAL:
Derived from the Greek words Demos meaning people and Kratos meaning rule, democracy literally means “rule by the people.” A comprehensive definition was given by Robert Dahl who said that at the core of political democracy there are three dimensions-competition, participation, and civil and political liberties. Thus there is a meaningful and extensive competition among individuals and groups for power without making the use of force; a high level of participation in the political process such as in elections and a wide range of political and civil liberties including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to form and join organisations, and so on. As a political system, democracy has certain inherent contradictions that can be overcome only through a persistant search for solutions. For instance, freedom of expression can increase tension. It can sharpen the wish to revolt so as to do away with the injustices. Liberty breeds inequality, equality is a precondition of liberty. While democracy means restricting of the use of force by the State or the powerful groups, not to use force on certain occasions may prove suicidal. Such are the dilemmas of a democracy.