DefineĀ  Challenge and Its Types

What is a Challenge?

  • A challenge is not just any problem. We usually call only those difficulties a ‘challenge’ which are significant and which can be overcome.
  • A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress. Once we overcome a challenge, we go up to a higher level than before.

Different countries face different kinds of challenges.

  • Foundational challenge : This involves bringing down the existing non-democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishign a sovereign and functional state.
  • Challenge of expansion : This involves applying the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions. Ensuring greater power to local governments, extension of federal principle to all the units of the federation, inclusion of women and minority groups, etc. falls under this challenge.
  • Deepening of democracy : This is faced by every democracy in one form or another. In general terms, it usually means strengthening those insitutions that help people’s participation and control.

Challenge : A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress.

Deepening of Democracy : This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy by more people’s participation and control.

Sovereign : Having the highest power of being compeltely independent.

Reforms and Redefining Democracy

Some broad guidelines that can be kept in mind while devising ways and means for political reforms in India:

i) It is legal ways of reforming politics : Law has an important role to play in political reform. Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones. (But legal-constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy. Democratic reforms are to be carried out mainly by political activists , parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.)

ii) Any legal challenge must carefully look at what results it will have on politics. Laws that give political actors incentives to do good things have more chances of working. The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. (The Right to Information Act is a good example of a law that empowers the people to find out what is happening in government and act as watch-dogs of democracy).

iii) Democratic reforms are to be brought about principally through political practice. Therefore, the main focus of political reforms should be to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens.

  • Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how. Measuers that rely on democratic movements, citizens’ organizations and the media are likely to succeed.

Reforms proposals

i) The financial accounts of every political party should be made public. These accounts should be examined by government auditors.

ii) There should be state funding of elections. Parties should be given some money by the government to meet their election expenditure.

iii) Citizens should be encouraged to give more donations to parties and to political workers. Such donations should be exempted from income tax.

Democratic reforms : It refers to institutional changes taht aim to improve the quality of democracy that is practiced in the country and empower the citizens.

Incentives : A supplemental reward that serves as a motivational device for a desired action or behaviour.

Government auditors : Considered a subset of internal auditors, and are employed by federal state and local agencies.