“Democracy and Illiteracy cannot Move Together”


“Democracy and Illiteracy cannot Move Together”

  1. Introduction
  2. Development of human political System
  3. Principles of Democracy
  4. Poor agriculture technology, low growth
  5. Why illiteracy and democracy can’t move together
  • Political instability
  • Absence of intercommunal harmony and cooperation
  • Equal chance to genders for development
  • Tolerance and rule of law
  • Effective administration
  • Accountability and responsibility of government
  • Meritocracy as base Nepotism
  • Economical prosperity and cultural development
  • Media and judiciary is not free
  • No national consensus.
  • Regionalism

6. Facts which show that democracy and Illiteracy cannot move together.

  • Rise of authorization rule
  • Poor economic growth, cultural development
  • Little tolerance and cooperation
  • Constantly degrading social life of citizens
  • Violence and terrorism, Extremism.
  • Incapacitate government structure
  • Little cooperation on national interests.

7. Factors which leads to Illiteracy and dictatorship:

  • No political will
  • Little role of Media
  • Religious fanaticism
  • Degraded system of Education
  • Little will of society for change
  • Powerful feudalistic culture restricts
  • Democratic process and education

8. Recommendation to eradicate Illiteracy and promote a stable democratic system 9.Conclusion:

           Referring to the democratic system of the world as a peak of human’s political development. Huntington described it as the “End of Human Political History”. Democracy, owing to its fruits and dividends, stands at a distinguished and unique position among other forms of government. This system not only provides all the basic rights of individuals and treats them equal but enables them through education to grow and prosper. If anyone wants to alienate them of their rights, they can pursue them by legal means. Almost all the thinkers and philosophers of political Science, despite having much differences regarding their other view, ae agree that democratic system is the only government which represents people wishes and safeguard their interests/well beings. Where so many factors are responsible for jeopardizing the real benefits grows and performance of democracy, illiteracy is rated as its biggest enemy because of creating such an environment which not only endangers the very existence of it but also deprives it of the various fruits that are promised by democratic system. Democracy and illiteracy, irrefutably/certainly, can never move together.

        Since the beginning of life on earth human beings have passed through many stages. In the early stages only food, clothes and shelter were their requirements as these were necessary for survival. Gradually with increasing population human being learned to organize and develop governance system. Human civilization has passed through various systems of governance including theocracy, oligarchy, patriarchy, monarchy, autocracy, dictatorship and through the ages of empires and city-states, human wisdom is now convinced that democracy is the only form of government for equal justice, common growth, collective progress, peace and prosperity.

The basic principle basis of democracy is popular Sovereignty. Abraham Lincoln describes democracy as “the government of the people, by the people for the people.” According to Merriam Webster dictionary “democracy is the form of government in which the supreme power lies with the people and is exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation elected regularly through a process of fair and free elections.” Another dictionary of Cambridge defines it as “democracy is the belief in freedom and equality, or the system of government based on this belief in which power is utilized by people directly or through elected representation.” In short, democracy is that forms of government in which affairs are run through collectively elected representatives based on the principle of equality and freedom, tolerance and cooperation, accountability and transparency, collectivity and power decentralization are some of the principles of democracy.

Unlike many other systems, democracy is the best form of government, however, democracy too has some limitations and restrictions which affects it’s growth, benefits and sustenance. Among these factors, illiteracy is the prime cause of detriment to democratic system. Illiteracy, like a frightful witch, clips off the wings of dove of democracy, till the time it dies its own natural death. Many ground realities explains the fact that democracy and illiteracy cannot move together.

The very first fact that democracy and illiteracy cannot move together is that, the electorate, unaware of political, social and national interest elect, those whose weak and unwise decisions leads towards chaos and deprivation. The electors, unaware of their rights cannot force the elected to take right decisions in the interest of nation and keep them at right track. Thus, despite a democratic government the system remain deprived of competent and suitable persons, who can run the affairs more efficiently.

        Low voter turns out that is a detrimental impact on democracy, is due to the poor literacy rate. Developed countries where education ratio is up to 80 and 90 percent also has vote turnout of 80 to 90 percent. These values are shown by few research center and organization of fair and free election. However, the literacy rate in Pakistan is about 60 percent and likewise, the voter turnout is also almost 60 percent. This relation shows that literacy rate and democracy are almost proportional to each other. The poor ratio of voter turnout creates less cooperation and coordination. Further-more, it downplays the faith and confidence of public on elected government representatives, thus democracy remains unable to move hand in hand with literacy and development.

          The elected leaders get to these seats by means of every kind of unfair means like feudalistic coercion, job promises and distributing money in return of vote to illiterate electors; while lacking their true prudence, smartness, credentials, vision, farsightedness, maturity and broadmindedness. The mature, farsighted and literate representatives are only elected by educated society. In Pakistan, until the imposition of minimum condition of graduation for election, many of politicians were unable to even read their own name. And, people like them are until now present in Parliament, who depends on other to read the agenda of legislative session. So, how can these illiterate elected politicians deliberate on making good policies for nation to make them compete with other nations.

           Illiteracy turns the tide of democracy towards a monarchic single leader party system. This system does not let democratic norms to evolve and strengthen its roots. The democratic system of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries closely validates this fact. The public and party worker, blindly follow their single leader and then their offspring, without knowing that, either he is capable of running state affairs or not. Such type of democracy impedes even the fundamental rights of citizens.

        Illiteracy promotes an environment of backwardness, poverty, unemployment and other socio-economic evils in a society. This system of illiterate society develops a perpetual system of vote selling for a few coins and supporting those candidates who fulfil their economics need, are the few manifestations of such type of societies. Political candidates find there a “vote market” where they buy some votes with money. The people thus elected are always in search of different ways to earn back their money, increase their bank balance and offer lucrative jobs to their incapable relatives. Such practices, in turn, promote hostilities and blame game among self-interested politicians, leaving ignored national issues and developmental policies.

       Undeserved and uneducated politicians elected by the illiterate masses make myopic policies which are; irresponsible and biased thinking of a single person. these policies do not retain inclusiveness , rational decision, a clear vision and evaluation, as these may only be prepared if the team has the required knowledge and they analyze the short-comings of existing system. The reactive rather than proactive responses of this system which is deprived of think tank, creates imbalance, chaos, deprivation and grievances. Such type of non visionistic policies can be portrayed from 1950’s, when other sectors of country’s economy were almost ignored and only industrial sector was promoted, which caused a sense of deprivation in the people of East Pakistan. Later, in 1970’s a impracticable policy of nationalization and then in 1990’s a policy of rapid privatization was adopted. These policies have not only aggravated the issues of national economy but also alienated the poor provinces and people of the country.

          Yet another effect of illiterate society and their elected leaders is that the policies created are purely based on producing class disparities. Power is kept in hand of few, who showers economic  benefits on some of their allies while keeping the general masses away from development. This cycle of feudalistic culture, appoints legitimacy to them for life long. The illiterate society feels secure and safer under this feudalistic and colonial structure. Looking back into the history of Pakistan one can clearly notice the slowly rising socio-economic indicators of the country as well as the behavior of politicians to not devolve the power. And every time, when they tried to hold all the powers under their thumb, huge protests or dictatorship strangled the country and pushed it in to the back alleys of authoritarianism derailing demo.

Unaware of responsibilities of state and their own right, the illiterate society cannot pursue the practice of accountability. Despite every system and mechanism of a constitutionalized accountability these rogue leaders clinches every opportunity to loot the wealth of the nation by unlawful methods. And, when they are caught by chance, then, either they are sent abroad for few years or left free by plea bargains, National reconciliation orders or amnesty schemes. At the worse stage, they make themselves critical patient and runs away from country for medical treatment. These circumstances give way to general public discontent and they welcome the martial laws, as a miracle to free them of this debacle. The superior courts also justified these martial laws because they thought that only martial law can bring stability and accountability

           Women empowerment is the key to politico-economic and socio-cultural development, but an illiterate, society do not want to let go off their outdated patriarchal norms. They make every effort to resist the liberation of women from the depths of backwardness and privation. Thus they keep away the major portion of society to take part in the evolution of their nation-state. Unable to perform in productive working sectors of a country, the deprivation, backwardness and anti-democratic environment prevails.

Proving beyond doubt that illiteracy and democracy can’t move together, there are some caused for poor literacy in different parts of the world. Among these caused, one is economic incapacity poor countries do not possess enough financial resources to completely eradicate illiteracy. While the 99 percent literacy rate and stable democratic systems are only found in developed countries like America, Canada, Japan, UK and many other. On other side poor developing countries like Pakistan spends a little more than 2 percent of their GDP on education.

           Inadequate educational policies of government are not farsighted and thus cannot combat the scourge of illiteracy. Ground realities are totally ignored, which cannot help to achieve target issues like medium of education, syllabus structure, qualified teachers and improved infrastructure are rarely considered in policies. All of these situations combine to force children towards labor, fanaticism, begging and extremism

Some of the bad practices of socio-cultural norms and misinterpretation of religion also hampers the society from getting education. In many parts of the world as well as in our own country these norms prevent male in general and female in Particular from acquiring education. Schools are blown, on the grounds of mooting un-Islamic values. Women are barred from taking part in social learning and performing. The result is that whole new generations are pushed into darkness of illiteracy.


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