Majoritarianism and Democracy



  • G.S.Paper 2
  • What is Majoritarianism?
  • Majoritarianism vs Democracy
  • Majority rule in India
  • How Majoritarianism can hurt Indian democracy?


  • India’s majority rule is failing its democratic system and there is need to address this issue.

What is Majoritarianism?

  • It is the philosophy or practice according to which decisions of an organized group should be made by a numerical majority of its members.
  • Majority rule does not mean that a party in office can do anything according to their own will and the minority party either have to acquiesce with the majority’s wishes or wait for their time.

Majoritarianism vs Democracy

  • Majoritarianism is often the negative result of democracy.
  • It is when a majority uses their voting rights to vote for parties, groups, or politicians that snatch the right of the minority, and/or does not act in the interests of the minority altogether.
  • True, pure democracy is known as direct democracy, a system used in Ancient Greece. It is a system in which all or at least a large percent of the population makes the decisions for a region or country.

Majoritarianism in India

  • India’s majority rule has failed the nation in countless ways. It worsened communal tensions leading to the country’s partition. It inflamed the majority in Kashmir making it the bloodiest conflict in India’s history.
  • It permits governments to tyrannise the people and political opponents, with investigative agencies like the CBI, police and tax authorities.
  • The Unfettered majority rule is also the main reason behind India’s rampant corruption. It was an out of control majority that allowed Indira Gandhi to end India’s democracy altogether.

How Majoritarianism can hurt Indian democracy?

  • Because majority rule party gets all the power to make changes, there will not be a uniformity in the development of the country.
  • It will give birth to corruption as minority party does not have authority to take decisions on any matter.
  • Communal tensions can arise which will hurt national integration and democratic system of the country.
  • This can lead to tensions among states itself and affect economic ties.

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