1. Introduction
2. An overview of human political evolution
3. Democracy and its principles
4. Facts which prove that democracy and illiteracy can’t move together
5. Factors responsible for the prevalence of illiteracy
6. Recommendations for the eradication of illiteracy
7. Conclusion

Democracy, owing to its fruits and dividends, wields a distinguished and unique position among all the different forms of government. All the gurus and thinkers in the field of political science, despite having much disagreement over their other concepts and beliefs, are unanimous in their support for democracy, declaring it as the only form of government capable of representing people’s wishes and safeguarding their wellbeing. Where so many other factors jeopardize the existence, growth and performance of democracy, illiteracy can be rated as its biggest enemy because of its potential of creating such an environment that not only endangers the very existence of democracy but also deprives it of all the fruits that are promised by a democratic dispensation. Democracy and illiteracy, certainly and irrefutably, can never move together.

Since the beginning of life on the Earth, human needs have undergone many changes. Initially, only food, clothes and shelter were the basic necessities of life because these were the only things humans needed for survival. Gradually, these requirements transformed owing to increase in population and a well-organised, collective governance system became the topmost priority of every society and civilization. Political journey of mankind saw different stations of experience and various junctures of observation. After experiencing monarchy, theocracy, autocracy, dictatorship and many more political models; human wisdom is now fully convinced that democracy and only democracy is the system that can best serve human desire of inclusive progress, prosperity and growth.

Democracy has been and can be defined in a number of ways. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines democracy as “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” As per Cambridge Dictionary, democracy is “the belief in freedom and equality between people or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.” In simple words, democracy can be defined as a political system in which collective affairs are run through people’s chosen representatives. Provision of fundamental rights, equality before law, participatory governance, accountability and transparency, and decentralization of power and authority are some basic principles of democracy.

Democracy, owing to its multitude of benefits, is certainly the best form of government. Like every system, however, democracy too has some vulnerabilities and limitations as far as its sustenance, growth and performance are concerned. Illiteracy is one of the very same factors the presence of which is highly detrimental to the very existence of democracy. Illiteracy, just like a powerful witch, clips the wings of the dove of democracy till the time it dies its natural death. Many ground realities provide substantial evidence to the very same fact that democracy and illiteracy can never and by no means move together. A detailed analysis of these realities can be extremely informative and eye-opener.

The fact that can be presented as the very first evidence to prove democracy’s incompatibility with illiteracy is electorate’s political unawareness that is caused by lack of education. This unawareness leads to unwise and imprudent decisions at the time of elections and resultantly the state, despite having a democratic form of government, remains deprived of the most suitable persons to run its affairs. Similarly, being unaware of their rights, these electors remain incapable of exerting pressure on those elected by them that is necessary to keep them on the right track, and hence democracy yields no fruitful results .

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