Why is India called the biggest democratic country?

  • Why is India called the biggest democratic country? I have seen many other countries bigger than India that still follow voting mechanisms. Why is India called so?

    1. Define "bigger". Land area? Population? Economical strength?

    2. Define "democracy". The definition of what is a democratic voting mechanism and what isn't differs a lot from country to country. In fact, many countries which are considered dictatorships by others call themself democratic just because they force everyone at gunpoint to vote in an election where there is only one candidate. The German Democratic Republic, for example, had the word "democratic" **in it's name** even though it is generally agreed that it was a totalitarian socialist state.

    Define "Called". Give a specific example of who calls it that, so the context of where they used the term can be determined.

    India is the second "largest" country in the world by population. And it is "democratic" (by most measures) compared to China, the largest.

    also, 'voting' doesn't necessarily mean 'democracy'.

    Biggest decocracy? In India there is *Caste system*. It does not sound democatic, does it?

    It's not the "largest democratic country", but the "largest democracy", in terms of the size of the electorate. 863,500,000 people are eligible to vote for the Indian Federal House of Representatives (the Lok Sabha), larger than the EU and US elections combined (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_India). Chinese elections are run on a local basis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_China).

  • Philipp

    Philipp Correct answer

    7 years ago

    This question depends on two definitions:

    1. When is a country "bigger" than another? Land area? Population? Economical strength?
    2. When do you count a country as a "democracy"? Just having a voting mechanism doesn't make a democracy. When the vote is meaningless or designed in a way that the ruling party has an unfair advantage, it hardly matters. Also, there are a lot of other criterias which some people might or might not consider part of a working democracy (separation of powers, political equality, right to due process, freedom of speech...). I would argue that you won't find a country in the world which would be considered 100% democratic according to every possible definition.

    India is the second largest country in the world by population. The only country with a larger population is China. The government system of China is a one-party socialist state which can hardly be called democratic, even though some government representatives are in fact elected directly or indirectly and the CPC has some democratic structures internally.

    India is the 7th largest country by land area. Larger areas have: Australia, Brazil, USA, China, Canada and Russia. I will certainly not rate these countries by how democratic I would consider them, but I think that everyone can find at least one country in that list they would consider at least as democratic as India.

    India is the 7th largest country by gross domestic product. Economically bigger countries are: United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and United Kingdom. Many of these countries would fulfill most definitions of a democracy (or at least those which would also be fulfilled by India).

    tl;dr: The statement "India is the biggest democratic country" is solid when you measure by population, but not when you measure by area or GDP.

    This, of course, under the assumption that you consider India itself a democracy. But I am not going to touch that issue with a ten foot pole.

    But there are those who do touch that last issue... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-56393944

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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