Democracy and Illiteracy Cannot Go Hand in Hand


Democracy and Illiteracy Cannot Go Hand in Hand Essay for CSS and PMS Aspirants | CSS Essays | PMS Essays | Essays by Sir Syed Kazim Ali

Hamza Obaid has attempted this essay on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students, who have consistently been qualifying their CSS and PMS essays. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice how to write a comprehensive outline; how to write bullets in an outline; how to write the introductory paragraph; how to connect sentences and paragraphs; how to write a topic sentence; how to put evidence within the paragraphs.


1- Introduction

  • Democracy, in the absence of literacy, a wild goose chase
    • Authoritarianism, feudalism- a sprout of illiteracy
    • Democratic norms annihilation in the presence of the lack of education
    • Illiteracy proven to be an obstacle to democracy in Pakistan
    • People not able to hold leaders accountable in the country

2- Grasping the connection between democracy and illiteracy

  • Education- the backbone of democracy
    • Literate nation, stable democratic environ
    • Illiteracy fuels chaos, extremism, sectarianism

3- Pakistan- Under the watch

  • Political Polarization due to illiterate leadership
    • Illiteracy in the country still at peak
      • Literacy rate in Pakistan 58 percent in 2021 according to the National Statistics Bureau of Pakistan

4- Why do democracy and illiteracy not move together?

  • Illiteracy resulting in a non-participatory populace, select incapable leaders
    • Highest participation by Punjab in elections 60 percent according to the Election Commission of Pakistan
  • Giving rise to non-democratic values in the country
    • Pakistan ranks 104th out of 167 countries on the global democracy index
  • Uneducated people unable to hold their leaders accountable, leading towards corruption
    • Pakistan ranks 140 out of 180 countries- Corruption perception index report
  • Fueling the evils, like extremism, sectarianism paving the way for political polarization and, eventually, martial law
    • Three military coups since 1947
  • Illiteracy hindering the process of e-governance results in poor electoral system
    • Only 24 interactive webs and nine apps are implemented in two decades- National Information Technology Board
  • Maintaining the hegemony of feudal lords and tribal nobles
    • According to research by Sustainable Development Policy Institute, around 45 percent people in rural Pakistan cast vote based on ethnic allegiances
  • Illiteracy hampering women’s participation in politics and institutions
    • Only ten elected women members of the National Assembly

5- What can be the mechanism to increase the literacy rate and strengthen democracy?

  • To make an all-inclusive curriculum for the whole country promoting democratic norms and nipping extremism
  • To increase the minimum education bar for constituent assemblies for the upbringing of visionary leaders
  • ✓ To promote women’s participation in democratic structure and education
  • ✓ To give education to every child to put an end to feudal and tribal culture
  • ✓ To introduce more e-governance initiatives for better democratic norms and values
  • ✓ To enhance the education budget for the better prevalence of higher education and skilled education

6- Critical Analysis

7- Conclusion

Extensive English Essay and Precis Course for CSS & PMS Aspirants

A strong form of government, undoubtedly, is essential for the political, social, and economic growth of a country, and democracy, the rule of the people, is considered to be the best form of government in the modern world. Democracy, ostensibly, has become a tool that gives people the right to make decisions by choosing their own representatives. Yet, the vigilant, participatory, and literate citizenry promotes a democratic culture in society. In the same manner, democracy, in the absence of education, is a wild goose chase as it is the education that not only develops the democratic temper of the people but also enables them to choose far-sighted leaders for themselves. However, in Pakistan, illiteracy has proven to be an obstacle to the flourishment of democracy in the country, as uneducated masses cannot choose visionary leadership and hold them accountable for their misdeeds. As a result, ignorant leaders act as autocrats and annihilate all democratic norms in society, such as rigging elections, lawlessness, and cornering the opposition. On the one hand, illiteracy fuels evils like extremism and feudalism; conversely, it hampers women’s societal empowerment. Therefore, for a thriving democracy, providing an all-inclusive education to every child must be necessary to nip all evils in the bud. Furthermore, by selecting more visionary leaders and empowering women, every country can carve out a democratic future. This essay eludes how democracy and illiteracy cannot go hand in hand and what measures Pakistan should take to promote democratic culture.

Understandingly, education is the backbone of democracy, helping it form a democratic and stable society. In the modern world, all the literate nations have a strong democratic environment because their public is participatory and vigilant. For instance, all the Scandinavian countries, like Norway and Finland, are the most literate nations in the world, and they are in the top ten countries in the global democracy index. However, illiteracy ignites extremism and secularism, like in most third-world countries. Furthermore, illiteracy provides space for non-democratic forces to prevail in the country and have a strong footing in the country. Hence, democracy can never flourish in the absence of education, and both are inevitable for each other’s progress.

Currently, Pakistan is in the middle of a storm of political chaos due to illiterate politicians working for their vested interests. Due to the low literacy rate, people are still blindly following their agendas without any question or holding them accountable for their misdeeds. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the current literacy rate of the country is 58 per cent, which is quite low compared to its neighbouring nations. Moreover, the promotion of non-democratic norms in society is at its peak right now. However, the country has been covered in dark clouds of political polarization, which besides impacting the life of the average citizen, also impacts the political outlook of the state. But, still, there is hope for the flourishment of democracy in Pakistan as the country’s first time in its history is near completion of its third successive democratic government.

Illiteracy and democracy cannot go hand in hand, as it is education that breeds democratic culture in a society. Here, it is important to discuss how illiteracy in a country halts the flourishment of democracy in a country. Here, the light will be thrown on how illiteracy hampers the progress of democracy in Pakistan. To begin with, democracy is the name of people’s participation in political affairs, but people with a lack of education are unmindful of their importance in a democratic setup. According to a report from the Election Commission of Pakistan, voter turnout in Punjab is sixty per cent, which is the maximum in the country, and also Punjab-58 cent literacy rate- is the province with the highest literacy rate. Moreover, they select leaders based on ethnic and linguistic allegiances, not on an ideological basis. Hence, due to the non-participation of the masses in elections, incapable leaders are selected and turn into autocrats and giving rise to non-democratic values.

Adding to this, illiteracy gives rise to non-democratic values in the country, such as lack of justice, absence of liberty, and rigging of public mandate. People are unaware of their basic rights; as a result, they do not question the leaders or institutions. Pakistan ranks 104th out of 167 countries on the global democracy index, showing the foundation of democratic norms in society. Moreover, democracy is part and parcel of human development in the modern era, and it cannot be achieved without a literate society. Therefore, thriving democratic norms are essential for the progress of the country and countering social evils like corruption.

In the same manner, illiteracy also brews many social evils, like corruption, unemployment, and criminal activities, and it impedes the progress of democracy in a state. Uneducated people are unable to hold their leaders accountable, which leads to corruption, and instead of being a public servant, they become a tyrant. As per the Corruption Perception Index Report, Pakistan ranks 140 out of 180 countries in the world, which clearly gives a glimpse of the country’s accountability system. Consequently, these social evils pave the way for undemocratic forces to prevail in the country and put an end to democracy.

Adding fuel to the fire, democracy can never prosper in the presence of an uneducated society. Therefore, religious politics is a norm in the country, and many leaders play the sect card to get their vested interests. Moreover, some raise the slogan of a separate province for a separate lingual people and get votes in the elections, weakening the roots of democracy in the country. These differences in society pave the way for undemocratic forces- dictatorship- to overcome the state and rule the country authoritatively.Since its inception, Pakistan has seen three military coups. Dictatorship abolishes the country’s constitution and halts the democratic process in the state. Furthermore, it weakens the state institutions and makes people struggle for basic rights, such as justice, equality, and freedom of speech.

Supplementing to this cause, weakened institutions lack transparency and become a cause of rigging of public mandates and other social evils. Moreover, illiteracy also halts the process of e-governance in the country, which ensures better governance and paves the way for future democratic stability. Only 24 interactive web portals and nine apps have been implemented in two decades, according to the National Information Technology Board. However, e-governance is the medium for better public service, but it can only aid the literate public. So, the education of the masses is crucial for the implementation of a successful e-governance system and the uplifting of democratic values in society.

Apart from the weakening of institutions, illiteracy also maintains the hegemony of feudal and tribal lords in society. They divide people on an ethnic and linguistic basis to maintain their say in their affairs, and illiterate people cannot understand their hidden motives. According to research by Sustainable Development Policy Institute, around 45 per cent of rural Pakistani cast votes based on ethnic allegiances. In this way, feudal lords, acting as aristocrats, hold the reigns of the uneducated people and deprive them of their political rights without their knowledge. It is necessary to strengthen our institutions for better awareness and weaken the hegemony of feudal lords, also empower women in those areas.

Last but not least, the empowerment of gender, especially women, is inevitable for the growth of democracy in a country. Women’s education is critical for democracy as more than half of the population of the state is women, but only ten elected members of the National Assembly are women. Non-participation of women in the electoral process results in male dominant political culture. Hence, for democracy to prosper, every country must need to empower its women and make them participate in politics for better nurturing of democracy in their state through women electorates who fight for women’s rights.

However, the lack of education derails the democratic system of the country. Its impacts on the political culture of society are profound. It is not an issue which cannot be solved. Every problem has its solution, as the issue itself results due to negligence of the state. Here some practicable measures are suggested to get out of the malice of illiteracy and strengthen democracy. To begin with, an all-inclusive curriculum must be introduced to give an insight into democratic values and norms and their importance for society. Moreover, a curriculum based on national integration can nip ethno-linguistic diversity. Democracy can never thrive in the presence of a bipolar education system. However, evils like sectarianism and extremism can only be eradicated through an all-inclusive education system. Hence, the need of the hour is to promote a single national curriculum in the country and make education compulsory for every child of the nation.

Adding to this, the minimum education limit of the politicians must be increased from graduation level to minimum master level and politicians to work in their specialized field. Moreover, more visionary leaders can only be those who have strong ideological and educational backgrounds. Thus, literate politicians are crucial to avoid political polarization in the country and to pave the way for stable democratic culture in the state. Furthermore, stable democracy can exterminate non-democratic forces in the country. Therefore, visionary leaders are necessary for the growth of democracy in a state.

Moreover, the promotion of women in political culture and the empowerment of women through education is critical for the growth of a country. Additionally, women’s participation in politics is indispensable for strengthening democracy in Pakistan. To promote women’s participation in politics, education is a pre-requisite, and through empowering education, women’s involvement in the political culture of the state can be ensured. Hence, women’s participation in politics is central to the progress of democracy, and women’s education can prosper if more and more women come into the national assembly. Therefore, both are key to the advancement of each other.

In the same manner, to put an end to the feudal and tribal system, education is vital as it is the only mean to empower people in rural and tribal areas. Therefore, education for every child is imperative for democracy to establish in the country. Moreover, political awareness can only come through education, and it helps to ascertain democratic norms in society. Also, the feudal system leads to the derailment of human development, and feudal lords keep people unaware of their rights. Hence, for human development in underdeveloped areas, improving the literacy rate is inevitable.

Further, to bolster democracy, e-governance should be introduced in all institutions for better transparency and to nip all social evils that emerge due to poor governance. In this manner, people’s belief in democracy will strengthen, and education in society will become a norm rather than an obligation. Moreover, better governance methods will guarantee better education for the citizens, which in turn will lay a solid foundation for democracy to prosper.

Lastly, to spread the wave of education around the country, Pakistan must increase its education budget and increase employment opportunities for youth. By increasing both, social evils emerging due to this can be squeezed. The state can prosper both politically and educationally. Moreover, to move democracy and literacy hand in hand, Pakistan must invest in both religiously to get the results it desires. In a nutshell, the need of the hour is to take pragmatic steps to ensure quality education and, as a result, democracy to prosper and grow.

Critically, democracy, in the presence of illiteracy, has always been a dream. Democracy can only be achieved in a country where people are literate and leadership is visionary. However, to dream about democracy with uneducated people is like praying to be saved by a miracle while the boat has a hole in it. In contrast, only those nations progress and prosper where justice, the rule of law, and equality-democratic norms-prevail. Nonetheless, Pakistan must ensure that it will ensure the education of every child in the country. Only then will the country see its democratic zenith and thrive. Hence, democracy and literacy are kin to each other.

In the end, Pakistan has to work on both democracy and education in order to stand as a shining star in the comity of nations. Thus, to resolve challenges to democracy, it must implement an all-inclusive education system. Moreover, the state cannot rise until it has dynamic and visionary leadership, and it is not possible without a well-educated nation which participates in national politics as one. Hence, education is necessary for the stability of democracy. As aptly said by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the backbone of democracy, and without a liberal education system, a country can never achieve democracy in reality”. Therefore, democracy and education must go hand in hand for the bright future of the country.

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