GRE Issue Essay 178
“The true strength of a country is best demonstrated by the willingness of its government to tolerate challenges from its own citizens.”
The strength of a nation depends upon its government as well as on its citizens. Not only does the government require to be strong enough to administer the country and maintain peace and order, the citizens also need to be aware and active in the affairs of the country. I agree with the given statement that the strength of a country is demonstrated by the willingness of its government to tolerate the challenges from its citizens, but I also believe that strength comes from stability. This stability might be attained by tolerating the challenges from the citizens or it might be maintained by a dominating government. The basic requirement therefore is the ultimate triumph of peace and order over all issues.
As was seen in the older times, a nation’s strength was measured by the size of its army. The bigger a kingdom the more its army would be, which translated into a superpower. Those were the days when the citizens were non-existent since their aggression, if any, was oppressed easily. The strength of the country therefore depended upon how strong the governing body was. Slowly, the power began to be shifted into the hands of the citizens. They started voicing their thoughts that the governments could not ignore. Today, most of the nations have democratic governments in which the citizens play an active part. There is a constant check over all the actions of a government by the citizens who watch its every move cautiously. The government is responsible and answerable to the citizens. On the other hand, it needs to be stable enough to withstand internal disturbances created by some sections of the citizens. Therefore, it can be said that the success of a government lies in its capability to face the challenges of this citizens.
There are many contrasting social issues in a developing nation that the government has to fight in order to progress. In a country like India, the society consists of both, modern and backward classes. Therefore, the government has to maintain a balance between the both. There are many laws that are made against the thinking of these citizens who basically reside in villages; however, it is difficult to fight the evils of a society. The government has to face the reality of female feticide, restriction over widow remarriage, child marriage etc. There are also clashes amongst citizens over religion and caste. If the government tries to uplift the scheduled castes by giving them special quota and grants, it has to face the opposition of others who would be effected with this decision. However, the strength of the country ultimately emerges from the ability of the government to handle such contrasting issues and maintain peace and harmony in the country.
As I have mentioned earlier, if the government is dominating enough to govern the country and exercise considerable control over its citizens, it can maintain peace and harmony. For example, the Chinese are communists because their government enforces certain laws over all citizens. The power is in the hands of the Chinese government and as against democracy, the citizens remain passive. However, China is one of the major powers today. This makes us think that the strength of China may not lie in its ability to deal with the challenges of its citizens, but its strength lies in maintaining a balance. It is only since there is peace and order in the country that it is able to emerge as a strong nation. However, if there were internal chaos and disturbance in China, its position would be different. It would have to make efforts to restore peace in the country, which takes much of the attention and focus of the government. No government can be called successful if this chaos and disorder continues.
To sum up, it is the ability of the government to maintain stability and harmony that makes a country strong. A government may face internal challenges where a tense situation is created by its citizens; however, its capacity to deal with these situations and emerge successful determines the strength of the country.