The Indian Parliament, a promise spurned
The current state of Parliament reflects a decline, with the ruling dispensation, despite citizen endorsement, showing little effort to uphold the opposition as the voice of the nation.
Reviewing the State of Indian Parliament Post December 2023 Incident
- Security Lapse Incident: A serious security lapse occurred in the Lok Sabha, leading to a stand-off between the Opposition and the ruling party.
- Unprecedented Suspension: The aftermath involved the suspension of 146 members from various Opposition parties, sparking discussions on procedural concerns.
- Need for a Holistic Review: Beyond procedural issues, it's crucial to assess the incident's impact on India's parliamentary government conception.
Historical Context of India's Choice for a Parliamentary System
- Debate on Form of Government: During the Constituent Assembly, debates raged around presidential, Indian orthodox, Swarajist, and parliamentary systems.
- Parliamentary System Triumph: The parliamentary model won, emphasizing the need for a decisive authority responsive to citizen mandate and the importance of minority representation.
- Inherent Pluralism: Advocates highlighted that the parliamentary system accommodates doctrinal, ethnic, and cultural pluralisms, reflecting India's diverse spirit.
Challenges to India's Parliamentary System and Its Evolution
- Paradox of Stability and Challenge: A stable parliamentary system demands majority support but requires constant critical validation to uphold the common good.
- Evolution of Opposition Dynamics: Jawaharlal Nehru recognized the importance of an effective opposition, despite initial discomfort. The competitive party system institutionalized stable support and effective opposition.
- Present Challenges and Response: The recent security breach in Parliament raises concerns. The ruling party's attempt to limit the Opposition's space is countered by the system's logic.