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The Indian Parliament, a promise spurned

  • Published
    12th Jan, 2024

Context:

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.
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