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7th June 2023 (8 Topics)

The Indian polity, a democratic diagnosis

Context:

  • Parliament has lost its effectiveness as an instrument of oversight and there is a declining process of scrutiny, debate and dissent.

Present situation of parliamentary democracy:

  • Concentration of powers: There is a growing concentration of power in the executive branch, led by the prime minister.
  • Decreasing Presidents’ role: The replacement, at the forthcoming inaugural [of the new Parliament building, of the real president of the Indian republic by the prime minister may symbolise more than the ego of an individual.
  • Potential shift towards an autocratic form of governance: deviating from the principles of parliamentary democracy and the intended balance of power between the branches of government.

Strengths of Indian system of democracy:

  • Social democracy must be achieved: The trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity, as emphasized by B.R. Ambedkar, is seen as the ultimate goal of social democracy.
  • Separation of powers: The effective functioning of the legislature, executive, and judiciary.
  • Cooperation: The principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity and the need for effective functioning of the legislature, executive, and judiciary to preserve the essence of Indian democracy.

Challenges:

  • Decline in an Oversight: a progressive decline in its functioning over the years, with a diminishing role in scrutiny, accountability, and oversight.
  • Hindering scrutiny, debate, and dissent: The leadership of the day remains silent or shows a lack of attendance and delays the functioning of standing committees, further undermining.
  • Use of ideological orientation: Presently, dharmic sanctification in the Parliament ceremony makes to reinforce the unresponsiveness and lack of accountability.
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