The Union legislature is called the Parliament or Lok Sabha. It consists of two chambers, the Council of State (Rajya Sahha) and the House of people (Lok Sabha). The Parliament is the supreme law – making body of the nation. It is paramount in all respects. It directly or indirectly represents the people of India. It fulfils the needs, aspirations and goals of the people of India.

Each house of parliament is summoned to meet within a period of six months from the adjournment of the last session. The President convenes and prorogues both the houses and also dissolves the House of the people as and when necessary. He may address either house of the Parliament of both the houses assembled together. He may also send messages to either house regarding bills which must be expeditiously considered.

Every union minister and the Attorney – General of India shall have the right to take part in the proceedings of the either house, any joint sitting of the houses or any committee of the parliament, of which he may be made a member, but shall not by virtue of this provision only, be entitled to vote.

Any person cannot be chosen as a member of either house; if he holds a government job; if he is of unsound mind, if he is an undischarged insolvent; if he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of foreign country; and if he is so disqualified by any law made by the parliament. It is clear that an average citizen can aspire to be member of either houses and participate in its proceedings which is the supreme body of governance.


The houses of the people or Lok Sabha is the popular political and relatively more powerful chamber of India. Its members are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The provision of universal adult franchise for the election of the popular houses of sovereigin India is considered as the fountain spring of democracy. There is only one general electoral roll for every constituency, but on the basis of population ratio in every province some seats have been reserved for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Initially this reservation was made, to begin with by 10 years. However, this reservation policy is being extended from time to time and it is still in operation. The President is authorised to nominate not more than two members from the Anglo- Indian community if he is of the opinion that the said community has not be adequately represented. The Lok Sabha comprises not more than 530 representatives of the States (w.e.f. 1987); not more than 20 representatives of Union Territories and not more than 2 members of Anglo-India community.

A person is not qualified to be a member of the Lok Sabha or House of People if he is not a bonafide citizen of India and is not 25 years of age and if he does not possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed for the propose by the Parliament. This means that every bonafide citizen can represent his/her constituency in the House of People, the supreme law-making body of the nation.

The House of the People to which members are directly elected, is the source of all powers for the governance of the country. The parliament can make laws on all subjects enunciated in the union as well as in the concurrent list. Its law shall prevail, if it conflicts with a similar law passed by a State in the concurrent list. The State list is beyond its field of legislation. However, this is not so in an emergency, when the parliament gets the right to legislate on all matters. There are three special circumstances and the Parliament acquires the right to legislate on the State list: (i) When the council of States shall declare that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest that the parliament should make laws in regard to any matter enumerated in the State list: (ii) When it appears to the legislatures of two or more States to be desirable that some subjects in the State list should be regulated for them by the parliament and (iii) When it is necessary for implementing any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country or countries or any decision made at any international or conference, association or such other body.

Parliament keeps a day to day watch over the activities of the Executive and controls it. This is done through the right of members of the parliament to ask questions and


supplementary questions from the ministers. According to Article-105 of the Constitution members have full freedom of speech in parliament. No member of parliament is liable to any court of law in respect of anything said in the parliament. No representative of the parliament is liable also in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either house of the parliament. In all other respects powers, privileges and immunities of members of each house are laid down by parliament from time to time

As the time goes by members of the parliament roll on new members gather experience in parliamentary affairs, in the matters of self rules and in the matters of governance through representatives. Thus, continuing and ex-members disseminate knowledge in their constituencies about parliamentary proceedings.

Indian parliament is all powerful like British parliament. Article-368 of the Constitution gives Indian parliament the right of amending the Constitution and the same has been amended several times. Through the 73rd and 74th amendment of the constitution electoral politics and governance has been devolved in the people at the grass-roots level, i.e. the representative system of governance has been taken to the Gram Sabha level

Indian society, as complex it is, has rightly chosen the path of democracy and a representative government. Democracy is that form of government which derives its power from its people. The parliamentary democracy means a democracy where the executive is responsible to and removable by the elected representatives of the people. The founding fathers of Indian constitution have asked wisely in adopting a democratic form of government. The entire range of national movement was based on the sacred principle underlying democracy that a people have the inherent right to govern themselves. They wisely chose its parliamentary form because that was in keeping with our past political institutions set up under the colonial rule. This means there has been a continuity of political life in the country. The foundations of parliamentary form of government had been laid down as well as in 1892. Since that time parliamentary form of government, in form or the other, has been functioning in India. The acceptance of the parliamentary form was a deliberate one by the people of India. They have preferred it because it ensures day to day and periodic responsibility of the government to the people. It is day to day because the elected representatives take up the problems of the people in various democratic fora in their deliberations.


Democratic from of government succeeds in a country, or society where the system of public instruction on education is liberal. Democracy believes in utilising the opinion of
every individual in running the government. In India , through political parties common people are being prepared for adequate discharge of responsibilities in a democratic set up, through a system of liberal education. Education should not only be universal, free and compulsory at the Elementary stage, but should be liberal. Liberal education means permission for free flow of ideas and thoughts. It should be based on the assessment of conflicting ideologies, say for instance, democracy vis-a-vis regimentation. Any regimentation of thought is suicidal to democracy. In India, 34.62 per cent ( 2001 census) of people are illiterate, which is a handicap for the functioning of proper democracy. But education in India is liberal.

Democracy prospers where democratic values are held above sectionalism. People should possess a genuine sense of nationalism which transcends the barriers of locality language, religion, ethnicity, and caste. The ideals of democracy ought to include social as well as economic democracy. Social democracy means that the State should not recognize differences based on language, religion, ethnicity and caste. All social discriminations must be done away with in a democracy. Economic democracy mean equal economic opportunities for all. It means that every one should get enough to live o and no body should die of starvation. However, conditions in India today seems to be f behind the idea of economic justice.

Other factors essential for successful democracy are natural, honest and efficient public servants as well as an independent judiciary. A part from the above, local self government, which the craddle of democracy must generate local self institutions to serve as the training centre for future politician and statesman.