Do you think in India Parliamentary Democracy is Just in Name?

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Arguments for :

One of the basic principles of Parliamentary democracy is that the Council of Ministers should be properly bridled by the Parliament because they are responsible to the latter. But in India the ruling party has so overwhelming majority that the council of Ministers can get anything approved by the Parliament. In this manner Parliament is indirectly subordinated to the council of minis­ters and the Government has become dictatorship of the majority.

In parliamentary democracy there must be a very healthy opposition so that they may be able to keep the ruling party on their heels. The opposition should be led by some popular leader. It should be numerically strong and able to replace the party in power. In India the opposition party is conspicuous by its absence in the parliament : it is so weak that its voice is drowned in the decisions of the majority.

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In parliamentary democracy the Prime-minister is one who is like an elder brother among the council of ministers, he is the first among equals. So he should listen to the dissenting opinions of the other members patiently and try to prevail upon them with argu­ments. But in India the Prime-minister has been shuffling his ministry from time to time : upgrading some, pulling down others and dropping out the rest. In this manner he has been dominating the mem­bers of council of ministers which is contrary to concept the parlia­mentary system.

Arguments against :

1. If the ruling party has overwhelming majority it does not make a Government different from the parliamentary type. In all the countries where parliamentary democracy exists the ruling party tries to win over the maximum number of members of the parliament so that vote of no-confidence may not be passed against them. In that case also it would mean dictatorship of the majority.

2. It is the prerogative of the Prime-minister to take any person who is the member of the parliament into his ministry and to drop anyone. So shuffling of the ministry is not contrary to parlia­mentary democracy.

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3. The council of ministers not only bows to the wishes of the people. Prime-minister Rajiv Gandhi withdrew the Defamation Bill because the people, the opposition parties and the press wanted it. Similarly, he has been able to solve the problems of Assam,

Tripura and Gorkhaland by acceding to the demands of the people. This is one of the essential features of parliamentary democracy.

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