”Party system is based upon a paradoxical ideology. It breeds factional elements of disunity, sowing the seeds of diversity while at the same time it strengthens and consolidates the nation. It proves almost a blessing to a nation when it checks the government from becoming tyrannical and autocratic but in its prostituted spirit, it tears a nation into clashing groups leading the country to the worst form of demoralization”. —Bryce
The origin, of party-system in its actual sense and spirit is to be traced in the origin of parliamentary forms of democracy. Even before the birth of democracy there used to be parties, but those parries were entirely different from the present political ones which are essential constituents of the modern parliamentary governmental the world over. These political parties are almost indispensable for the working of democracy.
The party which controls majority of elected representatives runs the administrative machinery while the others, which form ‘opposition bloc’ endeavor their best to check the ruling party from becoming autocratic or dictatorial. In democracy, the political parties train up and educate the people in the light of political consciousness. Thus, in an ideal party-system, people are highly benefited, and the government is carried on fairly smoothly,
It must, however, be noted that parties in a modern democratic state must not be based upon narrow, conservative and reactionary considerations Each party in a modern democracy whether it be the ‘ruling party’ or the ‘opposition patty’ roust hats a broad out-look and its chief end should be well-being and welfare of the entire nation-not of a particular section as a particular community, as we find some communal parties in India are doing at present.
In India there are almost countless parties, but a few of them are worth mentioning—Indian National Congress (now split into various sections), the Communist Party of India (two groups), the Lok Dal, the Janata Dal (opposite parties), Janata Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Telegu Desam, Asam Gana Parishad and the D.M.K. (in Tamil Nadu). The Congress party which is the predominant political organization in the country is the ruling party is fundamental as well as ultimate aim is to make India an ideally democratic state on a socialistic pattern. The communist party of India has something of a Marxist ideology, which it wants to get transplanted in India. National interest is a secondary things for its members, the primary being cultivation of the Marxist ideology. The outlook of the Janata Dal is somewhat ambiguous. It is something midway between socialism and ‘reactionarism’. The BJP is dubbed as a purely communal organization. The D. M, K,, which has emerged victorious in Tamil Nadu, is only a regional political party.
It is a pity that some of our so-called, political parties have been prostituting their functions in such a manner as to cast a blot on the forehead of our country’s democratic aspiration. It must be noted with a greater degree of shame and regret that some of the parties stoop to national disintegration for the accomplishment of their ideological aims.
But we cannot and must not do away with the party system in our political sphere, because a party less political institution, of which Sri Jaya Parkash Narain was the greatest exponent, is nothing but a replica of dictatorship-without a healthy party system there cannot be genuine type of a Parliamentary Democracy. Today India is faced with formidable challenges; there are grim challenges from the anti-national and unsocial elements within the country and there arc challenges from aggressive foreign powers. For meeting all these challenges, ell our political parties should be united after patching up their differences.
For the successful working of Parliamentary Democracy in India, we need-and need badly-opposition parties, two or three and not more, which should keep the government in proper check and subscribe healthy criticism to its policies. But these parties must have, political basis and be remote from communal, regional and anti-national activities. Then and only then can we claim to maintain an ideal healthy-opposition in India.