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Significance and legacy of Parliament in India’s democracy

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Indian Parliament, Democracy

 

Source: IE

 Context: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s article discusses the significance and legacy of Parliament in India’s democracy.

 

What is a Parliament?

Parliament is the supreme legislative body in a democratic country responsible for making and passing laws, representing citizens, and overseeing the government’s actions.

 

Significance of Parliament in India’s democracy:

AspectSignificance and LegacyExamples
Historical LegacyDeeply rooted in India’s historical and cultural heritage, reflecting participative governance for millennia.India is widely regarded as the mother of democracy”. Ancient texts and local self-governance traditions—Sabhas, Samitis, Republic
Founding Fathers’ VisionIndia’s founders had faith in people’s wisdom, leading to the adoption of an enlightened Constitution.Adoption of a democratic system post-independence
Accommodative DemocracyEffective management of conflicts, celebration of diversity, and promotion of unity for development and prosperity.Unity in diversity is a fundamental national ethos.
Watchdog of Public ExchequerOversight of public finances, budget approval, and accountability of the ExecutiveApproval of budgets and financial allocations.
Voice of the PeoplePlatform for citizens to raise concerns, and promote socio-economic change through legislation and debates.E.g., the issue of the Manipur crisis discussed in Parliament sessions.
Living InstitutionVibrant representation of the will of over a billion Indians, dedicated to citizens’ welfare and unity.Consistent legislative work for national progress.
Symphony of DemocracyCreation of an elegant symphony of democracy, upholding constitutional values and national interests.Successful parliamentary functioning despite disagreements.
Evaluation: Parliamentary CommitteesDetailed scrutiny of bills, budget proposals, and ministries, enhancing oversight and accountability.Committees’ role in policy evaluation and formulation.
Autonomy: Parliamentary PrivilegesProtection of members’ autonomy and dignity through immunity and privileges for free expression.Immunity from prosecution for parliamentary speech.
Accountability Parliament is entrusted with securing accountability of the Executive through various instruments such as the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, tradition and well-settled precedents.

 

To read: Is India a parliamentary democracy?: Click Here 

Challenges to India’s democracy by Parliament include:

  • Disruptions and Productivity: Frequent disruptions during parliamentary sessions hinder legislative work and reduce productivity.
  • Unruly Behaviour: Instances of unruly behaviour by some members have become more common, affecting decorum and debate.
  • Lack of Detailed Debates: Important legislation may be passed without thorough debate due to disruptions.
  • Public Perception: Citizens may lose trust in Parliament due to its inability to function effectively.

 

Conclusion:

As the nation undergoes transformative change during Amrit Kaal, the Parliament of India continues to serve as a beacon of peace and hope for all societies and nations that aspire to provide a parliamentary forum to give expression to the collective will of the people.

 

Insta Links:

India’s New Parliament: Need and Significance

 

Mains Links:

The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result, healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention? (UPSC 2013)

 

Prelims Links:  (UPSC 2021)

Which of the following factors constitutes the best safeguard of liberty in a liberal democracy?

  1. A committed judiciary
  2. Centralization of powers
  3. Elected government
  4. Separation of powers

 

Ans: 4