GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Indian Parliament, 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:
|Significance and Legacy
|Deeply 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’ Vision
|India’s founders had faith in people’s wisdom, leading to the adoption of an enlightened Constitution.
|Adoption of a democratic system post-independence
|Effective 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 Exchequer
|Oversight of public finances, budget approval, and accountability of the Executive
|Approval of budgets and financial allocations.
|Voice of the People
|Platform 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.
|Vibrant representation of the will of over a billion Indians, dedicated to citizens’ welfare and unity.
|Consistent legislative work for national progress.
|Symphony of Democracy
|Creation of an elegant symphony of democracy, upholding constitutional values and national interests.
|Successful parliamentary functioning despite disagreements.
|Evaluation: Parliamentary Committees
|Detailed scrutiny of bills, budget proposals, and ministries, enhancing oversight and accountability.
|Committees’ role in policy evaluation and formulation.
|Autonomy: Parliamentary Privileges
|Protection of members’ autonomy and dignity through immunity and privileges for free expression.
|Immunity from prosecution for parliamentary speech.
|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.
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.
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)