Thursday, April 22, 2021

Parliamentary form of Government in India | Polity Notes for UPSC

Introduction to Parliamentary form of Government

  •  India has a parliamentary form of government in which party/coalition with the greatest representation in the lower-house/lok-sabha forms the government.
  • Leader of the party/coalition with greatest representation becomes Prime-minister.
  • All the members of of this party, including Prime-minister, must be member of parliament.
  • Parliament is central to the system as it regulates and controls the function of executives, that is government.
  • Parliament holds the power to dismiss executives.
  • There is a peculiar feature of parliamentary system. It has 2 heads, that is Nominal/de-jure and Real/de-facto.
  • Nominal Head appoints Real executives.

4 Primary features of Parliamentary System

  1. Close relationship between Legislature and Executives
  2. Responsibility of executive to legislature
  3. Nominal and Real executive
  4. Prime-minister as the real executive

Benefits of Parliamentary System

  • Ensures Diverse Representation : Parliamentary system ensures the diverse representation and hence considered to be more democratic and representative. Considering India as a highly diversified society and country, only parliamentary system justifies the representation of all. Supreme Court of India consider parliamentary system as part of Basic Structure.
  • Prevents Authoritarianism : In this system, it becomes difficult for any of the authority to go against the will of all the people because it is enshrined in Parliament.
  • Accountability : It provides for the accountability of ministers to the parliament, which in turn makes for the accountable government.
  • Mature System : It is a symbol of mature system as in can accommodate diversity and ensures the representation and respect of the diversity of whole nation.
  • Legacy : In Indian context, Indians were quite familiar with this system because of the British Rule. 

Limitation of Parliamentary form of system

  • Less responsive at the time of crisis because of the diversity in representation, ideologies, aspiration etc.
  • Sometimes it fails to work properly because of the excessive debates and lead to unnecessary delay.
  • Although it seems to be representative, but because of the majoritarianism, it undermines views and ideas of representatives of different sections.

3 reasons, according to D.D.Basu, why our parliamentary system fail to work successfully

  1. We got system of multiple parties, some of which are mushroom growth and has a very small following.
  2. A very few of these parties have any fixed /defined policies/ideology that can be presentative as an alternative to the one which is advocated by the ruling party.
  3. The tradition of party system has been destructive because of its origin in upsurge against the imperial rule

General issues with Parliamentary System

  • It holds a very powerful executive. Members of the executive branch are also member of the Parliament. It leads to support to executive inside the Parliament.
  • Fickle legislative majority because of on-off majority. Government is more focused on saving government rather than governance. It leads to distorted system and voting preferences.

Views of Dr. B.R Ambedkar

"I feel that our constitution is workable, flexible and strong enough to hold the country together and aspirations of people may well reflected in our parliamentary form of government."

Location: India


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