5. Parliament in India

1. Is the Parliament of India working according to our expectations?

2. What do you think are its short comings?

3. How far will the Right to reject and Right ot recall help?

22 thoughts on “5. Parliament in India

    1. I Accept your views. According to me nothing is there in parliament other than policy making, budgeting and seasonal sessions which party MPs obviously waste somehow.
      In my view if we make MPs to come to Parliament many days then they claim more travel and other allowance, which will eat away Govt. exchequer.

      Thank you

      1. But we need Parliament for a variety of purposes: for making laws; for controlling the executive; for sanctioning taxes; for ventilation of the grievances of the people. So what we need is a working Parliament and not what we have now. My question is can we make our MPs and MLAs more accountable by introducing electoral reforms like the right to reject and the right to recall. We shroud see that the candidate selected by the people represents at least half the total number of voters. When majority of the people say : OI reject, reelections will have to be held and this fear will make parties set up really sincere and capable candidates

        Rao

      1. The real reason is that Parties set up people who contribute to party funds or those who command vote banks etc., There are many cases in which criminals have been set up. Peale shod have the right to reject such candidates and this will make the parries set up really god candidates.

        Rao

        1. Sir, I agree with your statement: “People should have the right to reject such candidates and this will make the parties set up really good candidates.”

          *But Right to reject may lead to more frequent Elections.

          *If we start rejecting all the candidates It leads to Another election and this leads to Election fatigue.

          * Rejection of the candidate ,especially in areas where people feel unfriendly,may be because of caste..can also take pace.

          Sir, can we have any tool to control these.. consequences

  1. There can be many candidates who get elected by hook or by crook, but remain silent in Parliament and State Assemblies because they can’t care less about the constituents over people who they represent. The voting pattern in Parliament and State Assemblies shows mostly it is by voice votes. There is no record of what an individual MP or MLA said and voted in the crucial debates, budget allocations, raising issues, or whether he was present in the house at that time. The discontent in the masses is inevitable at times when their voice is not represented on crucial matters. Right to recall is one such measure, which can empower the people to recall the elected candidate.

    The recall referendum exists in some of the developed countries like US, Canada, UK, Switzerland. But the question is whether such an option could work in such a large democracy as India. The right to recall has been tried out at the Panchayat levels in Punjab in 1994, MP in 2000, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra in 2004, and in Bihar in 2010. But on a larger scale, it could destabilize the government if the implementation is not proper.

    It definitely would threaten the leaders that they could lose their power if they do not deliver. But on the other hand, it can also be misused by the dominant castes against the candidates belonging to weaker sections. And, as Salman Khurshid said, “Right to Reject is more manageable option than Right to Recall”. It would also control the Money spent over the elections, which is already a great concern.

    It is a no denying fact the voter turnout has been diminishing every year in our country. A large population either does not vote or does not get to vote due to various reasons. We need to think over, is it really just to give those the right to recall who did not even vote in an election?

    The right to recall might not even be required, if we are successful in the following:
    – increase the voter turnout in the elections
    – implement Right to Reject through the electronic voting machines
    – apply few norms for the MLA or MP contestant like he or she should be educated, not be a criminal etc.

    Team Anna has been successful in showing the government the street power for the Jan Lokpal bill. I believe it is now time for them to also take up issues like public awareness to educate the masses, specially the middle class.

    1. Let us make it a stringent rule that at least sixty percent of the voters should sign the recall petition. The feat that they might be recalled will make the elected persons act responsibly.

      Rao

      1. i agree with chandu .the young generation of india is the sole cause for the current political situation the reason is carelessness in electing their leader and also lack of knowledge. INDIA TO INDIANS is only on aug15th .Right to information is only on paper for the YOUTH there is no action part of it.
        common man is unaware of MPLAD or the RIGHT TO INFORMATION so forget the idea of right to reject or right to recall ( he does not know the meaning of it !!)
        At first THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA should be changed it has become paradise for the lawyers (so the politicians).

    2. Let stringent rules be laid down regarding the right to recall. Let us say that there should be no recall during the first year of the MP’s tenure. Also let us say that sixty percent of the voters should agree. And of course let us make voting compulsory. As you say voters not exercising their power to vote is responsible for the first past the post system in which the fellow getting the largest number of votes wins. And often the winning candidate does not represent even twenty percent of the voters.

      Rao

  2. According to me Parliament of India is NOT working according to our expectations. The short comings are
    1> MPs are not directly responsible for any work in the elected constituency, rather MLAs are responsible. So MPs tend to behave as don’t care attitude till next election.
    2> Parliament members(including PM) are taking real advantage of their power to not to come under any(corruption) scrutiny. Since Independence not even one good move from parliament to set up a committee which can check parliament members corruption, behaviour and bad decisions against country and people interest.
    3> Parliament decision mainly depends on the ruling party, which actually in India acts only against non ruling parties. It seems they are their to quarrel and dominate against each parties than behaving like a countries responsible parliamentarian.
    4> Recently regarding caste based census, the decision by parliament is nasty. Still our politicians depends of vote bank. Why not they think in terms of poor and rich than caste. In India parliamentarians nasty decisions are uncontrollable by any committee. Now we really want committee like Jan Lokpal Bill.

    When we observe above behavoiurs from elected MPs who comes only for selected celebration and for next election, we feel we got cheated and no choice but to wait for next 5 years. Here comes the idea of Right to recall. According to me we Indians must need right to recall MPs and after recall there shouldn’t be any election by wasting money. Let the money be used for development purpose not for reelection please.

    In India you know what is the poverty rate after 63 years of Independence. So obviously if somebody pay me(poor guy) 500 Rs or 1000 Rs during election I accept it without thinking. This action mainly due to known facts from past 63 years that whoever wins, I won’t get not even single rupee from him nor the government for next five years. Some development works like flyovers won’t help me in any way because I don’t have any vehicle to use(I’m a poor guy). This is how a poor think. I’m being an educated fellow let me take money from candidate and vote to a right person, but who is right candidate? no one. But in front of electing machine I don’t choice but to vote someone. Now I feel I must want a NULL button. I’m 100% sure even all class of people come and vote and teach candidates a good lesson.

    Thank you

  3. I Disagree with Gnanamurthy’s comment on MP’s Responsibility and “Jan lokpall bill is the Answer” and i agree with Apoorva mittal’s comments.

    My view:
    In recent years quite some thinking and debate about decline of Parliament, devaluation of parliamentary authority, falling standards of debate, deterioration in the conduct and quality of Members, poor levels of participation and the like. A certain cynicism towards parliamentary institutions and an erosion in the respect for normal parliamentary processes and the parliamentarians present a disturbing scenario. Very little effort, seems to have been made to examine and analyze what really plagues Parliament or to find out the reasons for the erosion of the traditional authority, high esteem and pristine glory of the institution of Parliament.
    During the last 60 years, the structure and functions of Parliament had developed under the shadow of the Fabian slogans of democratic socialism, economic democracy and distributive justice. The information explosion, the technological revolution, the growing magnitude and complexities of modern administration and the concept of Welfare State cast upon Parliament vastly extended responsibilities of social engineering through legislation and of managing the lives of citizen from the bedrooms to the cremation or burial grounds.
    As B.K. Nehru once said, during the entire period of nearly 200 years of their rule in India, the British passed only some 400 laws while in the first 40 years, Parliament had passed nearly 4000. The big difference was that the “400 laws were obeyed or had to be obeyed while the 4000 pieces of legislation were not obeyed”. Those to whom many of these laws relate did not even know or understand them.
    Little effort has been made to develop the essential prerequisites for the success of parliamentary polity – discipline, character, high sense of public morality, ideologically oriented two party system and willingness to here and accommodate minority views.
    In a situation where the government lacked comfortable majority of its own and the opposition was too weak to emerge as an alternative, the options were very limited and the Parliament was bound to remain less effective. This is what happened during the 1989-1999 decade and at present. Therefore, it would be necessary to reform the electoral system and the political party system before parliamentary reforms could be thought of.
    The role of M.P. must undergo change as a result of Panchayati Raj. The functions of Parliament and role expectation from Parliament should be transformed. Meticulous caution has to be taken to avoid any role conflicts between the Panchayats and Members of Parliament.
    Ideally, “Members of Parliament are Members for the whole of India” and should concern themselves basically with the national issues leaving the local problems to the care of Panchayats and Nagar Palikas. Schemes like those placing two crores(5 Crores now) of rupees each year at the discretion of each Member of Parliament to be spent on local projects are bound to create role conflicts and tensions.
    Improving the quality of Members: Quality of Members is the most important variable in the working of any Parliament inasmuch as a Parliament would be what its Members make of it.
    Inadequacy of education and training in the sophisticated operational mechanics of parliamentary polity and the working procedures of modern parliamentary institutions has adversely affected the performance of both the legislators and the bureaucracy.
    Financial cost of parliamentary democracy have been skyrocketing. During the last five decades they have gone up by over 100 times.
    A strict limit needs to be placed on the number of Ministers and equivalent posts both at the Union level and in the States. In countries like U.K., the number and names of departments are fixed. Ministers may change but not the departments. In India, on the other hand, departments are created, merged or split from time to time to suit the whims of the Prime Minister or the changes in the Ministers in charge. This causes confusion, instability, uncertainty and wasteful expenditure.
    Secretariats of Parliament: Independence and impartiality of the secretariats of the two Houses and their officers and staff are absolutely necessary for the success of the system. But, developing a large legislative bureaucracy may be dangerous, it must never become a rival to executive bureaucracy.
    Reforming the Parliament in essential respects is already a categorical imperative.
    An integrated approach to political and economic systems reforms is necessary.
    No single reform, law or policy or bill can do or provide a miracle cure.
    I deny the statement “lokpal bill will end corruption.”
    We shouldn’t think corruption can be eradicated in one day with one BILL and the things will have to be systematic and reforms will have to come on every corner. “Any anger require focus and we must keep our focus and use our energy in a constructive manner to achieve the goals in a larger perspectives”.
    Corruption and abuse of power is inherent in a socio-economic and political system, and the fight against corruption should be a challenge to the entire system. But that was not expected from Hazare and his supporters, considering Hazare’s disdain of the common Indian voter, his hostility towards all politicians, his so-called ‘apolitical’ movement, and his concept of development as reflected in his admiration of Narendra Modi’s rural development in Gujarat.
    Such narrowly conceived and ideological half-baked movements would prove to be very dangerous, as such past movements have shown.

    While we can legitimately proud of the reasonably successful working of Parliament during the last Six decades, Parliament is relevant only as a dynamic institution ever adjusting its functions and procedures to the changing needs of the times. If democracy and freedom are to endure, if representative institutions are to be made impregnable and if the new economic reforms and an all round effort at liberalisation are to bear fruits, it is essential to restore to Parliament and its Members their traditional esteem and honour in the affections of the people.

    1. You say that :During the last 60 years, the structure and functions of Parliament had developed under the shadow of the Fabian slogans of democratic socialism, economic democracy and distributive justice. But what is wrong with these ideas? Industries could have been managed on business principles instead of posting favourites as heads of industries. Also let us remember hat even the citadel of Capitalism , the USA, has to adopt the socialistic tactic of helping people to get out of recession. What else was the aim of Obama’s bailing out the banks?

    2. Secretariats of Parliament: Independence and impartiality of the secretariats of the two Houses and their officers and staff are absolutely necessary for the success of the system. But, developing a large legislative bureaucracy may be dangerous, it must never become a rival to executive bureaucracy.

      I do not know what you mean by this.

      1. What i mean here is that Secretariats should be independent, not influenced by Politicians and other power houses.
        As we see today for both Loksabha and Rajyasabha Interdependency and independence is not there. So we need a better reforms here in this aspect.

    3. You write: I deny the statement “lokpal bill will end corruption.”
      We shouldn’t think corruption can be eradicated in one day with one BILL and the things will have to be systematic and reforms will have to come on every corner. “Any anger require focus and we must keep our focus and use our energy in a constructive manner to achieve the goals in a larger perspectives”.

      But let us make a beginning. Throw a few ministers and their cronies behind bars and see what happens. All Kudos to Major General Khanduris Lok Pal Bill in Uttrarakhand.

      Rao

  4. how many youngsters consider voting as their fundamental right and social responsibility ?
    Voting…, A good majority of youth do not exercise this right. and their reasoning would be “the system sux anyway, i don’t want to waste my time”.
    In my view before blaming the politicians and their greed for money.. see the system they have come from. We are the people of the country feed them with this poison and we keep on blaming our politicians…
    Stop blaming start acting. If you cannot or don’t want to get into politics atlleast make some contribution towards betterment of politics through awareness.
    Vote for people who are Educated, Honest, Young, and has a vision for society not a self vision of making 1000+crores by end of 5 years.
    Neither reject or recall will have much of importance..
    As the funds for conducting elections are already spent(Reject) and your lives for next five years are already given to Greedy crooks(Recall).
    Even if you recall, Again elections should be conducted to elect another crook. So “Prevention is better than Cure”
    Elect the selected!!
    Vote Right!!!

    Sorry for very long comments…. but as i see the comments before mine is just merely opposing the parliament’s functions.. so i gave a brief explanation of my findings….

    1. You write: As the funds for conducting elections are already spent(Reject) and your lives for next five years are already given to Greedy crooks(Recall).
      Even if you recall, Again elections should be conducted to elect another crook. So “Prevention is better than Cure”

      Once recalled they should be bared from standing again for elections for six years.

  5. i agree with chandu .the young generation of india is the sole cause for the current political situation the reason is carelessness in electing their leader and also lack of knowledge. INDIA TO INDIANS is only on aug15th .Right to information is only on paper for the YOUTH there is no action part of it.
    common man is unaware of MPLAD or the RIGHT TO INFORMATION so forget the idea of right to reject or right to recall ( he does not know the meaning of it !!)
    At first THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA should be changed it has become paradise for the lawyers (so the politicians).

    many ANNA HAZARE has to come to change the wavery mind of indians

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