Regressive Bicameral System in India

Indian democracy has seen many a summer and can still be termed as young. It had its highs and lows in the past sixty-nine years. As a nation we withstood onslaughts of China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1947, 1965, 1971,and 1999. We have seen communal strife year after year, regional uprisings in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, North Eastern states and many other places. Similarly we have seen secessionist movements in Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Punjab and Kashmir for several years. Some of them are dormant while last one is still active. Rampant corruption, nepotism, flight of capital and lack of development and productivity have been our main concerns.

Questions have been raised on the present Parliamentary democracy which at times was hit by road blocks. Some constitutional experts have suggested Presidential form of Government for better results. I remember that Indira Gandhi, when she found her power waning, floated the idea of Presidential form of Government but it was turned down by BJP and other opposition leaders fearing that she may turn into a dictator as a result. Surprisingly, the same BJP is now mulling the idea which opposition cannot digest. And that is the tragedy with India. When you are in Opposition you turn down the very ideas which you held dear at one time just because you fear it might benefit the ruling party. Another such case is GST. The bill has been lying in Rajya Sabha for long and almost blocked by the Opposition.

I  find no reason to change the present system of Parliamentary form of democracy in India but would certainly like some changes in it so that the ills of the system could be eliminated. Most important of all is whether the country should continue with the present bicameral system and Should Rajya Sabha members be allowed to hold office if the Central Govt has changed and the Lok Sabha has been reconstituted. I feel the Rajya Sabha is an institution which is unnecessary and not in tune with the times. Except for adding to the expenditure of the exchequer the experience has shown that Rajya Sabha has more often than not hampered the passing of legislation which Governments seek to introduce to make things move fast in the country.

It is time that the necessity of Rajya Sabha and its functioning need be re-evaluated and either it should be done away with or an alternative found. It has to be remembered the Constitution is not a word of God that cannot be changed. It was written by men and howsoever intelligent they may have been, it needs change with the times.


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