Contemporary events in the country has given rise to the question “Do we need a Parliament ?” Let’s see which events have propelled this question and then we will decide on ” Do we need a Parliament “.
First event happened May 2014 elections when India voted for NDA in such a manner that no opposition party was there as such to claim big as opposition. Opposition party didn’t have required number to have Opposition leader which is required to maintain the balance for healthy discussion required for democracy.
Second event which happened over the period of time was absence of PM Modi from Parliamentary discussions majorly due to his foreign visits and engagements often accruing to frustration of opposition parties who wanted PM to answer there questions in debate hours. Also the silence of PM on many issues being discussed in Parliament created unpleasant feelings in the opposition minds.
Third event which has triggered the final blow is Demonetisation. 86 % of the currency of the country is no more a legal tender anymore. Such a big decision was taken through executive order without holding any discussions with opposition. It was kept so confidential that even ministers associated with Government in power were not aware of this decision.
Let’s see the other side of these events one by one:
The majority of NDA in Lok Sabha was balanced by lack of majority in Rajya Sabha. For example GST bill has taken sufficient discussions in the Parliament in evolving the draft of it.
Absence of PM in Parliament or his silence may sound counterproductive to discussions but the fact that PM is on official tour and is trying to work towards foreign engagements is also a requirement in the contemporary scheme of World Politics. World is acknowledging India’s presence more than before.
Third is the Demonetisation. The goals to be achieved through demonetisation were such that it had to be kept confidential and spontaneous. Black money, Money laundering, Human trafficking and Terror Funding etc had to be addressed. So people involved in these unlawful activities had to be caught unaware. It does create inconvenience to lawful citizens. But it has to be understood that this fight can not be won without their participation.
So whether we need a Parliament or not ? Answer is that We do need a Parliament. Few things we need to work on is: a)our understanding regarding the assumptions, implications of the steps taken by the government in power and should give time to assess the after effects before coming to any conclusion. B) we should stop politicising every issue without grasping the goals and objectives of that step. C) Responsible media is the need of the hour as media is considered 4th organ of the contemporary administration along with legislative, executive and judiciary. Media should not play in the hands of Political parties and their interests. If these three steps are implemented, the parliamentary system will seem working fine otherwise we will keep fixing the problems without fixing the origin of the problem and it will become chained reaction never culminating to anything fruitful.
Sunil K Awasthi
Faculty, North East Institute of Advanced Studies [NE-IAS]