Decline of Parliament in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 5, 2022, 7:56

The Decline of Parliament in India is a hot debate among experts in recent times. This is because many incidents involving parliamentarians have surfaced that clearly show how the chosen representatives of the people display scant respect for the sanctity of the hallowed house. The parliamentary system in India is the bedrock of our democratic government. It is characterized by meaningful and people-oriented discussions, debates, deliberations, questions, and answers through which just laws are framed.

Decline of Parliament in India - Overview

The Decline of Parliament in India becomes apparent when such members get elected who have an imperfect past characterized by events against the spirit necessary for building the nation and serving the people. Many parliamentarians have criminal backgrounds and are implicated in cases. The Association of Democratic Reforms has analyzed that 43% of the 539 members who have won in the Lok Sabha 2019 election have criminal cases of various severity levels registered against them. The Congress MP from Idukki, Dean Kuriakose, has been incriminated in 204 criminal cases pertaining to robbery, threatening, culpable homicide, trespassing, etc.

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Pieces of Evidence of the Decline of Parliament in India

Cases are replete where standards of proper decorum, civility, and decency have not been maintained and adhered to by parliamentarians. Such proceedings are open for the world to watch. It contributes to the Decline of Parliament in India as representatives of the people are forsaking values and ethics for personal gains and are becoming an object of mockery.

The below table highlights some incidents that indicate the expanding decline in our parliamentary system.

Improper Conduct

In 2021, 12 MPs from Rajya Sabha were suspended for their unruly and violent behaviour during the proceedings.

Absence of Mindful Law-making

Numerous laws are being passed without proper discussions and mapping of the adverse impact they would have on targeted people. For example, the Economically Weaker Sections Act was passed without sufficient debate, resulting in reservations in government jobs being extended to people with an income limit of INR 8 lakhs per annum.

Absenteeism

Many elected members remain absent from regular sessions on vague pretexts. This problem was aggravated during the raging pandemic, leading to slow law-making and minimal discussions and deliberations, rendering the system even more ineffective.

Increasing focus on communal, class, and caste affairs

The focus is shifting from developmental, economic, infrastructural, and technological issues to pandering to communal and caste interests. Laws are being made to serve the interests of billionaires who fund the political parties.

Concerted Efforts Needed to Prevent the Decline of Parliament in India

Open debates need to be organized at frequent intervals to deliberate on how parliamentarians can be made more accountable. Such discussions must feature individuals, the press, media houses, civil societies, NGOs, and other stakeholders. Judiciary has to play a vital role in preventing the Decline of Parliament in India.

In recent times, many landmark judgments have been passed to uphold the right of citizens and contest those legislations which are irrational to an extent. The parliament should have taken cognizance of these beforehand. To preserve democracy, parliamentarians ought to measure up to the exalted legislation standards expected from them as representatives of the people.

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FAQs on Decline of Parliament in India

Q.1. How can one assess if the Decline of Parliament in India is happening on the ground?

The Decline of Parliament in India becomes glaring when a greater number of members with serious criminal cases against them get elected to the legislature. Also, laws are passed without proper discussions and without factoring in the probable impact the same would have on the affected masses.

Q.2. What can citizens do to prevent the Decline of Parliament in India?

Citizens do to prevent the Decline of Parliament in India must vote for candidates with a clean track record and a proven history of engaging in welfare activities.

Q.3. Should a new system be adopted for legislation to stop the Decline of Parliament in India?

No, the parliamentary system prevalent Decline of Parliament in India is the hallmark of democracy.

Q.4. Can the judiciary play a role in stemming the Decline of Parliament in India?

Supreme Court of India occasionally reviews and hears petitions on contentious laws. Decline of Parliament in India sometimes overturns laws that adversely affect people.