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Essay on “An Assessment of Parliamentary Democracy in India” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

An Assessment of Parliamentary Democracy in India

Inequality of rights and disparity of opportunity having been breeding grounds of revolutions. So on the ruins of monarchy and aristocracy, democracy has come into being with its doctrine of political equality. It is undoubtedly a grand social ideal. According to George Bernard Shaw, it is “a social order aiming at the greatest available welfare for the whole population and not for a class”. A world in which the voice of the people is voice of God, and political capacity and sagacity of everyone over the age of twenty-one is infinite and infallible is to him, “a fairy land”.

Parliamentary democracy has had its origin in England, though its roots lie far deeper in the soil of history. It is said that ancient Indian rulers were guided by a council of ministers and these ministers were chosen from amongst the “wise persons who were elected by the general public of the village or town”. It has also existed compartmentally in a ‘divided world’ and in a factional way; and it has co-existed with monarchies, empires and even pastoral primitiveness. If parliamentary democracy has not revealed its possibilities, it is because the world was not safe for it.

The strange truth is the parliamentary democracy contains within itself the seeds of dissolution and decay as well as life and progress. It may conceivably lead to despotism of a collective mediocrity the free play of self-interest, the negation of freedom, and the deterioration of individual and national character. But under really favourable conditions it encourages self-reliance, initiative, and intelligence, creative impulse on the part of the individual and social sense of free men by placing the ultimate responsibility for government or citizens themselves. What is more it can make authority a trust and ensures equal consideration for all. Its effectual success depends on the spiritual efforts of the people put forth and the readjustment of democratic institution in accordance with the changing environment.

Parliamentary democracy accepts the ideal of universal evolution and happiness for all, where there will be neither exploitation nor in justice; the social order will be founded on liberty, equality and mutuality and the authority will primarily be concerned with the management of social affairs, and will in reality to devoted to public service. It insists on man’s obligation to society where man will be the centre of such a society but self-interest will not be the basis of social organisation. It regards mutual well-being as an essential precondition of human welfare, but lays stress on moral values and the development of personality. It agrees that man’s moral nature and his cultural will come into full bloom only when the principle of mutuality of life is extended to embrace the whole human race. Parliamentary democracy, therefore, also stands for a world society based on the principle of freedom and equality and of voluntary co-operation between free peoples.

Some critics point out that Indian parliamentary democracy is likely to be caught napping if its gaze is fixed exclusively on the future towards which the successive five-year plans are supposed to indicate the way, and which after the completion of each plan show hardly half the results achieved. They say that it must at the same time think of those alive in the present who are not destined to wait for a heaven of plenty in the dim distant future. The present grinding poverty of the masses, the magnitude of unemployment among the educated and the uneducated and the lower limit of literacy are the few firsts and the greatest dangers of our parliamentary democracy. Parliamentary democracy to be really effective must first root out these evils which are eating into the very vital nerves of our society.

Whatever be the defects, if any, in the parliamentary system in India, it can never even break the idea to get herself transformed into a military dictatorship. For the advancement of our national aspiration, for the emancipation of our country’s prestige abroad, we have to maintain our democratic ideal which is not a legacy of British rule, but which is rather a traditional gift and proud heritage of our ancient policy. Of course, the glaring defects which tend to paralyse smooth working of democratic way of life in our country are to be swept clean. We do not say that there should be no political parties or opposition; there must be parties, since political parties from the backbone of parliamentary democracy, and without which democracy tends to be mere farce. But where a place for opposition is granted, there should be a healthy party system based upon constructive ideals, and not wrapped in narrow cliques of casteism, communalism, linguism and regionalism.

Differences of opinion are likely and should be in a parliamentary democracy as it recognises that the opposition has certain rights and that without an opposition there is the danger of a majority not being kept strictly to its task and not being kept up to the mark. It recognises the need and the place of an opposition in coming to decisions. But if a majority or a minority begins to function forgetting the spirit of democracy and of parliamentary democracy then its base is shaken up and all kinds of undesirable results follow. This is applicable indeed to any system of government because no system of government by consent of large numbers of people can subsist for long unless there is this forbearance and understanding of different points of view and attempting to pull together.

The main danger to the parliamentary system in India arises from the fact that democratic conduct has not become a creative way of life for us. It is not merely the evolution of power and panchayati raj, but the development of democratic principles that can cure us of our undemocratic habits formed through inactive and lethargic centuries. For this, a lead from a firm and determined government is essential and, moreover, it is essential both for the government as well as for the public to change their existing outlook. Orthodox democracy has proved itself miserably unequal to the exigencies of India. The problem is to modify the traditional institutions of democracy to suit present day conditions. The inefficiency of democracy first became noticeable in its economic aspect. One of the most important problems for the parliamentary democracy in India, therefore, is to manage its economic system in such a way as to ensure for everybody a reasonably high standard of living, coupled with a reasonable amount of security and liberty.


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