Many argue that the British system of democracy is not suited to India. Do such arguments have sound logic? How do you counter such arguments? Discuss.

Published: November 19, 2017

India follows parliamentary form of government similar to British system where President is nominal head of government. Under Article 74 President shall act on advice of counsel of minister headed by prime minister. So in Practice prime minister is real head of executive. The logics given behind arguments that British system of democracy is not suited to India are as follows:

  • Instability of government due to immature dissolution of Lok Sabha.
  • Lack of expertise with ministers as they must belong to Parliament hence choice is limited in selecting ministers.
  • Since executive is member of legislature this violates principle of separation of power.
  • First past the post system of election results in tyranny of majority and voices of minorities are suppressed.
  • No continuity of policy due to uncertain government tenure.

But, these arguments do not consider aptly the special demography and socio-political milieu of India. The current parliamentary system gives a responsible government as executive is collectively responsible and accountable to Lok Sabha. It provides better co-operation and fewer conflicts between executive and legislature and there is greater scope for giving representation in executive to various sections of society. It also prevents despotism by single person as executive power is vested in council of minister.
Long experience with this system and its easy to comprehend nature implies that parliamentary system is best suited to Indian needs but it must be reformed by purging it of ills of money power, muscle power etc.

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