"Without dissent, parliamentary system is dysfunctional." In this context, discuss how can B.R. Ambedkar views on parliamentary dissent can help solve the problems being faced by the Indian Parliament in the last few years?
Published: December 21, 2016
Without dissent, parliamentary system in dysfunctional- This view was narrated by our President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Auckland. He opined that “fierce debates and discussions” in the house contribute to taking decisions on important matters like economy. The parliament truly represents the character of these two (dissent and discussions).
The present winter session of the parliament has ended without any substantial legislative business being conducted or a matter of public importance being debated, may be the time has come for our Parliamentarians to read at least once a year the speech delivered by Bhimrao Ambedkar or Babasaheb.
Views of Ambedkar
The wonderful speech is helpful to understand that even when they don’t agree or have a vicious disagreement with the other side, it is important to engage with them. He said remember these famous words, “however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it happen to be a bad lot”. The Constitution can provide only the organs of state such as the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the state depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics.” These sentences are part of the speech by Ambedkar.
On dissent, perhaps a cue that he was against party whips, Ambedkar salutes dissenters, saying, “The proceedings of this Constituent Assembly would have been very dull if all members had yielded to the rule of party discipline. Party discipline, in all its rigidity, would have converted this Assembly into a gathering of yes men. Fortunately, there were rebels.”
He also clearly indicates that he expects the Constitution to be amended by future generations, saying, “ What I do say is that the principles embodied in the Constitution are the views of the present generation, the Assembly has not only refrained from putting a seal of finality and infallibility upon this Constitution as in Canada or by making the amendment of the Constitution subject to the fulfillment of extraordinary terms and conditions as in America or Australia, but has provided a most facile procedure for amending the Constitution.
He also warned against hero worshipping leaders. “There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness… This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than any other country.
Model Questions Category: 034 - Major Issues Pertaining to Federal Structure