The Indian Parliament: A Democracy at Work

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Dec 15, 2014 - Political Science
The Parliament is the visible face of democracy in India. It is the epicentre of political life, public institutions of great verve, and a regime of Rights. In a first-of-its-kind study, this book delves into the lived experience of the Indian Parliament by focusing on three distinct phases—the 1950s, the 1970s, and the 1990s and beyond. The authors argue against the widely held notion of its ongoing decline, and demonstrate how it has repeatedly, and successfully, responded to India's changing needs in six decades of existence. This comprehensive and authoritative study examines the changing social composition and differing modes of representation that make up the Lok Sabha and critically explores its relation with the Rajya Sabha. Developments in the institutional complex of the Parliament, including the functioning of the Opposition and the Speaker are traced over time, along with the processes of legislation and accountability. Major debates in the House are scrutinized, and much of the analysis is based on empirical data gathered from surveys circulated among prominent politicians and public intellectuals. It also addresses the intricate issue of relations between the Judiciary and the Parliament. In its in-depth focus on the Lok Sabha, the volume highlights the way the Parliament has come to encompass India's proverbial diversity. It especially demonstrates the route this institution has taken to engage with fractious issues of diverging linguistic and regional demands.
 

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Contents

List of Tables
Making of the Indian Parliament
Changing Social Composition of the Lok Sabha
Issues Concerns
Institutions
Shift from English
From National Identity to Plural Identities
ParliamentJudiciary Relationship
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
InHouse Reproduction of the Lok Sabha
The Parliament and Democracy in India
Select Bibliography
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