Reforming India’s Parliamentary Democracy

A parliamentary democracy or an executive democracy

This article highlights reforming India’s Parliamentary Democracy. It also analyses the growing subordination of Parliament in India, the concentration of power within the executive, and the need for constitutional safeguards for reforming India’s Parliamentary Democracy.

What is the context?

The recent inauguration of the new Parliament building has raised debates due to the exclusion of the President and the symbolism surrounding the transfer of power. Beneath this controversy lies a crucial fact: Parliament’s growing subordination.

Analysis of Issues:

Bills are passed without adequate deliberation, and parliamentary sessions are frequently adjourned, resulting in reduced working days. Presidential ordinances have gained prominence as an alternative form of law-making. These issues are not solely the result of individual actions but are inherent in the constitutional design itself.


The Indian Constitution’s structure facilitates and enables the marginalization of Parliament while concentrating power within the executive. This undermines the core principles of parliamentary democracy and limits the effectiveness of Parliament as a deliberative and representative body.


In India, the dilution or erasure of several safeguards against executive dominance or abuse, commonly found in parliamentary democracies, has stifled intra-party dissent through the anti-defection law, which strengthens the control of party leadership. The absence of a specific space for the political Opposition and the lack of an independent Speaker further undermine the checks and balances.

Solution and Opportunities:

To restore the essence of parliamentarianism, constitutional changes and reforms are necessary. Measures should include revisiting the anti-defection law, granting more rights to the political Opposition, ensuring an impartial Speaker, and reinforcing the role of the Upper House as a revising chamber. These reforms would empower Parliament to fulfill its intended functions.


India’s current state of affairs raises concerns about its classification as a parliamentary democracy. The concentration of power in the executive, diminished role of Parliament, and erosion of democratic checks and balances need urgent attention. Restoring parliamentarianism requires thoughtful constitutional reforms.

Way Forward:

It is crucial to initiate public discourse and engage in a comprehensive dialogue on the necessary constitutional changes. Stakeholders must come together to address the issues plaguing India’s parliamentary democracy and work towards strengthening the role of Parliament as the true representative body of the people.

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