Will democracy end in India?

India - the largest democratic country in the world

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 The historical development of Indian federalism.

3 The separation of powers in India
3.1 The legislative power
3.2 The Lok Sabha and its composition
3.3 The Rajya Sabha and its composition
3.4 The functions and tasks of the two chambers

4 Federalism in Germany.
4.1 The division of power in the German political system.
4.2 The parliamentary system in Germany.
4.3 The Bundestag
4.4 The Federal Council

5 Comparison of the two legislative bodies

6 Conclusion

7 literature

1 Introduction

Today the Indian Union is rightly called the largest democratic country in the world. Despite the internal tensions and the border disputes with its two neighbors Pakistan and China, regular elections are held to fill political offices, so that Indian democracy is on the road to consolidation. The initial skepticism about the strength of Indian democracy seems to have been overcome, even if critical points persist. The consequences of internal tensions and border disputes are problems that should not be underestimated.

According to the Indian constitution, India is a union with 28 states and 7 union territories, with the states governing themselves through the areas defined in the constitution. Opposite is the central government, which has sovereignty in the areas of foreign policy and national defense. The separation of powers in India is the same as in other democratic countries, this means that India has an executive, legislative and judicial branch. However, the perception of function is different. While the prime minister largely determines the political guidelines at the executive level, the Indian judiciary acts as the guarantor of the judiciary. The relatively small influence of the Indian parliamentary system remains the Achilles' heel of Indian democracy, which for various reasons cannot always fulfill its legislative function and its duty of control and is relatively weak towards the government. In contrast to India, the Federal Republic of Germany has a strong legislature that has a defining influence on federal politics. The question now arises why the Indian legislature lags behind that of Germany?

In the following work, after a brief overview of federalism in the two countries, as well as the presentation of the respective legislatures, the different work functions of the Indian Union and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as their contribution to the consolidation of democracy, will be analyzed and finally one To be able to make a decision.

2 The historical development of Indian federalism.

Before we get into the actual aspect of this work, i.e. the functionality of the parliamentary system between India and Germany, it is appropriate to first take a look at the existing federal system of the two countries. India gained its independence from the British on August 13, 1947. Even during colonial times, the British adopted federalism as their system of government. Federalism allowed the British both a steady transfer of power and the retention of central government control, with the Indians administering the provinces themselves[1]. This dominance situation changed with the achievement of independence. On September 13th, 1947 the British withdrew from the Indian power apparatus and India declared itself as an independent country with a provocative constitution, the Government of India Act ", dated to the year 1935. The drafting of a new constitution dragged on until the entry into force of the first Indian constitution of 1950[2]. The new Indian constitution contained western liberal state components and, with its 395 articles, is one of the longest and most detailed constitutions in the world. The takeover of these components was also concise. India adopted the model of “Westminster democracy” with the bicameral system, “Lok Sabha” and “Rajya Sabha”, with Canada adopting the federal system. In view of the different financial strengths of the respective countries and territories, the Canadian idea of ​​the finance commission for the distribution of tax revenue between the federal government and the federal states was taken up, which also regulates the competencies between the federal and state governments.[3] Eventually, American jurisprudence was copied with the establishment of a Supreme Court.

Due to the territorial secession intentions and the lessons of the Kashmir war against Pakistan, the new constitution provided for a strong central power to act against these separatist currents. The strong central state served as a guarantee for the preservation of Indian territory.[4]

3 The separation of powers in India

The separation of powers is in India in the executive branch with the Prime Minister as head of government and coming from the center of parliament, in a legislature and control body, in the form of parliament, as well as in the judiciary, the Supreme Court, which is responsible for the judiciary and the conformity check Laws with the constitution as well as the protection of the fundamental rights of the citizens.

At the state level, the state parliaments take on the legislative role, which can consist of one or two chambers[5], where unicameral parliaments are named Legislative Assembly (Legislative Assembly) take in. In bicameral systems, the functions differ, according to which the legislative assembly is referred to as the lower house; in addition, the House of Lords acts as a Legislative Council (Legislative Council). The states are free to establish or abolish a House of Lords by means of a parliamentary resolution (Art. 169). The executive is represented by the governor appointed by the central government and the chief minister elected by the state parliament. The jurisdiction is in the hands of the High courts.[6]

3.1 The legislative power

If we look at the Indian constitution, India is a parliamentary democracy. Indian parliamentary democracy is similar to that of Great Britain, the former colonial ruler.[7] The Indian parliamentary system, like that of England, consists of a lower house and an upper house. The Indian lower house "Lok Sabha" acts as a legislator and control body, while the upper house acts as the representative of the federal states at the national level.[8]

3.2 The Lok Sabha and its composition

In India, the "Lok Sabha" is the legislature and the controlling body of the country. The Lok Sabha consists of 552 members and according to the 81st article of the Indian constitution, an increase in this number is not permitted. Compared to the population, India has the smallest House of Representatives in the world. 530 of the entire Indian MPs are elected to the various single-member constituencies of the states by simple majority voting, the number of MPs depending on the size of the respective state. In addition, there are a maximum of 20 MPs from the Union territories, as well as two MPs from the "Anglo-India Community", who are appointed by the President.[9] The term of office of the representatives is five years.

As a parliamentary democracy, the Lok Sabha is able to elect the prime minister from among its ranks, who in turn can, after consultation with the president and on his proposal, apply to the latter to dissolve parliament.

The Indian parliament has an abundance of committees that can carry out day-to-day parliamentary work and, at the same time, control the executive on financial matters[10].


[1] Rothermund, Dietmar ,, India “Verlag C.H.Beck oHG, Munich 2008. S54

[2] Wagner, Christian “The Political System of India” VS. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften / GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006. p. 43

[3] Freudenberg, Timo “India's federalism and economy in transition” Peter Lang. GmbH. European Science Publishing House. Frankfurt am Main, 2005. P. 14

[4] Rothermund, Dietmar “Parliamentary Democracy and Federalism” in: India. Culture, history, politics, economy, environment. A handbook ”(Ed.) Rothermund, Dietmar. Publishing house C.H. Beck Munich 1995. 393

[5] See article 168 of the Indian Constitution

[6] http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/welcome.html Accessed on 09/01/09

[7] Pelinka, Anton "Comparison of Political Systems" Böhlau Verlag Vienna-Cologne - Weimar 2005. S.249

[8] Hardgrave. Jr L. Robert, India. Government and politics in a developing nation "Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc

New York / Chicago / San Francisco / Atlanta 1970. p. 55

[9] Wagner, Christian “The Political System of India” VS. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften / GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006. p. 44

[10] Wagner, Christian “The Political System of India” VS. Publishing house for social sciences / GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006. p. 47

End of the reading sample from 15 pages