Rafiq Zakaria and Richard Crossman favor Presidential form in Constitution
According to Rafiq Zakaria, a former M.P. and a well known writer to say that the presidential form of government is less democratic than the parliamentary system is also a travesty of truth". He adds "in fact, more and more political scientists and commentators even in Britain which is the mother of parliamentary democracy are veering away from it." In his book of reminiscences Richard Crossman a political thinker has opined that in the last few decades "the Prime Minister, who is supposed to be primus inter pares; (the: first among equals) has become a dictator. He has successfully obliterated the division of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, "The Prime Ministers in India too have interfered with the working of all the three organs directly or indirectly.
The Prime Minister in India controls the selection of legislators of his party, chooses his ministers, and appoints the judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court. If he is weak he becomes a tool in the hands of others thus appointing ministers who are either incapable of performing their duties or are corrupt. It has become common in a coalition ministry when the Prime Minister is under pressure from coalition partners. In both the cases vas Zakaria says the country is the loser. A study of the American constitution and the later trends in the country show that the checks and balances provided by the American constitution are more effective than what the British system offers.
As the President is directly elected for a fixed period he is free from legislative control. He is free to select from the best talents in the country. As the ministers are accountable to him alone he functions freely unaffected by party or legislative intervention. The two legislative houses—the Senate and the House of Representatives confine to legislate about levy of taxes, regulate interstate commerce, declare war but do not have executive rights. As a result there is a healthy division of powers between the three wings. Even as the Governors of States are also directly elected, both in the centre and the States merit, efficiency and experience are much more important than what they are in the parliamentary system. The states too enjoy considerable autonomy. Even the Senate has far greater authority on the Federal Union than Indian Rajya Sabha has.
Rajendra Prasad thinks strange Law makers need no Qualifications in Constitution
In the Parliamentary system even if the Prime Minister is considerably strong, he faces a Parliament where even rogues and rascals can get elected by means of muscle and money power. Long back when the constitution was being framed Dr. Rajendra Prasad; president of the assembly had bewailed "In this country we require very high qualification for any one who is appointed as judge to interpret the law which is passed by the legislature...Those who are expected to assist judges are required to possess very high qualifications... But it seems that members are of the opinion that a man who has to make the law needs no qualifications at all, and a legislature... consisting of persons with no qualifications at all may pass something which is nonsensical and the wisdom of all the lawyers and all the judges will be required to interpret the law." The extreme example of this was tile functioning of the Bihar government under the Chief Minister ship of an illiterate lady in the fall of the century.
Justice Sakaria proposes a Commission to keep Constitution up to date
There is a general feeling among almost all the elites and academicians that the present constitution requires a screening. That it should remain cabinet type or changed to Presidential form requires a debate at the national level. But certain changes must be there. Justice R.S. Sarkaria, while discussing the relationship between the Centre and the States, had called for a regular survey. He is of the opinion that there cannot be a change in the basic fundamentals. But more than 78 amendments have been already made to suit the necessity of times. He refers to the American tradition where there is a survey after every six months. He proposes a commission to keep the constitution up-to-date formed from among the academicians and research scholars. The former General Secretary of the Lok Sabha Dr. Subhash Chandra Kashyap just puts a question "Does the constitution satisfy the necessities and ambitions for which it was framed?" He feels that this very constitution made the country progress in the first two decades after independence.
But then people who implemented the constitution were not the creation of this constitution. The product of the traditions of the present constitution is those who have been running the government thereafter. What type of people they are—all know. He feels sad when he says that all the government agencies? Safeguard the lives of those who ought to have been behind the bars. The ordinary man is not safe. There can be some positive revolutionary changes so that honest people may participate in elections. But there are so many draw-backs in the constitution that the purpose can't be served with a change here and a change there. Instead of taking piecemeal decisions these should be done away in one stroke. L.K. Advani former President of BJP and Home Minister during Vajpayee's Prime Minister Ship once said "We only want to identify weaknesses (of constitution) and rectify them." In Keshvanand Bharati case the Supreme Court laid down that while changing the constitution the basic structure of the constitution cannot be changed.
Hedge wonders how People become PM and CM having no mandate from the People
Ram Krishna Hegde criticizing the present constitution says "The British transferred power to the Indian rulers in 1947 but the Indian ruler's never-transferred power to Indian people". He just wonders "how Chief Ministers come, and how Chief Ministers go. In the last ten years we have also seen how Prime Ministers come and how they go…They do not have any mandate... When Charan Singh became the Prime Minister did the people know that there was going to be a change? Similarly Chandra Shekhar became Prime Minister overnight without any reference to the people : and Deve Gowda goes and Gujral comes and then Gujral goes and somebody else comes... if the Chief executive of our country does not have the sanction of our people, how can we call it democratic." Hegde referred to governments in "other countries changing every year and sometimes twice a year like seasons Italy (54 in 50 years) and France are examples." Even Japan has a similar tendency. "But their administration is so strong that developmental work never suffers and they never bring politics into administration and in development programmes."
Hegde criticized section 356 that empowers Central government to dislodge an elected state government. On the other hand Dr. A. K. Verma criticizes section 370 that has given a special status to Jammu and Kashmir that resulted in secessionism. He feels that those who still feel to retain the section have not been able to give any concrete reason for it. The restriction of entry in Nagaland and Mizoram—rather four North Eastern States are also a part of the constitution. The so called founding fathers had never an idea that Congress will ever lose ground either in the Centre or the states. If it ever happens they took resort to section 356. But in federal structure there is always a possibility of regional parties gaining ground in their states. There is no provision in the constitution for keeping a balance between the centre and the large number of regional party run governments. Coalition governments have not solved this problem either in the centre or the states. The constitution should look into this ambiguity by giving more autonomy to the states—direct election of the governor may be one such provision.
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