Once again President Pranab Mukherjee has reminded the nation that there can be no governance without an effective legislature. “Enacting laws without discussion impacts the law-making role of Parliament. It breaches the trust reposed in it by the people. This is neither good for democracy nor for the policies relating to those laws.” The President could not have been more explicit. That he did so when the US president was on a visit to India was a reflection of how serious he was on the issue. It did not redound to the credit of the largest democracy that it relied on the government’s ordinance-making power, rather on the law-making powers of Parliament.
Now it is the turn of the members of both Houses of Parliament, irrespective of their party affiliations, to respond to the president’s call. They must introspect why the government was forced to promulgate eight ordinances in as many months it has been in power. They must realise that the whole world is now watching India as its prestige is in the ascendant for many reasons. The Indian economy is once again doing well with growth rate expected to overtake China’s in a few years’ time. And that too when Western democracies, including the US, are registering growth rates worse than the Hindu rate of growth that India used to be associated with.
The elections held early last year in which the people brought Narendra Modi to power and reduced the Congress to a negligible minority in Parliament could not have but proved how strong democracy in India was. Small wonder that the world expects the members of Parliament to discharge their onerous responsibilities to the people by playing their designated roles. While the ruling party must ensure that the Opposition is taken into confidence on all the issues concerning the welfare of the people, the Opposition, too, must cooperate with the government to redeem its promises to voters. Both should ensure that the Budget session of Parliament isn’t wasted in acrimony, as had happened in case of the winter session.