Published : Wednesday, 13 January, 2016 08:10 AM
Opposition parties remain in business of opposing only and seldom work on solutions
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Democracy is the ideal form of governance because it allows for differing voices to be heard and debate so that the best interests of a country are not compromised. The right to speech, guaranteed in a democracy to people, enables everyone to put forth their views and also offers a counter point to the government, thereby keeping the government in check. This is in contrast to a dictatorial form of governance where all criticisms of the ruling dictator are crushed. The opposition plays a crucial role in a democracy.
A. India is a democracy and follows a bicameral form of governance, a system in which the legislature comprises two houses. In India’s case, the two houses are the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Both these houses together have the responsibility of forming laws to govern the country. The party or parties having the majority of votes form the government, while the others form the opposition. The Constitution of India guides the politicians in all matters and lays down the roles of both the government and opposition.
B. The opposition plays a very crucial role in a democracy. The main role of the opposition is to hold the government accountable and answerable for its actions. A strong and vocal opposition will ensure that the government does not drop its guard and continues to work for the welfare of the people of the country. It acts as a watchdog of the ruling party.
C. The opposition can also be thought of as an alternate government. It is tasked with not only questioning and critiquing the policies of the government but also presenting alternative policies in front of the public. A constructive critique of the government is the primary function of the opposition.
D. However, it has been seen that the opposition parties tend to oppose the government for their selfish interests, even if the policy of the government in question is good for the country. This is hazardous for the interests of the country. The opposition must not forget that it, too, represents the people of the country, who expect it to ensure that the government does not indulge in any unlawful activity and works for the people.
E. I agree. The opposition needs to be careful about how it conducts itself. While all actions of the government are being scrutinized, the opposition is also not free from criticism, if it fails to discharge its duties. The recent past has shown how the opposition parties have stalled the working of the Parliament for their selfish interests. For instance, the recently concluded Winter Session 2015 of the Parliament was disrupted by the opposition, as a result of which, important legislations such as the GST Bill could not be passed, thereby putting the growth of the country at stake.
F. The opposition also plays an important role in various committees of the Parliament, such as external affairs, home affairs, expenditure and others, which form an important part of the legislative process. By putting the interest of the party over the interest of the country, the opposition is betraying the people of the country.
G. Recent instances have shown that the opposition parties have huddled together to criticize the government only for the sake of it and make the life of the government tough. They have not really provided solutions to the problems, instead, have become part of the problem themselves by being uncooperative. Consequently, precious time of the Indian Parliament has been lost along with hard earned tax payer’s money. All this because the opposition parties chose to hold national interest hostage to their petty politics.
H. It is also to be remembered that democracy is about numbers. The party with the highest number of votes is in a position to form the government. For instance, the historic victory of the BJP led NDA government propelled Modi as the undisputed leader and crushed the Congress to its lowest ever vote count. While the BJP has the numbers in its favour in the LokSabha, it is in minority in the RajyaSabha. This presents an opportunity to the opposition parties to scrutinise every bill tabled by the government and ensure that the country’s interests are safeguarded.
Just as the government needs to work for the betterment of all people of the country irrespective of castes, religion and gender, the opposition needs to rise above petty politics and think of the country. The opposition has a right to oppose but it cannot become a hurdle for the government and prevent the government from governing the country effectively. A strong opposition is as necessary as a strong government, provided the opposition realises its role and plays a constructive role.
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