HomeCurrent AffairsShrinking Parliament: Parliament Out on Christmas/New Year Vacation

Shrinking Parliament: Parliament Out on Christmas/New Year Vacation

This is not just a coincidence that decreasing days of parliamentary session coincided with the increasing number of ordinance brought by the Modi government since 2014. 

The winter session (2022) of the Indian parliament was closed 6 days before the scheduled date. Not a single session since Covid crisis in March 2020 has completed its scheduled days. The Monsoon Session of the year 2022 was closed four days before the schedule while the Budget session was closed one day before the schedule. The budget session of the year 2021 was closed 13 days before the scheduled date. 

Indian Parliament on Timeline:

Exactly 11 years ago the winter session of Indian parliament in 2011 was continued for eight more days than the scheduled 21st December. The official website of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs does not give press releases of many sessions including monsoon session 2013, winter session 2013, monsoon session 2012 etc. 

Indian Parliament,
Table: Parliamentary Sessions of India, its schedules and performances.

It’s not just a matter of closing sessions before the scheduled date but a comparative analysis of the functioning of Indian parliament gives a sense of increasing defunctioning of the Indian parliament for almost a decade now. 

During the winter session of 2022 only 9 bills were introduced which is less than one third of the number of bills introduced during the winter session of 2011. This year parliament functioned for 75 days while in 2011 it functioned for 110 days. This year parliament did 56 sittings and introduced 29 bills while in 2011 this same parliament did 73 sittings and introduced 58 bills in total. 

Parliament on Auction
Cartoon: Credit: Satish Acharya

Ordinance Raj

When we study this reducing days of parliament session, number of sittings and bills introduced in the same along with the increasing number of ordinance this Modi government has brought since coming to power in 2014, it indicates towards the increasing hollowness of Indian democracy. 

The Indian government brought 84 ordinances between the year 2014 and  2021 while during the 10 years rule of UPA (2004 to 2014) only 61 ordinances were brought by the Indian government. This is also important to note that there are only three countries in the world which allow ordinance as a method of rule. These are Pakistan, Bangladesh and of course India. The Ordinance was made part of Indian constitution by British to give authoritarian power to viceroy during British rule in India.

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The basic difference between parliamentary bills and ordinance is that ordinances are introduced when parliament is not in session. There is no need for a government in power to allow debate or discussion or even take suggestions to bring ordinances as temporary laws of government. Every single Bill on the other hand needs to be tabled, discussed, debated and go through the process of voting in the parliament. 

The three Krishi Kanoon (Farm Laws) were also initially brought as an ordinance against which the farmers protested till the government did not take back the laws. In reality this government is feared from any kind of questions on their governance. Perhaps this is why Narendra Modi is the only prime minister in the history of India who never did a press conference in his two terms as PM. 

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Apart from that this current government is known for cancelling Question Hours and Slashing Zero Hour time of Indian parliament so that the possibility of debate, and discussion could be reduced.

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Sweety Tindde
Sweety Tinddehttp://huntthehaunted.com
Sweety Tindde works with Azim Premji Foundation as a 'Resource Person' in Srinagar Garhwal.


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