ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sandipto DasguptaSubscribe to Sandipto Dasgupta

Parliamentarism, Not Presidentialism

To opt for a parliamentary over a presidential form of government is arguably the most significant, yet under-analysed, decision made by the Indian constitution-makers. The conventional view is that parliamentarism was an obvious choice given the British colonial inheritance. However, parliamentarism, far from being obvious, was a counter-intuitive choice given the postcolonial agenda of state-led planned development, historically demanding an empowered executive branch most suited to presidentialism. As opposed to the maximalist and plebiscitarian tendencies of presidentialism, parliamentarism was a way to mediate the potentially conflictual cohabitation of mass democracy and planned development.
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