The ‘Council of States’ which is also known as Rajya Sabha, a nomenclature that was announced by the chair in the House on the 23rd August 1954 has its own distinctive features. The origin of the second Chamber can be traced to the Montague-Chelmsford Report of 1918. The Government of India Act, 1919 provided for the creation of a ‘Council of State’ as a second chamber of the then legislature with a restricted franchise which actually came into existence in 1921. The Governor-General was the ex-officio President of the then Council of State. The Government of India Act, 1935, hardly made any changes in its composition.
Here the question raise why Rajya Sabha was founded? The answer has two aspects one is in the favour and another is in opposition. Let start with No
1. The importance of the Rajya Sabha is inversely proportionate to the strength of the ruling party in the Upper House. You can see this happening these days in our Parliament. In the absence of a strong opposition in the LS, the NDA government (which has a majority in the LS, but not in the RS) will still face the challenge in the RS to get a debatable legislation passed.
2. The contemporary argument against it comes from two primary angles. The first one suggests that a Lok Sabha that has representation from several regional parties more than adequately represents a federal country. The recent reversal on the land acquisition ordinance is an example of this federal character of the Lok Sabha in practice.
3. The second argument charges that the Rajya Sabha has become a haven for losers in elections, crony capitalists, compromised journalists and party fundraisers.
#RajyaSabha to consider & pass:
1.National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018
2.Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2018
3.National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
— Ananthkumar (@AnanthKumar_BJP) July 26, 2018
1. In a Federal system, the Rajya Sabha represents the interests of the states.
2. Rajya Sabha acts as a check on the majoritarian tendencies of the Lok Sabha. Many a hastily passed Bill has been subject to withering scrutiny by the Rajya Sabha.
3. It is also an effective means of co-opting eminent members of the society who would never win an election on their own, into the legislative procedure.
4. RS produces politicians like Arun Jaitley and Sitaram Yechuri who never go and work for people directly. RS has celebs who are simply like kids lost at the fair.
5. While we had nominated members like Lata Mangeshkar and Dilip Kumar who rarely attended sessions
6. Rajya Sabha has prevented hasty legislation and has served as dignified chamber representing the federal principle.
— Narendra Jadhav (@DrJadhav) July 25, 2018
Here are some of the Recommendations to improve existing Rajya sabha Working Structure:
8. It is much more practical to try and reform the Rajya Sabha than seeking to abolish it.
9. Members of the Rajya Sabha be directly elected by the citizens of a state. This will reduce cronyism and patronage appointments.
10. This step should be combined with equal representation for each state (say, five or three members) so that large states do not dominate the proceedings in the House.
11. This streamlined Rajya Sabha should remain deliberative, but there should be deadlines set for responding to bills initiated in the Lok Sabha.
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) July 30, 2018
“Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die,” said B.R. Ambedkar, the principal author of India’s constitution.
It is virtually impossible to abolish the Rajya Sabha without adopting a new Indian Constitution. The bicameral nature of the Indian Parliament is likely to be interpreted as a “basic structure” of the Indian Constitution, rendering it incapable of being amended.
Regretfully the Rajya Sabha today does not reflect the rich cultural diversity of the states(which it was intended to do at its conception) and the country in its debates or its discussions. It does not reflect the national perspective as it has basically become a victim to party politics. But then, democracy is nothing but a trade-off between total chaos and tolerable confusion…