Why Trump failed and Modi succeeded in passing new laws forcefully


S Kumar

There are many parallels between Indian PM Modi and US President Trump. However, the focus of this article is only on why is Modi able to push through his agenda by passing new laws while Trump is unable to get through his way in the law making process.

In US, Trump's first proposed reform i.e. Healthcare bill to repeal Obamacare can't be passed despite the Republicans having absolute majority in the Legislature. This was possible because Congress (equivalent to Lok Sabha) stalled it and the opposition came from the ruling Republican party members. At the same time, Modi is able to pass almost 14 laws, including some controversial laws, simultaneously with the annual Budget. Modi Govt has been able to pass almost every Law (except Land Amendment Act) in the last 3 years of his power.

syam public order

In the US system which is a Presidential system, there is a complete box like separation of Power between the Executive and the Legislature. This makes the Executive accountable to Legislature, however the survival of the Government is not dependent on the support of Legislature.

In the Indian system, which is the Parliamentary system, separation of power between the Executive and the Legislature is incomplete, and it is overlapping. Under the standard Parliamentary system (not currently in India), the Government remains accountable to Legislature and the survival of the Government depends on support from the Legislature. Even in case of absolute majority of any party, the separation of power remains intact because a legislator remains independent of the Party inside the Parliament.

Under the original Constitution of India, the framers including Babasaheb never wanted complete separation because it leads to a stalemate situation where things gets stalled between Executive and Legislature. Further, the intent was to make the Executive accountable to the Legislature on a daily basis.

However, the original plan of Indian Constitution failed completely with the Anti-Defection law or Dal Badal Kanoon passed in 1985 by the Rajiv Gandhi government. This law merges the executive and legislative power in case of majority and accountability of executive towards legislature becomes NIL on a daily basis, because survival of the Government (represented by Party MPs) depends totally on the Political Party.

Article 105 of Indian Constitution clearly says that Members of Parliament have right to free speech and freedom to vote in parliament and they are not answerable to any Court for their vote or speech in the Parliament. Contrary to Article 105, the Anti-Defection law curtailed the freedom of MPs to vote and made them answerable to the Party chief. In case of dissent by the MP, the MP has to lose his/her seat in the House of Parliament.

Many political and legal analysts have raised the issue that Modi Govt is able to pass many bills as Money Bills, which don't require Rajya Sabha approval. However, this is incomplete understanding of the underlying problem. The author's understanding is that Money Bill is not a problem, but the issue is how a bill becomes a Money Bill and does the person approving a Bill as Money Bill have necessary authority. A Bill is authorised as Money Bill after the approval from the Speaker. However, if the speaker himself has been elected by using the brute force of the Party whip under Anti-Defection Law, then the Authority of the Speaker is itself questionable. The power of the Speaker is merged along with the Executive and the Legislature to the Political Party with the Anti-Defection Law.

There are only two means of avoiding autocracy i.e. ensuring liberty of people and making government accountable. Parliamentary or Presidential system of Governance is a matter of choice for any country. However, both the systems demand liberty for citizens and accountability of the Government. Any democracy is made successful with freedom of thought and expression in form of speech, writing and voting while protecting the fundamental rights and with the accountability of the Government.

How can an elected MP/MLA (who represents a population) have NO FREEDOM TO VOTE as per his/her conscience? How can a Parliament represent and create a liberal democracy which prohibits freedom of vote to its own members. Only a few failed states like Pakistan, Bangladesh, a few African countries have this kind of law that prohibits freedom of expression to elected MP and MLA in the name of Party or any extra-constitutional authority.

So, when elected member of parliament don't have freedom to vote in Parliament (only directly democratic elected institution with complete political equality), then a democratic nation is not possible.



S Kumar is a technocrat with education from a top engineering institution.

Cartoon by Unnamati Syama Sundar.

Other Related Articles

India and its contradictions
Sunday, 20 August 2017
  Raju Chalwadi This August 15th marked the completion of 70 years of Independence. The preamble of the constitution way back in 1950 defined India as a place where Justice, Liberty, Equality... Read More...
Bahujans and Brahmins: Why their realities shall always collide, not converge
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
  Kuffir My grandfather,The starvation deathWhich occurred during the drought when men were sold;My father,The migrant lifeWhich left home in search of work to pay off debt;I, in ragged shirt... Read More...
Why Not Janeu Under My Kurta?
Wednesday, 09 August 2017
  Rahmath EP Lipstick Under My Burkha is a ‘by the Brahmin for the Brahmin' movie to propagate the Savarna definition of the ‘oppressed women’. The whole movie gives you a clear picture of... Read More...
Communalism and the Pasmanda question
Wednesday, 09 August 2017
  Lenin Maududi It's time for us to understand that politics is at the centre of every society. It follows then that if politics is of a poor quality, it is futile to expect any improvement in... Read More...
Why Buddhism?
Monday, 07 August 2017
  Dr. R. Praveen The growing atrocities on dalits in the name of hindutva fascism need to be countered with a formidable retaliation, one which leads us to path of progression and helps us to... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Nilesh Khandale's short film Ambuj - Drop the pride in your caste
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Gaurav Somwanshi Nilesh Khandale’s debut short movie, ‘Ambuj’ seeks to shed light on some of the most pervasive but less talked about elements of the Indian caste society. Working as an Event... Read More...
Ram Nath Kovind is not a Dalit, Dalit is a Spring of Political Consciousness
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
  Saidalavi P.C. The propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels was so sharp in his thinking that we have come to quote his famous aphorism regarding the plausibility of a lie being... Read More...
Chalo Nagpur Women against Hindutva Manuvaad and Brahmanvaad
Sunday, 05 March 2017
  Manisha Bangar Posters and video of the upcoming Chalo Nagpur Women against Hindutva Manuvaad and Brahmanvaad event on 10th March 2017. Please join in big numbers! Read More...
On Making a Documentary Film about Bhima Koregaon
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
  Somnath Waghamare Dear friends, Jai Bhim. Finally, my documentary film on Bhima Koregaon has been completed with your kind support. In the last six months of my filmmaking journey, I have had... Read More...
Civic Education for the Oppressed and the Oppressors: How different it should be
Saturday, 01 April 2017
  S Karthikeyan A young 27 years old Muthukrishnan Jeevanantham aka Rajini Krish who was pursuing Ph.D. in Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU) allegedly committed suicide on Monday, March 14,... Read More...