The Pragati Podcast: The Parliament and The Republic

Sixty-nine years ago, Indians established a radical new government that put the individual at the centre of all governance.

Republic Day celebrates the Constitution of India, where we not only sought freedom from the British, but freedom from the evils that plagued our society. MR Madhavan talks to Pavan Srinath on The Pragati Podcast about the Indian Republic and the Indian Parliament.

In Episode 81, a Republic Day special, MR Madhavan of PRS Legislative Research gives us a sweeping overview of the Republic of India and its Parliament. Madhavan and Pavan discuss how the parliamentary system has much stronger checks and balances on the Executive than a presidential system. A few ideas that are explored:

  • How many countries have even managed to hang on to their constitution for almost 70 years?
  • How can the Parliament be reformed such that voters can hold their MPs more accountable?
  • Do political parties even have any real constitutional status and recognition?
  • What legal innovations did we need to keep the Republic alive?
  • How has the anti-defection law crippled the Indian legislature?
  • Can coalition governments actually lead to more consultative law-making?
  • How can the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker be made more independent?

MR Madhavan is the President and Co-Founder of PRS Legislative Research, one of India’s most unique and impactful think-tanks. PRS tracks the functioning of the Indian Parliament and works with MPs across political parties and MLAs from various states. PRS provides research support to legislators via analysis of legislative issues, by providing fellowships to research assistants and more.