India is the world’s largest democracy with 1.2 billion population, and over 700 million electorate. This democratic system is in place since India got its independence from British government. The constitution (संविधान) of India came into force on 26 November 1950 with values such as trinity of justice (न्याय), liberty (स्वतंत्रता) and equality (समानता) for all citizens. Our constitution has been one of the most amended national documents in the world with more than 80 changes. This is because of disputed issues between the government and judiciary system in India.
India is a federal constitutional republic (गणतंत्र) having the President (राष्ट्रपति) of India as head of state and the Prime Minister (प्रधान मंत्री) of India as the head of government. However, the role of President is of mostly ceremonial as it has no legislative power. President and vice president are usually appointed for the period of 5 years. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who is designated by legislators of the political party (राजनीतिक दल) or coalition commanding a parliamentary majority. India has got two chambers of the Parliament of India, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha (लोकसभा) was modeled on the British House of Commons but the upper house, Rajya Sabha (राज्यसभा) is modeled from cumulative experience from United States, Australia and Canada. However, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and its central government (केन्द्रीय सरकार) is patterned after the British parliamentary system. In case of certain situations, if no party was able to get the majority votes, the national government can dissolve a state government or impose direct federal rule (संघीय शासन) or central rule which is also called President’s rule.
Executive power is exercised by the President and is independent of the legislature (विधान – सभा). Federal and state elections generally take place within a multiparty system, although this is not enshrined in law. The judiciary (न्यायपालिका) is independent of the executive and the legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court of India.
During election (चुनाव), several political party take part in the government formation process. Several political parties exist in India. Indian National Congress (INC) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) are the two biggest political party in India. The first one is normally called Congress and latter BJP in short. In Eastern states, the left party having Communist philosphy have strong foothold. Congress is the oldest political party and has its origin in the late 19th Century even before the India got Independence and after independence (स्वतंत्रता), it’s has ruled India for decades.
Many people criticize and blame Congress party for India’s slow growth (विकास) in comparison to regional neighbor who also got independence around the same time, when India got it in 1947. Many scandals (घोटाले) worth of multi-billion dollars during current Congress government once again have shed light on the wide spread corruption (भ्रष्टाचार) that many Indian associate with Congress party.
Presently, many Indian have become hopeless and frustrated to solve these multiple problems in their political system which include corruptions, regionalism, religion or caste based politics, favoritism, voting booth hijacking or looting in rural areas. Many political leaders have criminal charges against them. To many Indian, it seems that the criminals are running government. For many years, people have stood against these growth hampering problems but not much is achieved. Recent agitation by Anna Hazare, a Gandhian social worker, against corruption has engulfed the entire nation (राष्ट्र) into rebellious mood. He’s advocating for a constitutional bill, an ombudsman (लोकपाल) that would hopefully get India rid off from political and official corruption.
In spite of these serious problems, India has managed to clock 2 digit growth rate for several years. Even if the growth picture could have been much better (without corruption), millions of people have lifted their living standard (स्तर) by benefiting from the economical reforms (आर्थिक सुधारों) since early 1990s.