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The Indian ParliamentA Democracy at Work$
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B. L. Shankar and Valerian Rodrigues

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198067726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067726.001.0001

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The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha

(p.292) 7 The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
The Indian Parliament

B.L. Shankar

Valerian Rodrigues

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relation between the Rajya Sabha vis-à-vis the Lok Sabha in India as well as the direction and extent to which this relation can be rethought today. It traces the development of the Rajya Sabha and its attempt to carve out a specific domain for itself. The Indian Parliament has gone through three Joint Sittings, the proceedings of which are discussed to assess the impact of the Houses on the quality and nature of the debate. The Lok Sabha has been the pulse of the vitality of Indian democracy and has refused to acknowledge the Rajya Sabha as its intellectual and cultural superior. This chapter also examines the quality of debates in the Rajya Sabha compared with the Lok Sabha, focusing on one issue: the Godhra incident, which shook the foundational principles of Indian polity and called into question the nation's policy on minorities.

Keywords:   Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, democracy, Godhra incident, minorities, Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, Prevention of Terrorism Bill, changing relations between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

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