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Indian Democracy At The Crossroads

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About the Book

No questions perhaps used to be asked more anxiously and more consistently during the early years of our independence then those relating to the advisability and future of parliamentary institutions in India after Nehru disappeared from the political scene. The political behaviour of the masses, particularly the General Elections of 1967 and 1971m and the smooth, orderly transfer of power at the Centre and in the States, however, seemed to have given what perhaps might ultimately be the answer of history, namely, that the makers of the Constitution were not starry-eyed idealists, and that their faith in the sturdy commonsense and capacity for political judgement of the masses, though poor and illiterate and their preference for secular democracy was not mistaken. But political developments since 1975 have once again raised doubts regarding the suitability, desirability, and/or effectiveness of the parliamentary form of government, and there are not a few who voice a preference for the presidential system of which seems to make the Chief Executive relatively more independent of legislature. In the context of the growing dissatisfaction with the working of the parliamentary system, the Indian Political Science Association organized a panel discussion on a comparative study of the two systems in terms of leadership, effectiveness and suitability for a highly diverse society as ours. This book contains selected papers, which were presented at the Conference and some of which have been especially written by scholars belonging to different regions and communities but all of them united on one and the same objective, that is strengthening the bases of objective, that is strengthening the bases of Indian democracy. The papers provide theoretical perspectives and also focus attention on the achievements of the Indian polity as well as the challenges confronting it in the Herculian struggle to preserve and promote ‘Unity in Diversity’ and simultaneously establish an egalitarian society through planned economic development and socio-cultural welfare. The papers are marked by lucidity of expression and clarity of thought and the book should be of interest and use to academics and decision makers, and politicians and publicists, teachers and students of political science.


Prof. S.A.H. Haqqi (born 1922) graduated with Honours in English from the University of Lucknow; obtained degrees of MA., LL.B. and Ph.D. from the Aligarh Muslim University and Ph.D. in Political Science from the London School of Economics. He served as Professor and Chairman/Head, Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University from 1968 till his retirement in 1981. He is associated with a large number of prestigious educational and cultural organisations in India and abroad and participated in several National and International Seminars/ Conferences/Symposias dealing with Political Science. He contributed articles to academic Journals and Papers to National Seminars and Conferences, World Congress of Political Science, and International Political Science Round Tables, on various aspects of Indian Government and Politics; also contributed long and learned articles to the Urdu Encyclopaedia, prepared under the auspices of the Urdu Board, Govt. of India (1979-80). Prof. Haqqi is a widely travelled person. He went to Poland (1975) and Turkey (1984-85) as Visiting Professor: Member, Research Committee (International Political Science Association) on Socio-Political Problems of Pluralism Since 1979; Member, Political Science Panel, and History and Political Science Terminology Committee, Urdu Board, Govt., of India, 1975-80. He is the author of several learned works dealing with Political Science. He was the editor of the Indian Journal of Politics during 1976-81.

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