This refers to Shubhashis Gangopadhyay’s article “Ducking the debate” (August 25). For a parliamentary democracy to be effective, a spirit of constructive cooperation between the ruling dispensation and opposition parties should prevail. The government must look to opposition parties to point out genuine faults and shortcomings in its policies and their implementation. The opposition, on its part, has to perform the task of an effective watchdog, and should not keep opposing and criticising everything that the government does or does not do. The government, in turn, has to be sensitive and responsive to the debates in Parliament and should make course corrections as appropriate. Only then will Parliament effectively work for and on behalf of the people of India. In the absence of this kind of functioning of parliamentary democracy, the institution is bound to lose respect. Unfortunately, as things stand today, there is too much competitive politics that is being played by all with an eye on the next elections. That is the reason some civil society groups have started gunning for fundamental changes in the democratic system.
Kishor Kulkarni, Mumbai
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