25 July, 2021

Bicameral Vision

We must respect the synergy the two Houses bring to the nation

Illustration by Saahil
Bicameral Vision

The Rajya Sabha is not directly elected, true. But the Constituent Assembly too wasn’t directly elected. Was it the less representative of India’s aspirations? On the contrary, each member represented a state or province in totality. Each member brought to the Constituent Assembly something of the uniqueness and genius of their regions. Consider these distinguished women members of the Constituent Assembly: Begum Aizaz Rasul spoke for the United Provinces, Durgabai for undivided Madras, Hansa Mehta for the combined State of Bombay. Some of them did not even ‘belong’ to those provinces. Sucheta Kripalani, for instance, was indirectly elected from the United Provinces and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur from the Central Provinces. And yet they carried with them the integrated will of their electors, the MLAs of their states, though with not a trace of local-itis.

The Rajya Sabha, our Senate, our House of Lords, our Second Chamber, was conceived of by the founders of our Constitution as desirable in a Parliament that has two principal roles—law-making and...

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