A plea was made in favour of US presidential system of government in the Constituent Assembly. But, the founding fathers preferred the British parliamentary system due to the following reasons:
1. Familiarity with the System The Constitution-makers were somewhat familiar with the parliamentary system as it had been in operation in India during the British rule. K M Munshi argued that, ‘For the last thirty or forty years, some kind of responsibility has been introduced in the governance of this country. Our constitutional traditions have become Parliamentary. After this experience, why should we go back and buy a novel experience.’
2. Preference to More Responsibility Dr B R Ambedkar pointed out in the Constituent Assembly that ‘a democratic executive must satisfy two conditions: stability and responsibility. Unfortunately, it has not been possible so far to devise a system which can ensure both in equal degree. The American system gives more stability but less responsibility. The British system, on the other hand, gives more responsibility but less stability. The Draft Constitution in recommending the parliamentary system of Executive has preferred more responsibility to more stability.’
3. Need to Avoid Legislative—Executive Conflicts The framers of the Constitution wanted to avoid the conflicts between the legislature and the executive which are bound to occur in the presidential system prevalent in USA. They thought that an infant democracy could not afford to take the risk of a perpetual cleavage, feud or conflict or threatened conflict between these two organs of the government. They wanted a form of government that would be conductive to the manifold development of the country.
4. Nature of Indian Society India is one of the most heterogeneous States and most complex plural societies in the world. Hence, the Constitution-makers adopted the parliamentary system as it offers greater scope for giving representation to various section, interests and regions in the government. This promotes a national spirit among the people and builds a united India.
Whether the parliamentary system should be continued or should be replaced by the presidential system has been a point of discussion and debate in our country since the 1970s. This matter was considered in detail by the Swaran Singh Committee appointed by the Congress government in 1975. The committee opined that the parliamentary system has been doing well and hence, there is no need to replace it by the presidential system.
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