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India Politics

State and politics

GOVERNMENT

Political System of India PoliticsIndia is a sovereign, democratic and secular federal republic with parliamentary governance and general and equal voting rights. The Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950 and contained for the traditional Indian society art-alienating concepts such as majority decision, everyone's equality before the law, freedom of thought, opinion and assembly, freedom of religion and secularized society, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, gender or caste and the like. rights for men and women. Both in the central republic and in each state, the government is accountable to elected parliaments, who have the legislative power.

Parliament consists of two chambers, the lower house (Lok Sabha, the 'People's Assembly'), which is the people's house and the upper house (Rajya Sabha, the 'State Assembly'). The terms of office are five and six years respectively. The upper house is renewed by 1/3 every two years and cannot be dissolved.

Political System of India

Parliament has the legislative power. The chambers have the same powers in law matters, but budget issues can be decided by the lower house alone. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 majority in each chamber and the approval of the president. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how IN can stand for India.

The executive power is formally held by the president, whose role, however, is in fact predominantly ceremonial. Presidential elections (indirect) are held every five years. The Electoral Assembly consists of members of the central and state parliaments. The president has the right to dissolve the lower house.

In fact, the executive power is held by the government, led by the prime minister. Compared to other federal constitutions, the Indian central government is given great power. If any state government cannot maintain law and order, the central government, formally through the president with so-called presidential rule, can take control of the state until new elections are announced and a new government is formed. When serious emergencies are considered to exist, in the event of war or rebellion, the President may grant an emergency permit, which means that constitutional freedoms and rights will be revoked.

India consists of 29 states and seven Union territories. The latter are administered from the capital, while the states have their own parliaments and governments. Delhi has the status of national capital territory and is administered in a similar manner to the states.

In each state there is a legislative assembly (parliament). In towns and villages there are local folk representations. Each representative congregation, from the lower house to the city council, the panchayat, is elected in general elections. The state governor is formally the head of his state and is appointed by the president.

The Constitution shares the legislative power between the Republic and the states. The central government handles, among other things, foreign policy, defense, foreign trade, communications, currency and coinage, and has most of the tax revenue. For the central government's position of power vis-角-vis the states, its collection and distribution of tax assets plays a major role. The states handle their own local administration, law and order, police, agriculture, land reform and taxation of land, health care and more.

The elections are majority choices in one-man election circles. The voting age is 18 years, the eligibility age is 25 years. The elections are administered by an independent election commissioner. Since many voters are illiterate, all parties and independent candidates are assigned a cartoon symbol, which is printed on the ballot paper. When voting, the election judge marks the voter's finger with an indelible ink for a time. The number of eligible voters has risen from 173 million in 1951/52 to about 900 million in India's seventeenth national parliamentary elections in 2019.

The judiciary is exercised by the Supreme Court of the Republic , whose members are appointed by the President. According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court can invalidate laws, and its independence is shown by the fact that it has used this opportunity on a number of occasions.

Policy

The dominant party in Indian politics has long been the Indian National Congress (INC, the ' Congress Party ') which has its roots in the independence movement. The Congress Party has had government power in India for several long periods: 1947-77, 1980-89, 1991-96 and most recently 2004-14. Most of the party's leaders have belonged to the Nehru - Gandhid dynasty.

In the 2014 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the 'Indian People's Party') won a grand victory and gained its own majority in the popular assembly. The party has its roots in Hindu nationalism and the government is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The electoral system of majority voting in one-man elections can lead to electoral results having strong consequences in Parliament. In the 2014 elections, the BJP became the largest party with 31 percent of the vote while the Congress party became the second largest with just over 19 percent. Still, the BJP got 282 out of 543 seats in the People's Assembly while the Congress Party got only 44 seats. It is also comparatively easy for regional parties to strike out as it is enough to win in individual constituencies.

In 2017, the lawyer and former BJP politician Ram Nath Kovind was elected president. After voting in Parliament, it was clear that Kovind received 65 percent of the vote. Kovind is down and thus belongs to the group that is at the bottom of the caste hierarchy. The fact that Modi appointed a person from a vulnerable group to run for one of the country's top positions could be seen as a strategic step ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections. Since both Kovind and Modis are Hindu nationalists, there is some concern that the current balance of power may lead to increased contradictions between the country's minorities, Christians and Muslims.

During Modi's first term as prime minister, the country experienced relatively strong economic growth, but the election promise of 1 million new jobs per month was not fulfilled. The 2016 decision to annul all banknotes in denominations 500 and 1,000 rupees, most of all banknotes in circulation, affected a large number of people without a bank account. The ruling party has also been criticized for increasing intolerance towards non-Hindu minorities and regime-critical persons. However, the BJP went further in the 2019 elections compared to five years earlier and captured 303 seats. Although the Congress party got slightly more parliamentary seats than 2014, with 52 seats, the former state-bearing party was far from regaining government power.

Judiciary

The most important sources of law in India are domestic legislation, introduced partly before and partly after independence, as well as those parts of English common law imported during the colonial era. The legislation is also largely based on English law, with the exception of family law rules, which are mostly derived from Hindu or Islamic legal traditions. Despite extensive legislation, precedents according to English models are also considered binding. Any gaps in the statutory regulation is often filled with the help of "equity and good conscience" (justice, equity and good conscience), which in practice usually refers to English law.

Regulatory competence is distributed between the central and state agencies, but there are important areas of law (eg criminal law and family law) where both have competing powers.

India has a unified judiciary, which does not differentiate between federal and state courts. The most important higher courts are a Supreme Court for the entire country and, under this, a High Court for each state. Judges in these courts are appointed by the President. The death penalty can be punished for some serious crimes.

Crime and punishment

The number of crimes has risen sharply in India, in parallel with the economic development. During the period 1998-10, all crimes increased by a total of 25%. This applies to both violent crimes and financial crimes and computer crimes. The violent crimes increased by about 50% during the period. In recent years, the number of murders has decreased slightly, while other violent crimes, such as kidnapping and rape, have increased significantly. In relation to the population, crime is somewhat more common in India than in China, but only one-fifth as common as in the United States.

Counteracting crime and imposing punishment is a state concern. Access to police and the capacity of courts and prisons therefore vary between different parts of the country, but it is generally insufficient. The death penalty can be punished, mainly for murder, kidnapping against ransom or rebellion against the government, but it is usually converted into a life sentence. Execution (hanging) should occur several times a decade.

Reported sexual violence against girls and women increased in 2010-11 by just over 7% per year. Primarily, it became more common in large cities, but not in the multimillion cities, which is thought to be due to, among other things, that there are relatively more police officers. In 94% of these cases, the perpetrator was a family member, relative or neighbor. In just over a tenth of the cases, the victim was a girl under 14, in twice as many a girl between 14 and 18 years. However, it is still considered that most violent crimes against women are not reported or that the reports are withdrawn. Child prostitution and trafficking in children is illegal, but it is still a serious problem. Trafficking in human trafficking increased by 122% in 2011. These are girls and women from both India and Nepal and Bangladesh.

Since 2009, sexual contact between people of the same sex has not been criminal in India. Nationally, however, there is no prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. However, such a law exists in some states. Same-sex couples are still not recognized in Indian law.

In everyday life, many Indians face corruption among lower officials and teachers, and scandals in recent years have shown that corruption is also high in society. During 2011-12, large demonstrations were carried out with demands for stricter anti-corruption legislation.

Human Rights

There are major differences within India regarding respect for human rights. The country certainly has a developed and largely functioning legal system and many Indians have improved living conditions, but regional gaps and differences between different groups in the densely populated and ethnically, religiously and regionally divided India (see Population) pose difficult challenges. Despite intensive efforts to combat poverty, a large part of the population lacks access to food, housing, clean water, healthcare and education. Many women, children, tribal communities, religious minorities, the disabled and sexual minorities are marginalized and discriminated against, while the impunity for police and security forces is widespread throughout society.

Several major conflicts are ongoing in the country. In the eastern and northeastern states as well as in Jammu and Kashmir (see the Kashmir issue), the civilian population is being abused by both the government's military forces and militant groups. Children are most severely affected by conflicts and poverty and, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the most street children in the world. Child labor and trafficking in children are serious problems.

The Dalits, or the "untouchables" that make up more than one-sixth of India's population, about 200 million people, for a difficult existence in society at the bottom of India's caste system. Although discrimination against the group is prohibited in the Indian Constitution, they are denied access to land and basic resources and are often forced to work in degrading conditions.

For women, too, there are major regional and class differences, but overall they have an inferior position in society. There is a great risk of sexual abuse throughout the country. After a young woman died from the injuries she suffered in connection with a group rape in 2012, a case that received a great deal of international attention, the government in 2013 presented a new regulation on sexual offenses. However, police and security forces are not covered by the law and still enjoy impunity even in the case of sexual offenses.

In the area of freedom of the press and press, Reporters Without Borders expresses concern over the steady decline of freedom of information in the vast democracy. Abuse and threats of violence lead journalists to practice self-censorship in many cases. In Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2015, India fell 14 places since 2010, to 136 out of 180 countries.

Heads of State

General Governors
1947-48 Lord Mountbatten
1948-50 Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Presidents
1950-62 Rajendra Prasad
1962-67 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
1967-69 Zakir Husain
1969-74 Varahagiri Venkata Giri
1974-77 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
1977-82 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
1982-87 Giani Zail Singh
1987-92 Ramaswamy Venkataraman
1992-97 Shankar Dayal Sharma
1997-2002 Kocheril Rahman Narayanan
2002-2007 Abdul Kalam
2007-12 Pratibha Patil
2012-17 Pranab Mukherjee
2017- Ram Nath Kovind

Heads of government

Prime ministers
1947-64 Jawaharlal Nehru
1964-66 Lal Bahadur Shastri
1966-77 Indira Gandhi
1977-79 Morarji Desai
1979-80 Charan Singh
1980-84 Indira Gandhi
1984-89 Rajiv Gandhi
1989-90 Vishwanath Pratap Singh
1990-91 Chandra Shekhar
1991-96 Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao
1996 Atal Behari Vajpayee
1996-97 HD Deve Gowda
1997-98 Inder Kumar Gujral
1998-2004 Atal Behari Vajpayee
2004-14 Manmohan Singh
2014- Narendra Modi
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