This Article is From Jun 15, 2017

India Being Pushed Towards Quasi-Presidential System, Says Arun Shourie

As the Modi government celebrates its third anniversary, Arun Shourie criticised the administration's impact on constitutional institutions.

Arun Shourie spoke about the achievements and weaknesses of the Narendra Modi government.


  • Mr Shourie criticised administration's impact on constitutional bodies
  • PM Modi's biggest achievement is that 'he rekindled hope', he added
  • His new book compares lives of today's godmen to that of 2 Indian saints
New Delhi: India is slowly being pushed towards a quasi-Presidential system, former Union minister Arun Shourie said on the NDTV Dialogues this week, as he discussed his latest book, the theory of karma, godmen and the Modi government that is celebrating its third anniversary today.

"Two years down the line, we will be hearing voices as purposefully instigated as these Gau Rakshaks (cow vigilantes) are that this Parliamentary system is coming in the way, so there must be a re-thinking on the constitution towards a quasi-Presidential system - I fear that will happen as a result of the erosion of an institution's importance like the Parliament," he said.

His latest book focuses on the lives of two great Indian saints, Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Ramana Maharshi, and compares their lives to today's godmen.

"Godmen today are characters running real estate empires... riding around in motorcycles and gaudy clothes... they are just marketing people," he said, expressing concerns for the current focus of religion on external issues.

"The moment we get into the externals, we are at each other's throats. That will put such a scaffolding on the Indian state that I fear that the strain will be unbearable for India... if we focus on externals we would just be killing each other in the name of a cow today, in the name of a pig tomorrow," he said. Politics earlier was about "pseudo secularism" but this is "pseudo religion", he said.

Asked about the big achievements and weaknesses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government that stepped into its fourth year today, he said, "The biggest achievement was that Modi rekindled hope at the time he came... it still remains the biggest achievement if people think it's hopeful to have him."

"Biggest deficiency has been the effect on institutions. The confrontation with judiciary, the device by which Rajya Sabha was made irrelevant in regard to many bills, these are dangerous portents. There is no state cabinet that matters today, only Chief Minister matters. States have almost become Presidential," he said.

"Uniformity and concentration of power will have very difficult consequences for India," he said.