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India's Parliament

India's Parliament

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Excerpt from India's Parliament: Selections From the Proceedings of the First Session of the Legislative Assembly and the Council of State

The object of this little book is to enable the public in general and students of Indian politics in particular to obtain some idea of the work accomplished in the first session of the new Indian Parliament. The character of this Session has naturally been of the greatest importance, since upon the manner in which the representatives of the people realized and discharged their responsibilities, hung the success of the great constitutional experiment' now inaugurated. The new Constitution has derived an excellent start from its inaugura tion by His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught. Bearing as he did a gracious message from the King Emperor, the Duke had laid aside leisure well earned to re-visit the India he loved, in order, as he said, to heal wounds, to unite unhappy difierences, to persuade all men to forgive and forget. His appeal to Indians and Englishmen alike to bury, along with the dead past, the mistakes and misunder standings oi the past, has not fallen upon deaf cars. A perusal of the selections here given from the proceedings of India's Parliament will suffice to Show that the relations between the official Government and the representatives of the people have been, throughout the whole of this first critical session, everything that can be desired. It cannot be emphasized too plainly that the non-official Members of the Legislative Assembly and of the Council of State now control an absolute majority over any number of votes which the official Government can possibly command. Throughout this session the popular representatives have revealed a sense of responsibility and of statesmanship which has surpassed the most sanguine expectations even of those whose belief in India's capacity for responsible Govern ment is most firmly grounded. As Lord Chelmsford remarked, in his inaugural Speech, the principle of autocracy in the administra tion of India has now been definitely discarded. The Officials have not been slow to exhibit their realization of the changed spirit of the time. Recognizing the power of the new Legislative bodies they have taken them into confidence, have sought their co-operation and admitted their responsibilities. From the first day of the session the attitude both of the Official and the Non-official sides of India's Legislature has never been for one moment in doubt.

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