Chapter

Ghosts of Governments Past

Granville Austin

in Working a Democratic Constitution

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195656107
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080397 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.003.0025
Ghosts of Governments Past

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Indira Gandhi's Congress(I) roundly defeated the Janata Party in the elections of January 1980, but the approximately five years of her ‘second reign’ were not happy ones for the country. Neither Mrs Gandhi nor her critics could shake loose from the past, and they had bitter memories of each other. These years bought renewed attention to constitutional issues such as the independence of the judiciary and the calibre of judges and changing from a parliamentary to a presidential system — with its obvious implications for the relationship between the legislative and the executive branches of government. Of all the ghosts from past governments that haunted the opening years of the decade, that of ‘authoritarianism’ was pervasive. The language Mrs Gandhi and her supporters used reinforced impressions that their sentiments were anti-democratic.

Keywords: authoritarianism; presidential system; judiciary; Indira Gandhi; Janata Party

Chapter.  5769 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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