Relevance of the Rajya Sabha

The deadlock between both Houses on parliamentary matters is a major setback to India’s progress and only shows the leadership of all parties in a bad light. The Rajya Sabha was designed for the purpose of representing the interests of States (“Revisiting the Rajya Sabha’s role”, June 22). However, all this seems to have been forgotten as it increasingly appears to have become a rehabilitation House. While some members do have the necessary qualifications that will do justice to the role of the Rajya Sabha, others do not measure up. The problem has been exacerbated by the Kuldip Nayar judgment which removed the requirement of domicile. It has now been misinterpreted for political expediency. As the recent Rajya Sabha elections show, we now have MPs who are representing a State to which they do not belong. For the Rajya Sabha to be more effective, certain steps need to be taken. All States must be given an equal number of seats. Most importantly, it needs to be seen as a House brimming with talented policymakers.

Akshay Viswanathan,


There is no doubt that the Elders have played an important part in the functioning of our democracy. Even if they don’t have the power to stop a bill in its tracks, the fact that they do discuss and call for suggestions by itself shows that the system is hale and hearty. Also, given the fact that the composition of political parties varies especially in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha does help provide the required checks and balances. But a couple of trends cannot be missed. Many parties are now using the Rajya Sabha as a backdoor to get members elected, most of whom will not be able to win a Lok Sabha election. This is something that must be avoided as it amounts to taking the electorate for granted. Second, people get in from States they are least connected with. Even though we are moving towards a pan-India polity, this poses the question as to what the stand of the ‘alien’ MP with respect to the new constituency would be and what he or she is going to do for its development. The abuse of Rajya Sabha posts should be stopped, the only comparison today being the way the Governor’s post is on the decline. There has to be a mechanism to ensure that qualified people reflecting the diversity of our country are represented in the Rajya Sabha. At best, the Elders can facilitate the smooth functioning of our democracy and be the spokespersons for the marginalised.

Saishankar Swaminathan,


The Rajya Sabha is not only a House for second thought but is also a guardian of a State’s rights. As it has the role of a watchdog, it must assert itself as a House of correction. Its function is to improve legislation passed by the Lower House and is not one of obstruction.

V.K. Babu Prakash,

Kollam, Kerala

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 12:19:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/Relevance-of-the-Rajya-Sabha/article14395296.ece

Next Story