Changes & Trends in the Indian Parliament Over the Last 75 Years

  • India’s 75-year parliamentary journey depicts a dynamic and ever-changing panorama of political representation, legislative processes, and societal transformations.
  • This retrospective analysis throws light on the intriguing dimensions of India’s parliamentary growth, ranging from shifting demographics to parliamentary practises and electoral dynamics.

Trends in the Indian Parliament

Youth RepresentationDespite a growing youth population, the number of MPs in the Lok Sabha aged 35 and under is at an all-time low.There were 82 such MPs in the First Lok Sabha, but only 21 in the 17th Lok Sabha.This drop contrasts with India’s youthful demographic, which accounts for approximately 66% of the population.
Women’s Turnout and RepresentationWomen’s voter turnout has steadily increased since 1962, exceeding male turnout in 2019.The number of female candidates has risen from 45 in 1957 to 726 in 2019.Women’s representation in the Lok Sabha, however, remains low, with only 14.36% of total seats occupied by women in 2019.The Women’s Reservation Bill, which aims to increase women’s representation to 33%, has had difficulties in passing.
Missing Deputy SpeakerBreaking with tradition, the 17th Lok Sabha would be the first in independent India without a Deputy Speaker.
Declining Parliamentary SittingsBetween 1952 and 1974, the Lok Sabha held over 100 sittings every year on average, but this tendency has slowed.The 2020 pandemic resulted in a large fall in sittings.The average amount of time spent sitting each day has likewise decreased over time.
Bills Passed and Ordinances IssuedIn comparison to previous decades, both Houses of Parliament are passing fewer laws.The most laws were passed during the Emergency in 1976, while the fewest were passed in 2004.The Union government’s increased issuance of ordinances has coincided with fewer parliamentary sittings.
Voter Enrollment and Parties in the FrayFrom 1951 to 2019, the number of voters increased sixfold, resulting in a greater number of voting stations.The number of parties competing in Lok Sabha elections has increased over time, with 673 parties in 2019 compared to 53 in 1951.The number of contestants has also increased dramatically.
Vote Share and Majority TrendsSo far, 10 Lok Sabha elections have resulted in clear majorities, while 7 have resulted in fragmented mandates.Since 2004, the winning party has consistently received a bigger vote share than the runner-up.
Changing Focus on QuestionsThe time given for questions in the Lok Sabha has decreased with time.The first Lok Sabha allotted 15% of its time to questions, while the 14th Lok Sabha only allotted 11.42%.There is no data for the 15th, 16th, or 17th Lok Sabhas to compare.

@the end

As India’s Parliament begins its 75-year journey, these tendencies offer an intriguing peek into the changing dynamics of the country’s top legislative body.

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