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Working a Democratic ConstitutionA History of the Indian Experience$
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Granville Austin

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195656107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.001.0001

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Ghosts of Governments Past

Ghosts of Governments Past

(p.485) Chapter 23 Ghosts of Governments Past
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

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

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