Devolution of powers to the local levels provide the safest transition to democracy.Gram Swaraj,which was the brainchild of Gandhi, aimed at greater popular sovereignty.The diversity of culture and evils of alien rule increased the thirst for a more aggressive popular participation.
The debate between presidential vs parliamentary systems of governance had always been a subject of argument,with a snooper government aiming for a latter form of administration.But still federal politics identified the role of a future India. But the greater sense of strength lay with the Union Government.
It is a bit like you are overshadowed by the whims and fancies of your big brother. The emergence of Nehru as the undisputed leader of the Congress and the Government made it amply clear that the post of the Prime Minister would be the most sought after engine in the coming decades.
The federal structure was initiated in India through the Montague-Chelmsford reforms of 1919. The subsequent acts prejudiced such a system when the Government Of India Act was passed during the tenure of Lord Willingdon in 1935.Inherently,the Indan constitution depicts the formation of Goddess Durga as key male Gods submitted their powers and weapons to the new Saviour of the Almighty.Similarly our law of the land presents an amalgam of key features of the constitutions of Ireland,Canada,USA and more importantly the British Convention.
But with the fading away of Lady Mountbatten-Nehru relation,the age of consensus expired. The role of regionalism and factionalism had gripped the Congress Party by then.As Helen danced away on the screens of Hindi showbiz the control of the Union Government became stringent.
The absence of social media and active television press did not forbid the politicians from engaging in pokes and poaching.Jagjivan Ram, left the Congress Party just before the 1977 elections.The power of federalism had reduced itself to the antiques of a realist democracy-not an idealist one.
The country once burstling with pride because of its ‘democratic credentials’ saw a complete descendence of rigged voting in Bengal in the 1972 state elections.The consensual figure which Nehru claimed he was,could not protect his usp as Federal Democracy was murdered and abducted in Kerala in 1959. The irony of the situation is that the Left which claimed to be the victim in both the cases mastered the art of rigging in Bengal.As one CPI(M) leader proudly said that in Kerala they kill the dissenters.
The Communists love sex and blood more than Priya Rai enjoys the art of blowjobs.The only great remorse I feel looking back at history of this time is the lack of a certain notorious,semi-handsome individual called Arvind Kejriwal.His moustached,small face could have posed serious challenges to the more traditional clout of kurta clad politicians.
As Mithunda’s dancing skills created quite a rage with Bappi da’s scintillating music,pariament saw the vindictive Shah Commission take charge of Indira Gandhi’s rule.Parliament,the temple of democracy had been reduced to a crash course of numbers.The art of giving same attention to each state got replaced by favouritism and bias by the then Congress regime.
The emergency of 2 years reduced the ideas of liberty,justice and equality that the Parliamentary Constitution provides.Lack of liberty manifested itself in the reduction of autonomy of the press,even as the Times Of India fairly agreed to the diktat.The Indira demand for a more pliant press seemed to have worked. Equality absolutely faced draught as opposition leaders and the apolitical JP Narayan were jailed.Parliament and its machinery could not control the changing form of Democratic Dictatorship-a term coined by Mao Tse Tung in undemocratic China.
The curse of federal structure did not end here-rather it only consumed itself even in the executive and judicial field.The ample scope of administrative control in the selection of judges has only furthered the process of shallowness of a federal and parliamentary democracy.Many Chief Ministers facing not a great rapport with the Central Government has only strengthened the picture of lack of cooperation-a necessary evil in an integrated but autonmous system.
Only 5 states today have bicameral pariamentary legislatures.The non state actors like human rights commissions and NGOs have been declared as 5 star activists.Voices of dissent are not being digested in parliamentary form of governance -which accidentally gives the rights to the people to question the government and governance.
With many members of Union and State legislatures having nothing much to do except scams and sprinkling pepper on the eyes of their colleagues,others prefer to watch intimate physical exercises on the floor of the house or rather talk about busty babes of South India.Those who have nothing to do doze off as important bill and rapes are discussed.
Federal structure on the other hand hears the cacophony of CM’s of parties not in power in Delhi crying foul and state leaders fighting in the capital for state packages and cut offs.The rise of regional chauvanism may have strengthened democracy and federalism,but it has failed to mobilize progress and eradcate lop sided growth.
Below the table deals and practical politics is the rule of the day.The issue of Cash For Votes Scam still remains largely unresolved.Self Served parliament blockades and logjams consume the major prtion of debates and delbrations.Quasi federalism,incompetent armoury of Parliament and provocative authoritarianism may well serve the purpose of tyranny of the majority.