Pseudo federalism and tyranny of majority
Pseudo Federalism And Tyranny of Majority, Telangana Bill, Division of AP. Seemandhra leaders from different parties are repeatedly raising a contention that Indian Federation is under challenge because the Union is dividing a State arbitrarily without obtaining consent of its Assembly.
What is the capacity of people of 13 districts to decide the life and future of Telangana? They are not asking anyone to go out of country neither they are going, but separating them from a set of geographical borders which denied them their identity, culture, language and deprived them of their resources.
Seemandhra leaders from different parties are repeatedly raising a contention that Indian Federation is under challenge because the Union is dividing a State arbitrarily without obtaining consent of its Assembly. Almost all those who raised these contentions are politically biased and opportunistic. Entire crux of their misinterpretations of Constitutional provisions and anti-Telangana contentions is about so-called ‘capital’ in the capital city of Andhra industrial-cum-political-contractors.
India has mostly borrowed the features of Parliamentary democracy from British Constitution. The framers of Indian Constitution avoided the federal features as manifest in United States of America. The political scientists concluded that Indian Constitution created a Union of States, with quasi federal features.
The question is whether Article 3 violates the federal character of the Constitution? The AP High Court Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sengupta with Justice K C Bhanu has explained that by giving plenary powers to Centre, the Article 3 paved way for securing the federalism of the nation.
In India, Union is more powerful and residuary powers are given back to the Union and not to the states. The Second Report of the Union Powers Committee explained the reason for making Centre more powerful. Dr Ambedkar listed several features of the Constitution which mitigated the rigidity and legalism of federalism.
The essential feature of federalism is unimpeachable autonomy for the provinces. But does that mean that the provincial government can subjugate the sub-region within? If around 3.5 crore people were allowed to govern themselves within Union of India, is it not advancement of federalism? Which federalist or political philosopher told these political manipulators that 13 districts should consent for formation of a ten district state? If 23 districts can enjoy provincial autonomy under principle of federalism, why not 10 districts see such federal autonomy for their region?
What is the capacity of people of 13 districts to decide the life and future of Telangana? They are not asking anyone to go out of country neither they are going, but separating them from a set of geographical borders which denied them their identity, culture, language and deprived them of their resources. Those who killed spirit of integrity have no moral right to talk about federalism.
Consent or consensus
The preachers of ‘federalism’ talk about absence of consent or broad consensus. Before December 9, 2009 and during 2013 several times all political parties expressed their consent, agreement, absence of objection, or claimed they had no authority to divide state, or supported the cause of Telangana state, questioned the delay in decision-making by the Union etc. A jailed and bailed leader goes around the country to gain sympathy for their unconstitutional stand and returned with failure. Today they want a formal consent of Legislative Assembly, where anti-Telangana legislators continue to be in majority who are united to say no.
The leaders took U turns; parties either defected from their commitments or ignored their resolutions and manifestos. With their money, caste and other undue influences Seemandhra could enlist support of some legislators in Telangana also. Some of those elected from constituencies in Telangana, educated or uneducated, behaving the same. Highly educated and highly rich are highly unreasonable.
The opportunism and defecting from their earlier commitment is glaringly visible as common trait of Seemandhra leaders or legislators. Ek-MLA Lok Satta is no exception. In spite of political problems and inconveniences, the BJP and CPI have shown remarkably exceptional ‘no-U turn-positive commitment and consistency’ for division of state.
While talking about consent as precondition for bifurcation of state, these preachers brushed aside states reorganization in 1956, where no formal consent was absent. The fact that they have converted Telangana into a colony was reason for the prolonged agitation.
Recent events in AP presented unprecedented, peculiar resistance to formation of Telangana which is without parallel in any democracy. The stiff opposition has reached the worst level of hate, vengeance and insanity which has terrible potency of kicking up a civil war. This should be avoided cautiously. As the Andhras gained a status of permanent majority, Telangana being minority forever has to suffer the tyranny of majority. Democracy and federalism does not mean this tyranny.
Some thinkers in the past initially proposed that the bill for formation of new state should originate from affected state’s legislative assembly. In situation like Telangana this is impossible. Then at second stage, it was proposed to ascertain views of Assembly before Bill is introduced. Now the people are witnessing the way the political managers and manipulation experts are trying to delay the ‘expression of views’ so that Telangana formation is pushed beyond Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Thus, if ascertaining the views is made compulsory, again the welfare of minority will totally be denied. That is why the Constitution is rightly amended to make ‘reference’ to State Assembly sufficient. Article 3 is the only way to rescue exploited people like Telangana from opportunists, educated dalals, and stinking rich, unethical politicians. Those who love to hate Telangana raised another point that ‘territorial integrity’ is inviolable. Agreed. But that refers to territory of nation and not the state or district or a block. The fact that Constitution supports changing territory of state negates this misinterpretation.
For inviolable territorial integrity creating a separate state for people like Telangana is essential. With Telangana and Telanganas of future, the true spirit of Federalism comes to life, the power gets effectively decentralised. States will not be reduced to municipalities but even municipalities and gram panchayats grow strong upholding the real character of federalism. For these pseudo federalists, federalism ends with two levels - centre and state. In fact the real federalism lies in States giving powers and funds to district bodies, municipalities and panchayats. Instead, they pilfered rivers, hijacked electricity wires, diverted resources including the income from one region to another. While clamouring for federalism at national level, leaders should not forget significance of federalism within the States.
President and Parliament are constitutionally presumed to be wise and reasonable. Though 33 per cent of legislators are criminally charged, Parliament is still hoped that it would act reasonably better than a few political criminals.