Here's mine, here's yours, and here's ours. The rest is mine.

The United States which is often referred to as the inventor of the concept of federalism, enacted the following Tenth Amendment to its Constitution, which got ratified on 15 December 1791 (yes, that's 219 years ago):
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. 
The text is fairly straightforward, but here's an explanation by way of example:
For example, nowhere in the federal Constitution is Congress given authority to regulate local matters concerning the health, safety, and morality of state residents. Known as police powers, such authority is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, no state may enter into a treaty with a foreign government because such agreements are prohibited by the plain language of Article I to the Constitution.
That is how it should be, because in a true democracy, the centres of power are supposed to be the people themselves, not a layer of government machinery twice removed from them.

On the contrary, and in clear rejection of the concept of federalism, the Constitution of India has the following for Article 248:
248. Residuary powers of legislation.—(1) Parliament has exclusive power to make any law with respect to any matter not enumerated in the Concurrent List or State List. (2) Such power shall include the power of making any law imposing a tax not mentioned in either of those Lists.
In India, there's something called as the Union List which enumerates powers which belong to the Union and there's something called as the State List which enumerates powers which belong to the States. And then there's something called as the Concurrent List which enumerates powers which belong to both the Union and the States. And then there's Article 248 which basically says "if there's anything we forgot to include in any of the lists, that power belongs to the Union".

What this means is that all powers not granted to the states or the states-and-the-union actually default to the Union located at New Delhi which is too far away from the Indian People as a whole. Is this the best form of democracy known to man?

This is nothing but an artifact of the fact that the topmost priority for those who inherited British India was to ensure the unity of India which was in the hands of hundreds of kings and princes. That priority was established under the assumption that a handful Europeans could rule over hundreds of million Indians basically because the latter lacked unity (I'd say they lacked statesmanship and superiority in warfare and military strength; otherwise any one of those kings could have exterminated the Europeans in India).

But isn't it time we realized that "Here's mine, here's yours, and here's ours. The rest is mine." is actually the line of a colonial power? Isn't it time we understood what can truly strengthen India? Isn't it time we realized that it is best for India to reform itself into a true Federation of States? Isn't it time we understood the true meaning of Democracy?

1 comment:

Rajeswaran M said...

Crystal clear fact !! Thanks.....

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