Lord Bhardwaj's Doctrine of Lapse, AD 2010

In colonial India, under the so-called Doctrine of Lapse, the British Government assumed for itself the power to annex princely states whose kings were perceived to be "manifestly incompetent" or "died without a direct heir".

Is anything different happening in free India?

The whole issue of illegal mining by the Government of Karnataka, Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj's extra-constitutional moves, and his eagerness to dissolve Karnataka's state government illustrates the flawed political system we have in place, its flaw being maintained by ignorant and scam-tainted politicians.

In summary, the situation in Karnataka is, firstly, that a corrupt state government is depleting precious natural resources of Karnataka in order to fill its coffers, and presumably to buy votes in future elections and more crowns for idols in neighboring states. Secondly, a representative from New Delhi, neither born in Karnataka, nor speaking its language, nor elected here, called the Governor of Karnataka, is going outside the already non-federal constitution and trying to transfer power from Bengaluru to New Delhi, on the grounds that the state government is corrupt.

While a corrupt state government is not a good thing to have, rule by others is not better; it's slavery. Why shouldn't the Consul General of the United States of America quote similar reasons and ask that power be transferred from New Delhi to Washington D.C.? There is no dearth of Reddy Brother Clones in New Delhi, is there? Clearly, transferring powers to others is not a solution to our problem of corrupt politicians in Karnataka.

The Governor should not assume the role of representative of a colonial government, always looking for reasons to dissolve our administration. In reality, the fact that the central government may take away power from the states at any time, without giving any explanation to anybody, makes the state government itself a highly subordinated entity, thereby attracting only mediocre politicians, and the central government equivalent to the Imperial Crown. And I'm not saying that to cover up our corrupt politicians.

What is the solution to the problem, then? This being a democracy, the solution is for the people of Karnataka to wake up and realize who the right people to sit in the Vidhana Soudha are. It is for the people of Karnataka to wake up and understand what they want out of Vidhana Soudha, and what they want out of the Parliament House in New Delhi.

Otherwise, the Parliament House in New Delhi will continue to decide what it wants out of Vidhana Soudha (or whether it's needed at all), and the Vidhana Soudha (if and when it is allowed to exist) to decide what it wants out of the people and land. And we know what they want out of the people and the land: they want our money (if their policies don't make us non-existent, that is), and the natural resources of our land: our minerals, our metals, our water, our air, our everything.

It's high time we Kannadigas stand up and tell Mr. Bhardwaj: "Yeah, our government is corrupt, and we will set it right, Mr. Hansraj Bhardwaj! Thanks for your interest in de-corrupting the administration in Karnataka, but we can do it ourselves; the problem is, when you try to poke your nose in these matters, we experience the pain of slavery!".

And turning to Mr. Yeddyurappa, we must say: "Mr. Yeddyurappa, it's high time you de-corrupt your government and start listening to us. Else, you will go".


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