Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Seemandhra’s opposition to separation of Telangana undermines Indian democracy

In reference, to the article, ‘A challenge to Indian federalism’, published in the THE HINDU on 28th October 2013.

Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta Party has made a controversial assertion that the decision of Union Government to ‘divide Andhra Pradesh’ without the consent of State Legislature ‘poses a grave danger to federalism and unity’.  Here we establish the counterview that the current opposition by Seemandhra leaders to the separation of Telangana, through their convenient political maneuvers manifested in agitations by Seemandhra people, actually undermines Indian democracy.  And contrary to the author’s claims, the current bifurcation is being done as per the prescribed methods in our Indian Constitution without any deviations.

The Constitution of India deals with various facets of a modern democracy, sometimes balancing the opposing goals. It tries to maintain the integrity of the country while allowing quasi-federalism.  Indian Union was never intended to be an absolute federal country as JP Narayan likes us to believe.  If it were, then any state in India, including those like Jammu & Kashmir or Nagaland, would have the right to secede from that union. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

No more ‘creative’ experiments with Telangana

In the history of mankind, many kings and government officials have made some mega blunders while carving out nations and states.  They resorted to ‘creative’ experiments, guided sometimes by greed, sometimes by pride, sometimes by ignorance, and sometimes by a naïve desire to satisfy all stakeholders.  While creativity in experimentation is usually considered an essential attribute in science or arts, it has never yielded good results when it came to the serious and grave matters of geopolitical solutions.  Invariably most such ‘creative’ experiments resulted in huge upheavals for the people, and led to conflicts, violent revolutions, mass movements, assassinations, coups, instability and warfare.  The issues that originated during redrawing of boundaries festered on for decades and some for centuries.   Almost always, the key decision makers who carved out nations and states were obsessed with some unrealistic idea which they refused to let go even when prevailing wisdom suggested otherwise. 

Going against all conventional wisdom, the British tried to manage two nations for Palestine and Jews in the same land in 1948 and thereby ended up creating one of the most troubled places on the planet.  In another episode, Pakistan was created out of two disjoint regions, with different languages and cultures, separated by thousands kilometers of India in between.  The experiment never stood a chance.  Eventually, the eastern region of Bengali-speaking Bangladesh got separated, but only after genocide of half a million people and exodus of nearly ten million people, followed by full-blown war of 1971 between West Pakistan and India. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Letter to the President of India

His Excellency the President of India,

Respected Sir,

Aruna Kumar Vundavalli, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, has sent a letter to you on 28th October 2013, which was subsequently released to the media.  In that letter, he makes a claim that ‘consent’ is required from Andhra Pradesh State Legislature for separation of Telangana.  And he poses the question ‘whether the province affected should have the power or the Indian parliament should have the power’ to divide any state or province.

We believe that it is our duty to counter the claims made by Mr. Vundavalli by bringing the real facts to your notice and thereby to the common man in this country.

During Constituent Assembly Debates of 1948-49, while Indian Union was being forged by Sardar Vallabhai Patel, a distinction was made between Provinces as Part I of the First Schedule and Princely States as Part III of the First Schedule.   Honorable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had proposed that only the ‘views’ of the Legislature of the State are required in the case of Provinces, while ‘consent’ needs to be obtained in the case of Princely States.