Saturday, August 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Centre-State relations

THE article, “Restructuring our federal polity: Need for fresh perspective on autonomy” (Aug 6) by Prof Dalip Singh appears to have been written with a bit of biased, unfair and prejudicial mind against the Congress.

It has been alleged that the Constituent Assembly, dominated by the Congress members who were unitary government minded, had created a highly centralised Constitution. But the author has himself conceded that this was done to deal with the then uncertain political situation caused by the partition of the country, rehabilitation of the refugees, the integration of princely states with the Indian Union, rebuilding the economy, and to meet the internal and external emergencies, law and order problems, and so many other problems being faced by the country. Thus allotment of more subjects to the Centre as compared to the States and also to have a modest Concurrent List was essential till all the problems being faced by the new-born country and the government were tackled.

It has probably escaped the attention of Prof Dalip Singh that the member of the Constituent Assembly could not have been from any other political party, except the Congress, who had spearheaded the freedom struggle, with complete backing of people of the country, irrespective of their caste, colour or creed.


It goes to the credit of the Congress that it appointed Dr B.R. Ambedkar as the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly though he had been bitterly fighting against the Congress for the protection of the rights of the Dalits.

Prof Dalip Singh perhaps wants to make a case for the review of the Constitution for which the BJP-led government has already appointed a Review Committee. The Constitution has already been amended more than 90 times to cope with the requirements of the changing times, without changing the basic structure of the Constitution. It can be amended again, if need be, by, of course with a three-fourths majority in both Houses of Parliament.

However, Prof Dalip Singh is perfectly right in observing that the Planning Commissions had been assuming the status of “super Cabinets”. There should be some rational code for their decisions.

Article 356 of the Constitution has been misused during Congress rule for toppling duly-elected state governments in Punjab, Kerala and Bengal etc. However, the BJP led government is guilty of doing the same in Bihar.


Nature cure

The Tribune of August 3 carries a report on Mr D.C. Sharma, an ayurved, maintaining his views that a household kitchen can provide cure for 50 per cent of the common ailments.

Mr Sharma has emphasised that additional use of various eatables, including garlic, turmeric, black pepper, cabbage and many others, can protect us from many diseases. However, today’s man wants to live far away from nature. One takes pleasure in believing that health is an item that can be bought by any person with the help of money and modern living.

Mr Sharma is an Assistant Manager in the Reserve Bank of India and I am happy that his interview has been released by The Tribune, may be because he has recently visited the USA and has detailed information to convey on healthy living through consumption of food items provided by nature for welfare of mankind. He has also referred to urine therapy — a nectar helpful in restoring lost health, repairing and rebuilding damaged body tissues and helping elimination of unwarranted material from living bodies.

Kerala stands number one wherein the basic industry is nature cure. Today planeload of patients are coming from abroad to Kerala for treatment under nature cure with remarkable results. Even Punjab’s adjoining states, Rajasthan and Haryana, have a good number of institutions working for nature cure — a science for welfare of mankind. However, not even a single institution exists in Punjab except some shabby ones here or there. Only one nature cure institution exists at Dera Beas exclusively meant for persons living at the Dera though it is neither very popular nor its services are available to more than 1 per cent of persons living there.

Punjab does enjoy natural facilities like sufficient water, greenery, rivers, canals, food, vegetables, fruits etc. It has healthy climate for setting up nature cure institutions. Such institutions can be a source of attraction to foreign as well as inland tourists to come to this state, get themselves totally treated and eradicate diseases to achieve good health — all at a nominal cost. The Government of Punjab should take initiative in establishing such institutions and upgrading those already existing.


Bureaucratic apathy

The news item in The Tribune dated July 21 under the heading “The victim of bureaucratic apathy” exposes just the tip of the iceberg. Publication of such news now does not make any effect and impact on the bureaucrats. No action is taken against the erring bureaucrats because of “Save The Colleague (Bureaucrat) Attitude” of superior bureaucrats. Even the directions from the court do not make any dent on the bureaucracy.

I am reminded of one case in which one bureaucrat decided to hold an enquiry against an official. Notwithstanding the fact that all the documentary evidence produced during the course of enquiry was conclusive and clinching, the official was punished. He went in appeal against the order to the Board of Directors who did not even bother to take a cursory glance at the matter placed before it for consideration and simply towing the line of the bureaucrat rejected the appeal.

Lakhs of rupees are spent by the government on the training and maintenance of bureaucrats in the hope that their governance/decisions would be transparent/judicious and would solve the problems.

All this money goes down the drain.



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |