SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Time to codify powers of Centre, states

HK. DUA’s article “The weakening Centre: Consensus needed on national issues” (March 29) is timely. The Centre and the states are highly powerful bodies meant to supplement each other’s role and not to confront. Hence their powers should be clearly defined and codified, lest they cross the Laxman Rekha, leading to unsavoury situation.

The Centre’s supremacy on taking decisions and giving directions to the states must be upheld. This will act as a check on subsequent events in accomplishing the essential directives despite the compulsions of coalition politics.

The Centre and the states, being two important wings of governance, can’t circumvent each other’s authority. The coalition governments at the Centre and in the states prevent evolution of the much-needed coherent national policies and have to roll back many a decision to accommodate the caste-centred regional parties in the coalition.

UMED SINGH GULIA, Advocate, Supreme Court, Faridabad


 

 

II

The Centre should be strong and capable of controlling the states that tend to go astray. That is why the founding fathers incorporated Articles 355 and 356 in the Constitution. But the Congress government at the Centre misused Article 356 umpteen times for narrow partisan ends.

The consolidation of regional parties must be contained. But the UPA is concerned about its own consolidation and cannot be expected to take a holistic view of the country’s political scenario.

The continuance of Article 370 is a potential bombshell. Even some intellectuals are crying hoarse for the continuance of this obnoxious provision. The miasma of secularism is not being felt by the eggheads though it is palpable enough.

GEETANJALI KORPAL,Advocate, Amritsar

III

No doubt, the regional parties in different states are calling the shots and the Centre has lost its old sheen and influence. An experienced and well-read person can understand the confusion and helplessness of the UPA rulers.

The plain truth is that several parallel centres of power have emerged in the country. The Naxalites are running their own government in the rural areas in some states. The judiciary is usurping the powers of the executive and the legislature in the name of judicial review. Some top bureaucrats openly defy their Chief Ministers who don’t seem too eager to stand by the Prime Minister.

I feel that small brains are calling big shots. The common people are watching the political situation closely and they will react in the next general election. A weak Centre is not in India’s interest.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad

IV

A strong Centre is needed to run the country smoothly and effectively. The growth of regional parties is undermining the Centre’s authority. Consequently, the Centre finds itself powerless to enforce political and economic ideals.

It is feared that parliamentary democracy, which has stood the test of time, is fast becoming a bane rather than a boon. That’s why, serious issues confronting the country are crying for a consensus.

TARSEM S. BUMRAH, Batala

V

Every patriotic Indian will share Mr Dua’s worries over the weakening Centre. The states are fast deteriorating into dynasty-ruled principalities characteristic of medieval India. The CMs are worried more about their sons than about the people - much like Dhritarashtra.

The English rulers had made a successful effort to project India as one country by enforcing one official language across the country and introduced all-India services. A literate person could get a job anywhere in India. Today, following our failure to stick to English or replace it with Hindi, a Haryanvi cannot get a job in Punjab or HP and vice versa.

We kill our countrymen if they do not speak our language or demand water from our state. Nobody listens to the President or the Prime Minister who go on searching for “unity in diversity”.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

VI

The linguistic regional parties can best empower the Centre through consensus only, the way multi-linguistic USSR remained united through her House of Nationalities, each nationality having equal legislatures irrespective of unequal population. Days of dictatorships are over. Hitler failed to rule multi-linguistic Europe half a century ago.

Though half way, our Rajya Sabha was such a House to keep multi-linguistic Bharat United. Kuldip Nayar tried to halt its degeneration, but failed. Sad indeed for a nation, whose very freedom rests on its integration!

PRAN SALHOTRA, Gurdaspur

No sympathy for petitioners

The Tribune carried two complaints (March 25 and 26). I don’t know whether these would evoke any response from the authorities. However, when the government boasts of an elaborate grievance redressal machinery, why are such petitions not acknowledged by the President, the Prime Minister, etc.?

We are aware of the judicial systems during the regimes of Jahangir, Akbar, Vikramaditya and Chandragupta. In Mirza Ghalib’s words: Naqash faryaadi hai kis kee shokhi-e-tahreer ka/ kaaghazi hai paerahan her paikar-e-tasveer ka. This refers to the age-old custom of an Iranian petitioner, who wore paper robes and appeared before the ruler with a grievance for justice. These examples should goad our rulers to evolve an effective mechanism so that citizens get a reply to their letters.

When the Supreme Court considers a citizen’s 50-paise postcard as a petition or public interest litigation, why should the country’s top brass fail to reply to the aggrieved citizens’ letters?

S.P. SINGH, Chandigarh


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