SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

The core issue of federalism

V ESHWAR ANAND’s article, “Limits of federalism: Redefining Centre-state relations” (Nov 26), examines the subject in the light of the current experience of coalition governments at the Centre and in the states. The Centre has unlimited powers under Articles 249, 352, 357 and 360. As Governors are partisan, they make and unmake the state governments at the Centre’s behest. Politics dictates even the distribution of Central finances and the states are not getting a fair deal. Finance Commissions too work as per the Centre’s wishes.

Sadly, states are being treated as municipalities. They deserve a better deal. The citizens’ rights such as adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work, fair distribution of wealth, right to work, social security and basic education (presently under the Directive Principles of State Policy) should be included in the Fundamental Rights, making them enforceable.

Maj NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali


 

II

Successive governments at the Centre have failed to strengthen the federal system by way of empowering the states. There was no need for the UPA government to set up another new commission on Centre-state relations when it has not implemented the recommendations of the National Commission to Review the Working of Constitution (NCRWC). Even the Sarkaria Commission’s report too has not been implemented.

HEMANT KUMAR, Ambala City

III

India should be seen not like France and Germany but as Europe where people and politics have moved through times, sometimes together and sometimes apart in an amorphous cultural trajectory. The Centre will have to safeguard the states’ interests and there should be no complaint of political bias and neglect in regional development.

In a federal set up, all states should be treated with fair play and justice. The Centre’s focus should be on equitable growth. We must enrich the values of democracy and secularism, the cardinal principles of the Constitution.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

IV

As the future belongs to coalition governments, the Centre must act fairly and impartially. It calls for a new relationship between the Centre and the states which will usher in the politics of development and consensus and not of confrontation on major issues confronting the country.

Sadly, politics is no more ideology-based but opportunistic. Instead of nation building, how to win elections and capture power is the only motto of every political party. This is indeed sad.

GURDERSHAN SINGH, Chandigarh

V

The states deserve due autonomy for their economic development. Today, the dice is heavily loaded against the states. They must be given appropriate share in the tax revenues. Why can’t a portion of the Income-Tax be given to the states? The states should have adequate resources to plan strategies and help raise the standard of the people in many ways. The Centre should also stop the misuse of Article 356.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

VI

In the changed scenario, I agree that we need cooperative and not polyphonic federalism. A strong Centre is a must for preserving the national unity and integrity. Democratic decentralisation is needed for rapid growth of all states.

The Centre should broaden opportunities for states to participate in nation building. It should allocate funds to the states without prejudice. The states should be given a free hand to develop agriculture, industry, education and communication which will indeed fortify the federal structure.

TARSEM S. BUMRAH, Batala

VII

I agree with the writer’s opinion that we need a strong Centre and that we should not support over-centralisation which breeds discontent and mistrust. Like any big nation, India too has several linguistic and caste groups. It is here that the Centre should play a leadership role in balancing the interests of all regions fairly.

PRAN SALHOTRA, Gurdaspur

VIII

The article presents a true picture of the political challenges confronting Indian federalism. The conduct and behaviour of the allies of the UPA government at the Centre is most unfortunate. They are not allowing the Prime Minister to run the government smoothly. The Left parties have lost their credibility after their stand on the nuclear deal and Nandigram carnage.

MULTAN SINGH PARIHAR, Jalari (Hamirpur)

Hospital crying for funds

Government Medical College, Patiala, and the attached Rajindra Hospital present a sad picture of neglect and apathy. In the early sixties when I was a student at the medical college, it was considered a matter of pride to be on its rolls. Lack of funds and shortage of specialists have contributed to the institution’s deterioration.

In the 1,000-bed hospital, the emergency department is collapsing and biomedical waste has been accumulating around the hospital since the money required for the repair of the incinerator is not available. The hospital should be provided adequate funds, may be through private-public partnership and affordable user charges. The responsibility to revive this and other hospitals is as much of the people as of the Punjab government.

Dr R. KUMAR, Chandigarh


 

Tackle polio

I read the news-item, “Polio eradication: Rotary, Gates partners” (Dec 1). The polio scenario in the country has become a matter of concern. One can foresee the rise in the number of polio cases over a short span of time.

The government should explore the varied options to combat polio. Implementation of IPV, the National Immunisation Project, is one option. Since we have now received grants from both Rotary and Gates Foundation, the government make best use of it as WHO and other health experts also talk about IPV.

TARINI BAJAJ, New Delhi 

 


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