DailyPost 1656

Dr. B R Ambedkar preferred the phrase ‘Union of States’ in place of Federation for two reasons;  firstly, unlike US, the Federation here is not as a result of an agreement between states and secondly, the states have no right to secede from the Union. Thus, the Indian state has both the federal and the unitary features. The Indian Constitution is federal in form and unitary is spirit. The constitution makers were of the firm belief that this should be the guiding principle of the governance mechanism and administration of the nation. Our tryst with this concept in reality has been ravaged by politically created uncertainties and the vagaries of rapacious power play.

Governance and administration at its kernel level have to be devoid of politics and that is where lies its permanence. Sheer having uniformity and standardized systems and personnel manning the important positions coming from the Indian Civil Services cannot pull off this political concept to fruition. It seems to be a general war of attrition, coming to working equilibrium only if the ruling party both the center and state are the same. Though the Constitution makers have done their best to bring to reality a document which is sufficient enough to make it happen. But there are vested interests mostly political which come in way of creating a seamless governance and the bottlenecks which come in way on a regular basis can best be termed as Federal Chaos.

From the process of government formation in hung assemblies to the breakdown of the constitutional mechanism i.e. imposition of President’s Rule, we have a litany of Federal Chaos which has dotted India’s constitutional and political history. *The role of the Speaker and the alleged role of some of the Governors have made this chaos more confounded.* Judiciary has been approached numerable times to adjudicate on the same. Certainly, to their credit, they are able to clear the smokescreen.  And again, some other Federal Chaos crops up. The most fascinating and yet not intriguing part of the Federal Chaos history is that battle is primarily between different political parties. The current Delhi State Govt. is competent enough to write a complete treatise on Federal Chaos.

The federal structure runs the best when there is a unison of parties. Differences would remain but is either resolved or pushed under the carpet as the Party High Command is the same. The reality is that the political apparatus has precedence over the governance / administrative  mechanism. This political mindset is a contradiction of the federal form and the unitary spirit. Federal Chaos keeps on happening on a variety of issues on a regular basis; from GST to the distribution of vaccines during the current high demand vaccination drive. The struggle for power continues even when you are in power. Media is the shadow battle platform during the bouts of Political Chaos.


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