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amit shah and modiThe federal system is being followed in countries with more than 40 percent of the world's population. The rights of the states depend on the rights of the people. If the rights of the states are taken away, it means that the rights of the people are taken away. Federalism and democracy are two sides of the same coin. Real democracy is about the rights of the people and the rights of the states.

Democracy and federalism are growing in different directions if we study the geopolitical elements of many countries of the world. Federal science is getting refined based on the political, socio-economic, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and financial systems found in many parts of the world.

In the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Canada, which follows classical federalism, the rights of the states form the basic structure of the constitution. Although constitutional amendments have been made in the aforementioned federalist countries for some primary reason, the constitutional amendment that deprives states rights has never been passed.

But, this fundamental element in India has been completely ignored. State rights have been continued to be eroded for 70 years whenever Parliament convenes. The Constitution of India, in which such attributes are applicable, has become a single rule of law throughout.

The country is beginning to realize today that the series of anti-democratic legislation and administrative measures being taken by the Congress and the BJP to turn the government of the states into a totalitarian state are being followed. India is not a country, and it is a subcontinent. Today's politics assures us that the elements of diversity that are not found in the aforementioned federal states are largely found in this subcontinent.

Over the past 70 years, differences in language, race, culture, religion, diet, and dress have all expanded. It was in recognition of such differences under British rule that the British Empire enacted the 1919 Constitution, which devolved certain powers to the provinces.

Leaders of the Congress movement called that law as a slave law and described that it violated the rights of the states. They shouted for a law that gave rights to states that embraced true federalism.

They argued that Congress should not rule in the provinces by adopting this British constitutional amendment. However, the growing number of incumbents in the Congress movement stated that they should contest the provincial elections to form the government. It was through this constitutional amendment that the Justice Party came to power in the state of in Madras presidency 1921.

Many progressive welfare schemes were effectively implemented, including reservation in the Justice Party regime with minimal state powers.

In BJP government, the education rights of the vast majority of the poor and middle class through the NEET exam in 2016 are being taken over by the union government in the single amendment. This alone is enough to prove that BJP’s imperial rule is not respecting the states rights compare with the British regime did earlier.

In 1935, the Second Constitution of India was enacted under British rule. Several Congress leaders, including Nehru, also opposed the law. But Congress ruled in many provinces. In 1937, the Rajaji-led Congress ruled the Madras presidency. The global political changes that took place between 1935 and 1945 and the agreements reached after World War II led to the liberation of many Third World countries.

In 1945, the Cabinet Mission recommended to the British Empire a plan to grant adequate rights to the states. But India did not accept the recommendation and cited the partition of Pakistan as the reason for the drafting of the constitution by amassing a majority of powers to the Union Government.

After the liberation of India in 1947, due to the Hindu-Muslim conflict, Pakistan became a separate country under the leadership of Jinnah. And Sri Lanka was liberated in 1948. The constitutional elements of these three countries were like renamed the Constitution of 1935, introduced by British imperialism.

Nawaz Sharif was ousted in Pakistan in 1999 when the author attended the World Federal Science Conference in Canada and was succeeded by General Musharraf. When academics from Pakistan spoke to me at the conference, they said that the elements of federal science were not fundamentally enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, paving the way for such military rule. The academics also said that most of the provisions of the constitution in force in India and Pakistan were a copy of the 1935 Constitution of the United Kingdom.

Proof of this is the fact that the rulers in New Delhi can dissolve and overthrow the states at any time. After the Jinnah era in Pakistan, democratic elements disintegrated, and power passed into the hands of the military. The united states of America is one of the reasons for this. The people of Sindh province continue to fight for the right to a separate state in Pakistan. They also noted that it did not appear much in the media.

In practice, the Constitution of India has been transformed into a single rule of law, despite the fact that the various religious and linguistic races in India are influential in the states, with many state parties ruling in the states and the national parties in the Union government are losing full influence over the monarchy alone.

After 2014, the rights of the state are being taken away one by one by the BJP led Union government.

The BJP regime is seeking to implement the RSS's agenda of Hindu Rashtra, which promotes authoritarian politics. It is in this context that the powers of the autonomous bodies provided by the constitution are being curtailed.

The functions of the Election Commission, which operates under Section 324 of the Constitution of India, are brought under the full control of the BJP. Bias in the Electoral Commission can be clearly seen in the 2017 Northern Assembly elections. For example, the Election Commission first announced the schedule for the 2017 Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. But at the same time, when there was a need to hold elections simultaneously with the state elections, the Gujarat Assembly gave Prime Minister Modi time to go to Gujarat and announce several special concessions without announcing the election schedule. It came under heavy criticism. The reason is that the Congress seized power in the state of Punjab in the Assembly elections held in early 2017.

The economy of many states was affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Many industries were weakened. Prime Minister Modi hastily offered several concessions on GST, believing that the election results would go against the BJP because of the impact of GST in Gujarat. It was only after this that the Election Commission announced the schedule for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Former Sikkim state minister Prem Singh Tamang, who joined the BJP alliance in 2019, was sentenced in 2017 to one-year imprisonment on corruption charges. There is an amended legal provision under the representation of the People Act that those convicted of a crime cannot contest elections for six years. The law that a convicted Member of Parliament would be disqualified from the post was passed during the rule of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in both houses of Parliament. Accordingly, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Selva Ganapati, a member of the DMK upper house, lost their posts under this Act.

But today, Tamang, who has not been able to contest elections for six years, has joined the BJP. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra reduced Tamang's sentence to one year. Election commissioners said that they would record the reasons later. An autonomous election commission cannot exist in any democratic country after committing such a fraud that promotes such heinous corruption.

According to Article 280 of the Constitution of India, the President appoints the Finance Commission every five years. The finance committee travels to all states, meets with state Chief Ministers, and allocates funds for the state from the Union government fund. So far, 14 finance committees have been appointed by the President and have made recommendations.

The 15th Finance Committee headed by NK Singh has been appointed who served as the former Secretary of State for Finance in 2017. Until the Seventh Finance Committee, its leaders were former chief ministers or judges. This situation then changed, and financial scholars were appointed to the Union Government. The appointment of a retired senior official who was serving in the current union government has come as a shock to many mediators.

The Finance Committee has announced that the allocation of funds to the states will be based on the population of 2011. The southern states, which already receive the least funding from the union government, will have 70 to 80 percent of their total funding go to the northern states if they are funded on the population of 2011. For example, the last 14th Financial committee to Tamil Nadu, they did not get even 3.8 per cent of the total fund distribution. The southern states and the non-Hindi-speaking states of Maharashtra and West Bengal contribute more than 70 per cent of the union government tax revenue.

But these states did not receive or are going to get even 10 percent of the total funding. The autonomous powers of the Finance Committee have been sent into the grave through a retired officer of the Union government.

The Reserve Bank of India is the head bank, launched in 1935 during British rule. In 1949 the Reserve Bank was nationalized. It was created as a fully autonomous body under the rules of the Reserve Bank. As far as the monetary economy is concerned, the Reserve Bank of India is the sole authority to manage it.

There have already been several allegations that the Congress-led government is undermining the autonomy of the Reserve Bank of India. But the post-2014, Modi government has been eroding the autonomy of the Reserve Bank of India. Raghuram Rajan, who was appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank during the Congress rule, acted impartially. And he rejected union government interference. The Modi government that came to power in 2014 made several attempts to remove Raghuram Rajan before the end of his term. The main reason for this is that Raghuram Rajan, on behalf of the Reserve Bank, took stern action against the big businessmen who had borrowed nearly Rs 7 lakh crore and did not repay it.

He warned that the demonetization action would cause great chaos and collapse in the Indian economy. Raghuram Rajan was removed and Urjit Patel, a close relative of the Gujarat bosses Ambanis, was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank. It was only after this that on November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Modi announced that Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes would not be legal tender. As a result, the Indian economy suffered a major setback. The economy in many states has been affected by this arbitrary decision.

The Reserve Bank of India was formed as an autonomous body in the hope that it will act as a neutral body between State Governments and the Union Government in the monetary sector. Many states have borrowed and repaid loans directly from the Reserve Bank during shortages. In the aftermath of this demonetization that has destabilized the economy, the union govt has borrowed Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India in 2019.

Like this, state governments cannot borrow such large sums; can never be obtained. In the United States, the Reserve Bank is called the Federal Reserve Bank. But the power of the union government in India has also reached its peak in the banking sector. Even though Urjit Patel is a Gujarati, this move will cause people to lose faith in the banking sector, he resigned in protest of this loan to the union govt.

It was customary for the Reserve Bank of India to appoint governors who were experts in economics and banking. In the first time in Indian history, demolishing the traditional process, BJP government appointed Shaktikantha Das as the Governor, who has a master's degree in history. When he was the Revenue Secretary of the union govt, the BJP came out in support of the demonetization, and he acted like a media spokesperson of BJP. That is why he was appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. After the appointment, he sanctioned the 1 lakh 40 thousand crores asked by the Union government.

The Union Government is completely dismantling an unbiased ground system that supports the economic development of the state governments. The rights of the people of the state are being eroded day by day as the autonomous institutions that sustain and manage the economy are dismantled. Economy and politics are managed between very thin lines. Even if the elements of peace in politics are distorted in one state, its negative effects will be echoed in all states. The Modi government has cut even this soft political thread.

And they decided to arbitrarily remove Article 370 section of the law in the state of Kashmir. The constitution clearly states that the Assembly of Kashmir must pass a resolution to remove Section 370 when the Constitution of India was enacted. It is unconstitutional to repeal this provision when the state legislature is not functioning, and the Governor is in power.

At the same time, it is undermining the stability of state governments by encouraging party taboos by bribing opposition legislative assembly members to prevent opposition regimes from operating in the states. The tendency to overthrow opposition governments with a narrow political outlook without taking appropriate constructive action at a time when the country's economy is in question is unprecedented in Indian politics today, and the media around the world has been condemning this kind of government's promotion. The Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Division and the Central Bureau of Investigation team have been transformed into the political divisions of the BJP.

The creation of the reservation of 10 per cent for the upper castes, National Education Policy, the National Medical Commission and the National Intelligence Agency deprived the states of their rights in the areas of education, health, social welfare and police department provided for in the 1950 Constitution. The GST has eroded not only the rights of the states but also the economy of small businesses operating at the state level. Where can the rights of the states be after being pushed to the level of question that is it RSS India or Ambani India?

Written by Prof. M. Naganathan, Former Vice-Chairman of Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission

Translated by Sarumathi

(This article was originally published in 'Sinthanaiyalan Pongal Special Edition', Jan 2020)

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