Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It has been like running a three-legged race, these sixty years

[But the RJD, the DMK and the NCP are evidently so obsessed with their provincial spheres of interest that they do not seem to care, and perhaps not even fully understand, if India will suffer as a result. Arguably, they may not be overtly anti-national... But the limited vision of the regional parties seems to have made them unaware of the national and international implications of the deal, which enables India to join the nuclear haves in spite of having not only stayed out of the NPT, but even defied it by conducting nuclear tests... Yet, this achievement is apparently not something that the RJD or the DMK or the NCP can appreciate because they are unable to see beyond the borders of the states where they have some kind of a base. It is indeed for this reason that parties such as these cannot be trusted with major portfolios like external affairs or finance. It is easy to imagine the confusion which the DMK — or the AIADMK — will cause because of its empathy (or antipathy) for the LTTE if it had to deal with foreign issues. Similarly, imagine the chaos which the Left will let loose if it was put in charge of finance. Not surprisingly, the leaders of coalitions like the Congress and the BJP have preferred to keep these sensitive ministries in their own hands. The others have also quietly accepted this denial, which in effect, is a snub of sorts since it indicates that they are not mature enough to handle such adult matters. But it is the nuclear deal that has refocused attention on their immaturity, which, in turn, underlines their unsuitability to be in power at the national level. -- LEADER ARTICLE: Some Things Don't Change TOI 25 Mar 2008, AMULYA GANGULI]

The problem stems from the fact that instead of adopting a truly federal structure as in USA, we opted for an ambivalent system for such a large and diverse sub-continent like India, mirroring UK, a tiny island. Consequently, the Centre and the States have always been at loggerheads, and it has been like running a three-legged race, these sixty years. The model that we should ape at present, therefore, is that of the EU, in line with Sri Aurobindo's proposition of a free association of free nationalities. [TNM]

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