Saturday, September 10, 2011

Federal structure must be kept intact

The federal character must be kept intact and the Centre must always try to strengthen it. Centre must not be allowed unwarranted interference through any mechanism in state governments ruled by the political party opposed to it . The proposed Communal Violence Bill has caused uneasiness not only among the states ruled by NDA but also the ally of UPA itself and BJD. UPA ally TMC has also strong reservation about it. And they have already expressed in National Integration Council.

The proposed Communal Violence Bill has run into trouble with NDA-ruled states and Congress ally Trinamool Congress opposing it as dangerous legislation and arguing that it would hurt the federal structure of the country.

At a meeting of National Integration Council (NIC) where the issue was on the agenda, NDA and Chief Ministers of the states ruled by it — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Punjab — expressed opposition to the draft legislation in its current form.

Any bill which is enacted into law must be not be moulded in such a way as to create another problem of big magnitude. It must be adopted through consensus so that its benefits could be realised to its full potential.

The state governments that oppose the Bill have main objection to interference of the Centre through back-door channel. The most objectionable section in the Bill is reportedly that as raised by Bihar Chief Minister’s representative has raised at the National Integration Council Meeting in New Delhi that it holds the majority community responsible for communal violence. Here the essence and motive of the Bill is itself ill-conceived.

First of all, in a secular, democratic country there must not be privilege of any kind to any community on the basis of religion, caste and creed. The disparity in privilege for fulfillment of political goal by the ruling political party to strengthen its vote politics is very dangerous. It also gives birth to animosity among the unprivileged against the privileged. So, in a secular democratic republic there must not be any action on the part of the government that reflects any kind of favouritism on the basis of religion, caste and creed.

The Government should only provide relief to all irrespective of religion, caste and creed. As far as the opposition of state governments ruled NDA and other UPA ally, their objections to the bill must also be addressed first.

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