If the Federal Structure has to Remain Strong, all Stakeholders Should be Contributing Equally!

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  • The Indian democratic governance structure is not only vibrant owing to the variety, diversity, and mélange of traditions/cultures at play in the wide swathes of our topography, but also continues to remain throbbing despite sporadic challenges confronting the nation. That, we as a country, can march ahead rather than immerse ourselves in pulling in different directions speaks volumes about how strong our Constitutional structure stands tall even against testing times. A big reverential salutation to our Constituent Assembly members who drafted an all-encompassing Constitution, the bedrock of our world-renowned democratic credentials.

PC: Civil Aspirant

  • Of course, there is no denying the fact that we all have to keep moving in line with the fast-changing times, including the political narrative too. As you are aware, the political landscape has undergone a sea-change in the last couple of decades and is not lost on the comprehending lot.  Gone are the days when the Grand Old Party used to be the sole flagbearer dominating the political narrative in the entire country.  Yes, there were opposing figureheads at the national and regional levels back then but not strong enough to beat the GOP at the hustings regularly.  Things have changed dramatically now what with the erstwhile Jana Sangh metamorphosing into the Bharatiya Janata Party towering over other political parties.
  • We are also aware of the way several regional parties have gained strength largely at the cost of Congress which remains diminished courtesy of loss of heft and traction, but not totally out of the political equation. As you are aware, one of the most significant contributory factors in the thriving of the democratic setup is the federal structure envisaged with some foresight by our forefathers specifically to strengthen the nation-building processes.  For this to fructify, both the Centre and the state governments are expected to join hands in equal measure for the larger cause of the nation by setting aside parochial considerations.

PC: Indraneel Agasty

  • Against this backdrop, the seventh governing council meeting of Niti Aayog was held recently, the first in-person meeting since the pandemic’s outbreak, and was attended by 23 chief ministers. PM Modi led the Government of India contingent.  Remember, a summit of the PM and CMs is most welcome providing the heads of the political executive a chance to iron out wrinkles in the federal structure.  Indeed, the most consequential recent collective effort, the GST, was a focal point of discussion.  Rightly, the PM said that increasing GST collections requires collective action.  Mind you, improving GST’s architecture is the most effective way of not just boosting the economy but also lessening friction between GOI and states.
  • Note that few states are performing exceedingly well and some lagging in GST collections.  However, a way forward is for all CMs to diligently attend these meetings to chalk out strategies to push the country’s growth ahead.  Unfortunately, incidents like Telangana CM’s dismissive attitude to them will only strain the federal architecture rather than strengthen it.  Incumbent for all states to let go of petty egoistic issues coming in the way of nation-building processes.  Hopefully, disgruntled leaders will exhibit maturity and join the process wholeheartedly in the coming days.