India: Urgent Need For Political Reforms, Expert Says


There is an urgent need of electoral and political reforms in India as a partial colonial model of constitution was adopted after India’s independence. Excessive political power in New Delhi has created tremendous problems in governance, thus said Dr Subhash C. Kashyap, a constitutional expert while addressing a gathering at Calcutta High Court auditorium on Saturday (February 11, 2012).

Making his points in a seminar workshop on ‘Urgency of Reform in the Indian Political System: Revisiting the Constitution’ at Kolkata, Dr Kashyap argued that if the sovereignty belongs to the people, they should be allowed to be governed by themselves (without unnecessary interference from the Union government in New Delhi), because the political power must return to the people.

Organized by the Calcutta High Court Bar Association in association with Divya Jeevan Foundation, the seminar workshop was attended by hundreds of illustrious personalities from different sections of the society.

Dr Kashyap wrapped up his views insisting on the citizen-centric, clean, corruption free, good governance with minimum State interference in daily life of citizens. Moreover the fundamental change in colonial mindset of the state functionaries, desirability of restructuring federal policy, and building an autonomous federal union with multi-tier governance, were also highlighted by the constitutional expert.

The day-long seminar was also addressed by Justice Kalyan J. Sengupta, Justice JS Verma, Himangshu Dey, Dr Devi Pal, Prof AK Mukhopadhyay, Pritish Nag, Rangan Dutta, Major General (retired) Vinod Saigal, journalist turned politician Manas Choudhury, media baron BK Nath with some northeast India based journalists.

Addressing the gathering, SC Jamir, former Goa Governor and former Nagaland chief minister, highlighted that there is nothing wrong in the Indian Constitution or Parliament. He insisted that keeping the spirit of the constitution alive many problems can be addressed even today.

Jamir also argued that any amendment to the constitution in expense of the interest of tribal and minorities would only rebound. He justified for a greater autonomy to the Naga people within the framework of Indian constitution.

“New Delhi is still very far from northeast India and we the people of the region are guardians for the whole nation. India has a potential competitor (also threat) in China and we have to face the challenge. In that sense also, the northeastern people must not be ignored,”Jamir asserted.

Earlier delivering the welcome address, Dr BB Dutta, chairman of Divya Jeevan Foundation and a former Rajya Sabha Member pointed out that India as a largest democracy in the globe may be a prime source of inspiration for many other nations, but the country is itself facing crisis on many fronts.

“The deep crisis of governance & administration, regional imbalance, strain in Centre-State relationship, unabated corruption, and Indian civil society as a whole with a blurred vision only show the symptom of the calamity we are waiting for,” said Dr Dutta, adding that there is a vital need for socio-political dialogues to educate Indian themselves and not necessarily for maligning any political party or leaders in the country.

Nava Thakuria

Nava Thakuria is a Guwahati (Assam, Northeast India) based journalist

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