Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Federalism – Where?

Dt:  21/3/23


Federalism – Where?

Dr T.H.Chowdary*


There are 395 Articles  and 12 Schedules in the Constitution of India.  In not one of them  are words, federation, federalism or federation. Our Republic is a Union of States, and state is the word to describe the territories in the Union of  India, that is Bharat.  The word state in the constitution was coined to replace the words  Presidencies, provinces and Commissionerates,  terms used in the  Government of India Act 1935 and earlier.  Leaders of regional parties  in their drive for personal ( mostly dynastic) power are imputing  federalism as the  underlying basis of the  Indian Republic.  They want  a weak Central government by a coalition of regional parties, with regional, dynastic casteist interests.  Federalism was what the communally divisive Muslim League agreed  instead of partition and  Pakistan ( March- May 1946).


2.  The federalism idea involving weak Center with only three subjects, defence, foreign affairs and  communication  in the  Central government and all the  rest with the   units ( Provinces) and their groups, was what  the  Imperial  Britain’s Cabinet Mission “sold” to  the  Congress and Muslim League in March-June 1946 for transfer of  power to Indians.  Fortunately, the Muslim League  repudiated it in favour of partition and Pakistan taking umbrage  to Nehru’s assertion that Constituent Assembly would decide what free India  would be .


3. The Consembly convened in  Nov 1946  in light of the  Cabinet Mission Plan of a 3-tier Federal India  -  Provinces and Groups of Provinces and a Federation of them with  limited powers to it.  But partition insisted by Muslim League was agreed to by Congress as an evil lesser than federation  with  weak central government.  The Post-partition  the Consembly under the  leadership and  direction of the  triumvirate  of  Nehru-Patel- Rajendra Prasad and Dr Ambedkar  as  the Chairman of Drafting Committee,  finalized  India’s Constitution for India as a strong, indestructible Union ( not federation) with a  powerful  Central government which in terms chiefly of Articles*     3, 352, 356, 360 and 248, 250, 251, 254, 256 and 257 can over-ride the states.  The troubled history of Bharat from the  11th century to 1947 with foreign  invasions , loot, cultural destruction and  alien rule made our leaders to give us, not a weak  federal state but a Union with strong Central government that will not allow Bharat to be disintegrated by  regional satraps .


4. The regional parties under the leadership of  dynasties and casteists  are inventing and  attributing to the  Union, a federal character  to serve their  evil purpose of family/ clan / caste rule.  Bharatiyas must strongly, decisively and  incessantly denounce  and reject the regional satraps’ talk of federalism, federation and federal.  The warnings of history and politics as beautifully perorated  by Dr. Ambedkar, Chairman of the  Drafting Committee and Dr Rajendra Prasad , President of the  Constituent Assembly on the  concluding day 26 Nov 1949  of the Consembly  must be forever etched in our memories and guide our policies.  India is not a federation which can be dismembered  or weakened by regional powers  -  hungry politicians but  a strong Union, which can become even unitary under certain circumstances .   (516 words)


* Articles:

3 : Formation of  States, alteration  of areas, boundaries or  names of existing States

352: Proclamation of  Emergency

356: Provisions in Case of  Failure of Constitutional Machinery In States  - Governor’s rule

( Section 93 of the  Government  of India Act 1935)

360:  Provisions as to  Financial Emergency

248: Residuary Powers  of  Legislation

249: Powers of Parliament  to Legislate  with Respect to any Matter in the  State List  in the

        National  Interest

250:  Powers of Parliament to Legislate with Respect to  any matter  in the State list   if

 Proclamation of Emergency  is  in Operation

251:  Inconsistency Between  Laws  Made By Parliament Under Articles - 249 & 250  and Laws

 Made by State Legislature

254: Inconsistency Between  Laws  Made by Parliament and Laws  Made by State Legislature

256:  Obligation of States and the Union   - Giving Direction to a State
257: Control of the  Union over States in Certain Cases  

368: Power  of Parliament to Amend the Constitution and Procedure there of