Division of J& K is an assault on federal structure: Lok Satta

Division of J& K is an assault on federal structure: Lok Satta

Agency News

Hyderabad, Aug 6 : The Unilateral division of Jammu and Kashmir is an assault on the federal structure of India, Founder, Lok Satta and Foundation for Democratic Reforms Dr Jayaprakash Narayan said.

In a statement here on Tuesday, Dr Narayan said the proposal to abolish the State of Jammu and Kashmir and create two new Union Territories by a unilateral decision of Parliament is violative of the basic principles of federalism.

If the same principle is applied to the other twenty-eight States of India, then India can become a unitary nation by a government’s diktat. This not only violates the federal principle, but also sows the seeds of division, discord, suspicion and fear in the constituent States of India, he said.

Apart from violating the democratic and federal principles, such overbearing centralization will seriously erode the willing consent that is the basis of the creation of our extraordinary republic. Instead of cementing unity and integrity of the nation, over centralisation and destruction of federal foundations will weaken the republic and sow the seeds of division and discord, and will strengthen the hands of the internal and external forces which are inimical to a strong and united India, Dr Narayan said.

In a federal polity, States should be regarded as indestructible and they should not be abolished, nor should their boundaries be altered without their consent and local compromise. There is a case to revisit our States’ boundaries, but not by central diktat or unilateral decisions imposed on States.

Reorganisation of States, restructuring federal polity, strengthening constitutionalism and cementing unity and integrity of the nation should all be viewed as a harmonious whole, not in isolation as matters of temporary expediency.

“ We need now an insightful and far-sighted national conversation. Knee-jerk responses ranging from triumphalism and naive belief that the recent steps are a panacea, to apocalyptic visions treating any changes in the status quo as signs of impending doom are both polarising and counterproductive”, the Lok Satta Founder said. UNI