President’s rule used and mis-used again
Even before the Uttarakhand crisis came to its conclusion, the Arunachal Pradesh crisis happened and the Supreme court reinstated the government in Arunachal Pradesh. From the verdict, it is an easy conclusion that central government has indeed used constitutional powers to topple state government going against the spirit of federalism of India. But, it is not the first time that central government has indeed tried to meddle with state governments. History is replete with examples of the same, most noticeable being Indira Gandhi’s tenure when an emergency was declared and also many states specially with non-congress governments went under president’s rule.
Blame it on the mandate?
If there is any thread of commonality between the leaders who are not best known for respecting the federal structure of Indian constitution and India, it could well be the popularity of the governments and the size of the majority with which it is voted. But, no matter how large the size of the victory for the ruling party is, it has its pitfalls and positives. Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi both stormed to power with a huge mandate, however, they are not the only ones to come to power with a huge mandate, nevertheless, both were historical victories.
Big victory margin vs small victory margin
It is hard not to see, that huge victory margins are indeed used as a facade to overreaching acts of central governments. Huge victory margins do contribute to effective policy making given the sizeable numbers in the Parliament and the consequential ease in passing of bills, on the contrary, not so large majority have often been criticized for policy logjam given the need to bring the opposition into the confidence of passage of crucial bills that requires a 2/3rd majority. If victories by huge margin will result in central governments not respecting the mandate of the state government’s, voters will then have a tough choice ahead. Having said that, an independent judiciary and a vibrant civil society can, in fact, keep in check the overreach of central governments.
Reviving federalism in India
PM Modi has quite often stressed in his speeches to people about Democracy and how it is our strength, yet, his government’s actions wrt Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh do not match the good intent of his words. Democracy gave Mr. Modi and other leaders historic victories, it is up to the leaders to strengthen and revive the spirit of Democracy when in power. In the age of social media, any such overreach by the central government for the purpose of usurping power will not go down well with Indian citizens and for Indian democracy. The incumbent government at the center should not repeat mistakes, the same mistakes those are etched in the history of India. Mr. Modi has a fantastic charisma and leadership capabilities which should be channeled to maintain cordial relations with all states.
Retiring after spending 32 years in the Indian Army, Col Chris Rego is helping change the destinies of hundreds of children in conflict-affected North East India through his “White Bullets” initiative. With this initiative, he hopes to bring peace and progress to communities across North East India.
Luminouswanted to bring out the Colonel’s story to the world to inspire and motivate others as it believes that education is a strong tool to empower women. It is supporting Col Rego’s cause through an initiative called #Luminaries – the brave people who stand up for causes like girl child education and make a difference in the society.
Col Rego’s journey started over a decade ago in Manipur when a tribal woman knocked on his door pleading for support for her daughter’s education. Touched by the woman’s story, Col Rego and his wife delved into their savings and arranged for the money for the girl’s education. Two years down the line, the woman returned, this time with a small pumpkin and a shawl that she had knitted, and all the money she had borrowed. Moved and realizing that their money could make lives rather than earn paltry interest, Col and Mrs. Rego embarked on a journey to arrange for sponsorship of many more underprivileged children.
Retiring from the Army, Col Rego took over as CEO of Sunbird Trust, a not-for-profit organization which he founded in 2014. The Trust now sponsor over 1,000 children in 21 locations acrossNorth East India. The centre of Sunbird Trust’s activities is at beautiful Ijeirong, Manipur.
Recognizing Col Chris’s immense work, Luminousacknowledged him as their first Luminary. Through this, they hope to bring more power to his elbow in the notable work he is doing. The Luminousteam travelled to remote Ijeirong village and installed solar products. These solar products will help in providing power to the entire campus 24/7 for the very first time.
The Logical Indian salutes Col Christopher Rego for his untiring efforts and leadership. His efforts are already having a cascading effect on people from across India joining the “White Bullets” endeavour. Quite amazingly, education, in itself so empowering, is merely a means to PEACE. We hope the path illuminated by #Luminary Col Rego and his Sunbird Trust team acts as a beacon for others to follow.
If you too have stories of change, share them with us. And if you want to connect with Colonel Rego, click here.