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.
It’s so easy to say, “Follow your heart” or “Follow your dreams” but when one actually tries to take that leap of liberty, the society reinforces its shackles. In myriad ways, the age-old traditions come to stop the dreams of the youth. This is more manifest in the case of girls and women. However, passion can’t be contained and restrained for long.
This is the story of Roshni Misbah. Breaking stereotypes, she aspires to be a professional racer. Her journey has been tough, to say the least. Consider this, a hijab-wearing woman riding a sports bike with panache on the Indian roads amid stares, taunts and jeers.
The parents at home know too that society will be unkind and hesitant to accept someone who is flouting the age-old norms. Perhaps, this is why the parents resort to worry and scoldings. However, if the fire of liberty has been lit inside an individual, then it’s only a matter of time before they will rise like a phoenix, gloriously new-born from the ashes.
Roshni has covered over 15,000 km riding more than 60 bikes. She shares, “The sight of a girl on a sports bike deeply dents egos of some men and the taunts start.” It’s not easy to follow one’s dream if there are self-proclaimed proprietors of ‘decency’ at every nook and corner. Yet, Roshni stands tall.
It’s not easy to stand up to your parents and then face the issues they warned you about from society. Is it not right to follow one’s dreams and one’s own heart? If people do not break stereotypes, then all the potential for achievement and innovation will die unfulfilled. If doing something does not break a law, then what gives the right to anyone to comment and object to it?
This is the 21st century. Till when we will allow ourselves to be controlled by the whims and desires of those whose opinions deserve no merit or consideration. If this is not the right time for talented and courageous women to take a stand, then when will that time come.
“When I will walk, you will stare. When I will lose, you will laugh at me, taunt me. But, at the speed of 234 km/h, I wouldn’t hear all this,” says an undaunted Roshni. It’s time we show our support to their leap of liberty and as a society, we come together and say #ChalBadhChal.
The Logical Indian commends the passion and spirit of Roshni Misbah and appreciates Leap 7X by Liberty Shoes for bringing up this story.