How Is Federalism Practiced in India ? The recent debates and discussions on federalism in India have repeatedly emphasised that the concept is a complex one, and that many of the key stakeholders have not been sufficiently engaged. While the federalists and the opponents of centralisation argue about the compatibility of decentralisation with federalism, the debate has raised important issues about the functioning of the state governments. Federalism can be understood as an inclusive policy package that respects the constitutional boundaries and responsibilities of each state while enabling citizens to have greater say in local governance. This paper seeks to provide an explanation of how federalism is practised in India.
One of the most important facets of federalism is the ability of each state to make its own laws. No two states share a similar system of laws because of the diverse population, language, culture, economic structures and traditions. The principle of federalism is that each state should have at least legislated powers that are relevant to its own citizenry. New states coming into the Union after prior sovereign arrangements like partitions are also entitled to statutory powers which cannot be exercised by the original constituent states.
How Is Federalism Practiced Before independance?
The federal government takes care of the affairs of the different entities of the Union through the creation of the Constitution of India. The federal system is made possible by provision of separate constitutional provisions for each of the states of India. There are many variations in the Constitution of the federal country. The basic document itself embodies the work of the legislature and the executive branch of the government. The federal government also gives effect to the decisions taken by the state governments through the implementation of the federal laws on the state level.
Hindi, English and Marathi are the official languages of India. Although a few provinces of India recognised a separate Hindu language policy, the majority of the states followed the same official language policy throughout the period of federalism. The Hindi language policy was introduced by the Indian National Congress (incoln) during the legislations for the Repeated Independence of India (first constitution) in 1946. The objective behind the introduction of Hindi as the official language was to improve the education sector and to attract the scheduled castes and communities against the Muslims in the state.
The Hindi policy has evolved over time with the evolution of the nation-state system in India. Initially, the single party system of the union government worked as planned with a few states adopting the Hindi as their official language while the others kept the English language. The dual language policy was later adopted by the Hindi speaking states in the union government to increase the diversity of the nation. The union government imposed Hindi as the official language for all government transactions apart from official ceremonial occasions and certain emergency announcements.
Since the beginning, the government has been introducing new states and consolidating the existing units of the Indian Union to form a larger entity. Although, the idea behind this whole process is for the betterment of the country, the effect of the creation of new states is often viewed from a minority viewpoint. Some of the states like Jharkhand, Chittorgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar and Orissa have seen significant changes in their political structure with the introduction of new states. On the other hand, there have been significant changes in the Hindi speaking regions with the creation of some new states like Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi.
How Is Federalism Practiced in India?
The introduction of Hindi as the primary language in the northern part of India led to the creation of new linguistic states like Hindi speaking Purna, Maharashtra and Orissa. In the east, the creation of Tamil Nadu and Kerala was accompanied by that of Telangana. Similarly, the north-western and eastern states like Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab saw changes in their linguistic structure. Besides these, there were also major changes in how is federalism practised in India. For example, while in the past, only Hindi was spoken in the upper castes, the time has changed and now, people from all castes of Indian society can speak Hindi. Although the linguistic divide has been criticized over the years, it has been noticed that the presence of the language in the mainstream society is becoming more accepted by the masses.
The salient features of how is federalism practised in India can be seen clearly from the federal government’s flagship programs like the National Mission Education Program (NNP), National School Certificate Program (ESC), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the FISMA program. All these projects are designed with one objective in mind -to improve the conditions of the local people living in rural areas. In the process, the federal government seeks to imbibe principles of federalism, local governance and community based initiatives into each program. How Is Federalism Practiced in India is something you should look? The above mentioned features of how is federalism in practice can be seen in the NNSA’s flagship program, the National School Certificate Program (NSCAP), in which local stakeholders and the students themselves play a major role in their development and application.