Governance in States – ‘Dangerously Stable Equilibrium’

We have witnessed momentous developments during this week. The heinous Mumbai blasts killing scores of people and injuring many more, the collapse of the BSP-BJP coalition in Uttar Pradesh, and the report of ASI on Ayodhya – all these are events which could have far-reaching impact on our polity and society for some time to come.

Physician, Heal Thy Self!

The proposed National Judicial Commission (NJC) and amendments to contempt law raised serious debate on judicial accountability.

Knee-jerk Response to a Complex Crisis

On April 8, the Rajya Sabha approved the Bill which seeks to remove the residential requirement for election to the Upper House from a state, and provides for open ballot, so that party leaderships can ensure election of their nominee. Predictably, this legislation (Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2001) has raised several questions about representation and attracting talent into legislatures.

Politics of Fiefdoms

The Gujarat carnage over the past few weeks and the continual Kashmir imbroglio deflected national attention from a momentous event in the evolution of our democracy. On May 12, we have successfully completed 50 years of our parliament. This is a rare achievement among post-war democracies. There is a lot to celebrate. We are a robust and cheerful democracy. Our people treasure the freedoms guaranteed to us under the Constitution. Elections have been held to Lok Sabha under the Constitution of our new republic without break since 1952.

Politics of Plunder vs Politics of Service

This week the Indian Parliament completed 50 years of its existence. While we had central legislature during British times, the bulk of membership was nominated. In 1946, elections were conducted to the central legislature, but franchise was limited, and only a fraction of the adult population could vote. The first Lok Sabha election of the Indian republic under the new Constitution was held in 1952.