Federalism in India

Topics: Federalism, United States, United States Constitution Pages: 9 (3262 words) Published: November 2, 2012
Federalism is a basic feature of the Constitution of India in which the Union of India is permanent and indestructible. Both the Centre and the States are co-operating and coordinating institutions having independence and ought to exercise their respective powers with mutual adjustment, respect, understanding and accommodation. Tension and conflict of the interests of the Centre and the respective units is an integral part of federalism. Prevention as well as amelioration of conflicts is necessary. Thus, the Indian federalism was devised with a strong Centre. Federalism with a strong Centre was inevitable as the framers of the Indian Constitution were aware that there were economic disparities as several areas of India were economically as well as industrially far behind in comparison to others. The nation was committed to a socio economic revolution not only to secure the basic needs of the common man and economic unity of the country but also to bring about a fundamental change in the structure of Indian society in accordance with the egalitarian principles. With these considerations in mind the Constitution makers devised the Indian federation with a strong Union. Federalism Defined

Territorial spatial arrangement for administrative convenience .In other sense it is the existence of two chambers of Govt. It is the existence of dual government. Federalism constitutes a complex governmental mechanism for the governance of a country. It seeks to draw a balance between the power in the Centre and those of number of units. A federal Constitution envisages a demarcation of governmental functions and powers between the Centre and the regions by the sanction of the Constitution, which is a written document. The framers of the Indian Constitution attempted to avoid the difficulties faced by the federal Constitutions of U.S.A, Canada and Australia and incorporate certain unique features in the working of the Indian Constitution. Thus, our Constitution contains certain novel provisions suited to the Indian conditions. The doubt which emerges about the federal nature of the Indian Constitution is the powers of intervention in the affairs of the states given to the Central Government by the Constitution .According to Wheare, in practice the Constitution of India is quasi-federal in nature and not strictly federal. Sir Ivor Jennings was of the view that India has a federation with a strong centralizing policy. In the words of D.D.Basu The Constitution of India is neither purely federal nor unitary, but is a combination of both. It is a union or a composite of a novel type. The Indian Constitution is not only regarded as Federal or Unitary in the strict sense of the terms. It is often defined to be quasi-federal in nature also. Throughout the Constitution, emphasis is laid on the fact that India is a single united nation. India is described as a Union of States and is constituted into a sovereign, secular, socialist, democratic republic. It should be remembered that the aforementioned provisions in the Constitution are aimed at establishing a working balance between the requirements of national unity and autonomy of the States. Dr Ambedkar, one of the architects of the Indian Constitution, rightly prophesied: Our Constitution would be both unitary as well as federal according to the requirements of time and circumstances Constitutional Intent of Indian Federalism

Being aware that not withstanding a common cultural heritage, without political unity, the country would disintegrate under the pressure of fissiparous forces, the Constituent Assembly addressed itself to the immensely complex task of devising a Union with a strong Centre. In devising the pattern of the Centre State relations they were influenced by the Constitutions of Canada and Australia which have a Parliamentary form of government and America which has a Presidential form of government. The Government of India Act, 1935 was also relied upon with...
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