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Showing posts with the label ConstitutionOfIndia

India-US collaboration is missing the key subject of Data Protection laws

It’s a national embarrassment for both India and the US that they don't have a data privacy law  The Indian Prime minister Modi is in the US and amongst much fanfare a lot of joint initiatives are being announced. But one area which could have been a major bedrock for a global regulation has not even been touched. On the contrary, both governments are now engaged in regressive moves on this subject - the subject of Personal Data Protection. TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, has faced bans in several countries, including India, and now there are discussions about a potential ban in the United States as well. The concerns primarily revolve around data privacy and surveillance, with lawmakers pointing out the extensive collection of personal information by TikTok and its Chinese ownership. However, focusing solely on banning TikTok fails to address the broader issue of data privacy and government access to user information. Banning TikTok might seem like a straightforward soluti

The Story of Article 371

The making of the Indian union is a very interesting story. If the efforts of Sardar Patel and VP Menon in integrating princely states into India are the first chapters, the subsequent states (re)organization efforts and the pacts, impacts and outcomes of the States Reorganization Committee’s work were the later chapters which not only formed India as it is today but continue to impact how the relations between the Union and the States playout.  The impacts of the subsequent chapters are much long-drawn and persistent. They can be as severe as the persistent rise and ebb of violent separatist activities like in Naga, Bodo or Maoist districts or even as mundane as the impact on how Power Distribution companies in States get disciplined by the Union government schemes or how farm sector reforms percolate to the State level. One of the most important chapters in post-integration was Article 370, which after its abrogation on 5 August 2019, has gained a lot of media focus. It is argued tha

Presidential Election under the Indian Constitution
Addendum: Why is the Indian Constitution Unique

I have mentioned in past that "If the Indian constitution is a copy of the British and American systems, it’s the most intelligent and well customised copy ever made" Today, I discovered another small tid-bit of a quirk adopted by the makers of the Indian constitution, the need for which is now being felt even in the US. This feature is called "Single Transferable Vote" also known as " instant-runoff ". This feature is used by the Indian constitution to prevent any stalemate or gridlock (something the US legislative system has experienced), in the Presidential Elections.  STV/IRV used in single-seat elections with more than two candidates. Instead of voting only for a single candidate, voters in IRV elections can rank the candidates in order of preference. Ballots are initially counted for each elector's top choice. If a candidate secures more than half of these votes, that candidate wins. Otherwise, the candidate in last place is eliminated

Conclusion - Why is the Indian model of a panacea for troubles of Middle East

Continued from here The root cause with several nations such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or even Pakistan, is that they are still kingdoms, and have not transformed themselves into modern democratic nations. There remains no way to govern them apart from a totalitarian and dictatorial government. [The fact that Pakistan is a kingdom, not a nation unequivocally explains why Pakistan’s history has been marred with coups and why the nation goes into tizzies of instability every time a ‘democratic’ government rules it.] The problem with kingdoms is that kingdoms cannot be multipolar, they exist because there is supremacy of one and only one force at any time - as Jean Bodin's concept of absolute sovereign commands. If that force is not a monarch or military dictator, there ensues a war between various factions to become that 'one force' which would govern the kingdom. One of the reasons why Pakistan has seen so many bloody coups is that it was not gifted with the visi

Why is the Indian constitution unique? - Part II

Continued from here  The consolidation the territorial boundaries was only half the job done – what was in the hands of the provisional government in 1947-49 was just a kingdom and not a Nation. The forging of a nation from this kingdom required visionary wisdom and unflinching determination to principle of ‘multi-cultural’ nationalism. Operationally, the issue of sub-nationalities was resolved by instituting a pseudo-federal governance system. ‘Pseudo’ because unlike an ideal federal system, the ‘union’ or whole was not made up of the smaller ‘states’. Upholding the original territories (some of them governed by Royalties) and ‘combining’ them to form the nation would have been disastrous. It would have meant allowing each state to have its own territorial borders, and a deluge of pacts and negotiations to freeze them – which would have broken down time and again, sinking the region into perpetual strife. Instead, the first step was, to consolidate all military power with

Why is the Indian constitution unique?

Continued from here  When the British marched into India – the geopolitical landscape wasn’t much different than that of the then Europe – several small and big kingdoms dotted the subcontinent, and treaties, alliances and assurances balanced power among them.  During the Raj, the British did make some efforts to unify the whole mass in some ways (like establishing railway and postal systems), primarily to suit their commercial needs, but the basic fabric remained as divided till 1947 as it was in 1857. In words of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India under the British Raj,”The political system of India is neither feudalism nor federation. It is embodied in no constitution and bears no resemblance to a league.” In fact, before leaving, the British gashed a new divide within the subcontinent - the ‘two nation theory’. If the partition was an injury, several more potential wounds lay ahead of independent India in 1947. With the region left in a fragmented mess of erstwhile royalt

Is Indian model of democracy

Continued from here With similar culture and past India has developed a vibrant democracy which functions without conflict (bombings in Syria, Iraq, Egypt or Lebanon are no comparison to the problems of Naxalism or Communal tensions we see in India), with a unfettered record of elections and democratically elected governments, and with an unprecedented record of development. So, what makes India tick which most other Eastern nations experimenting with democracy lack? The answer may lie in  this column by Sidin Vadukut  which explains how the Indian delegation to help resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict in 1947 proposed setting up of a federal republic instead of the two-nation Israel-Gaza-West Bank state that struggles in conflict today. I quote: India, Iran and Yugoslavia, instead, proposed a minority plan that would avoid partition: “An independent federal State of Palestine shall be created following a transitional period not exceeding three years. The independent Federal

Making India Work [Book Review]

On my recent visit to traditional outfit store fabindia, I spotted the book by its founder William Nanda Bissel for sale and I being me could not resist buying a copy for myself. Making India Work is an ambitious attempt to dream a new India - but may be its a little too ambitious. Nanda Bissel talks about a complete revamp of the way India is governed - from its administrative divisions (46 Regions instead of 28 states) to the way ministries are organized and managed. It is quite easy for us to write off his ideas giving reasons like our politicians would never bring about such changes or because the bureaucracy would block all attempts for these ideas to succeed. However, I have more fundamental differences with the proposals being made in the book (while I also concede that I like a lot of proposals made by him). Before we jump to them, let me outline a few of his proposals in brief: National Division: Lots of proposals have come through for decentralization of power or in f