Freedom First
Freedom First

Home » Archive

Issue No.: 559 | January 2014
 

Need to Move from Dvaita to Advaita

G. R. S. Rao
back
It is astonishing to find some Chief Ministers observing, if not arguing, that their states are "islands of peace” as if by implication, national security would not bother them.

Terrorism in all its myriad manifestations has been discussed ad-nauseum, at different levels in various forums. The issue of setting up of a National Centre for Counter Terrorism (NCTC) as proposed by the Union Home Ministry created a flare of centre-state relations. Several Chief Ministers expressed their concerns that NCTC would be an attack on the federal character of the nation and that it will undermine the functions of the states. The objections  by Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Tripura, HimachalPradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka lend a partisan flavor of a political alignment to the issues of national security management.

The Union Government asserts that it doesn’t "believe” that the setting up of the NCTC violates any "federal principles” or the "rights of the states”. The Prime Minister himself had reiterated that NCTC would not take away the "powers/authority” of states.

All this flare only brings out the continuing partisan political debate expressed and manifested in terms such as: ‘ruling versus opposition’, powers of "centre versus that of states”; and federal character of the polity. If we expand the time frame a little earlier to POTA times, the predominant focus of political debate was the fear of potential misuse and abuse of powers but not on the need for a law to fight terrorism. All those "fears” were shattered by the menacing 26/11 cake walk of terrorists on Mumbai. The nation had to go through a trauma for a government to act, nay, to react, and then enact an anti-terror legislation and setting up of the National Investigative Agency (NIA), in order to strengthen national security.

India seeks and secures cooperation from other countries and international organizations such as the Interpol, to tight terrorism. The differentiation between the ‘internal’ and the ‘external’ dimensions of national security has long been lost, as the two dimensions have fused into a continuum.
Yet in our public policy debates we continue to be driven by the rights and powers of the centre via a vis. the states, fears of misuse and abuse of powers, and concerns for the federal character. It is astonishing to find some Chief Ministers observing, if not arguing, that their states are "islands of peace” as if by implication, national security would not bother them. Also, does it imply that "a state of peace” repels terrorists’? Partisan political factors cloud the vital issues of national security and integrity. National security policy debate is characterized by the fault-lines of partisan politics. The fact that all the regional political parties have joined hands to oppose the initiative from the "centre” is accentuated by the twin adjunct facts viz. (a) some of them are members of the ruling UPA alliance at the Centre, and (b) none of the states where the Indian National Congress is in power had expressed any opinion on the issue. It is not as though the INC had discussed the issue in any of its party forums leading to a consensus at the national level within the party. 

It is equally significant that the only other national party, the BJP, that had led a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) earlier, and experienced partisan political turbulence in regard to POTA, was muted on the issue of NCTC, while the state governments governed by the BJP expressed reservations on the issue. Should not the national level political parties make up their mind and seek to promote a unified vision of ‘national security’ bringing on board, the regional parties’?

The cardinal feature of consensualism that emerged as the hallmark of Indian democracy, set in motion by the mainstream of Indian National Congress seems to have faded out due to the contemporary character of an all pervasive dualism – Dvaita, thanks to the politics of power.

The contemporary scenario reminds us of the childhood game of ‘cops and robbers’. For those who may have forgotten, it can be encapsulated that children divide themselves into two groups, one group assumes the role of cops, another that of robbers. The group that plays the cops demonstrates authoritarianism, high degree of morality, and look down upon the group that plays robbers who dramatize submissiveness, guilt feeling and pray for lenience. When the two groups change their role in the second round, they exchange and demonstrate, with dramatic effect, the role play. But children can be childish in a childhood game. Indian democracy demands mature performance from all parties not to play the game of ‘Ruling’ versus ‘Opposition’ like the children play the cops and robbers, especially when it comes to national security and integrity.

Partisan dispositions of ‘Ruling’ versus ‘Opposition’ especially in the management of national security can endanger democracy. Distortions of dualism - ‘Dvaita’ - must be corrected quickly, corrected in order to promote a unified policy of Advaita, inspired by the shared vision of India, a pride of nationalism and citizenship. National and nationalist political parties have a challenge and an opportunity to formulate a national policy to fulfil national responsibilities of governance.

Power and authority obtaining both at the national and the state levels are complementary, aimed at fulfilling one common national responsibility of the government. Centre and the states together have to co-opt in managing and promoting national security. There is only one National Integration Council at work; thank God the states are not proposing their own respective national integration councils. Here again, there is a lot to redefine and redesign the National Integration Council, to make it functional, from being or ornamental.

The Prime Minister has rightly and repeatedly emphasized that extremism and terrorism together constitute the greatest threat to national security. And the whole world knows that there is a tremendous cooperation among all extremist and terrorist outfits not only within but across the national boundaries. Should not all political parties, all the states and the centre interact like one nation and act in unison to contain and eliminate terrorism? Time to evolve a unified Advaita policy for national security management.

The creation of Special Police Officers (SPOs) in Chhattisgarh has only accentuated the conflict between the police, the extremists and cadres of Salwa Judum. A PIL before the Supreme Court has brought out the policy distortions that had exasperated the management of security. The State Government pleaded before the Supreme Court that the institution of SPOs was in vogue during the British regime when the Court observed "don’t divide the society into pro and anti naxalite supporters”. Paradoxically, the counsel for the Union Government argued (during the year 2011) that the state has only 40 battalions as against the need for 70 battalions and hence the need for SPOs. The logical questions raised by the court as to (a) whether any rules had been framed under the Police Act, the counsel said: "no, the matter is pending before the Police Reforms Commission”. When the Court asked whether the issue of SPOs was referred to the Commission there was no answer. Dualism in national security management could lead to distortions and national disasters. Let not our states act like 29 countries but as 29 states of the Indian Republic.

Dr. G. R. S. RAO, formerly Chair Professor in Public Policy
at the Administrative Staff College of India. E-mail:
dr.grs.rao@gmail.com
 
back

Share

 
 
 

Archive

 
 

Other Articles in this Issue

Editorial

The Good New and the Bad News

 

Obituary

Dr. Sheryar Ookerjee

S.V. Raju
 

Perspective

Winds of Change Presage Hope of New Political Order

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana
 

Can We Legislate for a Better Society?

Rca Godbole
 

High Time to Abolish Governmental Awards

Kashinath A. Divecha
 

Elections to Parliament: Participation of Veterans

Ravindra Waman Pathak
 

Comments

Indictment of Justice Ganguly: To What Avail?

Keshav Rau
 

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - 2013 (CHOGM)

Suresh C. Sharma
 

Reflections

Poverty and Humble Beginnings Are No Impediments to Success in Life

B. M. N. Murthy
 

The Rural Perspective

Social transformation in Rural India

Sharad Joshi
 

Point - Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

26/11 Anniversary

Ashok Karnik
 

Snoopgate

Ashok Karnik
 

Feet of Clay

Ashok Karnik
 

Mini general elections?

Ashok Karnik
 

Cornucopia

Snoopgate: A Comedy of Errors

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Tarun Tejpal: How Have the Mighty Fallen

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

India and Latin America: ‘The Big Thing in the Making’ – Part Two

B. Ramesh Babu
 

National Security

Need to Move from Dvaita to Advaita

G. R. S. Rao
 

Book Review

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

 

Educating Adults

Implementation – Finance

Suresh C. Sharma
 

A Triangle of Deceit: Onions, Gold and Black Gold

Jyoti Marwah
 

Onion Crisis Hits India

Dr. Rita P. Bhambi
 

Onion Crisis

Sarah Ratnani
 

Gold hits a new high

Hanspal Amandeep Kaur
 

Sachin - An Example to Emulate

Rahul S. Kumar
 

Special Republic Day Pull Out

Unsung Heroes of the Indian National Movement

B. N. Mehrish
 

Nostalgia

State Control of Films

This day in 1957
 

Between Ourselves

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

Dr. Sardul Singh Minhas
 

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

R. Subramanian
 

Leader and the Law

M. B. Damania
 

In Case You Have Not Heard This One

Nelson Mendela

 

A Sad Story of Corruption in the Armed Forces

Jug Suraiya
 

Constitutional Method of Demonstration

 

Aam Admi Party

 

A Man Who Cared for the Poor

 

C. N. R. Rao Conferred Bharat Ratna

 

What is Freedom ?

 

Marshal Zhukov on Alexander’s Failed Invasion of India

 
 
The journal of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom
© Copyright Freedom First. All rights reserved.
Freedom First
3rd Floor, Army and Navy Building,
148, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Mumbai - 400001. INDIA
Tel: +91-22-2284 3416, 6639 6366
Email: freedomfirst1952@gmail.com
Home
Freedom First Archives
Quest Archives
Contact Us
About Us
About ICCF
About Freedom First
About Quest
Publications
Swatantra Party
Introduction
Swatantra Party Documents
Sitemap