ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sarkaria Commission-Ruse or for Real

and the 11-point Bangalore consensus on Centre-state financial relations. But then, the central issue bedeviling Centre-state relations is not division and distribution of financial resources, important though the issue is. No amount of Central subvention is going to contain the tensions in Assam or in Punjab, to take the two most obvious examples, in neither of which area are the details, or even the generalities, of Centre-state relations an issue. The problem, primarily, is political; specifically, in the context of the working of the political system, whether the ruling party at the Centre is ready to acknowledge that, whatever may be the role of the Congress party in assuming the leadership of the freedom struggle against colonial rule, that historical past cannot entitle the Congress to have a perpetual contract as the only legitimate party of governance. Indeed, one may argue that the accident and combination of circumstances that led to the Congress Party emerging as the leader of the freedom movement has, over time, obscured the crucial role of many local variants of the struggle, sometimes in co-operation with and sometimes independently, against British rule as well as against various forms of more immediately perceived economic and social evils like landlordism, casteism and the practice of untouchability. The formal emergence of fairly stable political formations independent of and even opposed to the historic traditions of the Congress Party in some of the states and their more recent consolidation as ruling political parties is merely a . further affirmation of the essentially popular .sanctions that these movements had. Further, even the communist movement has now, even if admittedly in pockets, vindicated itself as having been perhaps a more legitimate and authentic force against colonialism and domestic reaction than the Congress party.
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