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

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The Dangerous Decade

The Dangerous Decade

UNTIL 1967 India's federal system of government, established under the Constitution, was never put to real test. Much of the discussion on the subject, therefore, was of a speculative type not based on experience of the working of the system. Since the Constitution provided for a relatively strong Centre, which was in conformity with the modern tendency in all federal governments, many critics for whom the original provisions of the American Constitution alone are the ideal form of a federal system, denounced the Indian model as no federal system at all. In fact, some of them went to the extent of describing the position of the States under our Constitution as worse than that of even the municipalities in the coun, try. Others, more charitable, characterised the Indian system as quasi-federal One of the latter group, K C Wheare of Oxford, has said that the Constitution of India establishes a unitary state with subsidiary federal features rather than a federal system with subsidiary unitary features. Everyone of these critics depended more on the written provisions of the Constitution than on their working In arriving at such conclusions. And that is the weakness of their approach to the problem. Amal Ray's book is different in that it is not a speculative work based only on the written provisions of the Constitution. He has made a close study of the working of the federal system during the first fifteen years since the inauguration of the Constitution. And hence his conclusions are more dependable and more valuable for a better understanding of India's federal system.

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