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THE 

FORUM 

GAZETTE 


Vol 3 No.12 New Delhi 20 June - 4 July 1988 Fortnightly . Rupees Two 


The Meaning of Allhabad Victory 


T he victory of VP Singh at 
Allahabad is a develop- 
ment which would neither 
be overrated nor under-rated. In 
* the first flush of enthusiasm, 
some people might describe it as 
rout of the ruling party. To say 
that would be to over estimate its 
significance. While it is true that 
his defeat, had it come about, 
would have meant a great victory 
for the ruling party and led to the 
disintegration and demoralisation 
of the opposition, his victory 
cannot be described as other 
than the opening round in the 
battle against the ruling party. 

It is necessary to say this 
because the ruling party would 
like to underplay his victory. His 
victory is a significant develop- 
ment and should not be belittled. 
At the same time his victory 
should not be equated with the 
,(^ut of the ruling party. 

' The Context 

T he achievement of VP 
Singh In defeating the 
Congress should be 
understood both in its historical 
context andfn his ability to have 
successfully overcome the 
obstacles placed in his way. In 
regard to the context, the obvi- 
ous thing to do is to refer to the 
campaign launched by VP Singh 
for purity of public life. Ever since 
ho left the government, this is the 
one theme that he has been 
playing upon. A large number of 
people began to think that this 
particular theme was being 
overplayed. Indeed it was said 

In this Issue 

Page 


n Terrorism In Punjab 3 
n The Dagger of the 
Mind 5 

H Psychic Wounds 6 

D Federalism and 
National Integration 8 

n Short Story : The 
Extra Blood 10 

^ Accountability in 
Education 12 

o Gen. Zia’s 

Democracy 16 


that while people were opposed 
to corruption and wanted public 
life to be purified, this by itself 
was not enough to ensure his 
victory. 

VP Singh has shown that the 
almost impossible could be 
done. While in theory, it is correct 
that Uie theme of corruption by 
itself is not enough of a political 
programme, VP Singh’s cause 
was helped by a chance factor. 
The by election at Allahabad had 
been caused because of the res- 
ignation of Amitabh Bachchan in 
somewhat controversial circum- 
stances. His resignation from the 
Lok Sabha was connected with 
the underhand dealings of his 
brother who had acquired a flat 
in Switzerland on grounds that 
did not bear too close a scrutiny. 
VP Singh therefore took the 
decision that he would person- 
ally contest if Amitabh Bachchan 
were to be the candidate. This 
Continued on Page 4 


Amrik Singh = 



Indegenous Bofors Gun used in Allahabad by-elections. How much it titled the balance? 


Continueing Blunders in Punjab 


I t seems the Punjab govern- 
ment is bent on committing 
one blunder after another. 
First, it was the denial by the 
government that the militant high 
priests, including the Akal Takht 
jathedar, Mr. Jasbir Singh Rode 
and others, had not been sacked 
by the shromani Gurdwara Pra- 
bandhak Committee. It appears 
that a section of the administra- 
tion wants to keep SGPC under 
its control. So much so that the 
resolutbns passed by the exec- 
utive of SGPC were cyclostyled 
on CRPF stationary. But the 
game was out when the nine- 
member executive backed out of 
teh "commitment" and told 
newsmen that they had sacked 
the high priests as it felt that they 
were resporrsible for violating the 
‘maryada’ of the Golden Temple 
and all the mess that happened 
in the temple complex. This 
obviously piqued the administra- 
tiona and the Deputy Commis- 
sioner of Amritsar hurriedly 
called pressmen to deny that the 
priests had not been removed by 
SGPC. 


Now how did the DC came to 
know that the priests had not 
been sacked? Why was the gov- 
ernment so keen to "protect" the 
priests when only the other day 
it had accused them of being ter- 
rorist and Khalistanis? When 
these inconvenient questions 
were asked by the public, the 
government came out with a 
statement that it had nothing to 
do with the appointment or 
removal of priests. The govern- 
ment obviously had to cut a sorry 
figure. 

It also appears that the State 
and the Centre are working at 
cross purposes over this issue. 
That the government wants to 
control SGPC was made obvi- 
ous when the Union Home 
Minister, Mr. Buta Singh, a few 
days later said at Phagwara cat- 
egorically that the control of the 
Golden Temple would not be 
handed over to SGPC unless it 
gave an assurance in writing that 
it would adhere by the 10-point 
programme of the government. 
This has made the "apology" 


given by the State government 
that it had nothing to do with the 
appointment of priests look like 
an after-thought and insincere. It 
confirms the suspicion that the 
government wants to have its 
finger in the SGPC pie. The 
question is not who controls the 
Golden Temple? The question is 
who will restore the ‘maryada’ of 
the Golden Temple now that it 
has been rid of terrorists - the 
government or the priests? The 
answer to this question has not 
become clear. The government 
wants Mr. Rode and other priests 
to maintain the ‘maryada’ and not 
the new priests appointed by 
SGPC. The irony is that both 
sets of priests are in jail. So who 
will restore the ‘maryada’ of the 
temple? 

The Conspiracy 

Seeing that its apple cart 
had been upset, the govern- 
ment floated reports in the 
local and national press that 
Rode and others had been 
sacked as a result of a conspi- 


racy hatched in Burail Jail, 
near Chandigarh, by Mr. Par- 
kash Singh Badal and other 
UAD leaders In collusion with 
Panthic Committee leaders. 
Mr. Chandan MItra of the 
Times of India has now admit- 
ted in the newspaper Issue 
dated 16 that his main source 
of Information was the gov- 
ernment. A few days earlier a 
simiiar report had appeared in 
the The Tribune. One may ask 
how did the Panthic Commit- 
tee. emissaries reached Burail 
Jail from Pakistan and 
hatched a conspiracy with Mr. 
Badal. What were the various 
intelligence agencies doing? 
Did they know what was hap- 
pening In Burail jail or did they 
come, to know of the conspi- 
racy only after the event? 

The trouble with Mr. Mitra, who 
claims to be an expert on Punjab 
affairs, and his like, who come 
here to write "quickie" reports, is 
that they do not know the history 
of the Sikhs nor they have been 

Continued on Page 4 



THE 

FORUM 

gazette 


'Cartoons of ■the Fortnight 



This is it! 

By Sudhir Dar 

fziA cissoLvyes AssewBor:) 
\ SACKS JUNEJO; cpISBANDSl 

IcABIKET: euections in ' 
Iq o DAYS-- / 


I iHAnamvEw 



(ZAIL Sink's Te/ZH!) 


FORUM 

GAZETTE' 

Managing Editor: 

Dr. Amrik Singh 

General Manager: 

Lt. Col. Manohar Singh (Retd.) 

Editors 

Dr. A.S. Narang 
Gian Singh Sandhu 


Publishers: 

Ekta Trust 

2/26, Sarva Priy.a Vihar 
New Delhi-110016 
Ph. 660738 

Business and Circulation: 
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Ph. 619284 



Sound and Fury 

The entire Opposition and all those who have come out of the Con- 
gress (I) to side with me and the workers who have been working tire- 
lessly in this scorching sun, want me to accept this challange and I have 
accepted it. 

- V.f’. Singh, after changing his mind about pulling out of the Allahabad 
poll 

He (V.P. Singh) is now an enlightened Arjun. 

- Asoke Sen, Jan Morcha leader, on V.P. Singh contesting the Alla- 
habad election. 

I am a brute force guy. 1 believe anything can be achieved in three years. 

- Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on technology mission. 

Businessmen have perhaps realised that they are totally at the mercy 
of politicians in Delhi. 

- Jay Dubashi, columnist 

Most of the major towns, even smaller ones have been incident-free. 
The terrorists are going for soft targets. This is a sign of desperation 
and not high. 

- K.P.S. Gill, Punjab Police chief, on terrorist attacks on migrant 
labourers. 

If the government is so bent on killirig people. It should declare war on 
Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal. 

- Subash Ghishing, GNLF president, on the allegation that the state 
administration is killing the Gorkhas to stop their movement forGork- 
haland. 

How can I say that they (the present Congressmen) are following thetA 
Gandhian ways? Bapu had wanted to disband the Congress party soon ^ 
after Independence, his advice was not followed. 

- Abha Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s celebrated disciple. 

You don't get anywhere when one side insists on making allegations 
which the other side denies... This (trans-border crime) is after all a 
double-edged weapon which is not to the advantage of either side. 

- Humayun Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to India, on the charge that 
Pakistan is helping Sikh terrorists. 

Marriage is an important part of life. But it is not the be all end all of 
life... Ending Zia's dictatorship is the goal I have chosen to single- 
mindedly pursue because I believe in democracy. Marriage does not 
change my belief. 

- Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan People’s Party leader. 

OVVUAYANffflt STATESMEN I 






ZlA exercise^ 
THEM ' / 


By Rap 



2 


20 June - 4 July 1988 



""FORUMo*.-. 

SGPC and the 

Government 


mt 

FORUM 

GAZETTt 

Terrorism In Punjab 

"We" And "They" Syndrome 

Balraj Puri 


The situation at Amritsar continues to be confused. The government 
has taken the position that the SGPC must commit itself in writing in 
regard to ten issues raised by the government.^So far the SGPC has 
refused to do so. In consequence there is a stalemate. 

Both sides are taking tough postures. The government is on record 
as having said that unless the SGPC accepts the government position 
in writing, it will not be handed over charge of the Golden Temple com- 
plex. The SGPC on the other hand questions the right of the govern- 
ment to impose any conditions, other than those laid down in the Gurud- 
waras Act. In case the SGPC fails to comploy with what is laid down 
in the said Act, It is open to the government to take over control and 
put the SGPC out of business. That is the legal position. But nobody 
appears to be going about it in a legal way. Both sides have an attitude 
of confrontation and are indulging in what maybe called shadow boxing. 

The fact of the matter is that the government is also on record as 
having taken the position that it is not its intention to supersede the 
SGPC which it has the right to do. That is because the government 
knows that in doing so it would be damaging itself In political terms and 
the goverment therefore would avoid doing so. But it dare not go beyond 
that and make the SGPC sign on the dotted line. Should the SGPC 
do so, it would disgrace itself formally and for obvious reasons the SGPc 
is unwilling to do any such thing. 

What is to be done in this situaion? There is a kind of a stalemate. 
Formally speaking the SGPC is already out of business. Informally 
^ speaking, it is being allowed to function such as take out the relevant 
record and do those few necessary things which have to be done if 
day to day business is to be carried on. In otehr words there is no break- 
down but there is ample confusin. As far as one can judge this situ- 
ation will continue at least for some time. 

Whichever way it happens the situation is not going to be resolved 
eassily. The roofs of the crisis lie in the fact that the Sikh sentiment 
is not with the government though it would be difficult to say that the 
mass of the Sikh community approves of what the SGPC has been 
doing. There is a lot of uneasiness amongst the Sikhs and to that extent 
a certain degree of disapproval of what has happened. A large number 
of persons feel unhappy on the way the princiets of the holy complex 
have been misused. But their disapproval would not go to the point of 
open condemnation of the SGPC. 

This is because of the fact that any open condemnation would be 
made use of by the government to take over control and this the com- 
munity would not like to happen. Their memory goes back to the early 
20’s when the control over the gurudwaras was wrested out of hands 
of the Mahants backed by the then government. In other words self- 
governance was won in the face of very heavy odds and that is why 
the Sikh would not like to go back to the situation where what was 
^achieved at that time is abandoned or bst. 

^ One way out for the government would be to conduct fresh elections 
to the SGPC. While its normal life is five years, the last elections were 
held adecade ago. Elections to the SGPC in that sense are overdue 
but then the government would not run the risk of holding these elections. 

The reason is simple. Those who get elected, whatever be their label 
or persuasion are not likely to act differently. There is also a possibility 
that the so called militants might get a bigger say than that they have 
today. Should that happen, and the possibility cannot be ruled out, it 
would be a worse situation for the government than the one which 
obtains at present. The government therefore is unwilling to run the risk 
of holding another election ihough these are due and ought to be held. 

But there is one aspect of the issue which desen/es to be brought 
into the open. The present division of opinion amongst the Sikhs even 
in regard to such basic issues as the management of the SGPC com- 
plex is divided. There are different groups and they are all the time shift- 
ing their positions partly in response to the changing situation but largley 
in accordance with the factional considerations which keep on shifting 
with unbelievable rapidity. 

Were that to be in response to the chaning political situation, one 
would understand. To a large extent these factional pressures are 
exerted by one group against another. Factions are formed and reformed 
and broken and furthere reformed mainly in pursuit of personal pres- 
tige and the lust for power. It is the lust for power which has destroyed 
the effectiveness and cohesion of the Akalis over the last decade. 

From being the largest party of the Sikhs, the Akalis had moved to 
the position of being more or less coterminus witht he entire commun- 
ity. This happened only in the hour of distress. But as soon as the sit- 
uation changed the earlier pressures again began to be felt and there 
have been splits of various hues and dimensions since then. Over the 
years the situation has bedome worse, if anything. 

It is customary to blame the government for everything. In fact it has 
become a kind of psychological compulsion. But this is wrong attitude 
to adopt. Blaming others and over looking one's own lapes,does not 
solve any problem and it is this phase which the sikh community is pas- 
sing through today. 


T wo basic beliefs shared 
by almost the entire spec- 
trum of thinking on Punjab 
have foredoomed all efforts at 
political solution of its problem of 
terrorism. 

First, it is generally viewed as 
a monolithic problem to be 
solved in a single package deal. 
Secondly, the solution is sup- 
posed to lie exclusively in the 
hands of the government of 
India, more precisely in those of 
the Prime Minister. The entire 
debate between critics and sup- 
porters of the government as 
also between various sections of 
the Sikh opinion is based on 
these presumptions. 

The efforts at total or once for 
all solution ignore many aspects 
of the problem which have 
acquired varying degree of auto- 
nomy and limit their aim to either 
total success or total failure. As 
the former is hardly possible, the 
latter become inevitable. 

Similarly, those who have 
convinced themselves that trou- 
ble in the state was solely 
created first by Mrs. Indira 
Gandhi and now by Mr Rajiv 
Gandhi for political gains and 
therefore can only be ended by 
persuading and pressurising him 
suffer from a sense of inverted 
heroism. They impliedly believe 
in omnipotence of the hero even 
if he is called a villain. It is also 
a convenient alibi for abdication 
of their own role. 

Two Parties 

In between the believers in the 
cult of hero and inverted hero, a 
whole range of peace makers 
and mediators also recognise 
two parties to the dispute, viz. the 
government of India and the 
Sikhs. Their well intentioned 
efforts to narrow down the differ- 
ences between the two parties 
actually help in sharpening the 
■yve" and "they" syndrome. They 
over-stretch the synonymity 
between the government of India 
and the people of India, includ- 
ing the Hindus of Punjab, on the 
ond hand, and project Sikhs as 
a monolithic community, on the 
other. 

The fact is that the ability of the 
government of India to win back 
the loyalty of the whole Sikh 
community has been damaged 
after what has happened in the 
last several years. This crucial 
fact is being over-looked by all 
those who are coming out with all 
kinds of suggestions to assuage 
what is being called the hurt 
psyche of the Sikhs. 

But why Is it necessary for 
the Sikhs to be loyal to the 
government of India when 
such loyalty is not considered 
necessary in case of otehr 
communities? Why are peace 
makers not offering their ser- 
vices to resolve differences 


between Mr Rajiv Gandhi and 
say, Mr Jyoti Basu, Mr N.T. 
Rama Rao or Mr Ramakri- 
shana Hegde? Why accords 
are insisted upon only in case 
of kashmir and Punjab? Obvi- 
ously bacause the discontent 
against the centre has not 
taken a secessionist or a vio - 1 
lent form in West Bengal, 
Andhra and Karnataka. But did 
the Akali Dal or the Kashmir 
National conference ever 
preach secession or violence? 

In fact, it can be clearly estab- 
lished that the Rajiv-Longowal 
accord, and the manner in which 
the Akali Dal was percieved to 
have aquired power tn Punjab, 
wrecked its role as an instrument 
of the Sikh protest which also got 
diverted to the terrorist channel. 

In Kashmir too, a similar phe- 
nomenon is at work where in 
view of its alliance with the Con- 
gress the National Conference 
has ceased to be an outlet of 
popular grievances against the 
central government which are 
now expressed through the fun- 
damentalist channel. 

'Unfortunately the creative role 
of differencec and of non-violent 
and constitutional avenues of 
their expression in the growth of 
the nation and its democratic 
institutions, has not been apprec- 
iated by political leaders and 
analysts in the country. 

As compared to the big official 
moves on political and economic 
fronts to cool down the Sikh 
anger, modest effort by non- 
official agencies in demanding 
the release or trial of Jodhpur 
detenues and the punishment of 
the guilty men of 1984 massac- 
ers had had a far better soothing 
effect. 

Likewise, an increasing 
number of the Sikh have started 
realising that to avenge alleged 
crimes of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and 
Mr. Rajiv Gandhi by killing inno- 
cent unarmed people was not in 
their interest. For it would tend to 
condone the killings of innocent 
unarmed Sikhs for the crimes of 
the ^assassins of Mrs. Indira 
Gandhi or for the present acts of 
the terrorist. 

The Satyagarha at Delhi last 
November on the issues of the 
release of the Jodhpur detenues 
and punishment to the guilty men 
of 1984 massacres by the 
Punjab action committiee and 
the one-day vigil at Amritsar (I 
was the concener) to focus 
attention on the implications of 
killings ofinnocent people in 
Punjab contributed to underlining 
the autonomous character of 
these issues and weakening the 
Hindu-Sikh polarisation. Many 
more Sikhs did so in Amritsar. 
The popular response was 
favourable in both places. 

On a separate occasion, the 
presaent writer along with Syed 
Shahabuddin, Mr. Rajni Kothari 


and others had declared in a joint 
statement that we would be 
betraying our frienship for the 
Sikhs if we did not warn them 
that continuation of innocent kil- 
lings in the name of the panth 
would threatentheir very exis- 
tence as a civilised and religious 
community. We urged the terror- 
ists to stop innocent killings 
unconditionally and unilaterally. 

Innocent Killings 

it is difficult to identify all the 
factors that eventually influenced 
various groups to declare their 
opposition to innocent killings. 
The Babbar Khalsa, Khalsa Lib- 
eration Force, Khalsa Com- 
mando Force, Bhindranwale 
Tigers, Damdami Taksal and 
panthic committiee made similar 
declarations on the subject one 
after the other. 

It is at this stage that the gov- 
ernment of India started its polit- 
ical initiatives with the release of 
40 Jodhpur detenus and Mr. 
Jasbir Singh Rode. But what ail 
government initiatives have 
j always done is to polarise the 
situation between the govern- 
ment of India and the Sikhs. 

To be sure, these are not only 
reasons for the escalation of ter- 
’ rorist violence since the begin- 
! fling of the present year. All the 
I reasons for this escalation are 
j not known. Nor can one verify 
how far the declarations of the 
terrorist leaders disclaiming 
! responsibility for these killings 
are genuine. 

Non-official -initiatives were 
also killed in the process. The 
lack of self confidence on the 
part of those involved is no less 
responsible for their fate. One 
wonders what a Jayaprakash 
would have done in such a sit- 
uation. When he held talks with 
Master Tara Singh, or Sant 
Fateh Singh, Phizo, Sheikh 
Abdullah, President Ayub Khan 
or with world leaders on Tibet or 
Bangladesh, he did not do so as 
a representative of the govern- 
ment of India but as an alterna- 
tive leader of the Indian nation or 
as a representative of its con- 
science. 

The Sikh Panth Is passing 
through the gravest crisis in 
its history. It needs under- 
standing and not sympathy, 
genuine friends not brokers, 
frank advice and guidance, not 
patronisation. Would Gand- 
hians, humanists, civil libertar- 
ians, Chandrashekhars and 
Jethmalanis rise to the occa- 
sion and initiate a dialogue 
with all shades of the Sikh 
community on the following 
agenda? 

How to implement tha call to 
all Sikhs to fight out those indulg- 
ing in the killings of women, chil- 
dren, innocent people and 

Continued on Page 14 


20 June - 4 July 1988 


3 



THE 

FORUM 

„ ■ GAZETTT. 


Allahabad Victory 

continued from page 1 

iniit with general public approval. Clearly the opinion was dividec 

Apart from other things it obliged and one did not know how things 

the ruling party not to project were going to shape. 

Bachchan as a candidate. It was The answer became clear as 
argued that were he to be the election warmed up. Had VP 

dfeated it would be taken to be Singh withdrawn his candidature 

the defeat of the Prime Minister and had somebody else been a 

both for the reason that he was candidate instead, VP Singh 

personally close to him and in would have been^ertainly avail- 

terms of political atmosphere it able to go round the country and 

was the Prime Minister who was support a number of opposisition 

at the centre of the storm. In this candidates. But his own position 

situation the ruling party perhaps might not have been as secure 

took the right decision not to put as it has now become, 

him as a candidate. 

This was the first significant Charisma 

victory of VP Singh. Through his 

public posture and his unwaver- ow did that happen? As 

ing stand in this regard, he forced had become clear to a 

the ruling party not to project 1 B number of perceptive 
Amitabh Bachchan as its candi- observers, for some months he 

date. In fact, the by-election at had begun to lose stream. The 

Allahabad came to be seen as a slogan of purifying public life had 

referendum on the policies and made a powerful initial impact, 

performance of the ruling party. But since he was unable to 

If the ruling party was doing all broaden it into a political move- 

that was claimed for it, surely it ment, he began to lose steam. In 

need not have run away from the other words, in May 1988 VP 

context. But it did and this was Singh was no longer the same 

a development which had its charismatic leader as he was 

own logic. earlier, say, when he had left the 

As soon as that happened, the government, 

issue arose if VP singh should By fightig this election himself 
continue to be a candidate or he and by winning it so resoun- 

should withdraw. A large number dingly, he has proved that he is 

of people thought that now that still at the centre of things and 

he had won the first round, he that the issues revolve around 

could let the second round be what he says and what he does, 

won by one of his nominees who Whether he becomes the gen- 

should be asked to contest this erally accepted leader of the 

seat. That did not happen how- opposition or not remains to be 

ever and Singh himself became seen. But of this there should be 

the candidate. no doubt that he is the front 

Was that right or wrong? Was runner today. This has come 

it advisable or inadvisable? Was about mainly because he put his 

It politically the right thing to do neck on the block and risked 

or was it piece of political mal- even a defeat in this election. It 

adroituem? Opinion was divided was one of those political gam- 
on the subject and some people bles that pliticians sometimes 
thought that in becoming a can- cannot avoid . Fortunately for 
didate VP Singh had not acted in him and for the opposition the 

his own interest. What if he were gamble has paid off and hence- 

to lose? In that case he would be forth whatever else happens, or 

eleminaled as a contender in the does not happen, he will con- 

political race. It was too much of tinue to be the central figure in 

a risk opined some others. the opposition ranks. 



Jan IVIorcha candidate V.P. Singh takes a break from campaigning. 


There are a couple of other 
ambitious and unscrupulous 
indiviuals in the opposition 
who would not like him to be 
accepted as the leader and 
would sabotage him in what- 
ever way they can. It should 
not be necessary to mention 
names, for the reference is 
quite obvious. The fact 
remains that, as argued by a 
number of people, the biggest 
defenders of the ruling party 
are to be found in the opposi- 
tion. Whether they continue to 
play this role or are now rend- 
ered somewhat lese marginal 
the overall situation will be 
known in the weeks and 
months to come. All that one 
can say is that VP Singh is not 
a man who can now be trifled 
with any longer. 

And this brings us to the 
second dimension of his ach- 
ievement which is the manner in 
which he conducted his cam- 
paign and fought his way to vie- I 
tory. It is not necessary to 
subscribe to everything that the 
votaries of VP Singh claim for 
him. He was not in favour of put- 
ting up posters, gates and a 
dozen other things which are 
both expensive and wasteful. But 
since every other party was 
doing it, he also had to fall in line. 
While it is true that he kept him- 
self personnaly above some of 
these party matters, there were 
others working on his behalf who 
more or less did what everyone 
else was doing. To that extent 
VP Singh's aspiration to set up 
new norms of conduct has been 
qualified to a substantial extent. 

Rigg'^g j 

B ut of one thing there | 
should be no doubt. He 
conducted his campaign 
skillfully and was able to check- 
mate the state government from 
resorting to all those question- 
able mthods of rigging, booth 
capturing, bogus voting and sev- 


eral other things that could have long and intricate story how 
been done. This became possi- some criminals against whom 
ble partly because he was very warrants under the National 

watchful and alert in regard to Security Act were Pending 

whatever the State Government were allowed to operate so as 

was doing and was able to mob- fo intimidate the common 

ilise public opinion against people. Eventually even this 

misuse of power. The Election ploy did not work beyond a 

Commission also played a help- point. One or two incidents did 

ful role and agreed with him in take place but those were con- 

most of those things. But what talned because of the rAanner 

proved to bo decisive, more than In which people had been 

anything else was that all mobilised In his defence, 

attempts of the authorities were I* °ne hs to sum up the ach- 
frustrated because of the vigi- ievement of VP Singh in Allaha- 
lance exercised by the common 'I should lie in the fact that 

people. Public opinion was so able to stir enthusiasm 

strongly articulated on the sub- ®nd mobilise a very large 

ject that any kind of devious number of people. In fact they felt 

attempt was immediately chal- committed to him that there 

lenged and defeated. The no question of a major sab- 

appointment of five senior police otage. And in any case even if it 
officers for instance to oversee been attempted in would not 

police arrangements was have succeeded. The margin of 

defeated with the help of»the Victory was so favourable to VP 

Election Comission. Singh that any attempt to man- 

But where even the Corrt- ipulte 10-15000 votes would not 
mission dould not secceed have worked. And that precisely 
was to have some of the notor- measure of VP Singh's 

ious criminals arrested. It is a achievement. 

Blunders in Punjab. 

Continued from page 1‘ ^ j 

able to understand their psyche. government should cash on this 
The executive of SGP*^ woulr* feeling of revulsion among the 

have sacked the pries even ii Sikhs and seek the cooperation 

Mr. Badal was not on the scene. of SGPC. if the bona fides of the 

To understand this one has to go SGPC officials are suspect, it is 

back to the twenties when the within the power of the govern- 

Sikhs launened a gurdwara ment to hold fresh elections to 

reform movement to rid them of SGPC, which in any case has 

the corrupt mahants who had the outlived its f ive years term, 

covert support of the British. The No one disputes that the 
movement lasted several years country’s sovereignty and 

in which many Sikhs became wil- integrity overrides all other 

lingly cannon fodder of the Brit- considerations but the gov- 

ish. Even Mahatma Gandhi and ernment’s sincerity of purpose 

Mr. Jawaharial Nehru admired is in doubt. If SGPC is suspect 

the non-violent character of the In the eyes of the government, 

movement. One can say that the It should dissolve it but Mr. 

gurdwara reform movement was Buta Singh has gone on 

the precursor ot the Mahatma's record to say that the govern- 

safyagrah. When the British ment would not dissolve it. \ 
were forced to hand over the whom shall the governme^ ^ 

keys of the Golden Temple to the hand over the control of the 

then Sikh leader. Baba Kharak Golden Temple then? It cannot 

Singh, Mahatma Gandhi sent a manage the shrine on a per- 

telegram saying; "India's first manent basis. The move to 

battle of freedom has been won." nominate a board to manage 

The Twenties gurdwaraswlllbecounterpro- 

The situation is now somewha* ductive. The way out is to hold 
similar to that of the twenties. ^fesh elections to SGPC so 
The SGPC was formed under genuine representatives 

the Gurdwara Act of 1925. The Sikhs can manage 

Akali Dal became the political gurdwara affairs, 
wing of the Sikhs. Now the gov- Sikhs on their part have 

ernment wants priests, accused think seriously about their 

of sedition and abetting terror- future and how best to manage 
ism, to control and manage the **^®'*^ gurdwaras according to the 

Golden Temple. SGPC which ®ikh 'maryada' and their gurus 
suspects them to be government teachings. If they do not want 

"agents" has sacked them and government to interfere in the 
appointed new priests in their religious affairs of the Sikhs, do 
place. Fortunately, for the gov- terrorists to 

ernment both the Akali Dal and manage the gurdwaras, defile 
SGPC are badly divided and money from 

there is a general feeling of people and kill innocent persons 

revulsion against the defilement within the precincts of gurdwaras 

of the Golden Temple by the in the name of religion, which is 

extremists. So there is little like- '^® negation of the secular, 

lihood of another gurdwara democratic and humane teach- 

reform movement being ings of their gurus. They should 

launched by the Sikhs. But if the come out clearly against terror- 

government goes on committing are spoiling the fair 

blunders, they might get name of the Sikh gurus and the 

together. Instead of indulging in image of the Sikhs in general, 

the game of one upmanship, the tJune 1 6, 1 988) 


4 


20 June - 4 July 1988 



THE 

FORUM 

C AZETTE. 


The Dagger of 
The Mind 

Bhabani Sen Gupta 


T hou marshal’st me the 
way that I was going", 
says Macbeth of the 
"dagger of the mind". Is that 
becoming true of the politics of 
Punjab? Is the "dagger of the 
mind" hovering before the gov- 
ernment and the elements that 
go by the name of terrorists? 
Inflicting real wounds not only on 
the bodipolitik of India’s most 
prosperous state but also on that 
of the entire nation? 

For more than ten days in 
May, when the merciless sun 
was burning the north Indian 
earth, the bullet and the dagger 
ruled the parched land of Punjab. 
^ (No one talked or thought of any- 
thing else. Indeed, the crackle, of 
bullets cried out for more crackle 
of bullets. Nerves were taut. 
Tempers were frayed. Sensible 
people cried out for blood as 
insensate armed men mindlessly 
killed men, women and children. 
Even to talk of anything except 
blood for blood and force for 
force brought scowls on other- 
wise humane faces. 

Phantoms came on the screen 
and vanished into the limbo. 
Barnala was dismissed more 
than a year ago because in. a 
single month 79 bodies had been 
felled by terrorists. Nearly 100 
were killed in three days of May 
and no one thought of sacking 
anyone. Came Badal on the 
l^^creen for a fleeting moment only 
Mo vasnish in the darkness 
because the demand for Khali- 
stan tore the skies of Punjab.’- 
Negotiations' began with the five 
high priests who had been 
appointed by the extremists. For 
another fleeting moment the 
stage was held by Darshan 
Singh Ragi, head priest of the 
Akal Takht. After he too faded 
out, all of a sudden projected on 
the screen was the doubious 
figure of Jasbir Singh Rode, 
Nephew of Bhindranwale. He 
was expected to bring at least 
some segments of the extremists 
to the softer tools of political dia- 
logues. But Rode too talked 
about Khalistan though in a 
somewhat ambiguous lingo. 
S<»n it seemed that people who 
would not talk except on their 
own terms took over the stage 
and pushed Jasbir Singh Rode 
into the wings. On Baisakhi Day, 
Gurjeet Singh, President of the 
Sikh Students’ Federation, stuck 
to the demand for Khalistan and 
declared that anyone who devi- 
ated from that goal would meet 
the fate of Sant Longowal. When 
Jasbir Singh was at his congre- 
gation at Talwandi Sabo in the 
second week of April, 50 extre- 



mists fired shots in the air in the 
parikrama ofthe Golden Temple 
and hoisted the flag of Khalistan. 
If the prime minister’s men h^d 
hatched a subtle political plot 
within the larger bloody and 
noisy plot that was being 
enacted in Punjab, it evaporated 
in the brutal heat of early May. 


tion". In other words, members of 
the Rajya Sabha called for more 
blood for more blood, and 
warned the government of a 
Hindu backlash against Sikhs all 
over the country. Little had they 
learnt from the experience of 
urban and rural guerrilla violence 
in many parts of the world. 


Blood, shrieks and despera- 
tion took over. On May 8, terror- 
ists killed 13 migrant farm 
workers in Panipat, and maimed 
26. The security forces felled six 
terrorists including Surjan Singh 
who was said to have master- 
minded the killing of 32 people in 
Hoshiarpur district on March 3. 
Next day the focus shifted to the 
Golden Temple at Amritsar. 
Here, militant elements had been 
constructing a bunker above the 
prasad ghar near the Akal Takht 
on the western side of the temple 
complex. A police party led by a 
DIG of the CRPF S S Virk, went 
to inspect the constructbn. There 
was an exchange of fire between 
the armed police and the extre- 
mists in which Virk was 
wounded. A curfew was immed- 
iately clamped on the walled city, 
and more forces were deployed 
at sensitive points. Another day, 
and a toll of ten more lives in 
Punjab. 

The Rajya Sabha was in ses- 
sion in New Delhi. "In a rare 
manifestation of anger and 
anguish", members from both 
sides of the House lambasted 
the governemnt for its "faint- 
heartedness in dealing with the 
terrorists in Punjab". According 
to a report in one of the major 
dailies of Delhi, the Elders told 
the government that its "supine 
policies" had "filled the people all 
over the couritry with anger 
which might burst in the form of 
violence" The people, they 
warned, would accept nothing 
short of "effective and result- 
oriented handling of the situa- 


spread over a considerable 
length of the latter part of this 
century. How helpless were the 
vastly superior American forces 
in Vietnam against the Vietcong 
militants, and the Soviet troops 
in Afghanistan against the 
Afghan rebels? How shrill did the 
demand for more force rise in 
America and with what result? 

A flicker of light came at this 
time from Jasbir Singh Rode. 
Interviewed by the BBC, he 
declared that he was prepared to 
reach a settlement with the gov- 
ernment within the framework of 
the constitution because "we do 
not want the country to be 
broken up". He would continue to 
try to persuade the extermists to 
drop the demand for Khalistan. 
But how could Rode conduct his 
reconciliation mission even if he 
really wanted to do so, sand- 
wiched as he was between the 
arms-totting extremists collected 
in the sanctuary of the Golden 
Temple on the one hand, and the 
security forces determined to 
flush them out, with practically 
the whole country crying out for 
blood and more blood in the 
meantime? the dagger had gone 
deep into the Indian mind which 
was at least for the time being 
not prepared to think of anything 
else. 

On May 10, the Golden 
Temple was under siege. An 
unknown number of terorists with 
an unknown quantity of upga- 
raded arms were entrenched in 
the temple complex. An undis- 
closed number of security forces 
were deployed around the com- 


plex. Sporadic gunfire was going 
on throughout the day in which 
four terrorists were killed. During 
an informally arranged cease- 
fire, the security forces evacu- 
ated 800 devoted and volunteers 
among a much larger number 
that was trapped in the temple 
complex. All exit points from the 
complex were sealed so that no 
extrmist could escape. In two 
encounters elsewhere in Punjab, 
security forces gunned down 1 9 
terrorists. 

Where did the high priests 
stand? The five arrived in Amrit- 
sar and went straight to the 
police station to lodge a protest 
(against what it was not dis- 
closed). They asked for, and 
were refused, curfew passes to 
visit the temple complex area. 
Two days later, on May 12, the 
high priests decided to get 
arrested, true to the traditional 
Indian style of politics; when you 
cannot control your followers and 
do not wish to lead them, get 
picked up by the police, you are 
in jail and you are not respons- 
ible for your responsibilities of 
leadership because you have 
embraced jaildom. Meanwhile, 
more reinforcements of Black 
Cat commandoes and other 
security forces arrived at Amris- 
tar, and prime minister Rajiv 
Gandhi met with governor S S 
Ray and his adviser J Ribeiro in 
New Delhi to take stock of the 
situtation. Even as they were 
confabulating. Black Cats cap- 
tured the tempo water tank; gov- 
ernor Ray thundered that the 
temple would be cleared of the 
terrorists, home minister Buta 
Singh made another we-will-get- 
though-with-them speech in the 
Rajya sabha, while the leaders .of 
the Congress(l) in Punjab, such 
as they are, gathered at a 
melancholy meeting and 
bemoaned that Rajiv Gandhi had 
forgotten them altogether. 

On the fifth day of the siege, 
the security men snatched away 
some more buildings in the 
temple complex, smashed 
through the Vital fortifications’ 
built by the terrorists on the per- 
iphery of the complex. The prime 
minister told his party MPs that 
there were 22 training camps for 
Sikh terrorists in pakistan, five of 
them in Lahore alone. Governor 
Ray flow into Amritsar airport to 
contet with senior police and 
civilian officers. Parliament 
adjourned, giving the govern- 
ment a welcome relief from pres- 
sure to use more force to meet 
force. 

At this stage, the stragety of 
what now came to be known as 


Operation Black Thunder began 
to unflod with some clarity. The 
government had no intention to 
send its forces into the Golden 
Temple. There would not be 
second bluestar. The security 
forces had already gained con- 
trol of the SGPC complex. Their 
first priority now was to neutralise 
the two minarets (bungas) which 
were considered to be the stron- 
gholds of the terrorists and from 
where they were sniping at the 
security forces. 

This strategy was pursued for 
the following five days, each day 
bringing in coveted success. 
Deployed in the operations were 
Black Cats of the National Secur- 
ity Guards, Army commandoes 
specially trained in urban guer- 
rilla warfare equipped with heavy 
machine guns (HMG) flown in on 
May 13, tracer bullets and flares. 
In a second act of political her- 
oism, Indian style, Prakash 
Singh Badal and 78 other Akali 
leaders courted arrest by trying 
to ’march’ to the Golden Temple. 
The government was ~playing 
with fire" by holding the temple 
under siege, mawed Badal. the 
’boys’ inside would - die, but 
would become "martyrs of the 
Sikh faith and people would wor- 
ship them". For the present, the 
79 had to seek the protection of 
prisons so that people did not 
forget them altogether. 

Operation Black Thunder was 
indeed a commendable success 
because it was completed with 
the minimum use of force. The 
number of peson who surrend- 
ered in two large batches was. 
192, and all of them were pro- 
bably not terrorists. The mini- 
mum necessary damage was 
done to the temple complex. At 
the time of writing, the govern- 
ment has not come out with an 
invetory of the arms and ammu- 
nitions captured. The television 
clips and newspaper reports 
seem to suggest that not agreat 
deal of weapons had been 
stored in the temple and the Chi- 
nese AK-47 were not too many. 
However, reporters saw the 
encounter as a mini-war, and the 
despatches they wrote read like 
despatches filed from a battle- 
front. 

Newspapers vied with one 
another to congratulate the 
security forces for parsimonious 
use of force. "The dramatic sur- 
render" of the terrorists "repre- 
sents the winning of an important 
battle for the nation and for the 
cause of civilised democracy" 
Declared The Hindu of May 20 

Continued on Page 13 


20 June • 4 July 1988 


5 



FORUM 


— (..AZhlTf*’ 


Psychic Wounds cannot be 
Healed by State Violence 

Minorities Demand Nothing more than 
Security, identity , Dignity, Not Speciai 
Rights or priviieges, not partition or 

separation ■ Syed Shahabuddin, M.P. 


From Keynote Address delivered at the IRAN A Conference on Centralized State 
Minorities, at Vancouver. 


Nisar main ten galyon ke, ai watan, ke jahaan Chali hai rasam 
kikoina saruthake chale. Jo koi chaahne waalaa tawaafko nikle 
Nazar churaake chale, jism-o-jann bachaake chale. 

Faiz 


Dialogue 


T he current state of terror 
in Punjab, this negation of 
democracy, is a disgrace- 
ful situation, to say the least. 
And, let us not be mesmerized 
by the situation in Punjab; it is 
more or less the same all over 
the country, as far as the centre 
is concerned. I can assure you 
that all the democratic forces in 
India look upon what is happen- 
ing in Punjab as the intimation of 
the situation that might engulf the 
entire country, before the dark 
night of fascism descends. 

Some of you have asked me 
questions about my party, the 
Janata Party, and its role. I am 
not here as a representative of 
my party. I did not seek their 
permission to come here, nor did 
they tell me not to come even 
after receiving some letters from 
somoeone here in Vancouver. 
But I only want to say this that 
the Janata Party and its presi- 
dent Mr. Chandraskhar-the only 
leader of national imminence- 
Spoke, up openly against Ope- 
ration Bluestar. He lost elections 
for that. He was dubbed anti- 
Hindu. All over his constitutiency 
the congress had plastered the 
walls calling him "Ballia Bhin- 
dranwale Ballia". "I only lost’ my 
seat, I did not lose my life", he 
said when asked how he felt 
about his defeat. 

Furthermore, he refused to 
visit the Darbar Sahib as loang 
as it was under control." I will not 
seek army permission to visit the 
temple; I will go there only when 
i am free to go there as a citizen" 
He went there when the army 
control was lifted. Among other 
things, he saw the library which 
was burn down two days after 
Operation Bluestar. In it perished 
many priceless treasures and 
many historic copies of Guru 
Granth Sahib. ! fiappened to 
meet ^’m soon after he came 
back. He told me; "Shahabuddin, 
do you know what I saw? 1 saw 
old SiKhs with long -vhito beards, 
standing beside the burnt libr- 
bary, picking up ashes of the 
burnt holy books and puttinc 


them on their foreheades and 
weeping. Old men weeping and 
putting those ashes on their 
forehead", and he said, "those 
who cannot understand can not 
keep the country together." 
Those were his exact words. 1 
realized the truth of if more as I 
met my Sikh friends. What deep 
wounds have the events in and 
around Punjab inflicted upon the 
pschye of the Sikh people! 

Therefore today, when the 
refer to insecurity in the minds of 
the national mihorities in India, 
we refer not only to economic 
insecurity or lack of jobs, or to 
political insecurity arising out of 
inadequate representation in the 
house of power, or to linguistic 
insecurity emerging out of the 
inability of our children to learn 
their own language, or social 
insecurity but also to psychic 
insecurity. Punjab represents 
much more than killing, arson or 
looting. Punjab is a human trag- 
edy reflecting psyschic wounds. 
And psychic wounds, particu- 
larly, cannot be healed by means 
of violence. There is no military 
solution tht erisis in Punjab. 


I have been urging the gov- 
ernment for a dialogue with the 
people of Punjab, with with rep- 
resentative of all the communi- 
ties, with everbody who is 
concerned, or matters. The prob- 
lem of Punjab can neither be 
solved by talking with old men. 
The youth of Punjab has to be 
in\^olved, as it is this youth who 
is being taken away from his 
home, and who is facing all the 
atrocities 

Back in 1984, I suggested 
three areas that need to be 
focussed upon: (i) Declare an 
amnesty and allow all those 
young men who have crossed 
the broderinto Pakistan to return 
by a certain date, (ii) Release all 
those people from the villages of 
Punjab who have been held 
without any specified charges, 
(iii) Rehabilate the so-called 
deserters. 

A group deserted from 
Ranchi In Bihar, and came to 
U.P. there where was a naka- 
bandhl (blockage). This 
groups of six solldlers with 
loaded guns in their hands 
was nabbed by the local 
people. The locals started 
stoning them, and stoned 
them to death, but those sol- 


Power and Threat to 


iders did not use their guns. 
They said, "Be.heard that the 
Darbar Sahib was attacked 
and we took a vow to liberate 
It. We shall not use our power 
against you, against the civil- 
ians". When I heard this, I 
asked my friends and the 
press whether they could give 
me a higher exarhple of non- 
violence. 

In Jalandhar, I said to the 
press that these were not ordi- 
nary deserters; maybe mis- 
guided and wrong, but they were 
inspired by a higher motive. I am 
not saying that they should be 
taken back into the army, but 
they should be treated with care 
and respect. They should be 
rehabilitated. 

Last February (1987) there 
was a round table in Chandigarh. 
In that round thable, in which my 
parly participated, the consensus 
was: (1) All the culprits of the 
1 984 massacre must be brought 
to book and punished. (2) The 
detenus of Jodhpur and all 
others who have been taken 
from their homes in punjab and 
detained without any charges 
and any trials must be 
released.^) Allthose socalled 
armay deserters should be 
rehabilitiated. (4) The black laws 
should be scrapped, and there 


should be rule of law in Punjab 
And (5), a dialogue should begin 
with all concerned, to resume the 
normal political process. This 
was the five point programme. I 
think, broadly it covers all the 
points people have been making 
today. 

* The Motives 

T he problem in Punbjab 
has to do with the motives 
of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. They 
signed the accord and did not 
implement it. They had the Bar- 
nalal government, declared it as 
secular, a paragon of virtues, 
and within three months Barnala 
also became a traitor. I recall a 
statement by the home minister, 
made on the floor of the Parlia- 
ment towards the end of May. He 
said that there is a new atmos- 
phere in Punjab. However, a 
month later the situation had so 
deteriorated that Barnala had to 
go and the President's rule was 
imposed on Punjab. You ask 
them and they have no answer, 
they have remedy and they have 
no strategy, except repression. 
They keep on repeating like a 
parrot; "We shall not hold a t; ) 
we shall not have a representa- 
tive government, we shall not 
resume the political process uniti 
terrorism is eliminated." and, I 
am sure that they know that 
through the methods they have 
employed, they are nowqhre 
near eliminating terrorism. They 
are forever generating more and 
more terrorism. 

What Is their purpose, then? 
They are not so foolish, after 
all. There must be a purpose 
behind all this, a method 
behind this madness? They 
know well, that the Sikh 
masses in Punjab have 
retained th'eir .sanity, their bal- 
ance. The press never says 
this, of course. The press 
never tell the Indian people ) 
the rest of the country that In 
every village of Punjab the 
Sikhs are In a majority, and yet 
not a single Hindu family has 
been hurt In the entire Punjab 
countryside by the local 
people, yet the media projects 
to the nation there Is rampant 
communalism In Punj-'b, that 
no Hindu is safe, and that the 
Hindus are therefore running 
away. 

Sikhs not for Khalistan 

I want to be very frank with 
you. In my view, the idea of an 
independent Khalistan has not 
taken roots among the Sikh 
masses. A Sikh is conscious and 
proud of being a Sikh, but no 
Sikh can really think of himself 
being other them an Indian. And 
yet, if the government goes on in 
this manner, how long will this 
feeling persist? Time is running 
out. To Rajiv Gandhi, however, 
all that matters is the prospect of 
the next election. All these 
problems — the Babri Masjid, the 
Punjab issue, the uniform civil 
code, can be resolved wihtout 
- much difficulty, either on the 



6 


20 June - 4 July 1988 


basis of a national consensus or 
within the constitutional scheme. 
They are deliberately left unre- 
solved in order to keep the fires 
burning. Only at the time of the 
election, they will decide what 
they want or do not want to do. 
For instance, in the case of the 
Babari Masjid, if they decide that 
they need the Muslim votes, they 
migh make a few concessions in 
order to woo the Muslims. On the 
whole today, it is on the basis of 
Hindu solidarity that they hope to 
keep their hold on the Hindi belt. 

Therefore, rt seems to me, that 
they want to keep the fires brun- 
ing, and are not sincere about 
finding a solution. As I say this, 
I feel very unhappy, not as a 
member of the opposition party 
so much, but as an Indian. They 
are engaging in too much brink- 
manship, in excessively playing 
with the fate of the nation, in too 
much exploitation of a political 
situation for the purpose of a 
party. Is the party more impor- 
tant, is the Congress more 
important than the country? Is 
Rajiv Gandhi more important 
thean the people of India? this is 
the foremost question in my 
(^r'ind. 

They have sufficient ana- 
lysts to know that Punjab Is 
not a law and order problem, 
that it Is not a religious prob- 
lem, nor an economic prob- 
lem, nor even a territorial 
problem. And even if ft is a 
problem of Chandigarh, or the 
canal waters, or more Indus- 
tries to Punjab, what prevents 
the centre from advancing on 
all these points even under the 
.President's rule? They make 
not the slightest move to 
address these Issues, but are 
solely occupied In arresting or 
killing people. 

Foreign Hand 

shows not a bank- 

I ruptcy of ideas, in my 

I view, but reflects a very 
dangerous game cunning tactics 
that have been well worked 
upon. And they keep laying the 
entire blame on foreign powers 
and foreign hands. That is why 
I say that these people are 
endangering the very existence 
and survival of our country; they 
are, in a sense, a calamity for the 
country. Mr. Gandhi may be 
looking towards his own political 
future, but on the question of the 
minorities, on their psychic inse- 
curity, he had demonstrated a 
total lack of comprehension and 
sensitivity. For instance, the 


Hashimpura killings of Meerut 
have become an international 
issue. The Amnesty International 
have sent out world-altern on 
this. There have been three gov- 
ernment inquiries; telegrams 
have come pouring in on this 
event. And yet, when my friend 
Subramaniam Swamy happens 
to meet the prime minister and 
mention the Hashimpura killings, 
the prime minister asks him, 
"Where is Hashimpura"? 

Political Alms 

I do not understand this sort of 
insensitivity, coupled with a 
deliberate, steady progres- 
sive Hinduization of the polity. He 
may not be a chauvinist himself, 
but like his mother he is willing 
to promote and encourage the 
forces of Hindu chauvinism, in 
order to gain his political aims. 
He has understood that the key 
to his survival in power lies in the 
forces of Hindu communalism; 
that is the lession his mother 
bequeated to him; and that is the 
lesson he has taken to heart. 
That is why, while talking glibly 
about separating religion from 
politics, Rajiv Gandhi has taken 
to appearing on the Indian tele- 
vision with sandal paste marks 
on his forehead, with a Brahmin 
like pataka wrapped over his 
shoulders, and sometimes, even 
wearing a Janeyu (the certmon- 
ial ordination thread of the brah- 
mins), to public acclaim. 

Thus finally, the problem of 
the minorities is that, like 
some other social groups, 
they feel that they are not get- 
ting their due share. It is a 
question of there survival with 
distinct identity, or living In a 
civilized society with dignity, 
of living under an order of 
things which ensures their 
equality. I would like it to be 
recorded by all the people 
present here that the minority 
groups In India are not think- 
ing In terms of separatism, in 
tern)s of special privileges, or 
any bpeclal rights. Basically, 
what they are asking today Is 
what was promised under the 
Constitution of India. Other 
wise, we have to change the 
very constitutional scheme. 
Fortunately, we have not 
reached that point yet, and 
there is still hope. But time is 
running out. This system of 
economic exploitation and 
social discrimination simply 
cannot last, particularly when 
the state identifies more and 
more with a certain group 



Accords for what 


FORUM 

GAZETTE 


Famine, Sterilisation 
and Prison 


By: Bharat Dogra 


The tribal belt in South Rajasthan spread over 
Banswara, Dungarpur, Udaipur and Chittorgarh dis- 
tricts is passing through a serious famine situation fol- 
lowing crop-failure for three years what do the groups 
of social workers and actists working among the vil- 
lagers of this area feel about this situation? 


In a letter written from Bans- 
wara jail to the Prime Minister’s 
office, Mahendra Chowdhary 
and Srilatha Swaminathan, 
leaders of a peasants’ organisa- 
tion called Rajasthan Kisan San- 
gathna, have described the 
condition of famine-affected 
people as specially in that part of 
Banswara district of which they 
have the most detailed know- 
ledge as they themselves live in 
a remote village of this region, 
unlike most other social workers 
who only visit these remote vil- 
lages occassionaly. In this letter 
written on April 28 they allege 
that many workers have not 
been paid for work done in Jan- 
uary and there are also a number 
of cases where payments of 
famine relief work done in the 
summer of 1986 have still not 
been made. Further the workers 
employed at the relief works, 
instead of getting the official min- 
imum wage of Rs. 14/- were how 
being paid at as low rates as 1 
Kg. 400 gms per day i.e. less 
than Rs. 3/- per day. The letter 
alleges that there is rampant cor- 
ruption in famine relief works. 
These allegations cannot be 
dismissed easily as in the past 
these and other activists of the 
Sangathna have been bringing 
to light several specific cases of 
corruption, non-payment of min- 
imum wages, delay in payment 
etc. in the relief works. 

Hundreds of tribal women, 
this letter points out, have 
been virtually ‘bribed’ Into 
being sterlised by officials 
who promise them work, cash, 
loans, wells and other bene- 
fits. Government employees 
such as teachers, health 
workers, Patwarl, labourer 
inspectors complain that even 
their salaries are sometimes 
withheld If they*do not bring 
sterlizatlon cases. 

Sterlisation 


follow up of any sort given to 
them. There are also many 
cases of forcible sterilization of 
young men and women with no 
children or only one child". 

A delegation of 150 sterlised 
women who were not getting 
employment or any benefit pro- 
mised to them met the collector 
on March 5, Verbal assurances 
were made but nothing was 
done. 

Another serious allegation 
made in this letter is that since 
mid-March the government 
stopped the distribution of 
rationed wheat in the fair-price 
shops. 

To protest against these irreg- 
ularities and the callous attitude 
of the administration towards the 
suffering people the Sangathna 
organised protest demonstra- 
tions. The administration 
responded by arresting two of its 
prominent leaders Srilatha 
Swaminathan and Mahendra 
Chowdhary. 

To protest against the admin- 
istration callous and arbitrary 
response to their demands for 
better famine relief work for dis- 
tressed and hungry people, both 
of them were on hunger - strike 
for nearly a fortnight in Banswara 
Jail, supported by tribals dutside 
the jail. 

Sangharsh Samiti 

In Udaipur some citizens and 
organisations have joined hands 
to form 'Zila Akall Sangharsh 
Samiti (District Famine Struggle 
Committee). This committee 
made a presentation before the 
central, study team bn famine 
relief which visited Udaipur on 
May 14, in which it is stated that 
the situation is likely to deterior- 
ate in the next two months caus- 
ing loss of human lives and cattle 
deaths on a larger scale. Unless 
special efforts are made, 50 per 
cent of the cattle may perish. 

This presentation says that the 


result of adequate relief has 
forced tribals to cut trees, for sur- 
vival - an opportunity which has 
been welcomed /by timber trad- 
ers and on a rough estimate 
about 50,000 trees are being cut 
every day, paving the way for the 
next famine. 

It is pointed out in this docu- 
ment that at the time of the talks 
with the earlier study team it was 
evident that following the failure 
of both crops relief work for about 
half a million people will be 
needed for the next six or seven 
months but in January when the 
relief work started after a delay 
of 4 months employment was 
given to only 50,000 people and 
even now this has reached a 
peak of only 1 ,65,000 people. 

Hunger and contaminated 
water are causing the spread of 
diseases specially characterised 
by diarrhoea and vomiting. There 
is a serious drinking water short- 
age. Many hand pumps are out 
of order and the water of several 
others is not clean. 

In such a serious situation 
several social forestryworks 
have been held up due to 
ownership disputes about the 
land between the villagers and 
the forest department. At other 
work-sites measurements have 
not been made or else payments 
have been delayed due to other 
factors. Inrelief works and in 
sanctions for wells priority was 
given to those who got them- 
selves sterilised or brought ste- 
rilisation cases. During February 
and March top priority wks given 
to the family planning pro- 
, gramme. 

Voluntary agencies extending 
a helping hand to famine affected 
people have been recently 
pushed aside from famine relief 
works by the state government. 

Specific demands made in this 
presentation include immediate 
and substantial help from the 
centre, free fodder for the poor, 
employment to one member of 
all needy rural families, timely 
payment of wages at the existing 
minimum wage rate of Rs. 14, 
emphasis on afforestation and 
soil and water conservation 
works, special help for the dis- 
eased and handicapped people 
etc. 


Further", in the past 2 or 3 
months over 300 women in Pee- 
palkhunt area alone have under- 
gone sterilisation and have 
complained to us that they were 
bribed’ with all sorts of false pro- 
mises and not one of them has 
been even given work in famine 
relief programmes. Over 80 per 
cent of them are complaining of 
many health problems related to 
menstrual imbalances and 
weakness, giddiness etc. and 
since their operation there has 
been absolutely no medical 



20 June - 4 July 1988 


7 



~ FQ 

Indian Federalism and 


From the Presidential 
Address delivered at the 
45th All India Political 
Science Conference at 
Aligarh. 

I mmediately after the attain- 
ment of independence and 
the integration of the Princely 
States, India gave herself a Con- 
stitution on 26the January, 1 950 
in order to consolidate her free- 
dom and fulfil the new aspira- 
tions of the people. And it was on 
this day that India was reunited 
and reborn as a Nation. The 
Constitution of India proclaimed 
India as a Sovereign, Demorac- 
tic Republic and also declared 
that "India, that is Bharat, shall 
be a Union of States". 

Deriving lessons from the tra- 
dition of India’s national move- 
ment, the constitutional 
experience of the Government of 
India Act of 1 935, and also draw- 
ing inspiration from the progres- 
sive ideas of the constitutional 
experiments of other modern 
nations like United Kingdom, 
USA, USSR, Switzerland, 
Canda and Austarilia, the Con- 
stitutent Assembly with the 
Indian National Congress as its 
majority party adopted the Con- 
■stitution of Republic of India. 
Despite many differences and 
controvercies that confronted the 
Constituent Assembly, what 
emerged ultimately was a 
'bundle of compromises’ and 
‘consensus’ to provide a stable 
as well as a dynamic Constitu- 
tion for India. 

Federal Constitution 

A fter reviewing the histor- 
ical bakcgrourrd, social, 
economic and political 
diversity, the Founding-Fathers 
of the Constitution have rightly 
envisaged that a federal scheme 
with dual polity at the national 
and state levels would be more 
suited for India. It is a contrivance 
to reconcile national unity with 
the regional diversity of India. 
Though the term lederar is not 
used in the Constitution, India is 
declared as the 'Union of States' 
which now consists of 25 states 
as federal units. However, the 
states are not given the right to 
secede from the Union. The 
Constitution gives Union gov- 
ernment the power to change the 
name, territory and even the 
power to create new States. 

The Constituent Assembly 
also did not bother about the 
label as to whether Federal or 
Unitary Constitution, but decided 
to have a constitution having the 
advantages of both the systems. 
Indian federal system is unique 
and a new kind of federalism 
adopted to suit the peculiar con- 
ditions, needs and requirements. 


It has been designed to function 
as federal in normal times and it 
can be converted into unitary in 
times of emergency. It can be 
described more as an admini- 
strative or functional federation 
than a contractual one, since the 
States are born out of the devo- 
lution of powers by the Constitu- 
tion and since the States are the 
creatures of the Constitution. 

India is a fedaratlon with a 
strong centra and with certain 
unitary features. It is so struc- 
tured as to establish supre- 
macy of the Union, whiie 
assuring the autonomy of the 
states in certain fields, spe- 
cially developmental func- 
tions. 

Further, within the frame work, 
certain common institutions and 
instruments are provided 
between the Union and the 
States. 

Perhaps, the most inspiring 
part of the Union-State relations 
is the scope provided for coop- 
eration between the Union and 
the States and among States in 
the legislative, administrative and 
financial fields, notwithstanding 
the distribution of powers 
between them. Thus, the perval- 
ing philosophy of the Indian fed- 
eral system is 'cooperative 
federalism’ in order to eliminate 
rivalry and to promote close col- 
laboration between the Union 



Mahatma Gandhi emphasised 
complete decentralization of powres 


and the States. The Constittuion 
specifies various devices to put 
this idea into practice. The arch- 
itects have recognised that the 
distribution of functional respon- 
sibilities and powers between the 
Union and the States on the 
exclusive basis was impractial 
and there should be provision for 
cooperative performance of 
public functions. The Union and 
the State are considered not as 
competitiors, but as partners in 
solving national problems and in 
meeting the citfzen’s needs. 

Achievements 

T he Indian federal system 
andlhe pattern of Union- 
state relations as laid 
down by the Constitution have 
stood the test of time for over 
three decades. A dispassionate 
review of the history of the Indian 
federal system since its estab- 


lishment in 1 950 would show that 
it has many achievements to its 
credit: 

(1) The federal system with its 
strong Union Government has 
contributed to the preservation 
and consolidation of the integrity 
of India, despite many separatist 
movements that have taken 
place in many parts of India. It 
has helped the Union govern- 
ment through its legislative 
powers to deal with and to con- 
trol centrifugal and divisive forces 
challenging the Union of India. 

(2) It has strengthened the 
hands of the Union Government 
to fight against the external 
threats and dangers posed to 
India twice by Pakistan and once 
by China in the post- 
independence period. 

(3) It has enabled the Union 
government in redrawing the 
political map of India by Reor- 
ganisation of the States on lin- 
guistic basis in 1956 and the 
establishment of Zonal Councils 
under the States Reorganisation 
Act for resolving interestate con- 
flicts and for promoting 
interstate-cooperation. 

(4) It has ensured political 
stability and continuity of admin- 
istration in many states of India 
either in the case of political crisis 
or breakdown- of State Govern- 
ment by the use of Article 356 of 
the Constitution. 

(5) It has facilitated to under- 
take national planning within the 
federal framework by the crea- 
tion of the Planning Commission 
of India and the National Devel- 
opment Council which includes 
Prime Minister and Chief Minis- 
ters of the States. 

(6) It has equally contributed 
through its All-India Services to 
improve better standards of 
administration, sense of effici- 
ency and justice throughout the 
country specially in the backward 
States of India. 

(7) It has helped the Union 
Government to check the inter- 
nal distrubances that have taken 
place in many States of India, 
even by sending the defence 
forces to the assistance of the 
security forces of the States. 

(8) It has been helpful to the 
Union Government in conferring 
statehood on many Union Terri- 
tories like Nagaland, Tripura, 
Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, 
Goa, Mizoram and Arunachal 
Pradesh and making them the 
constitent units of the Union of 
India. 

(9) It has also promoted co- 
operative relations between the 
Union and States in many devel 
opmental activities like agricul- 
ture, health, education, social 
welfare and through 20-Point 
programme. 

(1 0) Lastly, it has strengthened 
the Union Government to play 
greater role in ^internatiorial 
affairs and to secure India more 


respectful place in the comity of 
nations. 

Thus, the Indian federal 
system has not only survived 
but also contributed to the 
promotion of greater stability, 
Integrity and progress of India 
for over three decades. Indian 
federalism has certainly 
avoided legalism and 
rigidity— the twin weaknesses 
of classical federalism. It has 
successfully demonstrated 
that a flexible and a dynamic 
federal system can give 
unitary strngth to the federal 
system In Items of crisis and 
challenges. The survival, suc- 
cess and progress of the 
Indian federal system have 
Justified and even proved the 
soundness of the premises 
and provisions of the Consti- 
tution relating to Union-State 
relations an sr\yisaged by the 
Fathers of the don^ltutlon. 

The Weaknesses 


A long with survival and 
progress, the working 
and experience of the 
Indian federalism for more than 
three decades has exposed not 
only its strength but also its 
weakness. There are certain 
trends which have come to dis- 
turb the balance of power and 
co-operative spirit in the working 
of the Indian federal system. The 
growing centralisation of power 
within the Indian federal system 
has gone so far as to make the 
States more as a set of subor- 
dinated than equals. There are 
some problems which have gen- 
erated conflicts and tensions 
between Union and States many 
a time. The nation has been wit- 
nessing the Union-State differ- 
ences, which have become the 
common features of daily public 
life since 1 967. The nature of the 
Union-State conflicts that con- 
fronts the nation today can be 
stated in a few propositions: 


Parliament In place of ceni 

visions of the Constitution i 
powers by the Union Gove 
ment for political advantag 

(3) In a way, it has been a 
a conflict of personalities of 
Union and St 
governments — Primal >^Minii 
and many Chief Mini. >rs of 
States; 

(4) It has been a prol 
against the encroachmen 
the Union governmetn on 
autonomy of the Sta 
assured under the exist 
provisions of the Constituti 

(5) It has been an attack < 
against the injustices done to 
States in the developmet 
legislative, administrative, 
financial spheres by the Ur 
government, that is now c 
trolled by the Congress par 

(6) Lastly, it has been a f 
for more federalisation than ( 
tralisation and a plea for rr 
autonomy by devolution 
powers and financifi'' 'esout 
to the States. 

When conflicts and confro 
tions between the Union 
States reached a new heigi 
1983, the Government of 1 
thought it wise to appoint 
Sarkaria Commissidn 
Centre-State relations, w 
has submitted its repot on ; 


The time has come in the history of Indian ll 
eralism to review and refiect how best to resd 
the issues that confront the Union and the Staj 
The nation has now come to recognise the nj 
to correct the growing imbalance in the work 
of Union-State reiations. There is need tO' 
construct Union-State relations in accordaj 
with the letter and spirit of the Constitution.. 


(1) The conflicts between 
Union and the States are more 
political than legal. It has been 
a conflict of political ideolo- 
gies, Issues, policies and 
approaches to the national 
and state problems as per- 
ceived by the different State 
governments and political par- 
ties; 

(2) It has been a protest 
against the misuse of the pro- 


October, 1987, after an elcj 
ate study. j 

Need for Review 


T he time has come in 
history of Indian fed( 
ism to review and re 
how best to resolve the iss 
that confront the Union and 
States. The nation has i 


8 


20 Ju 



I nt 

RUM 


Integrity of the Nation 



K.H. Cheluva Raju 










il legislature has become the controling power of the union government. 


come to recoghise the need to 
correct the growing imbalance in 
the working of Union-State rela- 
tions. There is need to re- 
construct Union-State relations in 
accordance with the letter and 
'-oirit of the Constitution. 

With a view to achieve consti- 
tutional ideals, to generate coo- 
perative spirit within the federal 
structure, and also to remove 
existing difficulties and hindran- 
ces in the working of the Indian 
federal system, a few reforms 
and changes could be sug- 
gested, which are indicative are 
not exhaustive, tentative and not 
definitive, for reflection and con- 
sideration. 

(1 ) Party system has a crucial 
role to play in the working of the 
fderal process. 'The Politics of 
Federalism’ may change the bal- 
ance of power, and it may con- 
tribute to harmony or conflicts 
between the Union and States. 
One of the important extra- 
'll (nstitutional developments 
' . ifice 1 950 has been the dofni- 
nance of the Congress party, 
which controlled through the 
democratic process of elections 
not only Union Government but 
also most of the States till 1 967. 
Though the dominance of the 
Congress party has ensured 
political stability and given 
strength to the Union Govern- 
ment, its dominance has hast- 
ened the centralisation of power 
in the hands of the Union Gov- 
ernment. 

The rise of multi-party 
system and particularly the 
growth of regional parties 
have lead to new type of 
power-struggle within the fed- 
eral process. As a reaction to 
the Increasing powers of the 
Union Government, the State 
Governments controlled by 
the opposition parties and 
regional parties have started 
demanding autonomy of the 
States, though they differ in 
their perception of autonomy 
of the States. The successful 
wokIng of federalism In India 
demands greater democratisa- 
tlon In the organisation and 
working of political -partibs. 


(2) The other important devel- 
opment that has come to affect 
the federal process seriously has 
been the position of the Planning 
Commission of India and the 
planning process. It has been cri- 
ticised that the Planning Com- 
mission has become almost a 
Super-Cabinet or Super- 
Government exercising authority 
on all subjects, specially the 
developmental subjets of the 
States. There is an urgent need 
for recasting the role of the Plan- 
ning Commission. The Planning 
Commission should consist only 
of expert; and its main functions 
should be formulation of plans 
and evaluation of their imple- 
mentation by the Union and 
States. This calls for restructur- 
ing of planning process, methods 
and procedures in the interest of 
the federal system. 

(3) The growth of regionalism 
in many States of India has also 
been posing a problem in the 
working of Indian federalism. It 
has been stated that after the 
formation of linguistic states in 
1956, the States have become 
the strongholds of regionalism, 
casteism and linguism. the regi- 
onal languages, regional cultures 
and regional aspirations have led 
to the growth of regional parties 
in many States like DMK and 
AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Telugu 
Desam in Andhra Pradesh, 
Kerala Congress in Kerala. The 
Sikkim Sangram Parishad in 
Sikkim, Assam Gana Parishad in 
Assam, and Akali Dal in punjab. 

Since federalism Is a recon- 
ciliation between nationalism 
and regionalism, regionalism 
to a certain extent must be 
accepted as a part of democra- 
tic process. If regionalism 
becomes a constructive force, 
it will be good for the States as 
well as the Nation. In the inter- 
est of Indian federalism, the 
Union Government must also 
accept the reality of the regi- 
onal Interests and accommo- 
date regional development 
programmes giving emphasis 
to regional development as a 
part of national development 
to remove regional disparities. 


(4) The financial imblalancei 
between the Union and the 
States is, perhaps, the most ser- 
ious problem contributing to the 
tensions between the Union and 
the States. It has been now real- 
ised that the allocation of finan- 
cial resources to the States 
under the Constitution is inade- 
quate to perform their regular 
and developmental functions. 
The appointing of Finance 
Commissions by the President 
once in five years under the 
Constitution and their recom- 
mendations on the problems of 
federal finance seems to have 
not solved the financial difficul- 
ties of the States. 

The State Governments have 
to look to the Union Government 
often for financial assistance. 
There is an urgent necessity to 
reconsider the allocation of 
financial resources and the 
Union Government must adopt 
more liberal attitude to the States 
by changing its procedures and 
principles in the sharing of 
revenues, giving grants-in-aid 
and permitting loans and other 
financial benefits. No where 
planning and adjustment jare 
more called for than in the field 
of federal finance. 

(5) The institution of Govern- 
ors has been conceived by the 
architects of the Constitution as 
a link between the Union and the 
States in the Indian federal 
system. However, the institution 
of Governors has become con- 
troversial and a source of conflict 
between the Union and the 
States. The Governors, who are 
appointed by the president, have 


The rise of multi-party system and particularly 
the growth of regional parties have lead to new 
type of power-struggle within the federal process. 
As a reaction to the increasing powers of the 
Union Government, the State Governments con- 
trolled by the opposition parties and regional par- 
ties have started demanding autonomy of the 
States, though they differ in their perception of 
autonomy of the States. The successful woking 
of federalism In India demands greater democrat- 
isation in the organisation and working of polit- 
ical parties. 


a dual role to play; firstly as the 
representative of the President at 
the State level; Secondly as the 
Heads of the States. Thus the 
Governor of a State is torrr 
between two forces. The use and 
misuse of Article 356 of Emer- 
gency Power of the Constitution, 
under which the President's Rule 
is established, has become a 
bone of controversy. 

There is need for certain 
changes and conventions for 
harmonious functioning of the 
Governors and the State Gov- 
ernments. The Convention of 
consulting the Chief Ministers of 
the States by the Prim»Minister 
while appointing the Governors 
would go a long way in smooth 
functioning of the Governors. 
There must be a code of conduct 
or instrument of instructions 
issued by the President in the 
exercise of powers especially, in 
the appointment and removal of 
the Chief Ministers, dissolution of 
the State assembly and the use 
of emergency power under Arti- 
cle 356 of the Constitution, for 


better functioning of the Govern- 
ors and Parliamentary govern- 
ment in the States. 

(6) Under the Constitution, 
the Union Public Service 
Commission Is entrusted with 
the function of recruiting per- 
sonnel for the All-India Servi- 
ces, a common civil service to 
be utilised by the Union as 
well as the States, however, 
while appointing the members 
of the Union Public service 
Commission, representation 
to all the States have not been 
given. And also there has been 
either over-representation or 
under-representation of sev- 
eral States In the All-India ser- 
vices. This Imbalance has 
provoked the opposition by 
the State Governments, to the 
creation of new All-India Ser- 
vices. It is desirable that rota- 
tion system be Introduced In 
the composition of the Union 
Public Services Commission 
and a few changes are made 
In the recruitment system to 
Continued on Page 15 





Framers of Indian Constitution provided for a cooperative federalism In accordance with the Indian situation 
and needs. 



THt 

FO RUM 

— G AZE TT&— 

The Fortnights Story 

The Extra Blood 

Gurmukh Singh Jeet 


I t was the eleventh day of the 
hunger strike by Gulab Chand 
who had been obdurately 
squatting on a piece of cloth in 
front of the Administrator’s office. 
The last ten days' stravation had 
reduced him to a mere skelton. 
Even though fat was not seen on 
his body previously, he was now 
nothing but a bundle of bones 
covered with parched skin. 

After four or five days, the 
Urdu dailies made a brief men- 
tion of the news of his hunger- 
strike but the English Press 
ignored it altogether. The Admin- 
istrator's office also paid him no 
heed. They thought that if they 
ignored him, his strike would 
fizzle out unnoticed. 

But Gulab Chand's condition 
was deteriorating. His refugee 
brethern, who had not known of 
his fast during the first two or 
three days, now came to cheer 
him up before going to their 
work. But they were unable to 
help him. They had to go to Delhi 
every day to earn their meagre 
livelihood. • 

Gulab Chand belonged to the 
village Utamzai in Peshawar. His 
brother had been murdered in 
the village during the prepartition 
riots. He had, however, man- 
aged to escape to India with his 
widowed bhabi, her three chil- 
dren and his mother. They took 
shelter in the refugee camp at 
Kurukeshtra. He had been 
betrothed to a girl in the neigh- 
bouring village of Pabbi but did 
not know what had happened to 
her during the riots. Nor did he 
know if any one from his would 
be in-laws had escaped death 
because their village had been 
razed to the ground by the 
yusufzai Pathans. 

When the Government deci- 
ded to rehabilitate the NWFP 
refugees in the new township of 
Faridabad, Gulab Chand moved 
there along with his family. To 
begin with, they lived in a self- 
made hutment. He worked as a 
labourer and thereby supported 
his family. On the completion of 
the refugee housing project, he 
was allotted a small quarter. As 
the refugees could not find any 
further work, they naturally 
became restless and held 
demonstration in front of the 
Administrator’s office demanding 
work and employment. The 
police had to resot to lathi-charge 
and tear-gas many a time to 
maintain law and order. But how 
could that ameliorate the peo- 
ple's hunger. At long last the 
Government thought of a novel 
idea. A workers’s union was 
formed. The members of this 
union were given preference by 
the Ministry of Rehabilitation in 
its building projects in Delhi. 
Once again the people heaved a 
sigh of relief and they got down 
to work. 


At Utmazai, Gulab Chand 
used to be the apple of every 
one’s eyes. They all were proud 
of his sinewy physic|ue, strength 
and courage. Me was a Pathan 
and had imbibed all the patri- 
monial characteristics of that 
race. The only exception was his 
religious faith over which nobody 
had control. He had, therefore, to 
flee from there when that part of 
land fell to the share of his reli- 
gious adversaries. His land and 
crops were left behind. 



Although he still had a heavy! 
frame, the destructive powers o| 
circumstances had eroded his 
strength. His heaKh suffered its 
first setback when the officers at 
Kurukshetra reprimanded him for 
asking for a handful of roasted 
grams and then at Faridabad 
where he had to sweat breaking 
the ballast, heaving bricks and 
carrying water to earn a square 
meal. These conditions damp- 
ened his gusto and nearly oblit- 
erated his Pathan characeristics. 
And now, the poor fellow worked 
like a donkey to provide food for 
his family. 

For some time the Faridabad 
workers were at peace with 


themselves. Various colonies 
like Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, 
Kalka Ji and Malviya Nagar were 
coming up. Gulab Chand went 
with others in a union truck to the 
work site and strained his phy- 
sique to the utmost through out 
the day. During the lunch-break, 
he untied a dirty bundle and ate 
his dry bread with salt or raw 
onion and then relaxed a little. 

While returning home in the 
evening, his face showed a feel- 
ing of contentment but at the 
same time the apprehension of 
a cheerless reception from his 
ever-crying nephew," Ma, give 
us bread: Chacha (Uncle) give 
\is bread," clouded his being. He 
Would carry with him some flour 
and other necessary things and 
after taking his meal would fall 
into deep slumbr on a matting 
spread on the floor. 

But darkness rides on the 
heels of light. So it came to pass 
for Gulab Chand. One day while 
he was catching bricks on a scaf- 
folding, his foot slipped and he 
fell down with a thud. His leg was 
fractured. When he rfecoverd 
from its impact, he was shocked 
to find that he would have to limp 
through out the rest of his life. 
Misfortunes never come alone. 
The demand for building labour 
slumped with the completion of 
the new colonies in Delhi. Gulab 
Chand was one of the workers 
on whom the merciless axe of 
unemployment fell. 

Adversity reigned supreme; 
one misery followed another. 
Unemployment aggravated his 
helplessness caused by the limp. 
But that was far less painful than 
the regular scene at home every 
evening. He spent the day like a 
street dog in search of food. 


When he returned without any 
flour in the evening, his family 
members gave him a look of dis- 
gust. For some days, they 
sponged on their neighlxrurs, but 
uhimagely hunger got its sway 
over the house. The children, 
though grown-up now, were 
helpless in the face of hunger! 
Food was needed to quench the 
fire of the stomach, but that 
implied Gulab Chand finding a 
job at a time when the majority 
ofthe refugees were unem- 
ployed. 

The most distressing specta- 
cle for him was to watch the chil- 
dren sob, "Jhai give us bread or 
give us grams. We’re hungry." 
What they got in return for their 
wailing were curses and thrash- 
ing from their mother, but this 
hardly warded off hunger. Then 
tears would roal down her 
cheeks and relieve her agony. 
His aged mother had become an 
invalid. Out of sheer starvation, 
she would torment her son "O 
Gulab, why are you starving us? 
Why don’t you go and put an end 
to yourself? Have you brought us 
here to starve? How I How I 
must get something to eat: 

Annoyed at her chiding, he 
would get out of the house and 
return in a mood of despondency 
after knocking from door to door 
in search of work. But the same 
formidable atmosphere of his 
family would choke him. 

It appeared as if the quintes- 
sence of his youth had been left 
for good in Utmaza". Search for 
bread was the most pressing 
problem here; how could he 
have leisure to think of the affairs 
of the heart? Who would now 
commit the blunder of giving 
away his daughter in marriage to 
this crippled idler? 

Occasionally he would go in 
the union’s truck to Delhi, trudge 
the roads in search of work and 
at night find himself back at 
home in the midst of sighs, 
moans, screams and complaints. 
One day, while sitting in despair 


under a pipal tree in front of Irwin 
Hospital, he was battling with the 
desperate idea of ending his life 
It was five minutes to twelve by 
the hospital clock. He felt the dis- 
tance between life and death 
shrinking as rapidly as that 
between the two hands of the 
dock. Suddently, he noticed a 
man walking dejectedly out of 
the hospital, pressing his left arm 
against his side and occasionally 
massaging his belly with the 
other. Despite his anaemic con- 
dition, there was faint ray of con- 
tentment on his face. He sank on . 
the ground beside Gulab Chand 
and wrapped his sheet around 
himself closely. Gulab Chand 
recognised him as his co-worker, 
Mohan Lai of Faridabad. 

"O Mohan! what is worng with 
you? Why have you visited hos- 
pital? I hope, it’s only a minor 
ailment." Gulap Chand show- 
ered a volley of questions at him. 

Ashamed like a thief caught 
red handed, Mohan Lai ans- 
wered, "O brother! What’s there 
to do? I came for a stroll this way. 
"But how about you you’ve got 
some work, 1 suppose? 

Pressing hard his stomach 
Gulab remarked "Mohan! I am 
the cursed one! Work? Good 
God It is impossible toget work. 

How’s it with you? Could you 
find some"? 

Mohan Lai could keep up the 
lie no longer. With the character- 
istic suddenness of the poor, he 
replied, "Gulab! you know all! 
What’s to hide from you" There’s 
no occupation save the sale of 
my blood in exchange for some 
coins here in the hospital! 
There’s no other way. They give 
you ten-rupee note and milk to 
your fill. It is this note tht keeps 
the hearth burning for some 
days!" 

Gulab Chand, seated under 
the pipal tree, felt an awakening 
like Lord Budha had under the ^ 
Bodhi tree. He realised that he 
had still one thing left and that 
was his blood which had not 



10 


20 June - 4 July 1988 





FORUM 

GAZETTE 


been wasted on any youthful 
excesses. By its sale, he could 
sustain his old mother, sister-in- 
law and her children. This real- 
isation revealed to him an 
escape from the pangs of 
hunger. The path led to Irwin 
Hospital where underneath the 
clock tower the words "Blood 
Bank" were inscribed. He lost no 
time in finding out the details 
from Mohan. And when he 
returned home in the evening, 
signs of oontentment were visible 
on his face as though he had 
found a way of defeating the fru- 
strations of life. He became obliv- 
ious to his mother’s irritation or 
the children’s sobs, and passed 
the night in the golden dreams of 
the advancing tomorrow. 

Wearing a ragged Kurta and 
wrapping a dirty sheet to keep off 
the cold, he visited Delhi the next 
day. His mind was full of all pos- 
sibilities. He entered Invin Hos- 
pital and hasitatingly asked a 
sweeper, "baba, where is blood 
sold?" 

The sweeper pointed to the 
doctor’s room and disappeared 
into thb labyrinth of verandahs. 
^ Gulab Chand sat oown on a 
Ibench outside the blood bank 
and waited in the fond hope that 
someone vwsuld come out whom 
he could tell the purpose of his 
visit. Every minute seemed an 
age to him. Soon his patience 
was exhausted and his body 
began to ache.. Time and again, 
he would untie and re-tie his 
turban to shake off the drudgery 
of waiting. 

At long last when a peon came 
out, he heavd a sign of relief. 
Mustering courage, he asked 
him, ’O brother, is blood sold 
here?’ 

The poen looked at him non- 
chantly and replied. Yes, Khan! 
It’s sold here. His sharp eyes had 
spied a new victim. 

, ^"1 want to sell blood," was all 
\ ^at Gulab Chand could mutter. 

"But we don’t need it at 
present," saying so the peon 
walked back into the room. 

The reply disheartened Gulab 
Chand. The ray of hope had 
again been engulfed darkness. 
The more he thought the more 
his heart began to sink. Lost in 
the sea of anxiety, he continued 
to sit on the bench. He was not 
bold enough to employ Mohan 
Lai's technique of bribing the 
peon. During this time the peon 
came out once or twice and cas- 
ually looked at him but did not 
utter a wood. He also did not 
wish to lose his victim. At last, 
with a show of artificial sympa- 
thy, he asked "Why Khan! Why 
are you sitting now? I’ve told you 
already that we don't need blood 
any more. 

Gulab Chand entreated with 
folded hands, 'Listen Babal I 
don’t know anything’ do as you 
please but help me to self my 
blood. My family has been starv- 
ing for days." 

The peon was vei/ shrewd. 
He looked at him and said, "Well, 
- if you are so hard. I'll help you, 
but you will have to part with a 
rupee" 


At this Gulab Chand heaved a 
sigh of relief and accompanied 
the peon into the room. When 
the doctor took the blood out of 
him, he felt his life draining out. 

But he did not betray any sigh of 
weakness on his face. After- 
wards the peon gave him milk to 
drink to his fill and while escort- 
ing him out, he alid nine rupees 
in to his hand. The tenth rupee 
had found a cosy corner in the 
peon’s pocket. 

Getting nine rupees at a time 
was for Gulab Chand like finding 
a hidden treasure. Ever since his 
arrival in Faridabad he had been 
longing to earn such a big sum 
at one time. Hiding his weak- 
ness, he walked to the union 
truck stand and therefrom to his 
home. 

Gulab Chand had his family 
passed some days with ease. 

But the old situation reverted as 
soon as the amount was spent. 
Again he went to Irwin Hospital- 
his secret hill of treasure. The 
commission w'lth the peon was 
settled at 1 2 annas this time. But 
when he came out after donating 
blood, his legs were trembling. 

The third time, the peon 
agreed to accept eight annas 
only. Now Gulab Chand had 
learnt the trick. But this time he 
vomitted the milk and had no 
energy left to walk to the truck 
stand. 

By this time some more refu- 
gees from the NWEP had been 
recovered and sent to Faridabad. 
Gulab Chand’s surprise was 
boundless when he learnt that 
his fiance, Shibboo, had also 
arrived. Shiboo’s youth had 
faded and she now wore the look 
of a middle-aged women. 
Memories of his youth raged in 
him once again with intensity.. 
When he went to meet her, he 
could not even utter one word of 
formal enquiry about her welfare. 

His emotions had so engulfed 
,him. He wanted to marry her n,ow 
and thus fulfil the dream of his 
youthful days in Utmazai 

The yearning made him real- 
ise poverty more acutely. He felt 
the need for employment and 
money to settle down with his 
love. As he could not find any 
employment, he embarked upon 
the idea of selling the remainder 
of his blood. 

Next time he came to the hos- 
pital, hb ignored the peon altog- 
ether and went straight to the 
doctor. "What’s there to sell 
when you don’t have a drop of 
extra blood in you?" 

The doctor’s words threw tons 
of cold water on Gulab Chand’s 
hopes. His oream of marrying 
Shiboo seemed to shatter into 
smithereens. With folded hands, 
he said, "Dr. Sahib! I am very 
poor. My fmily members have 
been starving for many days." 

It was the doctor’s turn instead 
of the peon’s to settle the bar- 
gain. When a syringe full of blood 
was taken out from Gulab 
Chand’s arm, he lost conscious- 
ness and lay prostate on the 
table. He did not feel like taking 
milk, but he drank it still thinking 
that it would do him some good. i 


But as soon as he stepped out 
of the gate he vomitted the entire 
milk and slumped on the grass 
beside the road. He felt as 
though life had been drained out 
of his body. His turban slipped 
from his head and dried grass 
got entangled in his hair. 

The irrigability of his old 
mother, the children's shrill cries 
and his Bhabi’s tearful face once 
again forced him to visit the hos- 
pital. This time the doctor refused 
to take his bbod, saying; There 
is no blood left in you nowl Actu- 
ally the doctor was afraid that 
Gulab Chand might die and 
cause him trouble. 

This time Gulab Chand’s 
entreties were heart rending. He 
stood straight to conceal his fee- 
bleness, but his legs were trem- 
bling. "Dr. Sahib, only once 
morel Last time SahibI "He 
began to sob. 

"I cannot accept responsibility 
for your death, said the doctor, 
Then, moved to compassion, 
added, "Go and bring a certifi- 
cate from some other doctor that 
you have still some extra blood 
left to sell." 

Exasperted, Gulab Chand 
returned to Faridabad. Next day 
he went to a doctor in the local 
hospital, whome he had known 
from some time. He gave him 
some tonic, but when Gulab 
Chand told him the purpose, he 
rebuked him, "Have you gone 
mad? You don’t have abrop of 
blood left in you to spare. 

When he returned from the 
hospital, he found his'mother and 
Bhabi quarrelling with each 
other. The cause of course, was 
the lack of food. His nephew also 
caught the infection of tears, on 
seeing their mother weeping. His 
afflicted heart became the arena 
of various emotions and grasping 
for breath he staggered to the 
Administrator’s office. The peon 
tried to stop him. Gulab Chand 
raised the curtain and found him- 
self before the Chhota Sahib. But 
before he could utter a word he 
fell down in a swoon. The peon, 
who had by then chased him, in, 
sprinkled water on his face. 
Regaining conaciousness, Gulab 
Chand Said, "It’s work that I 
want; I’ve been starving for 
days’. 

But his plight had no effect on 
the Sahib since it was nothing 
new for him. Hundreds of refu- 
gees of Faridabad were in the 
habit of pouring their dose before 
him but how cxJUld he provide 
employment ta all of them? 

"Help me sell my blood, then, 
if you can’t give me work. LookI 
How much blood I still have in 
me! Later, you may hospitalise 
me! I won’t mind? He pleaded 
looking at the proud-necked 
Sahib. 

The Sahib smiled away and 
hinted to the peon to turn him 
out. 

When the peon lifted him by 
the arm, Gulab Chand said; 
"Why not get me a recommen- 
dation from the doctor? I’ve lot of 
extra blood in me still. I’m not 
exhausted yet." The peon 
pushed him out. 


Gulab Chand squatted in front 
of the office. He failed to com- 
prehend why he was not being 
allowed to sell blood when they 
had failed to give him a job. 

On the first day, he kept squat- 
ting on a piece of cloth. The chilly 
January night had frozen his 
limbs. The heat of the morning 
sun made him a little active but 
he was conscious of himself. The 
second day passed likewise. 
When some persons learnt of his 
squatting, they came to peead 
with him and brought him some- 
thing to eat. Gulab Chnd argued 
wKh them, "Brothers, tell me if I 
am at fault. I’m not begging alms 
from these bloody pimps, I sell 
my blood , but they won’t forgive 
them. Let them give me a certif- 
icate or some work, othenvise I 
will keep lying here." 

Five days passed like this. 
Other idlers of Faridabad also 
joined him. Their whispers often 
turned in a buzz. Occasionally 
they raised slogans,. "We’re 
hungry! Give us work! But these 
fell flat on the ears of the Admin- 
istrator. He was intentionally 
ignoring them as he considered 
it the best way to tire them out. 
But righteous Gulab Chand and 
his companions could not under- 
stand where the fault lay in 
demanding work or bread? None 
of them, hoever, doubted the 
Pathan’s earnestness on selling 
his blood. 

By this time, the squatting had 
begun to be reported in subdued 
tones in the Urdu Press, but the 
English dailies of Delhi were as 
mute as before. Meanwhile, the 
strength of squatters grew and 
became a problem for the Sahib. 

Shibbo also joined the ranks of 
the squatters. The new zeal 
brought a brilliance to her wrink- 
led face. Gulab Chand imagined 
her to be in Pabbi once again. He 


saw her blushing cheeks and felt 
his dreams coming true. 

Today was the tlthday of his 
hunger-strike. The chilly nights 
had left many more Pathans 
weak. Fifteen to 20 more men 
had joined the ranks of the squat- 
ters. They began raising slogans 
to the effect that if anything 
untoward happened to Gulab 
Chand, the responsibility would 
be that of the Administrator’s. 
Their slogans and sumbers 
frightened the Sahib. Afraid of 
being assaulted, he called on the 
police. Rather than dampenings 
their resolve, this step made 
them shout "We are hungry, we 
want work" louder. 

The Police Inspector thought 
of dispersing them before they 
could cause any harm to the 
office or to the Sahib. He ordered 
a lathi charge but the slogans of 
the starving men became louder 
still, "Give us work" "We are 
hungry!" "Tell us our faults". 

When despite the lathi-charge, 
some of them remained squat- 
ting, the Inspector arrested them 
and carried them to the Police 
Station in the police van. The 
face of Shibbo shouting full- 
throated slogans was whirling 
before Gulab Chand's eyes. Her 
ringing voice was sustaining 
Gulab Chand’s courage. She too 
had received a lathi blow. 

Next day the English dailies of 
New Delhi carried the following 
news item: Gurgaon, January 
12: The police arrested a young 
refugee of Faridabad on the 
charge of attempted suicide in 
front of the Administrator’s office 
Some of his companions were 
also arrested as they posed a 
threat to law and order and 
obstructed the police in the dis- 
charge of their duties" (Trans- 
lated from original Punjab 


With Compliments 


from 


AMARJIT SINGH 

& 

COMPANY 


Manufacturers of 


MILLING, HOB CUTTER, ALL KINDS OF 
BEWELGER, MOTOR PART & GEAR SHAPER 


3817/7, Kanhaiya Nagnr 
Tri Nagar, Delhi - 110035 
Ph. 742034 


20 June - 4 July 1988 


11 





THh 

FORUM 

GAZETT9 

Accountability to Make 
Education Work 


T here are 6.5 lakh educa- 
tional institutions in Ind'a 
with 35 lakh teachers and 
an enrolment of 1 2 crores at var- 
ious levels. It is alleged that even 
with these colossal figures, there 
is very little teaching in class 
rooms. Evidence of learning in 
‘institutions of learning' appears 
to be rather dim. "Challenge of 
Education" brought out by Gov- 
ernment of India which is the 
basis of discussion for the 'new 
education policy’ states that the 
number of effective working days 
in a year in our educational insti- 
tutions is far below the desired 
leVef. Policy documents also 
state that new programmes of 
education cannot be performed 
in a state of disorder. Education 
needs to be managed in an 
atmosphere of utmost intellectual 
rigour and seriousness of pur- 
pose along with freedom essen- 
tial for innovation and creativity. 
With the far-reaching changes 
that are to be incorporated in 
quality and range of education, 
the process of introducing discip- 
line into the system will also have 
to be started here and no\y. 
However, the first task is to make 
it work. 

Programme of Action 

Programme of Action under 
the National Policy on Education 
approved by Parliament in 
August, 1986, states that Central 
and STate organisations such as 
University Grants Commission 
(UGC), All India Council for 
Technical Education (AlCTE), 
National Institute of Educational 
Planning and Administration 
(NIEPA), National Council of 
Educatbnal Research and Train- 
ing (NCERT), State University 
Grants Commissions, State 
Council for Educational 
Research and Training etc. will 
set certain criteria for assess- 
ment of performance of educa- 
tional institutions. These 
assessments will be based on 
number of days of instruction in 
a year, number of days of forced 
closure, regularity in conduct of 
examinatbns, regularity in decla- 
ration of results, regularity of 
academb sessions, quantity and 
quality, and the number of 
teachprs who absented them- 
selves with reference to number 
of days. Evaluations are to be 
brought out in the form of an 
appropriate annual report. 

200 Day Year 

NCERT has suggested better 
educational management for 
ensuring that at least 200 days 
a year are available for affective 
instruction, after taking into 
account the number of days 


required for holding terminal 
examination, school functions 
etc. Similarly, Central Board of 
Secondary Education (CBSE) in 
its bye-laws, has provided that 
every teacher shall devote not 
less than 1 200 hours to teaching 
in a year. Out of this 200 hours 
can be devoted for coaching 
weak or gifted students in the 
school premises before or after 
school hours. If any teacher is 
required to devote more than 
1200 hours extra remuneratbn 
shall be paid to Ihem at such 
rates determined by the Manag- 
ing Committee. In technical insti- 
tutions, AlCTE has prescribed 
norms of minimum teaching 
hours. Accordingly 36 hours per 
week for 32 wbeks in a year is 
prescribed for Degree and 
Diploma level technical courses. 

Guidelines for 
Universities 

UGC has prescribed regula- 
tions regarding minimum stan- 
dards of instruction for grant of 
first degree through formal and 
non-formal education. Accor- 
dingly, the Universities/colleges 
should not go below 180 days 
including preparation and exam- 
ination days. Universities should 
make an effort to raise the 
number of days to 200 or more. 
Actual teaching days are days on 
which classes such as lectures, 
tutorials, seminars, laboratories 
are conducted. Universities 
should budget their time in 
regard to work and holidays. For 
example, admissions should be 
completed by the last day of the 
long vacation. Examination 
results should also be completed 
and accounted during vacations 
to enable admissions to take 
place. In a semester pattern, 
examinations should not be so 
prolonged as to take away more 
working days. Universities 
should also see that a working 
day in a department or faculty 
does not become just a few 
hours of the forenoon. Time 
tables should be spread to 
accommodate various academic 
activities over a sufficiently pro- 
ductive working day. 

Handbook on Courses 

University should see that the 
manner of conducting a course 
is spelled out unambiguously. 
Number of lectures, tutorials, 
seminars, lab-sessions etc. 
should be worked out and made 
known in a handbook. If students 
cut classes, or if working days 
are othen/vise disrupted, it should 
be made clear that only when the 
norm is reached will there be 
examinations. 

This also involves disciplined 
regular work on part of the 


teachers which should be 
assured. Even though every item 
in a given syllabus need not have 
to be taught in the class as a 
pre-requisite for examination, it 
should, however, be counter 
productive to hold examinations 
on reduced courses. If this hap- 
pens, examinations will lose their 
credibility, students will perform 
poorly in competitions and inter- 
views, and if they are admitted to 
the next class, standards will 
also suffer. 

It Is also felt that with 14 
hours for research and 5 or 6 
hours for reading and study 
and perhaps another 5 hours 
for extra-curricular or admini- 
strative work, senior teachers 
should be able to put in about 
8 hours of teaching and labor- 
atory work Including testing 
and about 8 hours for prepa- 
ration of teaching work in a 
week. Teachers not having 
such extensive research 
responsibilities should put in 
more teaching work. 

Village Education 
Committees 

Programme of Action (1986) 
has also recommended the 
establishment of Village Educa- 
tion Committees whose respon- 
sibilities are to ensure that 
students attend classes. Teach- 
ers teach for 220 days and dis- 
cipline is maintained. These 
Village Education Committees 
are expected to play a vital role 
in management of education and 
educational institutions at grass- 
root level. While the Village Edu- 
cation Committees are yet to be 
formed, about 100 District Insti- 
tutes of Education and Training 
(DIETS), are being set up very 
shortly in 14 States because 
funds for them have already 
been released to these State 
Governments. At present pri- 
mary education in villages is 
looked after by Panchayati Raj 
institutions i.e. Gram Panchay- 
ats, Panchayat Samitis and Zilla 
Parishads. There are in our 
country 2,06,987 Gram Pan- 
chayats, 4,043 Panchayat Sami- 
tis and 340 Zila Parishads. 

Out of 35 lakh teacners in 
India no firm data is available 
as to how many of them have 
got housing facilities. It Is 
estimated that only 10 per cent 
of the collage and university 
teachers and 5 per cent of 
school teachers have house 
facilities. However, the situa- 
tion changes from place to 
place and from Institution to 
Institution. National Commis- 
sion on Teachers recom- 
mended a house for every 
teachers. The Central Advi- 
sory Board on Education 
(CABE) has llke-wise recom- 


Kuldip Kishen 

mended this facility for all 
women teachers in the coun- 
try. Mehrotra Committee also 
recommended a house for 
every college and university 
teacher preferably In the 
campus Itself. Similar Is the 
case of medical Insurance. If 
these two facilities are pro- 
vided to the teachers half of 
their problems will be solved 
automatically and the system 
not only will work but will work 
wonders. 

Proper .Climate 

Functioning of democratic 
institutions and enjoyment of 
fundamental rights are depen- 
dent on the observance of civic 
responsibility and inner discipline 
by citizens. Likewise, an atmos- 
phere of freedom, innovation and 
creativity in educational system 
is dependent on observance of 
norms of intellectual vigour and 
mutual consideration among all 
concerned. This will lead to crea- 
tion of a new eork ethic. 

In other words, unless the 
system of education 'works 
properly at all stages and In all 
parts of the country, ambitious 
programme of . educational 
reform envisaged In the New 
Education Policy will come to 
a naught. What Is required is 
a developmental climate, a 
climate of optimism and hope, 
instead of a climate of pessim- 
ism and frustration. With such 

9 r*llm9ta.AUAn m KaH uulll 

succeed. Without it even the 
best policy will fail. 

Social climate has to be 


changed in favour of develop- 
ment. This can be brought about 
best by educational agencies 
and educators who will have to 
create the necessary climate by 
putting across the type of edu- 
cational reconstruction outlined 
in the New Education Policy. The 
Centre which includes the Cen- 
tral Education agencies will have 
to provide a stimulating and wh5t 
J.P. Naik used to say a 'non- 
coercive’ leadership. The State 
Governments on whom the real 
responsibility of implementing 
the new policy rests will have to 
show the vision, will and courage 
to bring about desired changes. 
Effective academic leadership 
shall have to be provided by uni- 
versities and State education 
directorates and departments. 
Involvement of teachers an-^ 
motivatbn of students shall haC^: 
to be sought and heightened. 
Parental understanding shall 
have to be invoked through 
appropriate programmes. In 
short education sector is one 
which can spread the develop- 
mental climate in other areas. 

In other words, unless the 
system of education works 
properly at all stages and In all 
parts of the country, ambitious 
programme of educational 
reform envisaged in the New 
Education Policy will come to 
a naught. What Is required is 
a developmental climate, a 
climate of optimism and hope. 
Instead of a climate of pessim- 
ism and frustration. With such 
a climate even a bad policy 
succeed. Without It evenm- 
best policy will fall. 


In other words, unless the system of educatior 
works properly at all stages and in all parts of th< 
country, ambitious prograrnme of educations 
reform envisaged in the New Education Policy wil 
come to a naught. What Is required is a develop 
mental climate, a climate of optimism and hope 
instead of a climate of pessimism and frustration 
With such a climate even a bad policy will sue 
ceed. Without it even the best policy will fail. 



12 


20 June - 4 July 1988 



THE 


Book Review 


FORUM 


Politics in South Asia 

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH ASIA by Parmanand 
(New Delhi sterling Publishers, 1988), pp. 288-t-x, Rs. 200. 


S outh Asia comprises a 
group of seven states : 
Bangladesh, Bhutan, 
India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri 
Lanka. They represent not only 
a geographically compact region 
of the globe but also largely 
share a common history, a vast 
but common cultural heritage, 
and a similar socio-economic 
setting. In spite of this. South 
Asia presents " an intriguing par- 
adox, for it is a region of great 
racial diversity with innumerable 
culture, languages and reli- 
gions.’ In the political sphere, this 
region manifests a variety of 
set-ups, ranging from traditional 
monarchies and military- 
dominated polities to liberal 
democracies, yet the countries of 
this region face a largely similar 
problem of political development, 
particularly, the problem of 
state-building and nation- 
building. To some extent the 
"jpolitical aspirations of the peo- 
\es of these countries, again, 
present a similar outlook. A 
common approach to the socio- 
economic-political problems of 
this region is therefore the order 
of the day. This has assumed 
special significai.ee since the 
formation of SAARC (South 
Asian Association for Regional 
Cooperation). 

South Asia is recognized as 'a 
subordinate system of the inter- 
national system",, but more sig- 
nificantly it is a typical 
representative of the Third World 
countires — the developing 

nationas which share a common 
problem not only of socio- 
economic development, but also 
of political development which is 
(A^Jtively a new phenomenon 
vTObovered by the contemporary 
political scientists. South Asia 
presents not only a wide-ranging 
variety of political set-ups, it also 
presents a scene of widely dif- 
ferent political economies, with 
as tiny a country as Maldives 
whose economy is largely based 
on sea products and tourism and 
whose transport and communi- 
cation system is largely confined 
to boats, and as vast and highly 
industrialized country, as India 
with the most modern network of 
transport and communication 


system. Yet the larger portion of 
the population of all these coun- 
tries still lives below poverty linel 
Development of democracy in 
the countries of India, Sri Lanka 
and Maldives has hardly 
replaced their feudal political cul- 
ture, not to speak of monarchies 
of Nepal and Bhutan. Pakistan 
and Bangladesh have apparently 
created their so-called democra- 
tic institutions with a theocratic 
and military-dominated bias 
although Bangladesh originally 
emerged as a secular nation. A 
systematic study of political 
development within this region is, 
therefore, bound to be instru- 
mental to evolving the larger per- 
spective of pol'tical development 
as such. 

Dr. Paramanad, who has 
already distinguished himself as 
a scholar on South Asia, has 
ably undertaken this task. Unlike 
other publications on the subject 
which either present a combina- 
tion of accounts of political 
developments in the different 
states of this region (in the jour- 
nalistic sense), monographs on 
the politics of each state in iso- 
lation, or edited books involving 
brilliant insights into the problems 
of South Asia but lacking a 
common thread in order to 
evolve a unified perspective, the 
present book gives a kaleido- 
sconic view of political develop- 
ment in this region of a rich 
variety of experience. This book 
contains ten main chapeters, 
apart from conclusion. They 
broadly deal with South Asia’s 
coloniai experience, growth of 
nationalism and role of the ruling 
elites, political economy of each 
country of the region, the variety 
of their political set by involving 
democracy, monarchy and 
authoritarianism, the problem of 
institution-builling and chal- 
lenges thereto including political 
instability, politicization of reli- 
gion, caste and language as well 
as the process of modernization 
and political acculturation. 

Each heading presents a vivid 
and elaborate account of each 
country of the region as well as 
a general picture of the whole 
region. However, in order to 
focus attention on the speical 


“f'GAZETTfr' 


problems of the Himalayan 
border states of Nepal and 
Bhutan, which are incidentally 
both monarchies, one chapter is 
specifically devoted to their 
study. The introductory chapter 
gives a complete picture of each 
country of South Asia from the 
point of view of general study. It 
would have become more useful 
and illuminating if the author had 
cared to add a map of the South 
Asian region showing its constit- 
uents as well as their boundar- 
ies. Besides, the book would 
have become more comprehen- 
sive if it had included one chapter 
on SAARC, although it can be 
argued that there is scope to 
write a full volume on the inter- 
national politics of South Asia. 

The chief merit of the work, 
however, lies in the author's ana- 
lytical faculty and in his attempt 
to evolve a sound theoretical 
perspective apart from furnishing 
vast information. Most of the 
writers on area studies make use 
of political terminology v/ithout 
dwelling on its contents, causing 
loss of precision. On the con- 
trary. Dr. Parmanand has not 
used a single important term of 
political science without analys- 
ing the underlying concept elab- 
orately. Thus the author has 
given in this work an in-depth 
analysis of the concepts of col- 
onialis, nationalism, political 
economy, democracy, monar- 
chy, authoritarianisr.i, 

institution-building, bureaucracy, 
politicization, political stability 
and instability, modernization 
and political stability and insta- 
bility, modernization and political 
acculturation, he has not only 
scanned all relevant reference 
literature for the ourpose but has 
also arrived at his own formula- 
tion of the concept. Still its utility 
is not confined to that of a theore- 
tical work because the author 
has applied these concepts to a 
concrete situation in a consist- 
ent manner. 

In sum, this book begins as 
a store-house of Information 
like a good text book; then it 
Incorporates a sound theore- 
tical perspective to give it a 
scholarly character; and even- 
tually it embraces a research 
dimension. The book Is Indis- 
pensable not only for any ser- 
ious student of South' Asia but 
for every student of compar- 
ative political analysis. 

(Dr. O.P. Gauba) 


With Best Compliments from 

Satkar Financial Corporation 

2651 Kucha Chelan 
Darya Gan| New Delhi-110002 
Tele Nos. 275595, 267628 




The Dagger of 
the Mind 


The Statesman praised the 
"exemplary patience and preci- 
sion that marked the siege of the 
temple premises". Well done!", 
exclaimed The Indian Express. 
Gill and Ribeiro and their barve 
men "deserve the thanks of the 
entire country for their skill and 
the humaniess with which they 
dislodged the terrorists from the 
Golden Temple". It conceded. 
But it gave no thanks to Rajiv 
Gandhi who had from the begin- 
ning strictly forbidden a second 
Bluestar as well as too much use 
of force. The government knew 
that the terrorists who had taken 
shelter, in' the Golden Temple 
complex were not too many and 
they did not have weapons with 
them to conduct much of a battle. 
The Hindustan Times g'ave 
deserving credit to the Sikh 
masses who had not joined in 
any protest action, though this 
did not mean by any means that 
they approved the military action 
against the terrorists. The Stals- 
n.an alone pointed n" the the 
retaliatory but chery of the terror- 
ists took nearly 100 lives in a 
mere three da/s. 

What abo.it the future? The 
Indian Express asked the prime 
minister to keep his hands in his 
pockets and leave the matter for 
the time being at least to "Messrs 
Gill, Ribeiro and the men on the 
spot", that way alone could the 
terrorists be put on the run in the 
rest of the state. The Statesman 
affirmed that terrorists must 
never again be allowed to enter 
the temple with arms, and 
warned the nation to be ready to 
suffer more bloodshed before the 
Punjab tragedy was finally over. 
"The militants should be 
houndei" o.jt from every nok and 
corner" s.iouted The Hindustan 
Times. "The government must 
keep up its offensive". The Hindu 
alone, perhaps because its edi- 
torial was written more than 
1,000 miles away from Delhi 
recommended a three-point 
package" a firm no nonsense line 
of dealing with Pakistani aid to 
and connivance with armed 
extremism in Punjab", backed 
with "the political initiative"; and 


Continued from page 5 

a "serious and constructive dia- 
logue" between the prime minis- 
ter and the opposition at the 
former’s initiative. 

The ton-day siege of Mf y may 
have driven the dagger deper 
into the mind of the naiton. The 
prime minister deserves to be 
congratulated for using 
restrained force in the Golden 
Temple complex, but he is under 
tremendous pressure from the 
bureaucracy, his own party, the 
opposition, the bulk of the press 
and a majority of opinion-makers 
to think and act in terms of the 
dagger and the bullet. The Akali 
leaders have once again shown 
how dwarfed have they become 
in theface of the crisis that has 
overtaken Punjab. The religious 
elements, whether they be in the 
Panthic Committee or the Takht, 
the jathedars, priests and high 
priests, none seems to be in a 
position to bring the terrorist 
groups to the gentler process of 
dialogue. When Jasbir Singh 
Rode comes out of prison he 
may have reached the end of 
whatever road had been chosen 
for him by those who had sud- 
dently put him on the pedestal of 
leadership. 

Later rather than sooner will 
the nation realise thet the 
dagger of the mind will find no 
solution to the Punjab crisis. 
The only solution that can and 
must work In a democracy Is 
taking the case to the people. 
An election will lead to politi- 
cal realignments in Punjab. 
Let those who win govern the 
troubled state. Let those who 
do not wish to take part In the 
election Isolate themselves 
from the people. The people’s 
freely chosen representatives 
will find the way to deal with 
them. If elections can be held 
in Tripura and In the Provin- 
ces of Sri Lanka, they can as 
well be held In PUnjab. The 
prime minister will do well to 
remind himself that It is the 
dismissal of the Akali Dal gov- 
ernent by Indira Gandhi in 
1980 that brought Sikh terror- 
ism into politics for the first 
time. 

From Economic and Political Weekly 



20 June - 4 July 1988 


13 



FORUM 

-GA2ETTE 



The Fifth Guru Ar|un Dev whose Martyrdom day falls on 18 June was responsible for beginning the organ- 
isation of Sikhism. He built Sikhlsms major Shrine, the Har Mandir at Amritsar and rationalized the collections 
into tithes gathered by "Masands". He also compiled the canon of faith "The Adi Granth". He not only included 
the sayings and "Ban!" of Sikh Gurus but also of Saints and Sufis representing the Bhaktl movement at that time. 

Despotic ruler of the time Jahangir perceived in the organization of Sikh community a growing centre of power 
within the royal realm. He therefore, ordered the assasinatlon of Guru Arjun. From this time onward the Sikh 
movement entered the period of struggle. The sixth Guru, Har Gobind, sat on his throne fully armed, carrying 
two swords as emblems of spiritual and temporal powers. 


Letters 

Let There Be a Debate 


Sir, 

The Sikh comunity today is 
one of the most advancing com- 
munities of the world. In the field 
of economy science and tech- 
nology, agriculture, industry and 
all other major fields of modern 
life, they have made wonderful 
progress. Today the world looks 
at them with envy and conside- 
ration. Despite all these worldly 
achievements what today is the 
condition of its, religious institu- 
tions and social identity? Are 
they equally admired and looked 
upon in this regard? Certainly 
not, some thing has terribly gone 
wrong with them at this front. 
This goes without saying that 
Sikh Panth today is once again 
at crossroads. Eversinoe the 
birth of Khalsa it has faced 
though times time and again. 
Every 6ne knows about the 
heroic struggles of Sikhs known 


as Ghallugharas and other epic 
battles. But where as the earlier 
crisis and rough weathers upon 
sikh Panth have left us with such 
a magnificent legacy, this ongo- 
ing crisis today paints a very 
dismal picture of the Sikhs. The 
great esteem with which we 
were once held in the society, 
has eroded today. What is the 
reason? There is a need today to 
think about this deeply and sin- 
cerely. No... please don’t lay the 
entire onus on others. For a 
moment let us look down in our 
own house also. 

Internal Factors 

The Sikh Panth today is not 
only a target of the external foe’s 
but is equally suffering from the 
internal factors. And probably 
this is the factor that separates 
the present crisis from the earlier 
ones. This internal factor is most 


anguishing and disturbing 
because once one is weak inter- 
nally, one is left for nowhere. The 
Sikh society today appears to be 
a divided house. The division is 
on the basis of political interests 
combined with economic inter- 
ests. There has also reemerged 
cast division in the Sikh society. 
The Jat sikhs today consider 
themselves to be the only true 
inhereters of the Panth. The 
arrogance of Ramgharhias about 
their being staunch Sikhs is well 
known. And there is another cat- 
egory to which these earlier two 
call as Bhap’s more out of con- 
tempt than love. There Is of 
course a fourth cetagory of 
scheduled cast Sikhs to whome 
all the other three, look down 
with difference if not with con- 
tempt. And now let us consider 
the commandment of the Guru’s 

1) Manas kl Jatt sabheh eka 
pehchanbo.- Guru Gobind 
Singh 

(All men belong to one cast 
and that Is the cast of being 
man) 

2) Ja Jatti sa pattI Jette 


karam kamaye - Guru Nanak 
Dev. 

(The cast and status of man 
Is known by his deeds) 

All these differences have lead 
us to political and social differ- 
ences. the external factors are 
only utilising our internal dissen- 
tions and divisions. Unless we 
wash away these internal differ- 
ences we will not be able to face 
the common & grave threat that 
the Panth is facing. There is an 
urgent need to consider and con- 
template some quick steps in 
order to handle the worsening 
situation. 

There is no denying the fact 
that some urgent maesures are 
required to save our religious 
shrines from the reach of anit- 
social elements. But the way the 
government of India has tried to 
do this, is highly unwanted. They 
have issued an ordinance about 
which we should be well aware 
by now. It speaks of a partisan 
approach. TTie contents of the 
ordinance explicitly reveal the 
nature of its objective. There is 
no denying the fact that it is 
clearly aimed at Sikhs. It is well 
known a fact that the ruling party, 
is out to amass political capital 
out of our problems. 

There is also a talk going on 
in the press and the government 
circles about amending the Sikh 
Gurudwara Act The Sikhs also 
feel the neccesity of a clandes- 
tine change in the above said 
a(^. But we are being ruled by a 
government and the party for 
which Power precedes the coun- 
try and which considers its party 
interest as national interest. So 
don’t expect any thing positive 
and good from it. It will only pro- 
ceed in the light of its electoral. 

Reform SGPC 

The government is considering 
to enact certain laws and carry 


Terrorism 


extoration and snatching of wea- 
pons? 

SGPC Elections 

How to restore legitimacy and 
sanctity of the Sikh institutions 
through, in particular, fresh elec- 
tions to the SGPC which are tong 
overdue and nomination of the 
jathedar of the Akal Takht 
through prescribed process? 

How to revise an uninhibited 
diologue within the Sikh com- 
munity on its final objectives, 
including the pros and cons of 
Khalisthan, and ensure that no 
Sikh leader should feel Insecure 
for expressing his views and 
should not be denied safe acces 
to at least the Golden Temple? 

How to initiate a diologue 
between the two principal com- 
munities of Punjab on terms of 
living together and to seek coop- 
eration of at least the liberal 
Hindus for the common cause of 
Punjab, political as wall as cul- 
tural? How to campaign for the 
release of jodhpur detenus and 


out the above mentioned 
amendment. Since these laws 
may be required by us also, it Is 
time that we should start con- 
templating about the desirable 
changes and new laws. Bafore 
government makes any attempt 
to legislate we must come up 
with a general and more or less 
concensuous view of our own 
about the nature of change that 
we desire. Let us start a general 
debate on this issue and let the 
world be enlightened before 
hand about our view point. This 
is the most effective may to 
check the government from 
exploitiong the situation for its 
often meaner objectives at the 
cost of Sikhs and the country. 

The most urgent issue that 
demands our attention is the 
change in the Gurudwara act 
that will affect the managing 
body of gurudearas namely the 
SGPC. SGPC today has 
become a political tool of Akali 
Dal and hence it plays the fiddle 
of a particular interest group. It 
has become irresponsible and 
corrupt, there is huge misapprop- 
riation of funds going on over (h'' 
years. There is an urgent ne ) 
to liberate it from the Akali yoke 
because Gurudwarar can not be 
and neither can their manage- 
ment be for any Particular inter- 
est group. Also there is a need 
to carry out structural changes in 
it so as to make it more demo- 
cratic, objective and responsible. 
These are the issues that call our 
immidiata attention. We must 
deal witri these without loosing 
any more time. Mind you this is 
our common problem, only we 
can best solve it. 

Yours etc. 

Parmlnder Singh Bhogal 
Mallkpure Pathankot. 

- - - 

in Punjab 

continued from page 3 

punishment of guilty men of 
1 984? How to verify the alleged 
fake encounters and harassment 
of innocents by the police and 
other security forces and how to 
stop them. 

Further items can be added on 
the agenda depending on the 
outcome of the dialogue. A call 
for fresh elections to the 
assembly could then be consid- 
ered. It should be far easier for 
a duly elected state government 
on interstate disputes then was 
the case in the Sikh-Centre neg- 
otiations. It is only at this stage 
that the pending issues regard- 
ing the return of Punjabi- 
speaking areas to Punjab and its 
status within India could be taken 
up by .the elected government of 
the state with the centre. 

There is certainly no ground 
for over optimism on the possi- 
bility of evolving a consensus on 
such an agenda. But the process 
of dialogue Is likely to release 
healthy forces. (Courtesy Times 
of India) 


14 


20 June '4 July 1988 





FORUM 


Zia’s Democracy 


days. Immediately thereafter, 
however, the promise lost its 
force. General Zia has not said 
anything about it thereafter. The 
chief Election Commissioner 
-when asked whether elections 
would be held within 90 days 
-said that it was a political qus- 
tion and he has no right to 
answer this question. Some 
interpreters of the Pakistani con- 
stitution -> an award of Zia 
himself- quote Article 224 to 
suggest that a general election to 
the assembly shall be held within 
a period of 90 days after the dis- 
solution. They fortify their asser- 
tion by quoting Article 48 which 
categorically states that although 
the date for the polls may lie in 
the President’s discretion, it can 
be any date “not later than 90 
days". They assert that there is 
no escape from the language of 
Article 48. 

Those who know zia well 
cite his earlier promise of 
holding elections within 90 
days and then avoiding it for 

C ^months or even more. But 
^re are others who say that 
earlier he could do so because 
there was martial law and the 
situation was quite different. 
Now If he indulges In any such 
act, It would be anti- 
constitutional, they suggest. 
After administering the oath of 
office and secrecy to his now 
team on June 9, Zia onco 
again said that his first prior- 
ity will be election to the 
National Assembly. 

Coupled with the timing of the 
election, there is the question of 
participation of political parties 
therein. If all political parties 
-including those with grassroots 
support - are allowed to partici- 
pate in any future parliamentary 
will it not be a risk for the 
5wi1fical survival of Zia? And 
should it be so, will Zia do 
nothing to preempt such an 
eventuality. These are crucial 
questions at this hour. General 
Zia would certainly like the 
exclusion of a political party like 
the Pakistan People’s Party. 
Analysts believe that Benazir’s 
pregnancy was one of the pre- 
cipitating factors for Zia’s action 
on May 29. As it is, a number of 
political parties have announced 
their intentbn to participate in the 
forthcoming election. The 9-party 
Movement for Restoration of 
democracy (MRD) has also 
announced its intention to con- 
test these elections. In fact, 
many political parties have also 
regretted their decision of boy- 
cotting the 1 985 polls on individ- 
ual basis - for parties were not 
allowed to contest those elec- 
tions. 

Another enescapable question 
that emerges at this point is 
whether non-registered parties 
would be allowed to participate 
in the forthcoming election. On 
reply to this question hinges the 
future of many a politic^f party, 
including the Pakistan People’s 


Continued from page 16 
Party country’s most strong 
party. 

Indo-Pak Relations 

I t is time to analyse the state 
of Indo-Pak relations under 
Zia’s regime. Many believe 
that it was Junejo, who more 
than Zia, wanted tension 
between India and Pakistan and 
it was he who was mainly 
responsible for creating tension 
in the siachen region. How Zia 
would try to shape the relations 
between the two is yet to be 
seen. But if Zia’s Afghan policy 
is any indication, there may not 
be a tension-free situation in this 
region. Zia has been pursing the 
policy of aiding and abetting the 
Afghan rebels and is also help- 
ing them in occupying some 
parts of Afghanisatn, where they 
can establish their government. 


The Soviet Union has already 
blamed Pakistan for violating the 
Geneva Agreement signed in 
April, 1988. During his recent 
visit to the UNO and West Ger- 
many, Prime Minister Rajiv 
Gandhi has unequivocally lashed 
out at Pakistan for aiding and 
abetting terrorists in Punjab. 

Summing up 


T he politics of Pakistan 
at the moment appears 
quite puzzling. The obvi- 
ous victim in the process is 
democracy, including people’s 
participation. At the moment the 
army seems to be the dominant 
factor. Some had inded sug- 
gested that the state has 
become an extension of armed 
forces in Pakistan. This does not 
augur well for the people. One 
hopes people of Pakistan would 
feel more honoured and dignified 
in the political set-up of the 
future. 





Indian Federalism 


the All-India Services. 

(7) The Supreme Court of 
India is the highest court of 
appeal and the original court to 
settle the legal disputes between 
the’Union and the State. It must 
be said to the credit of the 
Supreme Court that it has main- 
tained its reputation in maintain- 
ing the balance of power 
between Union and the States in 
the settlement of many disputes, 
however, there has been a con- 

_troversy regarding the appoint- 
ment of judges to the Supreme 
Court. In a federal systems the 
highest court should consist of 
the best qualified, experienced 
and reputed judges from the 
High Courts of the States. The 
procedure prescribed by the 
Constitution should be observed 
strictly in securing the services of 
the best judges from all the State 
High Courts. 

(8) One of the chief weak- 
nesses of the Indian federal 
system is its dependence of the 
Union government upon the 


Continued from page 9 

State Governments for the 
implementation of national laws, 
policies and welfare pro- 
grammes. As a result, the Union 
Government is at the mercy of 
the State Government for the 
execution of the Union laws, pol- 
icies and welfare programmes, 
though the Union Government 
makes either full financial contri- 
bution or matching grants to the 
State Governments. There has 
been not much contact between 
the citizens and the Union gov- 
ernment at the grass-root level 
except in the case of revenue 
agencies of the Union Govern- 
ment. Nothing in the Constitution 
prevents the Union Government 
from establishing its own admin- 
istrative agencies in certain 
developmental spheres by creat- 
ing either field offices or the 
action agencies at the district 
level. In the interest of better 
adminstration and integrity of the 
nation, it is better that the field 
offices and branch offices of the 
departments and agencies of the 


Union Government are estab- 
lished at the district level by 
establishing an office of the Gov- 
ernment of India. This kind of 
decentralisation of the depart- 
ments and agencies of the Union 
Government will supplement the 
decentralisation of power that is 
now taking place in the States of 
India. 

(9) Though India is a democ- 
racy and a federal system. Local 
Governments, both urban and 
rural, have not been given proper 
and important place in the fed- 
eral system. Indian federalism is 
incomplete and inadequat with- 
out the existence of effective 
Local Government particularly at 
the level of villages, talukas and 
districts. Federalism has to be 
nourished by strengthining the 
forces of decentralisation at the 
State level and at local levels. 
Local Government must be con- 
sidered as an extension of fed- 
eral idea. In order to assure 
regular conduct of elections to 
local bodies and effective func- 
tioning of local governments, the 
Union Government must enact 
suitable legislation and encour- 
age the State Government to 
involve more and more people in 
the working of democracy and 
developmental process at the 
local levels. 

(10) Lastly, the time has come 
in the histoyr of federalism to 
establish an Inter-State Council 
as envisaged by the Constitution 
under Article 263 of the Consti- 
tution to promote harmonious 
relations between the Union and 
the States and for the efficient 
working of the Indian federal 
system. It may be called as 'The 
Council of the Republic’. It shall 
be an adviosry and a consulta- 
tive body to the President of 
India, whose decision shall be 


final. Establishment of an Inter- 
State Council and linking it with 
the office of the President will 
offer an opportunity to the Pres- 
ident of India to play significant 
role in the Union-State relations 
as the guardian of the Indian 
Republic. Earlier it is done, the 
better for the cause of integrity of 
the nation and for the success of 
Indian federalism. 

Dynamic System 

F ederal system should not 
be viewed as a static 
system but as a dynamic 
one. The future of Indian feder- 
alism depends upon the continu- 
ity and change in its ability to 
respond to the challenges. In the 
whole process, the equilibrium in 
the balance of power must be 
maintained without endangering 
either integrity of the nation or the 
states. This is a real challenge to 
the political leaders at the 
national and state levels. It calls 
for wisdom on the part of politi- 
cal parties who have the major 
responsibility in the working of 
the Indian political system. 

the problem of Union-State 
relations in India, particulary after 
1967, can be described as a 
'Crisis of Confidence’. A policy of 
moderation, accommodation and 
compromise in dealing with the 
issues of the Union-State con- 
flicts go a long way in reconcil- 
ing the national interest with the 
interests of the States, perhaps, 
that is the best safeguard of 
Unity and Integrity of nation. 

After all federal government is 
not an end in itself, but a means 
to an end. The prospects of 
Indian federalism depends upon 
achieving the national tasks set 
by the Constitution: 


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THt 

FORUM 

X^AZF. n I 


General Zia’s Democracy: 
Trends and Prospects 


A t Long last, after an 
expiry of no less than 1 2 
days Pakistan’s Presi- 
dent, General Zia-ul-Haq, 
announced the formation of an 
18-member ad hoc ministry on 
June 9. Though a meeting 
between the leader of the Paki- 
stan National Party, Ghulam 
Mustafa Jatoi, and President Zia 
and his emissaries after the 
ouster of Junejo on May 29 had 
prompted a number of political 
analysts to believe that the 
former may be appointed prime 
minister under the new dispen- 
sation, eventually Zia chose to 
do without any prime minister. 
The reason is obvious. Zia could 
not muster the courage to bank 
upon any hand-picked man, let 
alone any elected representa- 
tive. Obviously, if a man without 
any socio-political base like 
Junejo could gather political 
clouts and could even dream of 
removing Zia as the chief of the 
army staff, how anyone else 
could have been thought to be 
byal to General Zia in days to 
come - especially so when the 
politician concerned would have 
his attention concentrated on the 
forthcoming general elections to 
the Naitonal Assembly? 

The military constituency of 
the General, on the other hand, 
was also reported to be becom- 
ing less dependable, because of 
his so-called democratic preten- 
tions. In the event. General Zia 
has reverted back to the days of 
pre-1985 constitutional system 
(of course, without martial law 
and emergency), where he 
would both reign and rule, where 
he would enjoy both glory and 
power. 


Nature of the present 
ministry 

T hough it would be 
improper to describe the 
new ministry as 'old wine 
in new bottles", it is not quite dif- 
ficult to suggest that it is not very 
different from the earlier one. 
Those sworn in by President Zia 
include 9 members of the previ- 
ous ministry. Infact, by retaining 
the home ministery in the Junejo 
ministry. President Zia has 
pooh-poohed his own claim on 
the day of dismissal of the minis- 
try that law and order situation in 
Pakistan had deteriorated to 'an 
alarming extent, resulting in 
tragig loss of life and property'. 

In terms of regional represen- 
tation, President Zia has main- 
tained meticubus balance. While 
he has refrained from displeas- 
ing the Punjabi ethnic segment 
of the Pakistani society by giving 
them six cabinet berths, he has 
not been oblivious of the thought 
process of the Sindhhis in Pak- 
istan. As many as six Sindhis 
have been included in the cabi- 
net. The North West Frontier 
Province has got 3 representa- 
tives in the ministry, whereas 
Baluchistan has been repre- 
sented by 2 people. 17 members 
in the new ministry have cabinet 
rank and 1 has rank of state 
minister. 

The inclusion of the former 
foreign minister, Shahazada 
Yakub Khan, is instructive. He 
was removed by Prime Minis- 
ter Junejo last year after his 
defeat in the contest for the 
post of UNESCO Director- 
General. President Zia repor- 



Dr. Parmanand 


tedly never reconciled to it. 
Nor did he like the minister of 
state for foreign affairs, Zain 
Nooranl. Not surprisingly, 
Noorani finds no place in the 
present ministry. 

By including 13 members of 
the Pakistan Muslim League, still 
headed by the dismissed prime 
minister, Mohammad Khan 
Junejo, Pakistanis President has 
virtually split the party into vari- 
ous factions. Zia has also proved 
that the Pakistan Muslim League 
is nothing but the "B team' of the 
President - as it was called 
before the general election of 
February 1985. The meeting 
between the Pir of Pagaro, the 


unquestioned leader of the Pak- 
istan Muslim League, and Pres- 
ident Zia a day before the 
announcement of the new minis- 
try was quite revealing. Much 
more revealing, perhaps, was 
the Pir"s statement that he has 
no desire for any confrontation 
with General Zia. 

At the same time by rewarding 
two of the old defectors from the 
Pakistan People’s Party and one 
Muslim scholar, Zia has shown 
that everybody, who is desirous 
of being accommodative with 
him, has got some chance of 
being rewarded. At the same 
time ha has categorically con- 
veyed the lesson to all con- 


cerned that real political power 
must remain with Zia alone. 

Future prospects 

W hatever General Zia 
does to run the admi- 
nistration currently is 
of course important for the 
newspaper columns, especially 
so when he leaves people gues- 
sing. Of utmost importance, 
however, is the question of the 
general election for the National 
Assembly. On May 29 - while 
dismissing the Junejo Ministry 
-General Zia had stated that 
elections would ba held within 90 
ConUnma hit page 15 


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18 20 June - 4 July 1988 



bed and Pnnlftl by A S Narang fc>r Fkta Trust i zcSai-a prfya Vihar New Detht f I00t6, ComposeJ al DTP Services, Lawrence Read, Printed at Mutcufy Printers Chooriwalan Delhi-iioots.