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Exploring new possibilities to govern India
India, home to various ethnic groups, and has states each having their own aspirations and expectations. One needs a strong Centre, which has become impossible under present form of parliamentary democracy. This article explores new possibilities to govern India.

A NATION is a group of people having ethnic affinity, cultural bonding and language similarity. Before the nation-state concept was adopted, various ethnic groups from different countries migrated to India and settled down at different locations. Each group, according to the definition of a nation is a nation by itself and has its own aspirations and expectations.

India's nationalism is the sum total of the nationalisms of all these groups. Therefore, our country, at times, is also addressed as Commonwealth of Nations or a state of nations. In pre-independence era the country displayed amazing nationalism as they all wanted to get rid of slavery from foreign rule but this nationalism fell apart when independence was in sight.

One group demanded and succeeded for a separate state and nationhood for themselves. This divide encouraged other groups not to accede to the Indian union and Sikhs even demanded separate homeland to themselves. These divisive tendencies were further augmented by permitting separate personnel laws for different segments of society, redefining state boundaries on linguist basis, converted the society into new breed of Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Madrasi or mahadalit, dalits, and OBC, etc.

India is lost in wilderness as caste and religion are the last resort of poor, hungry and illiterates. Each one of these deprived people have voting rights but are incapable to comprehend issues at national or state level. They vote according to the decision of local community head, thus the basic concept of democracy is negated.

We have more than 1200 registered political parties and many times more unregistered ones based either on caste or regional loyalty. They use their area of influence to get odd contenders to be elected to the Parliament or state legislatures at the cost of national parties. In the Parliament, approximately 35 political parties have their representatives and approximately 17 parties are supporting UPA rendering decision making extremely difficult. Under the onslaught of regional parties national/ state politics has become subservient to regional considerations.

India is a difficult country to rule, and it requires a strong Centre to contain the political fallout of regionalism, caste and religious fundamentalism. The present legislature-based democracy has failed because executive authority of the Prime Minister, a product of legislature itself, has been rendered ineffective due to legislative maneuvering. These two need to be separated by electing country/state head directly by voters who then govern their area with the help of professionals.

Parliament/state assembly and upper house should act as a watchdog. Crowding of watchdogs by the presence of any number of parties is to be curtailed by first holding elections on party manifesto, on adult franchise basis, then identify top parties whose combined votes are 51% or more.

In the second round only these parties should be allowed to participate. However, in this round educational standard must be prescribed both for candidates and voters. Contemporary China has a single party rule with their president as a powerful authority. This is an admixture of limited party democracy and separation of executive and party representative.

These suggestions require amendment to the constitution, which in present scenario, may not be possible. Some extra-constitutional measures may be necessary. In any case, a constitution that creates hindrance in governing the country should be junked. A weak Centre can neither protect the nation against foreign aggression nor from internal disintegration.

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