Thursday, November 08, 2012

Indian Federalism - A New Epitome Of The Concept Of Federalism

Indian Federalism - A New Epitome Of The Concept Of Federalism

If we see the development process of all the major federation of the world (U.S.A., Australia and Canada), it becomes clear that the classical concept of a federation envisaging two parallel governments of coordinate jurisdiction, operating in hermetic compartments is nowhere a functional reality now. There is no fixed, static or immutable format of a federal constitution. Each country adopts and moulds the federal idea to its peculiar circumstances, conditions and needs. In practice, the U.S. Constitution which is regarded as the epitome of the classical federation has shifted towards the ‘organic federalism’ as stated by Sawer in his book Modern Federalism. In operation today, this constitution is very different from what it was in the past. The Canadian Constitution in the wake of the demise of the laisser faire era strived towards the empowerment of the central government. The Australian Constitution also which was characterized as a true federation, has in course of time undergone a significant metamorphosis and has moved towards centralization. Pharmaceutical Benefits case is an example in this context. It is thus evident that all the older federations have also exhibited centralising and centripetal tendencies and the constituent units do not enjoy a co-equal status with the Centre. The old orthodox theory of federalism propounded by WHEARE, does not accord with contemporary realities and is no longer tenable or viable.
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