The Constitution of Republic of India that came into force w.e.f. January 26, 1950 is the ultimate document that delineates defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world. Indian Constitution comprises 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.
Of the 448 articles in the Constitution of Republic of India, Article 3 deals with the formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States. According to Article 3:
Parliament may by law
- Form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;
- Increase the area of any State;
- Diminish the area of any State;
- Alter the boundaries of any State;
- Alter the name of any State;
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, broadly regarded as the father of the Indian Constitution had speculated years before that whenever there’s a demand for separate statehood by the oppressed community, there will be equal opposition from the subjugated community.
In the context of Telangana issue, Article 3 was the key tag that made rounds in the news channels. While few channels have read between the lines of Article3, few other channels have misinterpreted the content.
One of the recent media studies revealed the fact that the audience look for the content they intend to have, which is close to their own opinions. Based on this fact, the media channels have been reverse engineering to infotain audiences. The news channels turned to be infotainment channels.
If we clearly examine the recent political scenario of Andhra Pradesh, the legislatures have already been bifurcated on the basis of regionalism, even before the actual bifurcation of the state. The vested political interests have been ruling the state. Scrutiny of the present-day political scenario reveals the fact that Article 3 has been misinterpreted to befool the people of either region.
At this crucial juncture of formation of a new state, there is a need to understand the spirit of the constitution in general, and article 3 in particular. One set of people have been proclaiming that Telangana Bill tabled in the state assembly has been rejected, whereas in actuality the state assembly has no right to reject any bill that has been sent by the President of India with reference to Article 3. It was not the bill that was rejected by the state assembly rather it was the resolution put forward by the Chief Minister that was considered and passed by the state assembly using the Positive Voice Vote.
Just after the concluding episode of the Telangana bill, the Finance and Planning Minister for the state of Andhra Pradesh, Anam Ramnarayana Reddy has repeatedly told the media that the resolution passed by the Chief Minister was ‘unanimously’ accepted, which is truly contradicting. If there had been a unanimous support, what was the need to have a positive voice vote from the speaker of the state assembly to pass the resolution?
Just for the sake of personal benefits, the politicians play mind games. They may be able to bluff the people for sometime and not continuously. Abraham Lincoln’s famous dictum “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time” better suits this context.