India, the country of continental proportions, obtained independence later endowed with federal polity, Constitutionally. But the moves of the rulers at the Centre have been consistently on the line of converting the political set up into ‘unitary’ style. For instance during the period of Emergency in 1976, the port folio of ‘education’ which was under ‘State list’ was shifted to ‘Concurrent list’. This shift emboldened the Centre to initiate the task of formulating ‘New Educational Policy 2016’ after the gap of 30 years without due consultation with the 29 States and 7 Union Territories.
The present 122nd Amendment Bill of the Constitution on Goods and Services Tax is another move to encroach upon the rights of the States on fiscal policies. In the name of ‘unitary’ function on taxation, the avenues of mobilisation of revenue through taxes by the State is put at stake, causing impediment in the longer run, making polity of the States which are in direct contact with the citizens very dismal. However much compensation is disbursed to the aggrieved States will not fully restore their fiscal rights.
The strategic governance, proclaimed as ‘co-operative federalism’ by the present Central
rulers is practised as ‘controlled federalism’!