Saturday, June 22, 2024

Kishore Poreddy Column :Nizam is gone, but ‘Nizamiyat’ is still alive!

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Although India attained freedom from the British rule following prolonged struggle and supreme sacrifices on August 15, 1947, it became a Republic on January 26, 1950, by adopting the Constitution drafted under the leadership of Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar.

After millennia of rule by monarchs and autocrats, both Indian and foreign, ‘We, the People of India’, constituted India into a Republic and proclaimed ourselves to be supreme. There is no power higher than the ‘People of India’.The heads of our Union and States – the President and the Governors, who represent this great country as the first citizen of the nation and respective states, are appointed by people through their representatives.

We celebrate this supremacy of ‘We the people’ on January 26 every year. As representatives of ‘We the people’, the First Citizens lead the grand celebrations and receive State honours.It is this majestic assertion of our supremacy that Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao belittled this January 26.

Citing a deceitful and laughable excuse – the Covid threat – he downgraded the Republic Day celebrations to humiliate our state’s first citizen and Governor, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan personally.The Telangana High Court took no time to expose his subterfuge. It rightly questioned the KCR government why the same Covid threat was not a problem for the BRS party’s launch meeting in Khammam, where lakhs of people were mobilised by the ruling party only a few days back. He even disregarded the spirit of the High Court’s directions concerning these celebrations.

The BRS government’s utter disregard for institutions, traditions and conventions under the leadership of KCR is an insult to the public of our Republic. KCR brought disgrace to the people of Telangana by repeatedly denigrating constitutional institutions. Even though India overthrew the rule of the Nizams from Telangana way back in 1948, the people of Telangana are experiencing ‘Nizamiyat’ even today under KCR.

KCR thinks he is the new Nizam of Telangana State. Our Chief Minister doesn’t believe he needs to respect Constitutional institutions at any level in our three-tier governance structure. Be it the office of the Prime Minister at the Union level, the office of the Governor at the state level or panchayats and municipal bodies at the local level.

His contempt for Constitutional bodies is not limited to the Executive branch alone. It even extends to the Judiciary, a co-equal branch of the Indian State and the upholder of the rule of law and our Fundamental Rights.

The Telangana CM refuses to receive the Prime Minister on his visits to the state. He uses uncouth language against the PM at his press conferences. His administration has eviscerated the powers of the panchayats and municipalities and made them dummies. His officers routinely disregard the Judiciary’s orders; to the extent that the recently transferred Chief Secretary of the state had hundreds of contempt petitions pending against him in the courts. What’s more, our CM’s contempt is not limited to our democratic institutions alone. It extends to the traditions and conventions that have evolved over decades and oil the functioning of our democracy.

Three Chief Ministers were on stage at the Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s launch meeting in Khammam. All of them had expressed misgivings about the institution of the Governor and its functioning either at the Khammam public meeting or on other occasions.

In addition, almost all political parties have expressed disquiet at different times, including the Bharatiya Janata Party. But none of them had undermined the dignity of this constitutional office as KCR did. Be it denying protocol to the Governor, or disregarding traditions and conventions like bypassing the Governor’s address to joint sessions of the Legislature, and, worst of all, scaling down Republic Day celebrations to insult the Governor.

It’s time KCR understands that he is where he is because of our Constitution. That he, too, occupies a Constitutional office. However much he dislikes the current Constitution and wants it to be replaced by one to his liking, he cannot disregard the current one, under which our state was formed, and he became its Chief Minister.

Independence Day and Republic Day are the two festivals that unite Indians of every religion, caste, creed, gender, region, and language. These two occasions are beyond politics. No Telanganaite could have imagined that petty leaders like KCR could abuse them to satiate their egos.

Since renaming the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) as Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), our Chief Minister has lost no opportunity to preach about the need for a ‘gunatmaka maarpu’ – qualitative change in our country’s polity. Additionally, he claims to be the ‘Desh ki neta’ that India needs to bring about that qualitative change.

But, going by his actions and not his words, this is one qualitative change is for the worse. Luckily, India is in no mood to encourage either him or his new national party, which lacks a sense of nationalism.

(The author is BJP TS spokesperson)

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