Social Scientist. v 6, no. 68 (March 1978) p. 65.


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Problems of Federal Polity

REPORT OF THE FIFTH ALL INDIA CONFERENCE OF THE INDIAN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

1 IN POST-EMERGENCY India, in the context of the decisive defeat of the authoritarian Congress regime at the hands of the people, the question of the structure of the State in India as related to the people and their democratic struggle, has come to the fore. It is clear that the unity of our people is a fundamental imperative of the democratic struggle, and that its advance alone is the guarantee against the re-emergence of authoritarianism. The democratic aspirations of our people get increasingly expressed in their search for a radical socio-economic transformation^ as the ruling classes respond not merely with increasing coercion but also with new devices and techniques to divide the people and divert them from their historic objective.

2 The unity of the peoples of India., living under vastly different conditions and involved in varied economic, political and cultural relations, and of the country itself, is a precious asset built up in the course of the people's struggle for freedom from a brutal and cunning imperialist power which pursued a policy of divide and rule. The militant unity of the freedom fighters was forged in a complex and difficult situation, in the face of opposition from the colonial rulers and from the feudal and other obscurantist forces which stood to gain from the division of the peoples of the Indian sub-continent. British rule was the greatest obstacle to the development of nationalities and to advancing a democratic solution to the national question.

3 The struggle for the formation of linguistic States was an important achievement of the democratic movement, which created a condition for the further development of the people's unity. The principle of linguistic States was asserted against the opposition, including brutal suppressive force, of the colonial rulers and also the rulers of independent India.

The National Question in Independent India

4 In independent India, the ruling classes have been unable to tackle the national question in a democratic way. This is a characteristic not only of the Indian situation but also of all those situations in the



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