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Coronavirus has brought India’s almighty Centre back, and Modi’s unlikely to give up control

Four decades of federal evolution made India more secure, but Covid-19 has made Centre give itself extraordinary powers, which have pushed states to beg.

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When so much hypocrisy gets on your nerves, you turn to a true Punjabi to cut through the clutter and tell it like it is. As Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh did earlier this week.

In that remarkably brave protest, he also underlined the biggest coronavirus-induced change in our larger national politics, the return of an almighty, domineering Big Centre after 35 years of shrinking.

Speaking to a Punjabi news channel, he questioned the Centre on its sweeping, nation-wide ban on liquor sale. What has liquor got to do with this coronavirus, he asked. Coronavirus spreads, he said, from an infected person’s phlegm or saliva. Now, you freely allow the sale of vegetables and fruits where these may have fallen, and which may be carrying the virus widely. But why ban a sealed bottle where none of these can get in?

Now, spare us the jokes about the old Punjabi veteran calling a Patiala peg, what else, but a Patiala peg. The former maharaja is by no means a teetotaller. But nor is he complaining because his bar or cellar is running dry. He’s exercised for a pretty good reason: His exchequer is running dry.

Alcohol and petroleum fuels are two things that a state can tax directly; the latter in addition to already sizeable central excise. This is particularly so after GST. Alcohol is fully within the state’s domain. That is why it’s been the main revenue source of our mostly bankrupted state government finances.

The Covid pandemic called for extraordinary measures. And a nationwide response. The Modi government, therefore, invoked the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act, and the fairly new, post-tsunami Disaster Management Act (DMA) of 2005 to give itself extraordinary powers to impose the lockdown. Among the activities it prohibited specifically was liquor sale. It has driven our already bankrupted states deeper into a crisis. Further, it has made them beg even more desperately before the Centre for money — oxygen to their states’ survival.

You know what Amarinder is complaining about. Most other chief ministers have the same grievance. It’s just that, because it is liquor, nobody wants to talk about it. Amarinder isn’t weighed down by any such hypocrisies. The important thing is, today, he has had to plead with the Centre for at least a little leeway with a power that was always our states’ own. That’s why we say coronavirus has brought back the all-powerful Centre we had seen shrinking about 1989 onwards.

Also read: Covid hasn’t gone viral in India yet, but some in the world & at home can’t accept the truth

Alcohol is just a symbol, if a particularly interesting one, of this big shift back in time. We now have the prime minister conversing directly with sarpanches, never mind the chief ministers. The Centre’s empowered teams are going to different states, not to survey damage caused by a flood, cyclone or drought to determine the size of central relief. They are going to monitor and audit how the state governments are managing the Covid crisis, and whether or not they are following the Centre’s orders fully. They are asking questions, demanding information by lawful right, and admonishing state governments.

And state governments are complying. Maharashtra, to begin with. It’s been probably the friendliest of all. Rajasthan has been smooth too. The only one that had been defiant, Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal, is also falling in line. The central team is requisitioning its medical records, auditing all fatalities, to check if the state is fudging figures.

Even if kicking and screaming, the state government has been dragged to not only answer some of these questions, but also carry out a somewhat drastic revision of its fatality numbers. Between Thursday and Friday, for example, the state raised its figure of Covid-related deaths to 57 from 15. It is not as if a lot of people had just dropped dead overnight. These were the deaths of patients who were Covid-positive but were ascribed to co-morbidities.

It’s been decades since the state of West Bengal, which has pretty much functioned as a republic in its own right for 34 years under the Left and now for a decade led by Mamata, has been treated like this.

If you don’t think the change is significant, remember the same chief minister has been refusing to attend the prime minister’s meetings and conversations with chief ministers, declining to welcome him at the airport, and even defying him to drive from the airport to the city.

It also fought with the CBI to protect its favourite IPS officer from arrest, and won. This change has been brought in entirely by the pandemic, and the special powers the Centre has endowed itself with. But the main reason the powers are being deferred to, is financial. With all local businesses shut, property transactions over, petrol/diesel sales down to almost zero because of the lockdown, and the liquor ban, states have no revenues. Now many will soon struggle to pay staff salaries. Even then, relief for the poor now comes directly from the Centre.

Also read:3 critical steps Modi govt must take to protect people and economy during Covid-19 lockdown

For three decades after 1947, as the Congress party, especially under Indira Gandhi, held sway, we were federal only naam ke vaaste. Most states were under the Congress and no chief minister dared to even move a DM or an SP without the Centre’s nod. Congress chief ministers could be dismissed with the wagging of a contemptuous party chief’s finger at an airport, (Karnataka’s Veerendra Patil in 1990 by Rajiv Gandhi). If it was an opposition government, it would be dismissed using Article 356.

After the Emergency, it changed a bit. Although Mrs Gandhi returned in 1980, the impulse for autonomy in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and some other states forced her to concede some ground, at least for argument’s sake. In 1983, she set up the Justice Sarkaria Commission to review Centre-state relations. A voluminous report was produced, which I reported on, along with an interview with Sarkaria for India Today. Indira, and then Rajiv, had the power, however, to toss it.

India’s politics changed with the Congress party’s loss of national domination in 1989. Over these decades, India has moved towards real federalism as ordained in the Constitution. And there is evidence to show it has worked. India is now more prosperous — or OK, less poor per capita if that’s what some of you would prefer — than before. Economic growth rates have improved consistently.

Most importantly, the one fear the Congress always held out, that the rise of regionalism will break up the country, has been totally belied. In India, federalism and a sense of national security and integration have grown together. If India is now more secure than ever in its history, internally and externally, then four decades of federal evolution have something to do with it too.

This is what is reversing now. Helped along, of course, by Modi’s method and popularity. The pandemic has brought the moral justification. We can see a mirror image even in the US now as Republican and Democratic states jostle for federal funding, and Donald Trump thinks he can order states when to open up and how much — and even overrule the decisions of a Republican Governor (Georgia) to reopen on 1 May.

These unusual times shall pass. But will all these changes be reversed? In America, the institutional structures are more robust. Here, will the Centre under Modi go back and shrink again? The history of our politics does not hold out much comfort.

Also read:It’s Indira Gandhi’s 1974 in India again, but Modi faces a harsh new reality


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  1. The same Indian states refused to comply with the Acts ( CAA,NRP etc.) passed by the Indian parliament which had the legitimate powers of passing those Bills.Now it is Centre’s or Modi’s pretex for ‘revenge’.

  2. SG has turned out to be a cheap lying hack. He knows that alcohol aggravates the symptoms of all upper respiratory tract infection, of which c 19 is one. Medical Councils/ Bodies of all nations as well as WHO advice against consumption of alcohol. The Maharaja might not know this, and the Punjabi anchor too dumb like all anchors to contradict. Modi government is following the best practices under these circumstances.
    Any facts or data to back your claim that the center will not return to normal once the crisis is over? None except your inherent bias against this government has turned you into a yellow, lying, sly, manipulative Dilli hack.

  3. Only one glaring mistake in article, Shekhar babu West Bengal was not a republic in its own right for over 40 years, but a dictatorship within a democratic India.

  4. Shekarji, you may ask the connection between Corona and Alcohol to support your friend in Punjab. Nobody can explain a person who know the answer, but pretending that he doesn’t know. What happened in Italy, France, UK and Germany should not repeated.

  5. Why are no readers’comments published on Jyoti Yadav’s post? Isn’t publishing comments go against ThePrint policy?
    Why is ThePrint allowing Congress propaganda through it’s platform? Isn’t it against ThePrint policy?
    Why is ThePrint allowing speculated opinion posts that have only political purpose to serve?

    There is an urgent need for ThePrint to ensure its policies are not violated by political propaganda posts.

  6. Shekharji, While the article is correct in arguing that the current situation has led to a more centralised control, it is only till the current situation lasts. Local restrictions and local anger against the same will give rise to more localisation of decisions again. Liquor, Nicotine and Liquid fuels will have to be allowed to flow unhindered very soon, maybe before end of Next Week, almost rhroughout the country.

  7. No rational thinking seems to have gone into this. After all it’s ‘sensation’ in The Print’s subtle way. Frustrating.

  8. The federalism that the author is praising as real is the one where the states have pushed regionalism, weakened the Centre with their unjust demands for autonomy with hardly any control, and sometimes, open hostile defiance. I wonder by which standards are we judging any of these steps as real federalism which the Constitution makers had intended to be in existence..? The rest of the article is full of apprehensions and inability to accept that a strong Centre is indeed needed to curb these fissiparous tendencies like the ones which Bengal under Mamta is displaying daringly.

  9. Yeah, more federalism bought greater economic progress. So correct you are Shekhar Gupta. Bihar grew at breakneck speed during 15 years of Laloo raj. The opening up of the economy in 1991 which had shacked India, had nothing to do with growth.

    Guptaji, stick to bazaar gossip and pseudo rants — something you are very good at. And dropping names in every article of people in power who were so nice to you!

  10. Yes good article with timely facts with good and unbiased observation. Good to read be read in print as you say that the Typo is your weapon not mike having said that you should not go off from mike plz do continue but we need you to use your Typos. We love it.

    Best Regards
    Nagesh Rao

  11. So, you want the Corona infection to surpass USA and Italy? Economy will have an impact all over the World and that’s for sure, we can see the price of OIL as an example. But, if India is unable to control now and if we also have 2lakh infected prople, with our financial strength and closely living population India will have more than 2million by September – how is that going to help the economy?

    • Shekhar guptaji u r doing ur best to bring true picture of the situation in front of people. .don’t get demoralised by this 20 rs. Per comment people. Keep it up.

  12. We want powerful center to counter centrifugal tendency of states and to tackle criminal state like WB.
    next time, BSF should shoot couple of Kolkata constables for obstruction and public will support center for carrying out its constitutional duty.

  13. Understand Shekar Gupta’s advocacy for states to be strong vis-a-vis centre but with liquor available during corona pandemic how can we expect a drunkard to maintain social distancing or follow any norm.

    What about immunity levels dropping and also domestic violence increasing due to liquor available but anxiety about earning too heavy to handle.

    Most of the drinking occurs outside the liquor shop itself or around nearby snack stalls. So next is opening of these?

    And comparison with sale of vegetables is absurd.

    This was a NOT IN NATIONAL INTEREST article /video

  14. ठेके खोल दे मोदी, इतनी अकड़ ठीक नहीं – कैप्टन अमरिंदर सिंह -उड़ता पंजाब
    Open the thekaas Modi.
    Don’t be that arrogant
    -Captain Amrinder Singh-Udta Punjab

  15. Mr. Gupta seems to be baffled by the abusive comments he got on Print yesterday. He is back to his liberandus den. If Center wont have taken control and any state got explosive numbers, these people will cry for Modi’s head. They wont ask a single question to CM if non BJP. Liberal sickulars are fighting a lost battle. Modi 3.0.

  16. Yes…w e can see how the freedom of speech and constitution is shown In their protest over lockdowns. Pls dont compare us to those nincompoops.

  17. Irresponsible journalists are missing the big picture and prescribing lifting of lockdown to save economy.

    Cost to control situation bound to arise out of lifting of lockdown and spread of Covid 19 will be humungous.

    With no vaccine in sight and lack of specific treatment, lockdown is the only way to keep India going.

  18. Corona Politics is on . The Centre is using its authority to the hilt to force the states to stoop and prostrate before it as recognition of its supremacy . Probably the Centre has forgotten that states like Punjab and Bengal have always been in the forefront — from freedom struggle to revolts and protests. Though India has fallen into bad days in terms of federalism, the day is not far when the Anandpur Sahib Resolution becomes a reality and all Indians will bask in the glory of the true spirit of the Constitution , taking the country to greater heights than ever before.

  19. For last few days, it seems that SG is jumping the gun too often.
    The fallout of the pandemic is too unpredictable. Hence. declaring India’s victory over western nations in an earlier post written by him and now predicting Centre to become almighty are signs that SG is running ahead of time.
    The pandemic is so potent that it would mercilessly bring down the most powerful rulers of the world including India’s, if only you have patience to wait till the virus runs its full course.

  20. Easy availablity of liquor will provoke gathering and party instincts among people. There should definitely be some strict regulations for purchase.

  21. It is possible for Centre to do what it is doing as Disaster Management Act is currently in operation and hence, to theorize from this temporary position does not make much sense. If India can not act like a union in difficult times, then India is no more a union of states with federal features. The other issues will follow from whether a single party is in power at the Centre and at the states and perhaps without strong states leaders, or multi party arrangement is in place. Let Shekhar focus on Covid 19 rather than get into this issue now! Why he could not pick on the issue of Arnab this week? Is that not an issue of National Interest?

  22. India is a federation of states where different patties are ruling. So India is not China to control single handedly. In the past also you have generated such stories like military coup etc. You are provoking chief ministers of other parties to revolt against present dispensation at the Centre. You don’t like the present PM because your opinion has zero value. The citizens of this country are very well aware of your influence in earlier regimes. Different situations require different solutions and accordingly central govt. is doing everything possible to contain this pandemic. So don’t be under confusion that people will tolerate Narendra Modi if he tries to control whole India as you wish.

  23. Shekhar Gupta is good at imagining things but his imaginations are influenced by what he had experienced during the Congress rule. I am sure Modi is not going to oblige him. AS per my understanding states ruled by opposition had not seen the freedom in the Congress rule that they are enjoying during BJP rule otherwise few opposition ruled state governments should have been sacked by now for their anti-centre activities.

  24. Yuval Noah Harari has recently commented ” the biggest danger is not the Virus itself. The real danger is our own inner demons, our own hatred, greed and ignorance-blaming other countries, blaming ethnic, religious (political) elements….” : we should reduce being taken away by conspiracy theories, to discern the truth and have responsible persons in government, press, media, medical and political platforms assist in so doing. If only to manage the future, which is faster than we ever thought!
    Shekhar Gupta is a great political analyst. He has been at it for decades. And he is logical too. He is implying that the situation is not yet out of control but could be; that as India evolved since the last century mother and son Gandhi eras, so may we from this situation. Hoefully!
    Politicians are responsible to public pressure finally and in India have succumbed in the past . But never has a Covid emerged in the past. This is the difference in 2020.
    The times today are different. Unlike earlier times, there is a severe pandemic-when economic activities are in a standstill, our 13 ports have full berths and several anchorages outside,waiting. Gupta is right in his apprehensions but wrong, at least for the now, in his warnings, I believe. Why?
    West Bengal has been functioning under autocratic role for 34 years, under late Jyoti, little less under Buddha and now- and how! There was only one male member in the WB Cabinet those days. Since the storming of the writers’ building, had Mrs. Banerjee been ruling in Center, would we have expected more human face and less stringency? Would our economics and politics have been under lumpen control? And would such have been a call for doomsday? Would corruption have been eliminated? Would we have asked if we could end Covid 19 by sacrificing a part of India and which State would we choose and why West Bengal?
    Because EVERYTHING we did in the past and how we did so HAS TO CHANGE in the future, post this crazy Pandemic. No more personal revenue improvement programs for the politicians, Bankers, industrialists and academicians either ! The Future has become faster than we think. Our youth understand it better these days. And if they still do not, we are suckers indeed. The birds and bees, animals are better in planet earth than us humans.
    And this is where Gupta is tripping. He is referring obliquely to the madness of state rule where its citizens are already under the feisty and stronger self proclaimed “rulers” than the Center and who have interpreted their positions as ‘fiefdoms’ – nothing unusual in India’s federal structure. Gupta revels in focusing on only one issue- central financial control. He sadly does not capture the past histrionics of our state rulers and analyze the present dispensation to arrive at future quantifiable projections with equally unpredictable Central rulers. Such have been the dynamics of the Indian State since Nehru, Patel, Indira Gandhi, Jayprakash, Rajeev Gandhi, Giani Zail Singh dynamics. Like Gupta,me,the readers, the citizens, these political persons were each also evolving….they were never perfectly evolved persons for the situations, and they decided to create the destiny of our nation. Hence we had no violent revolutions in the past either.
    In 2020 there are many more fundamental questions emerging in our minds .What about the pandemic impact on education, MSMEs, Integrated Community Behavior for instance post Corona? What about social distancing? Will our values, visions, self images, feelings alter drastically? Why Is brilliant introspective Gupta’s domain limited to politics ?
    We have to be more objective for this unique occasion when literally there are millions going without food, medical care limited, schools/colleges closed and more than 80% of the political class incapable of ever imagining this situation emerging and still less knowing what to make of it save parrot what their leaders ‘wisdom’ makes them say. Could people in Bengal have ever imagined an ‘audit’ committee to screen Covid deaths; as if in reducing the number of deaths in this crisis compared to other States, would have got the GoWB the Bharat Ratna in December 202O! Is this not ridiculous even as the Covid strikes deeper? The dictatorship Gupta apprehends in future, has been democratically prevalent in WB for years under unique garb of a “Bohemian Rhapsody”, unseen, unheard and unpracticed anywhere else in the world yet. an he write on this also to trigger some restraint in WB?
    Why should not there be more financial powers given to the Center NOW? If Mamata or Sonia were in the Center ruling now, I would have asked the same question off Gupta. In a crisis/emergency, heads of families tighten the strings everywhere; as will any PM in India today. What needs to be seen is which way the PM is moving….and if, as in Emergency days, Public is vigilant, then the PM will know what to do, when and how. And if he does not read the call of the day, he will perish or the military may take over and like any other similar mismanaged place in the rest of the world, India shall be in more doldrums or in ecstasy due to ineffective/effective management of the 3Ms.
    Creation of a Totalitarian Regime is very possible. Perhaps Mr. Gupta is apprehending such chaos.Let us await. BUT, what to do now is more important than trembling in fear of such futuristic regimes? Like the migrant hungry laborers, are they more afraid of Corona or dying of hunger when it comes to a choice? In WB for example, we are trembling from the fear of dying or being infected due to mismanagement and overt ‘milk and honey’ approach than stricter discipline when it was necessary. And yet you write on Dictatorship but not this real problem haunting us. We have a Governor screaming for the right or wrong reasons here and we do not understand because nowhere else is a Constitutional Authority screaming as wild and warning. Now the many illiterates may take this as entertainment but million others with common sense, with their lives up in the stakes created by a government in overtly humanitarian mode, cannot quire relax and talk of future possibilities. Our resent is in danger of annhilation!.
    In WB, for example, we have already been living under such regimes where the milk of human kindness has been over flowing. Mr. Gupta is as aware of it as many other literates. Many love it, others abhor it. Many understand the games being played in our evolved democracy.
    The question will remain on two counts finally-
    1. Will the State and Central leadership display Comprador or Nationalistic qualities in this crisis and save us citizens? and
    2. Are Indians as a TEAM, prepared to get into TOP GEAR hence because the way we were doing everything in the past (including managing academics,politics, journalism,parenting, administering; in short behaving! ) WILL NOT WORK IN THE FUTURE.
    This is precisely what Harari and many others are indicating and persons like Mr. Shekhar Gupta are in a better position to scale up the platform of Indians across all classes than most others on such critical 3M issues. No point in fear-dosing on how to deal/fight the despotic demon (pandemic/State or Central ruler); better to teach the art of combat warfare/self reliance e.g. to those many who are capable of listening. Otherwise, everything becomes “art for art’s sake” around us in India and Mr. Shekhar Gupta holds it in his powerful intelligence to assist us out of this political slug fest frenzy. I really wish him to receive the Bharat Ratna in 5 years from today for services thus rendered to the People of India- from the migrant worker, villagers, workers, students, thinkers-under futuristic Integrated Community (ICB Hubs) multi faceted, self reliant, multi administered pockets of socio-economic activities, where all parts are related to the whole CAUSALLY and never CASUALLY, as of now. May he be a Ray of Hope .
    Yes or No?
    So PRINT must be more generous and motivating to its readers with takeaways too. Love and Courage

    • Sir, Your rebuttal is bigger and better than the SG article itself. I think, you need to be writing in opinion page, if SG allows you. Excellent points on centre-state relationship and current scenario. Now I start admiring Modi more.

  25. Print is best And how much money did u get to criticize best pm of the world ……he is and will be best pm og world and rahul is pappu and antina manino is itilan and she is agent adn she ia looting india and she dont know how to handle india so she will now become in her life Print is best And how much money did u get to criticize best pm of the world ……he is and will be best pm og world and rahul is pappu and antina manino is itilan and she is agent adn she ia looting india and she dont know how to handle india so she will now become in her life Print is best And how much money did u get to criticize best pm of the world ……he is and will be best pm og world and rahul is pappu and antina manino is itilan and she is agent adn she ia looting india and she dont know how to handle india so she will now become in her life

  26. In Covid context, it is reported that the President abdicated responsibility to states and thereafter the synchronisation of action did not really happen. In India , the centre initiated, directed,monitored,consulted,advised the states. In general the Covid operations have been timely , concerted with fair success so far. In the process if the image of PM is boosted , none can object or be disturbed ; he is only doing his duty towards the nation.

  27. Mr Gupta – I admire your journalism. But I notice that you keep bringing comparisons to what is happening in US in many of your videos. Do you have a large audience viewing your YouTube channel from US and if so, are you just pandering to that audience by bringing in this comparison?

  28. The corona-virus has brought back the all-powerful Center, which we had seen shrinking about 1989 on wards, basically because the states have realized that on their own they have no solution.
    From 1989 over the decades, did India move towards real federalism as ordained in the Constitution OR was it just a free for all ? With corrupt center the states went corrupt and the media was not far behind.
    For a country which has not been through a major war, everyone thought MANMANI is what the democracy means. Covid-19 has taught us a lesson, some will resist falling in line but eventually will have to come around.
    We the people of India is the power, when it was represented by one type of dispensation, that was the reality when it is a different dispensation we have to live with it only time will prove which one was b etter.

  29. Hey,
    Hope all of you are doing well in these tough times
    I had a query in this article, what is the problem with centre checking into Bengal’s numbers. There are many reasons to do this-
    1. For a state of its size and importance and location it has really low numbers. While everyone will be happy of they are doing a good job in containing it but deserves a look under the lens.
    2. If a person who died was covid positive he should be cremated/ buried with proper care and safety. So the correction of figures is good as the damage done can be repaired.
    3. Bengal has a excellent road, water and air network. If the state is opened on May 2 with tampered numbers it will destroy all the sacrifices done by our countries citizens

  30. Hey,
    Hope all of you are doing well in these tough times
    I had a query in this article, what is the problem with centre checking into Bengal’s numbers. There are many reasons to do this-
    1. For a state of its size and importance and location it has really low numbers. While everyone will be happy of they are doing a good job in containing it but deserves a look under the lens.
    2. If a person who died was covid positive he should be cremated/ buried with proper care and safety. So the correction of figures is good as the damage done can be repaired.
    3. Bengal has a excellent road, water and air network. If the state is opened on May 2 with tampered numbers it will destroy all the sacrifices done by our countries citizens

    • Bengal has a excellent road, water and air network? How did you come to such an egregious conclusion even?

  31. Back to the future. The more things change the more they remain the same. Soon India’s most left of centre PM will bring back the glorious days of the license permit Raj where the government will once again occupy the commanding heights of the economy, doing everything from making rockets to baking bread. And doing everything badly. Welcome back the Hindu rate of growth and grinding poverty.

      • Sadly the present PM is no Gupta. He is an extreme left wing Marxist deeply influenced by the Western cults of Communism and Marxism. In this he is no different from India’s first PM, who had faith in everything except his own country’s wisdom and cultural heritage.

        • Someone who doesn’t know the difference between real commie and socio-capitalist. Trying to bring in Nehru to compare that some has to be ardent supporter of dynasty rule. India has come long way from the beliefs of Nehru was gift of god and Indira Gandhi was Gandhi’s daughter in law.

    With best wishes for betterment always,
    Yours sincerely,
    No 13 , 5th CROSS , NR COLONY , BANGALORE -560019
    Mobile / WhatsApp : 9483271683

    • Thanks for your comment.
      I agree. These state governments thought they can defy the centre because they always gain revenue from Liquor sales.
      I hope Coronavirus lingers for long. That way. We can beat these anti nationals in a gradual manner. The time for revolution in a peaceful way is here. I believe it would be more peaceful than in 1947 and be a more better and brighter future for us all when these Italian sell outs would be wiped out

  33. Overnight, The Print has removed all false narrative “Opinion” articles by Congress stooges masquerading as “journalists”.

    Obviously, The Print is now afraid that the same stick which the Royal Family “Gandhis” is trying to beat Arnab Goswami with, will be used to thrash the living daylights out of anti-national & subversive journals like The Print.

    Beware The Print, you still have a chance to reform, it’s now too late.

    • Wow, they did remove all false narrative “Opinion” by Congress stooges masquerading as “journalists”?
      Could you list some of those please?

      I am kinda overjoyed that now the Centre can directly communicate with the Sarpanches.
      It has been long since the Congress affliated govt which engaged in anti Hindu appeasement to be beaten down.
      this needs to happen perhaps. The damage done by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency still lingers here.
      Perhaps this will help iron out those wrinkles.
      Although I wonder why Modi Govt doesn’t declare an emergency and do all the necessary things that can be done to fix these anti national people who try to hide behind behind federalism and sickular politics.

    • Wow, Dude. You seem like one of those good Mohammad people. Calling out the Congress stooges as a Muslim takes guts and enlightenment
      Hopefully we need Hindu nationalist parties to remain in power for at least 70 more years in order to reverse the damage done by foreign italian sell outs

  34. Generally, The Print is clear with what it wants to say. However, this one is not upto the mark.

  35. We might need a strong center! A war with China/Pakistan on the Cards? Data from Orbital Insight show 937 million barrels of oil in China’s observable storage. It’s the highest level the company has measured since it began tracking, since Jan 2017. In floating rooftop tanks alone, China added at least 76 million barrels of oil since lockdowns began on Jan 23. China still has 1.5 billion barrels of storage to spare. In comparison, India does not have that kind of storage capacity to take advantage of the low oil prices. Crude is not the only commodity China’s stockpiling during the pandemic. China is in the process of importing/storing 10 million tons of soybeans, 20 million tons of corn, and one million tons of cotton. Is China readying itself for a war with India? Even if it doesn’t, it might spur Pakistani generals into a war with India, wherein China may take advantage of the weakness in the Indian military strength and mobilizations on multiple fronts to annex AP. It has already indicated its intentions by officially redrawing its maps to include AP as a part of China. It’s recent intrusion in to AP and kidnapping of a local are also signs that Indian military should not take for granted.

  36. May be your jealous of kind of development happening and worried about the loot that is completely stopped. Shame on you !!!

  37. Very true. USA is totally federal in nature whereas India is dictatorial. In USA u can freely speak your mind whereas here our silence does the speaking

    • Yes…w e can see how the freedom of speech and constitution blah blah is shown In their protest over lockdowns. Pls dont compare us to those nincompoops.

  38. Looking at WB falling in line, i guess centre winning is a good idea, but then i look at the south where the states have done better than the cow belt BIMARU states. Why should a kerala or a karnataka need to beg? Kerala because it has a communist CM capable of independent action and Karnataka which has a CM tied up by BJP with many deputy CMs all doing politics. Karnataka has low Covid cases, a good revenue thanks to startups, property revenue and also vehicle movement taxes. Why would this CM need to beg the centre, he is BJP person but Modiji only likes Gujarat and UP and will not give Karnataka a share in PM cares.

  39. These are extraordinary times and sometime it is better to become autocrat and lead from the front. NDA 1.0 under PM Modi has been very transparent and cooperative with state govt. We cannot compare everything with past and western countries. Before 1980 their was literally only one political party in our country. Why we always try to compare everything with US. Even after 1000 years we cannot have thinking like civil society of US citizens.

    • he is congressi stooge bro ,he has to crtisize modi govt anyhow………….. ,he has to remind about the federal disaster happening in usa where states where lockdown was strict,has a few corona cases ,, we indians are fighting a war ,this is war like situation ,sometimes centralisation is necessary for this kind of situation ……. i have read sarkaria commision report and punchi commsion report which also prescribe centralistion tendency in this war kind of situation ……….. poor pathetic coupta ji ……. dont fool

  40. Modi was shrewd to block GST under UPA 2. Current CMs were stupid to not learn from him and ceded control over their state finances when they supported GST whole-heartedly. Mamata didi or Pinarayi Vijayan have no one to blame but themselves. Capt Amrinder can atleast claim that he was not the CM when Punjab assented in 2016.
    But again SG has missed the wood for the trees. It is natural tendency for anybody to assume as much powers for themselves – it comes from a certain innate sense of insecurity and inferiority complex which the current PM has in plenty. The real issue is subsequent PMs will also have learnt a lesson and would not willingly cede power. It is imperative that SG exhorts the electorate that they must look to elect someone who is more likely to cede power to the states than centralise so much. Eulogising the PM for his “strong man” image isn’t helping at all. All this lamenting only puts you in the same category of Mamata didi or Uddhav Thackeray – crying after the horses have bolted.

    • This is only part factual and will continue to apply to BJP ruled states where leaders have pledged allegiance to Modi. In other states, the CMs will lead the charge in revival. Punjab has setup an expert committee, TN has played well to cater to needs of MSMEs and farmer collectives, Kerala will build on its NRKs and tourism revival, and so on. Next national election will be more regional than one may expect given regional leaders had a chance to showcase their leadership in times of adversity/crisis.

  41. Ban on selling of Alcohol is justified during this epidemic becasue of two reasons. One , it will weaken the immune system and making peoples vulnerable to virus attack.
    Second is during this social distancing phase where work from home is going on and all members are confined to their huts, consumption of alcohol may spoil the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere in home and may give domestic violence.

  42. Lets first talk about liquor point you made leaving aside morality issues. What if a person drinks a lot of beer/alcohol and then wish to go out how will police handle this person. and there are millions or billions people in India who drinks. So this will fail the lockdown. Currently it is very difficult without alcohol to make people stay home. Think how enormous task it will be if people gets to drink.
    Now second point about west bengal . We are Union and not the Con-federation such as USA. In union centre will always have more power that I don’t need to tell you. So it is customary for CM to greet PM but WB not following it is actually a bad thing. Hope the things will chnage due to this pandemic.

    • Agreed. Skekhar Gupta will always see through the leftist lens. He is trying to masquerade as a centre journalist when we all know they want to treated like they used to be during Manmohan Singh’s era.

  43. Cooperative federalism is precisely why states need to be more honest and open in giving details about a pandemic that can happen once in a humans life time. It is a team work and if one person in the team is not doing his job efficiently it will affect entire team.
    I know Mamtaji is one of the closest to liberals, but if you recall earlier incidents (during 2019 election she was getting irritated by a slogan which she could ignore it or living in conspiracy theory on a platform and oppose student and anchor of taking left party side and walk away), she always in denial /fighting or conspiracy mode.
    There are so many thing that this central govt. should do or can improve on it. Kind of situation we are in it is not easy to take decision easily. If in India this pandemic become out of control it will be havoc for every citizen.

  44. First of all, make correction to the facts you are putting forth. State Govts collect GST on all that is sold in a state, including liquor and petroleum products. Everyone knows the tax on these two commodities is highest but what about tobacco? Are pan-shops open? The poor paan-wala does not come under organized sector and they are much bigger victims of lock down that alcohol sellers, who are big-fat contractors, if I may. Yes, the sale of liquor could have been allowed, like other daily items but why can’t it be raised in debates, as Mr.Rishi Kapoor did once on social media. May be that will have some impact and result in relaxing the ban. As for center becoming almighty, its for time to tell but this pandemic is going to create far bigger changes than one can imagine. I do not see any problem in center taking the lead in the current situation as some of the state govt. are pathetically incompetent. Every PM of this country should be speaking/listening to all citizens and who stopped the PMs of the past in doing so? You quoted about Rajiv Gandhi dismissing Karnataka’s CM in 1990 – did we had emergency in 1990?? So what was that about? Things have evolved in last 10-15 years much faster than the ‘old school’ guys had anticipated and those who are unable to keep up with the pace, would always find a reason to ‘murmur’. Public or voters of the country are not morons, the new generation is far better aware and they will find their solutions too.

  45. but it would be a good idea to dismantle the little fiefdoms of Miss Mamata and her party of goons. The most important thing is that she has lost the plot, public perception is changing against her – as a crazy temperamental woman, who is putting herself and her party above the health of the people she is duty-bound to protect. IT is mismanagement all around.
    Good riddance.
    With CPI(M) completely discredited there – hopefully West Bengal will be back into mainstream India…this republic like tendencies must be curbed.

  46. The visit of central teams to Bengal showed that such teams are unfortunately needed. What Bengal govt did was wrong, they pretty much fudged numbers for reasons known only to them. I am curious where all the “data warriors” who oppose centre tooth and nail when any figures are released but somehow are mum in the case of Bengal. Perhaps i was foolish to consider them to be genuine.
    The rest of the article is spot on. More powerful states are needed, but then did the states try to devolve powers to the local govts? They didn’t. We need decentralization at all levels and take governance and power close to people.
    Let’s hope the centralisation during this pandemic isn’t permanent.

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