In news: love jihad, Telengana

1. On love jihad –

A Kerala judge has sought to legitimise the use of a dangerous concept – ‘Love Jihad’. Liberals should be worried, for this is a clever reactionary assault on the basic right to choose your partner. Coming close on its heels, a recent SC decision to commute a capital sentence into life imprisonment for an ‘honour-killing‘ to avenge an inter-caste marriage was taken for the wrong reasons. It may be time for liberals to appropriate ‘love jihad’, to say that there is nothing wrong with love, that it must be allowed to transcend the boundaries of caste, religion, race and sex. A nation-wide campaign against ‘arranged’ marriages, which reinforce casteism, sectarianism, hetero-patriarchy etc., might be a good start.

2. On Telengana – Shekhar Gupta says:

It is the peculiarity of the division in Andhra Pradesh that makes the job of a commentator so difficult. How does one describe the two sides? Both are Telugu, both have the same caste mix, same ethnicity, culture and so on. The clamour for a separate Telangana is a regional aspiration, or a case of the “inland” districts wanting their own political space in a state where the power structure is dominated by their own ethnic brethren from the richer, coastal districts, or from the eastern grain bowl between the two great rivers, Krishna and Godavari.

Indeed, what ought to be the basis of devolving power? Nick Barber’s excellent paper ‘The Limited Modesty of Subsidiarity‘ compares subsidiarity and nationalism as two distinct reasons for doing so. Simply put, subsidiarity requires that power should be exercised at the smallest unit that can exercise it efficiently. There is a presumption in favour of smaller units, with the rider of efficiency. An important implication of subsidiarity is that one size need not fit all, that different regions can have different ways of sharing power (even our federal constitution admits and accommodates idiosyncratic circumstances of certain states under the provisions in Part XXI). Barber’s article is a must read for anyone interested in any form of vertical organisation of power—federalism, devolution or decentralisation of power to panchayats.

Written by
Tarunabh Khaitan
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