After her independence, India began the process of Nation-building in a truly majestic way. The Constituent Assembly was in a position to complete the drafting of Constitution of free India by 26th November, 1949. The Constitution clearly stated the objectives to be achieved by India.
These were: Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity assuring the unity and integrity of the nation and dignity of the Individual, a was defined as Bharat and a Union of States, with single uniform citizenship, common unified electorate, duly and freely elected representative government, a federal polity with emphasis upon a strong centre, and a secular state committed to re for all its inhabitants without any discrimination of caste, colour, creed, religion, e of birth or sex, the gains of a welfare state.
Federalism was adopted because it was expected to help India in preserving and securing nation-building:
1. The pluralist character of Indian Society
2. The objective of unity in diversity, in-fact unity in plurality.
3. The goal of securing milling and active involvement of the people in the democratic ruling process at all the three levels—National, regional or provincial and local.
4. To preserve and ensure the spirit of local autonomy and enterprise.
5. To ensure a real decentralisation of powers by organising autonomous governments at national, provincial and local levels with each enjoying definite and defined of power and authority.
6. The need to provide political education and training to the people for making them fully capable of organising and running their democracy in a truly democratic way.
Thus Federalism, along with the presence of a strong centre, was adopted in India for giving strength to the process of Nation-building. Since the inauguration of the Constitution on 26th January 1950, Federalism has been acting as an instrument of Nation-building. Indian model-Federation with a unitary spirit, has been a source of strength for the process of nation building.
India has emerged as a well-functioning, stable and continuously developing country. The Indian state has exhibited fully its ability to develop slowly but steadily as a strong and stable state, a steadily developing economy, a nuclear power, and IT super power, a responsible state in the world and a state having the potential to be a big super power in the world.
Over the years, the process of nation-building has been successful in securing for the people of India:
1. A durable, dependable and well-functioning Constitution of India.
2. Liberal Democratic Government.
3. Political stability and growing political maturity.
4. Agreed National Goals and Objectives.
5. Peaceful and orderly political process.
6. Ability to secure political changes through peaceful and constitutional methods (Elections).
7. Increasing participation of the people in the political life of the country
8. Ability to maintain unity and integrity of India.
9. Ability to manage crisis situations.
10. Increasing industrialization and technological progress.
11. Fast Developing Infrastructure.
12. Increasing national Income.
13. Attempts at the promotion of Human Rights, Social Justice and Socio-economic development.
14. Ability to become a Super Power by the year 2020.
However the process of making a pluralist society with widespread social, economic, cultural, linguistic, regional, religious diversities into a united, integrated and disciplined nation has been naturally a slow, complex and problematic process. Along with several spectacular successes there continue to be present several weaknesses failures, particularly the failure to contain communalism, regionalism, terrorism and criminalization of politics.
Indian federation has also been living with certain tensions and it is still to develop a healthy model of Cooperative-Competitive Federalism. The objective Nation-building has yet to be fully realised. Despite the presence of several weaknesses and problems, it can be said without any hesitation that Indian Federation has the inner strength to meet existing challenges. It has effectively exhibited its crisis-management ability.
End of Terrorism in Punjab, failure of terrorism in J & K to achieve its nefarious designs, the ability to maintain a consistent GDP growth, the successful transition from a single party dominant system into a real multiparty system, the successful working of coalition governments at the national and state levels, the success in becoming and maintaining the status of a nuclear power, the status of being an IT Super power, the advances being made in the sphere of high technology, and the continued commitment pursue the objective of Nation-building, all point out towards a bright future for Inc. as a liberal democratic federal state.
Federalism has decidedly rendered great help securing Nation-building in India on the basis of the principle of unity in diversity, in-fact unity in plurality. In this era of Coalition Governments, Indian federal system has the opportunity to play a even a bigger role in Nation-building. Power-sharing between national level and regional level political parties can increase political] understanding and produce better centre-state relations.
Indian federalism can be now expected to work as a cooperative-collaborative-competitive federalism and all the political parties can use the new opportunity for securing as suitable balance in the centre-state relations. It can be a helpful condition for national-building in 21st Century. However, the new tendency of regionalisation of national decision-making should be checked.