ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Turning the Corner

states; Jawaharlal Nehru, in a remarkable volte face, went along, as did the rest of the Congress party: accession to power contributes greatly to charity of thought. By 1948 it was decided that sorry, it was all a misunderstanding, residuary powers in the Union of India will be with the Union, not, as earlier settled, with the states. B R Ambedkar was a decisive man; he did not believe in leaving things vague. In a thundering speech in November 1948 in the Constituent Assembly, he was forthrightness personified in his exposition of the imperial order that was India: "The Drafting Committee wanted to make it clear that though India was to be a federation, the federation was not the result of an agreement by the states to join in a federation. The federation is a union because it is indestructible. Though the country and the people may be divided into different states for convenience of administration, the country is one inte grated whole, its people a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source." There you are. B R Ambedkar so ordained, and the Constituent Assembly acquiesced: we are a single people under a single imperium derived from a single source. Imperium is Latin for empire. This empire, B R Ambedkar decreed, is not one built on the agreement of the states, it is based, by implication, on force, force "derived from a single source". Under the circumstances, this "single source", who could doubt, could only be the British, who had passed on the baton.

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