Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Introduction to YGK's 'Constituent Assembly and Indian Federation' (1940) by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri

It is with great pleasure that I introduce this work of my friend and pupil Mr. Y. G Krishnamurti to the scholars and patriots of our country. In this small but comprehensive work he deals with a topic of great importance for the future of the nation. The wide range of scholarship and the sweep of imagination displayed in this work are sufficient evidence as to his capacity and fitness for the task he has undertaken. Not merely for the concrete suggestions he has put forward but also because of what is implicit, his book deserves earnest consideration. On the foundation of facts and theories he has not advocated, it is possible to build up a theory of government as it ought not to be. He justifiably say with Montesquieu have not drawn my principles from my prejudices but from the nature of things." He thus makes a realistic approach to the problems that confront the nation. There is a type of idealism in our country which tries to mask hard facts with sentiment, and is nothing but wishful thinking, but his idealism is of a purer variety—never suppressing the verities or resorting to terminological in-exactitudes but striving to visualise and realise future possibilities.

He deals with the nature and history of the constituent assemblies and points out the conditions on which their success depends. The questions of representation, minorities, economic and social planning and the defects of the Federation as contemplated in the Government of India Act of 1935, the partial of provincial autonomy are dealt with. Finally he has discussed in the light of the most recent and authoritative discussions on the subject, the problem of Dominion Status and Independence.

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