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Bhanu Dhamija

Founder 'Divya Himachal' newspaper, author 'Why India Needs the Presidential System'

Bhanu Dhamija is the founder and chairman of the Divya Himachal Group, the largest newspaper publishing company in Himachal Pradesh, India. Earlier, in America, Dhamija founded a media company that published trade journals and organized conferences for the magazine publishing industry.

Bhanu Dhamija is also the author of Why India Needs the Presidential System (HarperCollins)

Born in Bulandshehar (UP) in 1959, he has lived almost half his life in the United States. After attending Punjab University in Chandigarh, he acquired a postgraduate degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He has worked in the financial, computer and media industries in the US and India. While in the US, Dhamija married an American and soon after they moved with their three children to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

Luis Enrique Ascui / Reuters

Why We Need To Pay Attention To Tharoor's Push for Presidential-Type City Governments

India's cities are a mess because local governments are totally inept and unaccountable. The 74th Amendment's attempt more than 20 years ago to establish urban local bodies as institutions of self-government has failed. But now there is hope. This month, without fanfare, Shashi Tharoor introduced a Bill in Parliament to fix these ailments. It goes right to the heart of the matter.
15/08/2016 12:12 PM IST
Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Why India's Bureaucracy Cannot Be A Meritocracy

Raghuram Rajan's exit from the RBI demonstrates the rot in India's bureaucracy. Far from being merit-based, it is seriously politicized. Bureaucrats have become sycophants. Self-respecting independent thinkers have no place in India's system. Even the most capable survive or thrive only through their handling of political masters. The quality of their work stands for very little. It is no fault of the bureaucrats. The problem is systemic. It starts from the top.
24/06/2016 8:30 AM IST
Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

Indians Want And Deserve A True Federation, Not A Pseudo One

The recent state elections have proven once again that the Indian people want a true federation. Above all other factors, people voted for local accountability. These results don't mean a rejection of a strong Centre, or a vote for or against Modi, or a lack of nationalistic feeling. They show people's natural desire to control their own affairs.
31/05/2016 8:17 AM IST

Ambedkar's 'United States of India'

Hidden in the annals of India's Constituent Assembly is Ambedkar's real vision for India's Constitution. He labelled it 'United States of India' and the proposal was in line with his longstanding opposition to the parliamentary form of government. Had they been adopted, Ambedkar's ideas would have altered the character of the final Constitution, and changed India's destiny.
15/04/2016 8:19 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Why Lawmaking In India Is So Subpar

Lawmaking in India is an entirely partisan exercise. The government, with a majority already in hand, pushes through the laws it wants. Since only the government can pass laws--those brought by private members have no chance--no other Member of Parliament takes the initiative. Party bosses in power decide which laws will be proposed, and those in the opposition decide which will be opposed. The legislators merely vote as instructed by their bosses. No one has any interest in the quality of laws.
04/04/2016 8:22 AM IST

No, America's Presidential System Is Not Doomed

Lately, the detractors of the American system have been out in full force. Last month, as soon as the Republicans took a stand on the Supreme Court appointment, a leading liberal magazine published an article titled 'Is America's Presidential System Doomed?' However, I believe that far from being doomed, America's presidential form of government is the secret to her success.
31/03/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Why India Needs The Presidential System: Repelling Authoritarianism [Book Excerpt]

For a nation to prosper, its political system must foster a national vision, ensure fairness and encourage participation. India's parliamentary system fails to deliver any of these ingredients. A great people are languishing because of a poor choice made in their system of government. <em>Why India Needs The Presidential System</em> by Bhanu Dhamija seeks to show that its powers are severely and irreversibly out of balance. And why a US-type system if applied to India will deliver better governance and a healthier polity.
11/03/2016 8:06 AM IST
hansslegers via Getty Images

India's 'Strong' Centre Is Weakening Its Security

India's founders set out to build a strong Centre with independent state governments. But their experiment failed. Our state governments are not fully accountable - they depend on the Centre for survival and funds. People are routinely left with no local government, or one that is not focused on local issues. This hurts governance just where it touches people most. India's so-called strong Centre is too distant to provide any real representation or participation. What's most menacing, however, is that instead of adding strength, this is endangering our nation's security.
19/02/2016 8:14 AM IST

Why Glorify Our Constitution? Our Founding Fathers Certainly Didn't

Far from being elated, the framers of India's Constitution turned sombre when Ambedkar presented his draft. In the six days following his motion to adopt the new Constitution, speaker after speaker came forward to praise the proposed system. Yet others couldn't shake off the feeling that something was amiss. Nearly a third took the floor only to say something disparaging about the Constitution India was ready to adopt. It was evident that it had failed to inspire.
26/01/2016 8:13 AM IST