October 27, 2007Public Policy

Cut the district collector down to size

The post-colonial state must be challenged

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Sixty years after independence, the District Collector—the name and the position a construct of the British colonial government—remains all powerful.

This unelected official, ostensibly free of political bias, has the power to decide what you cannot watch on television. The district collector of Ahmedabad has banned several television channels showing footage of the Tehelka sting. Now, how some channels handled the broadcast is questionable. But the district collector of Ahmedabad shouldn’t be the one with the power to tune the channels out.

India needs to sort out the balance of power between the citizen and the state. India’s governments have been only too keen to ban this channel, that book and the other movie. Concerned citizens should take this executive overreach to the courts. Long live the district collector. But death to his untrammelled powers.

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