GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Should there be
reorganizations of states in India again ? Explain with the arguments
Q. Should there be reorganizations of states in India
again ? Explain with the arguments. (12.5 Marks)
(General Studies Mains Paper II- Polity: issues and challenges pertaining
to the federal structure)
Model Answer :
The debate on the creation of new states in India has been renewed with the
government’s decision to allow for the creation of Telangana.
Since independence, India has experienced the creation of
several states after prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru called for the setting up
of the States Reorganization Commission. Previously however, states were created
or reorganized largely based on linguistics.
The more recent demands to create separate states in India stem from a
feeling of social and economic backwardness.
The States Reorganization Commission
The States Reorganization Commission in India in the 1950’s, declared that
states in India should be divided based on language. After independence, it was
in 1953, that a new state was created in India for the first time.
Andhra Pradesh was carved out of Madras as the first state to
be formed based on linguistics for the Telegu speaking people. The creation of
Andhra Pradesh set the ball rolling for different groups in India to put forward
demands for more states to be formed.
When Andhra Pradesh was created in 1953, there were several
concerns on whether to merge Andhra Pradesh and Telangana despite the common
language. The people of Telangana voiced their concerns from the start, fearing
that their economic backwardness in comparison to Andhra would result in their
development being neglected.
In addition, there was a worry that the people of Andhra
would be more likely to benefit from the Krishna and Godavari river water.
However, Nehru silenced these concerns stating that the merging of Andhra and
Telangana would be like a “matrimonial alliance having provisions for divorce”.
The agitation in Telangana
The agitation in Telangana which started as far back as 1969
began as a protest against the improper implementation of the Gentleman’s
Agreement of 1956 between leaders of Andhra and Telangana. However, the protests
intensified when several students and protesters were killed in police firing
after the call was made for a separate state. Despite attempts made by prime
minister Indira Gandhi, the protests did not stop and soon more protests
followed to counter the Telangana cause.
For a while in the 1970’s, the government was able to ease
the tensions in the state and calm the violence. However, by the mid 1980’s
protests were renewed when the people of Telangana once again felt that they
were being wronged. It was in 1999, that the call for a separate state was made
once again and was rejected in 2001 by the BJP.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti was not satisfied and continued
its struggle for a separate state. In 2009, when the TRS started a hunger strike
in an attempt to pressurize the government, the congress reluctantly agreed to
look into the issue of a separate state. But by the end of that year it was
evident that the Telangana issue had been put on hold and once again violence
hit the state.
Through 2011 – 12, protests and agitations continued for the
Telangana cause until 2012 when there were attempts made to take the issue more
seriously and find a peaceful solution. When all else failed, Nehru’s provision
for “divorce” in the Andhra – Telangana merger came to light as the government
in 2013 approved the creation of a separate state for Telangana.
However, it appears that the congress party has not only
created the state of Telangana but has also created more problems for itself as
there is now a debate around the possibility of the creation of a third state –
Giving in to demands for creation of new states has on
numerous occasions created more trouble than good. More importantly, every such
demand that is met gives rise to several more such demands from other parts of
After Telangana, there is now a greater push to divide Uttar
Pradesh into four states of Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Paschim
Pradesh based on a state government resolution passed in 2011.
When talks for the division of UP began, it gave rise to
demands for a separate state of Braj Pradesh which would comprise some parts of
Rajasthan, some districts of Madhya Pradesh, parts of Agra, Aligargh and UP.
With talks of separating UP gaining momentum, a wave of demands started in Bihar
for the creation of Mithila, Bhojpur and Seemanchal. In Maharashtra, the call
for creating the state of Vidarbha has long been in existence. This demand has
again in recent times heated up with the government conceding to the creation of
The government’s decision on Telangana appears to have
spurred several other groups and factions across the country to push for their
own similar demands. Whether it is the call for Gorkhaland, Bodoland, Karbi
Anglong, Kukiland, Garoland and Dimaland in the North East, or the push for
separate Saurashtra in Gujarat, the demand for Kongunadu and Tululand in the
south or Konkan in Western India, the protests and want of new states keeps
The creation of new states only weakens the fabric of the country creating
further divisions between the people and providing more reasons for conflict and