GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Should there be reorganizations of states in India again ? Explain with the arguments


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 – Rayalaseema.

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 the country.

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 Telangana.

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 growing.

Conclusion

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 rivalry.

References:

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