Regionalism in India Essay | Regionalism in India

Regionalism in India Essay – Regionalism in India


Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that N seeks to advance the causes of a region. As a process it plays a significant role within the nation as well as outside the nation i.e. at international level. Regionalism has positive as well as negative impact on society, polity, diplomacy, economy, security, culture, development, negotiation, etc.

Regionalism  in India  Essay
Regionalism in India Essay

If the interest of one region or a state is asserted against the country as a whole or against another region/ state in a hostile way, and if a conflict is promoted by such alleged interests, then it can be called as regionalism.

Roots of regionalism lie regionalism in India’s manifold diversity of languages, cultures, ethnic groups, communities, religions and so on, and is encouraged by regional concentration of those identity markers, and fueled by a sense of regional deprivation. For many centuries, India remained the land of many regions, cultures and traditions.

For instance, southern India (the home of Dravidian cultures), which is itself a region of many regions, is evidently different from the north, the west, the central and the north-east. Even the East of India is different from the North-East of India comprising seven constituent units of Indian federation today with the largest concentration of tribal people.

Regionalism has remained perhaps the most potent force in Indian politics ever since independence (1947). It has remained the basis of many regional political parties which have governed many states since the late 1960s. Three clear patterns can be identified in the post-independence phases of accommodation of regional identity through statehood.

First, in the 1950s and 1960s, intense (ethnic) mass mobilisation, often taking on a violent character, was the main force behind the state’s response with an institutional package for statehood. Andhra Pradesh in India’s south showed the same pattern. The fast unto death in 1952 of the legendary (Telugu) leader Potti Sriramulu for a state for the Telegu speakers out of the composite Madras Presidency moved the leader Jawaharlal Nehru, a top nationalist leader and it was followed by State reorganisation commission under Fazal Ali paving way for State Reorganization Act, 1956.

Second, in the 1970s and 1980s, the main focus of reorganization was India’s North-east. The basis of reorganization was tribal insurgency for separation and statehood. The main institutional response of the Union government was the North-eastern States Reorganisation Act, 1971 which upgraded the Union Territories of Manipur and Tripura, and the Sub-State of Meghalaya to full statehood, and Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (then Tribal Districts) to Union Territories. The latter became states in 1986. Goa (based on Konkani language (8th Schedule)), which became a state in 1987, was the sole exception.

Third, the movements for the three new states – Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand from Bihar and Uttaranchal form Uttar Pradesh – were longdrawn but became vigorous in the 1990s. And the most recent example is the division of Andhra Pradesh, in a separate Telangana state, which started functioning in 1950s.

Regional economic inequality is a potent time bomb directed against national unity and political stability giving rise to terrorism. Regional diversification of languages and culture is a major factor that contributed to terrorism.

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